Another HD bites the dust

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Tom

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So much for the improved reliability of hard drives. My 250GB external HD decided to quit without warning. Using the USB2 interface I get "Drive can't be accessed due to an I/O device failure". Using the firewire interface I get "The drive isn't formatted; Format it now?"

A large part of the data was backup, so the data is available elsewhere, but some isn't.

Any suggestions besides expensive data recovery?

TIA
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Any chance it is the drive's power supply? Maybe the +/-5V for the circuit board went out?  The power supply should be replaceable.  That's grasping at straws, but  you probably have the knowledge and tools to check it out.
 

Ned

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If the drive is removable, I would try it in another case as it may be the interface electronics that failed, not the drive itself.
 

Tom

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Karl said:
try switching it to another USB port

Thanks Karl. I tried two other USB ports and it didn't help.

or remove from case and hard wire it into a DMA slot on the MB.

So far, I've been unable to open the outer shell. Looks like it's rivetted together. (I know how to open HD cases, but that's inside the outer shell).

BTW good to see you around again. Ned, Lorna, Chris and I were talking about you at dinner recently.
 

Phil

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Tom said:
So far, I've been unable to open the outer shell. Looks like it's rivetted together. (I know how to open HD cases, but that's inside the outer shell).

Tom,

You might take the HD to CompUSA and tell them you will buy a new HD if they will get the data from the old disk onto the new one.  Let them work their magic.

Phil
 

Tom

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Phil, I just might have to do that. Thanks for the suggestion.

BTW I looked at Maxtor's web site and they say that the first thing they do to any drive returned to them is erase all data with no human intervention.
 

Phil

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Tom said:
BTW I looked at Maxtor's web site and they say that the first thing they do to any drive returned to them is erase all data with no human intervention.

Tom,

That's a great security policy but, not exactly what you are looking for.  :)  When I had a drive start to go bad CompUSA was able to recover all my data and put it on the new drive.  They did not charge me ANY labor cost because I purchased the new drive from them.

Phil
 

Tom

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Phil said:
They did not charge me ANY labor cost because I purchased the new drive from them.

That's good to know Phil, thanks.
 

John From Detroit

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Tom said:
Thanks Karl. I tried two other USB ports and it didn't help.

So far, I've been unable to open the outer shell. Looks like it's rivetted together. (I know how to open HD cases, but that's inside the outer shell).

BTW good to see you around again. Ned, Lorna, Chris and I were talking about you at dinner recently.

Usually there is a screw or 4 somewhere... I have 3 shells here. One opens by pushing in tabs (4 of them 2 on either side)
One you remove a screw that is underneath a label

The other I've never opened but I think it's 4 screws (it is my back up drive)

Sometimes those screws can be very well hidden
 

Tom

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John In Detroit said:
One you remove a screw that is underneath a label

As I said John, this one is held together by rivets (under the label).
 

John From Detroit

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Tom said:
As I said John, this one is held together by rivets (under the label).

Comments on the intelegence of the design engineer who came up with that idea have been deleted in order to avoid 1: Melting your monitor, 2: Melting your glasses or eyeballs and 3: Getting well and truly slapped by the moderators of this forum.


Well... That is why they invented drills
 

Tom

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LOL John. I'd better not repeat what I said when I removed the label and found those rivets.

Don't plan to drill just yet though. There might be another trick to opening the shell.
 

Tom

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Delayed follow up ....

Thanks to all for the replies. I believe that the drive is getting both 5V and 12V to the board, although I still haven't been able to open the case. I can hear the drive spinning (which presumably confirms that the 12V is there) and the disc access light is on (which presumably confirms the 5V is there). Also, if I press the instant backup button on the drive, the backup software fires up, although it has the same drive access problem.

Today, just for the heck of it, I took the drive to a Best Buy store and talked to their "Geek Squad". The guy took the drive to his back room, came back and said "We don't know how to open the case either, but our recovery software says that we can recover your data. You need another hard drive we can restore it to and the cost of recovery is $199. Afterwards, you should be able to reformat the old drive and it will work just fine. Meanwhile, if we just plug the drive in and try to access it (presumably with Win Explorer) the drive freezes the PC".

Is he shooting me a line? There seems to be a ton of drive recovery software out there with prices all over the map. Has anyone used any of this software to recover data from an otherwise inaccessible hard drive?

TIA

 

Ned

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All of that would imply that the drive is OK, it's the interface electronics that's bad.  For $199 I'd drill the rivets out and try the drive in the computer directly.  That's what Best Buy would do.  Ask them how their software can tell the drive is recoverable if it freezes the computer?
 

Tom

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Ned said:
it's the interface electronics that's bad.

That's what I suspected/was hoping from the beginning.

Ask them how their software can tell the drive is recoverable if it freezes the computer?
I think he was really trying to describe what I see. i.e. I can see the drive letter but, if I click on it in Win Explorer or one of a couple of other apps I've tried, it reports "drive not accessible due to I/O error". Although that's not what the guy said. I suspect another (third) guy is the one who was looking at the drive.

I don't know how competent these guys are. I recall writing to their head office a couple of years ago complaining that their people didn't have any knowledge of the PCs they were selling and couldn't even read the specs without running to a back office for the answer to every little question I posed. I assumed they'd had complaints from other customers and decided to do something about it when they set up their "Geek Squad" operations in their stores. But so far, I haven't been impressed. The first geek I talked with today seemed to have no clue, either about my problem or the desktop he was repairing. He had to run to others for help all the time.
 

Ned

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I would guess the BB techs are about as knowledgeable about your problem as they are about your Cat engines.  Time to get out the drill :)
 

tyefighter

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Tom, stay away from the geek squad, they don't know anything.  We took our computer in for a virus fix and they had it a week before it was fixed when they said it would take two days.  You wouldn't belive the stories they would tell us when we would ask when it would be done.  One guy told us that is was in the back shop on the table when it was on the floor in front of him.  My wife was a service advisor back in the ComputerLand days and we have taken our computers into a small local computer store.  The local store usally gets it done the same day and costs about $50 less.  Live and learn I guess.
 
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