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Is there a way to get my data off of this external drive

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January 28, 2013 2:13:24 PM

Is there a way to get my data off of this drive that seems to have broken down

I have a Western Digital passport ( http://store.westerndigital.com/store/wdus/en_US/pd/The... )

i bought several months back and it has stopped being recognized by my computers.

Tried on 3 different computers and it seems that when i plug it into the usb port the startup session of the drive is recycling.......circling back and restarting

I can here the audio verification from the computer when i plug it into the usb and then the audio signal continues to replay over and over again never stopping

but the drive is not recognized on the computer so i can't access the data

it's still under warranty but i need the 30 gb of data that's on that drive and i don't think WD will retrieve that data...they'll just replace the drive, right?

I don't care about the cost of the drive , i need the data

any help on how i can get the data out of this would be helpful.

thanks

More about : data external drive

a b G Storage
January 28, 2013 2:24:22 PM

sound like the drive failed. I guess it depend on how much $ you want to spend to get the data back.
January 28, 2013 2:27:19 PM

Roughly how much could it cost and how do i start that process?

Who would i need to contact to try to get that data?
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a b G Storage
January 28, 2013 2:29:59 PM

If the data is worth more than the drive, you can try to remove the drive from the enclosure and plug it in directly to the CPU via the SATA connector. Doing this will probably void the warranty, but if the USB-SATA connector in the drive enclosure is bad, you will be able to access the data.

If the drive itself has hardware issues, the only way to get the data back will be to send it to a data recovery company - and this usually means $$$.

Typically, if you send the drive to WD, they do not warranty the data, and most of the time, the drive is exchanged with no data recovery.
a b G Storage
January 28, 2013 2:32:01 PM

Google "Data Recovery" - there may be a local office in your area - if not, you can send it in. Prices vary from $50 to $500 or more, depending upon what needs to be done to the drive. Most places will give you a quote prior to sending it in.
a b G Storage
January 28, 2013 2:41:39 PM

Well before jumping to any conclusions I would first take the drive out of the case and attach it directly to your computer. Its not likely but it could be a problem with the hardware between the usb connection and the HDD and it would be silly not to rule that out as a cause.

After that, if your computer doesn't recognize it you should try attaching it to a different machine, no guarantee that it will help but different hardware and firmware can produce different results.
January 28, 2013 2:42:00 PM

Thanks RoninTexas,

I tried switching another usb SATA cable that came from another WD external that i have that is working and i'm getting the same problem, so hopefully it's just the cable/connector

thanks for the excellent help
January 28, 2013 2:44:39 PM

j2j663,

I would try that but I'm not sure how to open the enclosure.

There are no screws and doesn't seem to be a way to unsnap/unlock the casing.

have you done this before with this model or something similar?
January 28, 2013 3:02:40 PM

First things first, check and see if the drive is recognized in windows device manager, this will rule out hardware failure. If windows sees the drive and it's not being mounted it's likely that data on the drive is damaged. On the other hand if windows isn't seeing the drive it's best to open up the case. Check google, there's lots of people who've managed to disassemble them.
January 28, 2013 3:50:20 PM

ddpruitt said:
First things first, check and see if the drive is recognized in windows device manager, this will rule out hardware failure. If windows sees the drive and it's not being mounted it's likely that data on the drive is damaged. On the other hand if windows isn't seeing the drive it's best to open up the case. Check google, there's lots of people who've managed to disassemble them.



ddpruit,

device manager sees the drive but i don't see it when i goto "Computer" so I'm assuming the worst, that the data is damaged.

this happened after i downloaded a large 8gb file to the drive, i wonder if that file itself was damaged.

So the next step is to contact a data recovery service i guess

thanks for your help



January 28, 2013 4:39:37 PM

anybody had any luck using a computer running linux to access some or maybe all, of the data in a similar situation?

a local friend of mine who has alot more knowledge about this type of stuff says we might try that before taking it to a data recovery

January 29, 2013 12:08:38 AM

If you don't know hat to do by yourself, you should consult a data recovery specialist as soon as possible.
January 29, 2013 11:51:11 AM

Ericka-77 said:
If you don't know hat to do by yourself, you should consult a data recovery specialist as soon as possible.



i won't be doing any of it, my friend who uses linux knows this stuff as he's a developer.

I was just wondering if anyone here had tried it and had any tips that i could pass on?

I have tred installing easeUS data recovery, recuva, and DiskDigger and have had no luck as they don't recognize the drive.

I'm not sure how all of these recovery software programs work if you have a drive that's not mounting?
a b G Storage
January 29, 2013 12:42:31 PM

Ok, so it should up in device manager, does it show up in disk management?
January 29, 2013 1:19:17 PM

rgd1101,

yes it does......when i plug it into the usb....it does not show up at first but does in a minute.

it tries to spin up for about 1 minute.

If I hold it to my ear I can hear it cycling....sounding like it's trying to startup and then stop.

after 1 minute, that cycling stops and it shows up as "Disk 1: Unknown, not inititalized"

if i right click...4 option:

1. initialize disk
2. offline
3. properties
4. help
January 29, 2013 8:09:33 PM

glasshalffull said:
rgd1101,

yes it does......when i plug it into the usb....it does not show up at first but does in a minute.

it tries to spin up for about 1 minute.

If I hold it to my ear I can hear it cycling....sounding like it's trying to startup and then stop.

after 1 minute, that cycling stops and it shows up as "Disk 1: Unknown, not inititalized"

if i right click...4 option:

1. initialize disk
2. offline
3. properties
4. help


Ok STOP! Take a deep breath, and listen carefully.
If a drive is recognized in the device manager, that DOES NOT mean that it is not experiencing mechanical failure. It just means that at the very least it is able to communicate with the SATA device level protocols on the logic board and it may not have experienced a catastrophic head crash yet.

Every time you try to initialize the drive and it is failing to spin up you are causing uneccesary stress to the head rack assembly/spindle/ramp area.

Another thing to consider: with certain models of WD external drive the usb interface is embeded on a small PCB with built in hardware encryption. Even if you're drive is mechanicaly pristine, you won't be able to access the data without the usb to sata interface.

So again, please stop what you're doing and go get a free diagnostic from a reputable data recovery company. WD has a list of companies on their support page that they have vetted and won't void your warranty.

You can decide on further do it yourself solution after they tell you exactly what's wrong with it. Don't pay them a cent if you don't want to.
!