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Windows 7: External hard drive not working... please help


02 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7
 
 
External hard drive not working... please help

Hello,

My external hard drive recently became unreadable. I've had it for a few years now and it worked fine up until now.

When I plug it in, it makes a clicking sound for a few seconds and then stops.

Here is what I see under Disk Management:



If I choose to initialize it (2nd image below), will this delete everything on the hard drive? If yes, I don't want to do this because I have important data on there.




What are my options for recovering my data?


Sorry for the long images in the post - I tried using a different image file hosting service but the URL was blocked for some reason.


Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

02 Feb 2013   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by datetimestamp View Post
Hello,

My external hard drive recently became unreadable. I've had it for a few years now and it worked fine up until now.

When I plug it in, it makes a clicking sound for a few seconds and then stops.

Here is what I see under Disk Management:



If I choose to initialize it (2nd image below), will this delete everything on the hard drive? If yes, I don't want to do this because I have important data on there.




What are my options for recovering my data?


Sorry for the long images in the post - I tried using a different image file hosting service but the URL was blocked for some reason.


Thanks
Most often the clicking is one sign of a failing harddrive. SpinRite is an excellent tool, but isn't cheap. So, depending on the importance of the data, it may or may not be worth making the investment.

Visit the following link for more detailed information;

http://www.grc.com/sr/faq.htm

HTH
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2013   #3

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Laptop 8.1 Pro all 64bit
 
 

Hum think George might be right mate can you try the Partition Wizard and do a surface test on it?


http://www.partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html < handy tool to keep.

If you are trying to recover data is to boot a Ubuntu OS and access the drive if it isn't dead.

To do that make a bootable Ubuntu disk - set the BIOS to boot from optical and use the TRY option NOT the install and all drives connected to the machine will be there for you to open out.

Download Ubuntu | Ubuntu < you need a DVD for this
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


03 Feb 2013   #4

Windows 7
 
 

Hello,

Thanks for the replies. I read about an unconventional method that might work, but it involves putting the drive in the freezer.

There is a post about this at:
Put Your Hard Drive in the Freezer to Recover Data - TheTechMentor.com

Think I should try it?

(I don't care about fixing the drive, I just want the data from it. After that I will dispose of it.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2013   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by datetimestamp View Post
Hello,

Thanks for the replies. I read about an unconventional method that might work, but it involves putting the drive in the freezer.

There is a post about this at:
Put Your Hard Drive in the Freezer to Recover Data - TheTechMentor.com

Think I should try it?

(I don't care about fixing the drive, I just want the data from it. After that I will dispose of it.)
You can give it a try, but the success rate is very low.

SpinRite, is designed to recover data, the following is quoted from their site;
(yes, I am well aware of testimonials being questionable)

Q: How possible is it to recover data from a crashed hard drive?
A: That depends entirely upon "how crashed" the drive is. But SpinRite is often credited with performing "true miracles" of data recovery. Please read some of the true-life SpinRite testimonials we have received to get a sense for what SpinRite has done and can probably do for you if you ever need it. It is obviously possible for a drive to be so totally dead that it is only useful as a door stop. But today's modern drives struggle to stay alive and to die slowly. So if they are given some periodic SpinRite maintenance you should have plenty of warning of impending failure and also the ability to keep the drive alive until it can be replaced.

Just an FYI; Steve Gibson is not some "Snake-Oil" peddler. You can check out his resume for more details;

http://www.grc.com/resume.htm

I have used SpinRite on a few limited occassions with great results; of course, your milage may vary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2013   #6

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Understand that the more you stress your drive, the faster it will fail completely -- which is why the FIRST thing I would do is try to recover as much data from it as I could.

Once you have the files you need, you can certainly TRY Spinrite -- but my own experience is that it is a waste of time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2013   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
Understand that the more you stress your drive, the faster it will fail completely -- which is why the FIRST thing I would do is try to recover as much data from it as I could.


Once you have the files you need, you can certainly TRY Spinrite -- but my own experience is that it is a waste of time.
But how do you propose doing this? As it stands, I can't recover anything without either using data recovery software or trying the freezer trick.

I haven't been stressing the drive because I haven't used any data recovery software yet. I'm worried about messing things up even more.

My only concern with Spinrite is that I read that it writes to the source or something along those lines, which was problematic for some people.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

[QUOTE=Sir George;2279600]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by datetimestamp View Post
Hello,


SpinRite, is designed to recover data, the following is quoted from their site;
(yes, I am well aware of testimonials being questionable)

Q: How possible is it to recover data from a crashed hard drive?
A: That depends entirely upon "how crashed" the drive is. But SpinRite is often credited with performing "true miracles" of data recovery. Please read some of the true-life SpinRite testimonials we have received to get a sense for what SpinRite has done and can probably do for you if you ever need it. It is obviously possible for a drive to be so totally dead that it is only useful as a door stop. But today's modern drives struggle to stay alive and to die slowly. So if they are given some periodic SpinRite maintenance you should have plenty of warning of impending failure and also the ability to keep the drive alive until it can be replaced.

Just an FYI; Steve Gibson is not some "Snake-Oil" peddler. You can check out his resume for more details;

GRC*|*Steve's Resume'**

I have used SpinRite on a few limited occassions with great results; of course, your milage may vary.
I agree, spinrite is a wonderful tool. I have been using Steve Gibson's software for years, and it has saved many a hard drives. But, alas, be prepared to pay out $89. For me, the cost is negligible, considering it is an excellent piece of software, and if you bring it to a professional data recovery outfit they would probably charge you hundreds of dollars.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2013   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by datetimestamp View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
Understand that the more you stress your drive, the faster it will fail completely -- which is why the FIRST thing I would do is try to recover as much data from it as I could.


Once you have the files you need, you can certainly TRY Spinrite -- but my own experience is that it is a waste of time.
But how do you propose doing this? As it stands, I can't recover anything without either using data recovery software or trying the freezer trick.

I haven't been stressing the drive because I haven't used any data recovery software yet. I'm worried about messing things up even more.

My only concern with Spinrite is that I read that it writes to the source or something along those lines, which was problematic for some people.
Just an FYI: I don't care if you buy SpinRite or not, I don't work for the company and never have.

I am simply trying to provide you with a tool to save your data. For an independent 3rd party opinion, other than mine, see the following;

SpinRite - Review by a Fan | Troy and Jessica Thompson

Now I will quietly go away with the hope you will somehow be able to save your data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2013   #10

Windows 7
 
 

Sir George, I trust that you don't work for the company; I never thought that you did to begin with. I've heard of Spinrite before, I just find it a little confusing to use.

The HD is currently in my freezer, and has been for the last 4.5 hours. I will be taking it out tonight to see if it works, hopefully it does. Wish me luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 External hard drive not working... please help




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