Seagate FreeAgent 500gb external-inaccessible-missing partition

Hi everyone,
So I had a scare a few weeks ago where my external was suddenly not recognized after an unexpected shutdown. Went through the malware removal guide over at MG (it found some) and I don't know how I did it, but I got it working again and began backing up data. (may have just been a restart or two)
The first time I had this happen was two years ago, and it was fixed by setting the drive to wait for a longer period before going into sleep mode. I guess the reasoning is that something tries to write to the drive while it's sleeping and causes an error

Last week it became inaccessible again after throwing $MFT and I/O errors, so I tried basic things: taking it off the powered hub and plugging straight into the main, reinstalling the drive software (Max Menu Manager Basics) on the primary drive. Eventually I was able to get the computer to see the drive exists, but it showed up as "F: Local disc" rather than "F: Seagate FreeAgent"
While it was at least partially running (but inaccessible) I installed "Seagate Drive Settings" and was able to set the drive to never go into sleep mode, thinking that if it worked once I might as well attempt it again. I also turned off the led light because I'd read a humungous thread of people who'd recovered this model drive by opening it up and unplugging the light. Well neither did a thing, but since then I've been unable to set the sleep mode back to where it had been.
So current status:
-Disk management--when it sees the drive--shows it as having no file system.
-At some point in the process I described above, the folders were suddenly visible in windows explorer but clicking on them gave an inaccessible message. They're now hidden behind an inaccessible message when clicking the drive name again.
-TestDisk recognizes the drive, actual drive name, and size, but can't find a partition with the initial search. When it switches over to the deeper scan it takes 3-4 minutes to analyze each cylinder. Out of fear that I was going to damage something, I didn't let it get beyond 14.
-took the drive out of the case (it's a barracuda 7200.11) and hooked it up using an SATA to USB
-The demo of Active File Recovery found 8-10 bad sectors at the beginning of the drive and it looked like that's where the boot record is of course. All sectors it scanned after that gave read errors, but due to the amount of time vs time of night, I paused and saved the scan pretty early, then shut it down.

At this point I have no idea what to do. Wondering if there's a way to clone it on to my new external (Iomega eGo 1tb) so I can work on it there just in case. I've seen it suggested that "Recover My Files" and "Disk Internals Partition Recovery" can work in these situations to recover files.

Here are my specs:
PC - Windows XP SP3, core2 duo
Drive - Seagate FreeAgent 500gb (350gb used)

Any help may result in my undying love for you, which you may be able to barter for other goods and services, maybe some bacon. Yeah I'm not above bribery.
Thanks,
B.
35 answers Last reply
More about seagate freeagent 500gb external inaccessible missing partition
  1. You can try this tool: http://www.easeus.com/partition-recovery/

    As for imaging your external drive, you may be able to by searching for free tools online. You will need to perform a sector-by-sector backup which will image the entire 500

    You can also attempt to recover the drive using a bootable Linux CD/DVD.
  2. Oh cool, thank you, I'll definitely give it a shot - what do you think, should I (is it possible to) make an image before trying to do the recovery, or is that backward?

    Linux on a windows system? That one lost me :??:
  3. Backup before anything.
    You can also try the bootable Linux disk first - Ubuntu comes to mind.
    Then once in the "Live System" see if you can peruse the external drive and if so, then you should in theory gain access to the drive/files and go from there.

    If that don't work, then try the image route. Please keep in mind that though you may be able to image the 500GB drive to the 1TB drive, you may still no longer have access to the files.

    You are in a sticky situation none-the-least but I do wish you all the luck and patience.
  4. becolt said:
    Oh cool, thank you, I'll definitely give it a shot - what do you think, should I (is it possible to) make an image before trying to do the recovery, or is that backward?

    Linux on a windows system? That one lost me :??:


    Go here for details: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/try-ubuntu-before-you-install
  5. There's nothing to back up b/c I can't read the drive (Oh, unless you mean the image)
    The Ubuntu idea is interesting :) Think I'll try that first
    Wait, that's exactly what you suggested, isn't it? Heh, bit of a mess right now.
    Think I'll take that luck and patience, thank you.
  6. A quick status update:
    Well, Ubuntu didn't see the drive and with Easeus I clicked "proceed" when it got to the point of searching and it didn't seem to do anything. After a while I stopped it and started Recover My Files. Wow these things take a while. 1.5 hours into it and it's 12% done with step 2 of 5 in its process. Nothing yet.
    Currently I have it hooked up through the original usb pcb - wonder if I'd be better off using the SATA to USB converter.
    Course there doesn't seem to be much of a difference that I can tell either way if the boot sector is messed up, right? Can't help but feel like if I could plunk a new boot file in there it would fix everything.
  7. I just spotted something that looks strange, to my untrained eye anyway.

    In the regedit folder
    "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet004\Services\SI3132\ProblemDevices"
    are 5 keys other than the default,
    HDS722516VLSA80 V34OA6MA REG_SZ DisableAtaQueueing
    HDS722525VLSA80 V34OA6MA REG_SZ DisableAtaQueueing
    HDS724040KLSA80 KFAOA32A REG_SZ DisableAtaQueueing
    Maxtor 4D060H3 DAK05GK0 REG_SZ MaxMode = UDMA-5
    Maxtor 7B250S0 BANC1B70 REG_SZ DisableSataQueueing

    I obviously am below the level of understanding required to decipher THAT, but as far as I remember Seagate and Maxtor are the same company. A little research turned this thread up that talks about some sort of blacklist, but I'm not understanding much beyond that. http://forum.soft32.com/linux/PATCH-libata-add-NCQ-blacklist-entries-Silicon-Image-Windows-ftopict340281.html
    Maybe this is actually what's supposed to be in there.

    Edit: Just ran across this about barracudas failing due to an old firmware update http://www.tomshardware.com/news/seagate-500gb-1tb-firmware-update,6867.html
    Wonder how to find out what version I'm running, in the bios? Yeah, I can hear about 20 people reading this and saying "how the hell would you have updated to 3 year old firmware?" I don't know, I'm trying every single possibility.
  8. becolt said:
    I just spotted something that looks strange, to my untrained eye anyway.

    In the regedit folder
    "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet004\Services\SI3132\ProblemDevices"
    are 5 keys other than the default,
    HDS722516VLSA80 V34OA6MA REG_SZ DisableAtaQueueing
    HDS722525VLSA80 V34OA6MA REG_SZ DisableAtaQueueing
    HDS724040KLSA80 KFAOA32A REG_SZ DisableAtaQueueing
    Maxtor 4D060H3 DAK05GK0 REG_SZ MaxMode = UDMA-5
    Maxtor 7B250S0 BANC1B70 REG_SZ DisableSataQueueing

    I obviously am below the level of understanding required to decipher THAT, but as far as I remember Seagate and Maxtor are the same company. A little research turned this thread up that talks about some sort of blacklist, but I'm not understanding much beyond that. http://forum.soft32.com/linux/PATCH-libata-add-NCQ-blacklist-entries-Silicon-Image-Windows-ftopict340281.html
    Maybe this is actually what's supposed to be in there.

    Edit: Just ran across this about barracudas failing due to an old firmware update http://www.tomshardware.com/news/seagate-500gb-1tb-firmware-update,6867.html
    Wonder how to find out what version I'm running, in the bios? Yeah, I can hear about 20 people reading this and saying "how the hell would you have updated to 3 year old firmware?" I don't know, I'm trying every single possibility.


    I personally don't believe that your issues are related to the findings as they are referencing a HDD controller and the OS is Unix based i.e. Fedora.

    I know Seagate did have issues in the past about a buggy F/W version on certain drives:

    "The company said in a statement that indeed a problem has caused some drives to fail and, it said it isolated the issue to a firmware bug affecting not only the 7200.11 but several other models manufactured through December 2008. Those include the DiamondMax 22, the Barracuda ES.2 SATA and the SV35." - computerworld.

    "Select Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB 3.5-inch hard drives made in Thailand, suffer from a firmware issue that bricks the HDDs after a short period of time. After three to five months of normal operation these defective hard drives will suddenly lock-up as a protective measure and prevent the system from recognizing the drive from then onwards. In most cases the information won't be lost, but the drive will be completely useless, changing the drive's electronics won't help much either. This problem occurs not only to the 1TB Barracuda models, but to Seagate 1.5TB, 640GB, 500GB, 320GB and 160GB Barracuda 7200.11 drives, along with some Maxtor and ES.2 models.
    " - techpowerup

    For a list of affected drives: http://www.techpowerup.com/82331/Seagate-Offers-Firmware-Fix-for-All-Problematic-Barracuda-7200.11-Hard-Drives.html?cp=3

    It seems that your drive may fall into this category, however what is the date stamp and F/W that is labeled on the drive itself?

    If it means anything I too have a drive from Seagate that has buggy F/W but I have yet to experience such issues - maybe I've been lucky.
    My drive is: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, 500GB, Date Code-08497, F/W-SD15

    I know Seagate had a link to validate the serial number of a drive against the F/W however I can no longer find that working link. Reading your OP, it seems that what you experienced are the side effects however it could also be a totally different issue altogether.

    IMHO, I would attempt to recover the data from the drive with whatever tools are readily available.

    Hope this helps...

    EDIT: Reading through your post again, you may just have a drive that is failing due to the I/O errors and bad sectors or it could be a mixture of both.

  9. I know Seagate did have issues in the past about a buggy F/W version on certain drives:

    "...not only the 7200.11 but several other models manufactured through December 2008. Those include the DiamondMax 22, the Barracuda ES.2 SATA and the SV35." - computerworld.

    "Select Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB 3.5-inch hard drives made in Thailand, suffer from a firmware issue that bricks the HDDs after a short period of time. After three to five months of normal operation these defective hard drives will suddenly lock-up as a protective measure and prevent the system from recognizing the drive from then onwards. In most cases the information won't be lost, but the drive will be completely useless, changing the drive's electronics won't help much either. This problem occurs not only to the 1TB Barracuda models, but to Seagate 1.5TB, 640GB, 500GB, 320GB and 160GB Barracuda 7200.11 drives, along with some Maxtor and ES.2 models.
    " - techpowerup

    For a list of affected drives: http://www.techpowerup.com/82331/Seagate-Offers-Firmware-Fix-for-All-Problematic-Barracuda-7200.11-Hard-Drives.html?cp=3

    It seems that your drive may fall into this category, however what is the date stamp and F/W that is labeled on the drive itself?

    If it means anything I too have a drive from Seagate that has buggy F/W but I have yet to experience such issues - maybe I've been lucky.
    My drive is: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, 500GB, Date Code-08497, F/W-SD15

    I know Seagate had a link to validate the serial number of a drive against the F/W however I can no longer find that working link. Reading your OP, it seems that what you experienced are the side effects however it could also be a totally different issue altogether.

    IMHO, I would attempt to recover the data from the drive with whatever tools are readily available.

    Hope this helps...

    EDIT: Reading through your post again, you may just have a drive that is failing due to the I/O errors and bad sectors or it could be a mixture of both.
    Yeah I have to agree on further inspection in the registry
    My drive definitely looks as though it falls into that window:
    Thailand
    ST3500320AS
    date code 08363
    mfg date on pcb: 2007-08-24
    F/W SD35
    Think I found the link here: http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/196371en?language=en_US

    On the i/o errors: I'm beginning to wonder if some malware I had is the origin of all that. I've had occasional problems in that area for as long as I've owned the drive, but only got seriously swamped with them either during or directly after that infection. I just had the thought this morning to run through the "malware removal/cleaning procedure" over at majorgeeks again - by mistake I started at step two with RogueKiller and was greeted with this message: "Roguekiller.exe is not a valid win32 application."
    Guess I'll have to open a thread over there on that one if CCleaner (step 1 this time) doesn't iron it out.
  10. I use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and so far it seems to work ok
  11. ELMO_2006 said:
    I use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and so far it seems to work ok

    Yep, that one is step 4 :D
  12. Well there wasn't any lingering malware. I'll be bringing this to a local guy tomorrow to see what he can do with it. Man this is... blech. Figured out that I don't know what I'm doing with testdisk anyway :)
  13. So I'm back from the computer shop and it's looking like I may have to try formatting then undeleting. The raw data is there, but Active File Recovery is listing the MBR as bad. Flying blind on this one if anyone has any advice. Assuming I should not use chkdsk from what I've read, but Recuva is a possibility.

    Edit 4:45: "format did not complete successfully." :heink:
  14. Please don't write to the drive. You will only make matters a lot worse.

    As for the "DisableAtaQueueing" registry entries, they disable NCQ (Native Command Queuing). NCQ was problematic with certain SATA controllers and HDDs.

    If you are intent on cloning your drive, then I would recommend ddrescue (freeware):
    http://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/ddrescue.html

    Ddrescue can perform multipass cloning. It clones the easy sectors on the first pass, and attempts the more difficult ones on subsequent passes. It can also clone your drive in reverse, thereby disabling lookahead caching. It keeps a log, allowing it to resume after an interruption. You can skip over any bad patches in the media.

    It might be worth examning your drive's SMART data with a tool such as HD Sentinel:
    http://www.hdsentinel.com/

    Look for reallocated, pending, or uncorrectable sectors.
  15. fzabkar said:
    Please don't write to the drive. You will only make matters a lot worse.

    As for the "DisableAtaQueueing" registry entries, they disable NCQ (Native Command Queuing). NCQ was problematic with certain SATA controllers and HDDs.

    Not sure I could if I tried at this point, heh. Oh ok so those keys are irrelevant to this drive, good.
    fzabkar said:

    If you are intent on cloning your drive, then I would recommend ddrescue (freeware):
    http://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/ddrescue.html

    Ddrescue can perform multipass cloning. It clones the easy sectors on the first pass, and attempts the more difficult ones on subsequent passes. It can also clone your drive in reverse, thereby disabling lookahead caching. It keeps a log, allowing it to resume after an interruption. You can skip over any bad patches in the media.

    Yeah I pretty much have to find a way - if I could snort it off the platter I'd try it.
    I ...can't figure out what I'm looking at in the download section there - it looks like only the last four files are needed here: http://mirror.yongbok.net/gnu/ddrescue/ Those are some sort of linux based file? Does that mean I need to run that ubuntu cd I made to get in and use it? I'm so lost lol, sorry about that.
    fzabkar said:

    It might be worth examning your drive's SMART data with a tool such as HD Sentinel:
    http://www.hdsentinel.com/

    Look for reallocated, pending, or uncorrectable sectors.

    Oh, hm. HDSentinel: "Problems occured during the spinup of the disk 64 times. This can be caused by the disk itself or huge power load (weak power supply).
    At this point, warranty replacement of the disk is not yet possible, only if the health drops further.
    It is recommended to examine the log of the disk regularly. All new problems found will be logged there."
    Yeah I have no idea what I'm looking at in the SMART section. Might be better off if I did a screenshot and posted it.
    Hey thanks for coming in here, I need all the help I can get as I'm sure you can tell
  16. I can't help you except to say that your best DIY chance is probably to clone as much of your drive as you can.

    I was expecting to see lots of reallocated, pending and uncorrectable sectors, but the raw values of the relevant SMART attributes are zero. Some Google research would suggest that when the normalised value of the Raw Read Error Rate attribute falls to below 100, there should be numerous bad sectors. A perfect RRER score, for your model, appears to be 120, and the usual scores for a working drive seem to be 110 or better. Instead yours is around 70. These values are logarithmic, so a value of 70 corresponds to an error rate that is 10,000 times worse than a value of 110.

    In short, your drive's read error rate is very poor, but there are no bad sectors in your SMART data.

    It won't help you, but just FYI, here is what I've been able to discern about Seagate's counterintuitive SMART attributes:
    http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/HDD/Seagate_SER_RRER_HEC.html
  17. fzabkar said:
    I can't help you except to say that your best DIY chance is probably to clone as much of your drive as you can.

    I was expecting to see lots of reallocated, pending and uncorrectable sectors, but the raw values of the relevant SMART attributes are zero.
    Ok I guess I'll have to go for it on that one (if I can figure it out :)) - as for those raw values, two thoughts on why: first few sectors are corrupt, or a result of the attempted quick format?
    fzabkar said:

    Some Google research would suggest that when the normalised value of the Raw Read Error Rate attribute falls to below 100, there should be numerous bad sectors. A perfect RRER score, for your model, appears to be 120, and the usual scores for a working drive seem to be 110 or better. Instead yours is around 70. These values are logarithmic, so a value of 70 corresponds to an error rate that is 10,000 times worse than a value of 110.

    In short, your drive's read error rate is very poor, but there are no bad sectors in your SMART data.

    It won't help you, but just FYI, here is what I've been able to discern about Seagate's counterintuitive SMART attributes:
    http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/HDD/Seagate_SER_RRER_HEC.html

    That is pretty strange. I'm starting to wonder if the platter/data are ok, but the pcb or some piece of hardware inside the drive is screwed and therefore just not getting the job done. It has been an intermittent thing until now, but this reminds me that sometimes I'd hear a pnp device leave and come back out of nowhere, sometimes twice in quick succession. I bet it was this drive. Not enough power to keep it running?
    I do know that Active File Recovery was reporting bad sectors right from the get go and couldn't find a sector it could read, but now with this info, does that mean they actually exist, or that the drive is unable to read itself for other reasons? This is all completely mysterious.
    Gah, that link--what I can decipher--makes me think my decision to stay away from seagate from now on is a good one. Reminds me of Bose finding ways to make it so no audio tech can possibly work on their speakers.

    Do I have to run ddrescue from that linux disk or did I misunderstand that?
  18. I'm using UBUNTU right now and it's seeing the drive and the folder structure, some of the files, etc!!!!!
    Now what? I've been able to copy some files, getting i/o or read errors on others - seems like it's only seeing files that are 1 folder deep. Anything beyond that shows nothing once copied. Anyone around?

    EDIT: ah crap. all the copied files are 0 bytes
    Edit 2: Now Windows can see the drive, knows its name (the one I gave it during the quick format attempt) and can see the main folders, files and sizes. Still saying it needs a format when clicking a folder.
  19. WD drives often have oxidisation on the preamp contacts on the PCB. Sometimes it helps to shine them up with a soft white pencil eraser. Seagate's aren't anywhere near as bad, but it wouldn't hurt to check. You'll need a Torx 6 screwdriver.

    Otherwise I confess that I don't understand the problem. I would try using ddrescue to read a block of data toward the end of the drive. This will tell you whether the errors are media related.
  20. fzabkar said:
    WD drives often have oxidisation on the preamp contacts on the PCB. Sometimes it helps to shine them up with a soft white pencil eraser. Seagate's aren't anywhere near as bad, but it wouldn't hurt to check. You'll need a Torx 6 screwdriver.

    I wouldn't be surprised - strong chance of nicotine as well - Not sure which will be which of course, I'll just clean every contact there is.

    fzabkar said:

    Otherwise I confess that I don't understand the problem. I would try using ddrescue to read a block of data toward the end of the drive. This will tell you whether the errors are media related.

    Ah the problems they are legion. I can't figure out how to run a program in linux. At all. Double-clicking seems to do nothing. Is it because I was running off the cd?
    I'm just stunned the folder structure magically reappeared in linux, then in windows. Don't even know what to make of that.
    So I'd obviously like to make a clone of the drive, but linux is vexing at best. :o

    A question on the basics here: Is the boot file an unchangeable thing that in theory could be replaced from a cd? I ask because I wonder if--barring anything else working--I could obtain one and put it in the system volume info folder to see if that would make this guy work.
  21. Ddrescue can be very dangerous if you specify the wrong drive as your target.

    DD = Data Destroyer

    There is a fellow named Vulcan at HDD Guru who is very knowledgeable about ddrescue. Perhaps he could help you.

    As for the preamp contacts, see http://hddscan.com/doc/HDD_from_inside.html

    You need to examine the "Heads Contacts" in this photo:
    http://en.rlab.ru/doc/images/hdd_main_parts/PCB1.jpg

    BTW, a professional data recovery should not cost you more than US$800 plus parts (eg head stack).
  22. Yikes lol

    Ok I took the card off and whoa - the head contacts are practically black. The motor contacts look decent but a little brassy - cleaning time


    That link you gave for the preamp contacts goes to a russian search engine :) (OH, there was a period at the end of the link! got it now)
  23. Don't be too vigorous with your cleaning. Somebody actually managed to remove the plating altogether.

    The motor contacts are probably OK.
  24. Oof, that must've sucked! Hope he knew about contact paint (comes in marker form) though I guess a new card would be more reliable.
    In any case, GREAT news: the drive was suddenly readable :D! via SATA to USB cable and so far I was able to copy most of the most important folder (business related). Twice now a file couldn't be copied and the drive disconnected, but I don't know which happened first, causing the other. Hopefully I can keep it going long enough to get the bulk of my files. That would be spectacular. I may be up well into the night tonight, giggling.
  25. The following utility works like ddrescue, but it recovers files with bad blocks rather than whole drives.

    Bad Block Copy for Windows:
    http://alter.org.ua/soft/win/bb_recover/
  26. Oh very cool, thanks! Fingers crossed during file transfers here.
  27. Maybe this is a hint to what the problem is:
    -pnp connection is intermittent.
    -For a while it was being recognized correctly, as Seagate FreeAgent, now it's back to F: (Local disk)
    Color me befuddled.
  28. Maybe it's temperature related.
  29. fzabkar said:
    Maybe it's temperature related.

    You know, recalling a LONG thread I saw on someone's wordpress site last week, I wouldn't be surprised: http://arewold.wordpress.com/2007/08/27/having-problems-with-the-seagate-freeagent-500-gb-external-disk-drive/
    Can't remember whether I'd been working a while or not when the drive was suddenly recognized...
  30. Well it doesn't seem to be a temperature thing. Tried getting the drive recognized in both windows and from the ubuntu disk today and I'm not getting past the old F:\ Local Disk designation again (needs formatting, etc).
    Wondering about trying that quick format again, or maybe (scary) using testdisk to try to write an mbr. Obviously I'm sort of against that second one since the drive is intermittently recognizable, as proved by last night's experience and I wouldn't want to make that an impossibility. Far as I understand, that's only the first sector though... Oh I just don't really get the whole thing, heh.
  31. Don't write to the drive. Try fan cooling it, try a different orientation (eg vertical), clone it, but whatever you do, don't write to it.

    At the moment the problem is purely a physical one, but if you write to the drive, you'll have a logical problem as well.
  32. fzabkar said:
    Don't write to the drive. Try fan cooling it, try a different orientation (eg vertical), clone it, but whatever you do, don't write to it.

    At the moment the problem is purely a physical one, but if you write to the drive, you'll have a logical problem as well.

    Got it. Message officially heeded - as I have zero experience with it, does chkdsk (not the surface scan, but regular) write to the drive, or just try to locate and recognize the file system?

    In the meantime, I had the same experience today as I did yesterday, but I was able to transfer files from withing ubuntu, then when that failed got it going in windows until the drive began alternating in explorer between "local disk" and an icon with a red minus symbol. Previous to that it would lose its connection, but come back within a minute and be recognized properly.
    Wondering about the circuit board's usb section. Made it up to 5gbs transferred now though :)
  33. I use SuSE Linux 8.2 with my Seagate Freeagent 500GB USB drive. My drive often goes to sleep after a few minutes. If my current working directory is the mount point of this drive (i.e. drive is mounted at /mnt/usbdrive and current working directory is /mnt/usbdrive) when it goes to sleep, and I do a command such as "ls /mnt/usbdrive" to list the files, my system locks up.

    To work around this, I use "dd" linux command to read some bytes. This forces the drive to wake up. Once it's awake, I can read files on it normally.

    Here's what I do for my USB device /dev/sdc:
    $sudo dd if=/dev/sdc1 of=/dev/null bs=512 count=10
    Input/Output Error

    I just keep doing it again every 10 seconds until I see
    10+0 records in
    10+0 records out

    Then my FreeAgent drive is awake. A word of caution: you must fully understand the "dd" command before using it. This command has also been nicknamed the "Disk Destroyer" because it operates on the sector level. If you don't feel comfortable to try this command, don't use it or you will risk total data loss.

    Hope this helps.
  34. Thanks for the heads up on this one :)
    Sadly though, being a klutz has precluded this option. I'd gotten 250 or so of the 305 gbs off the drive by letting it get colder than my already cold room (on the floor below a poorly framed triple-track window) and hooking it up using a sata to usb converter. Because of the way the cables for the converter were set up I was leaving the drive standing on its side while working on this - then knocked it over like a champ. Yeah, that ended it. At least it wasn't running at the time. Picked up a replacement and handed them off to a tech my parents have known for years.We'll see what he can do with a platter swap.

    Oh yeah, if you want to stop it from going to sleep, or adjust how often it does, or adjust other stuff, Seagate has a program on their website that allows you to change a few options. Can't remember the name off the top of my head, but I believe you can go to the downloads section and search for your drive. Don't think it's part of "disk manager" but it might be.
    purotom said:
    I use SuSE Linux 8.2 with my Seagate Freeagent 500GB USB drive. My drive often goes to sleep after a few minutes. If my current working directory is the mount point of this drive (i.e. drive is mounted at /mnt/usbdrive and current working directory is /mnt/usbdrive) when it goes to sleep, and I do a command such as "ls /mnt/usbdrive" to list the files, my system locks up.

    To work around this, I use "dd" linux command to read some bytes. This forces the drive to wake up. Once it's awake, I can read files on it normally.

    Here's what I do for my USB device /dev/sdc:
    $sudo dd if=/dev/sdc1 of=/dev/null bs=512 count=10
    Input/Output Error

    I just keep doing it again every 10 seconds until I see
    10+0 records in
    10+0 records out

    Then my FreeAgent drive is awake. A word of caution: you must fully understand the "dd" command before using it. This command has also been nicknamed the "Disk Destroyer" because it operates on the sector level. If you don't feel comfortable to try this command, don't use it or you will risk total data loss.

    Hope this helps.
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