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Windows 7: Seagate 2TB Hard Drive not responding, stops programs from working

18 Jun 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
Seagate 2TB Hard Drive not responding, stops programs from working


I have a Seagate 2TB external hard drive which I used to store things in.

Recently, it stopped working. When I connect the USB into the computer, it takes longer than is normal to get detected as "Local Disk (G:)" in Windows Explorer. But it shows no data bar and no "X GB free of Y GB" detail in the Computer folder.

When I click the "Local Disk (G:)", Windows Explorer becomes "not responding". EDIT: when I right-click it, it goes "not responding".

Trying programs to interact with the hard drive is impossible. When it's connected, programs I try to run such as Seagate's "drivedetect.exe" and "FILE RECOVERY for Windows" don't start up and give the "The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion" error. When I try to look at the drive in Disk Management, it gets stuck at "Connecting to virtual disk service."

When I disconnect the hard drive, everything starts working again. All the programs I tried to open when the drive was connected which don't start up, actually start up.

I think the situation is pretty dire. Is there any hope for this hard drive?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2014   #2

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64


Welcome to Seven Forums.

That does sound like the controller on the drive has gone.

Is the drive still under warranty?

If you don't know - Is it possible to open the drive case? (The external casing not the actual drive case).
There will be a date code on the drive. That will tell you when it was made. Or grab the serial number and plug into Seagate's warranty page and it will tell you.

There are several "hacks" that some people use to try and get drives working, though the mostly pertain the drive heads more than controllers. I'm not going to recommend you try those because the can be destructive. However, if you use google, I'm sure you will find some.

You could send it off if it's under warranty. If the controller has failed Seagate will probably swap it out (since they really don't like replacing drives unless they have to).

However, they will not guarantee the safety of your data, and won't take much care not to lose the data.

Alternatively, there are disk recovery services around. However these tend to be expensive. Depends on what the data is worth to you.

I assume you've tried it in different computers/different USB ports? Have you also tried a different cable?

I've also come across cables that need a little bit of a "jiggle" at the drive end to make them work.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit

Thanks for the reply.

It seems the drive is out of warranty.

I've tried the drive on a laptop as well and the response towards the drive was much the same.

I've also bought a new USB cable just to test if it would work but no difference there, either. It does detect the drive on the computer to an extent, enough to stall things on the computer, so I wouldn't assume the cable is a problem.

So... then what "hacks" could be useful and what are some possible disk recovery services?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Jun 2014   #4

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

You can try this Emergency Kit - save your files from a dead OS Complete with videos. Linux 'sees' drives different than wondows

Or this Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console

I'll see if I can find more, but from the top one, any Live Linux distro will work. But, Mate is excellent

Another thing you can try is install Macrium Reflect, create an Image of the drive with it. You can mount the image and see if there is data on it. Here is a tutorial of imaging with reflect. You can mount the image within the Macrium program. It shows imaging but you will see in the program the mount image after it is created which will take just a few minutes, depending on the size of the drive.
Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit

Thank you both .

I tried the Linux method and it was able to detect the drive!

I was able to recover some files that weren't damaged but the majority of the data was not even visible on the disk via the file browser.

So I am in the process of recovering those files with Photorec. There are just so many files it'd take a while to reorganise them, but at least they'll be recovered!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2014   #6

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

Did you try the Macrium method I mentioned? Install the free version of Macrium, make an image file of the hard drive, after it is completed, mount the image in the Macrium program, it will create a virtual hard drive containing the image. You can browse through the drive and use it as any other drive and copy/paste files and folders to any other drive.

I have used it when I accidentally deleted a file I needed, but had an image that contained that file. I have mounted the image containing the file, copied it and pasted it back where it Was before I deleted it. That may work for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2014   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit

Haven't tried the Macrium method yet. I didn't notice you'd mentioned it until today. I will probably give it a try tomorrow (it is 10:30pm right now).

Will the free edition be enough to do the job?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2014   #8

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

Yes, it will do just fine. It's all you need.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2014   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Hi Questionerer,

Since you said you intend to try with PhotoRec, I would suggest this.

Instead run Test Disk first. You will be using up/down Left/right Keys to move to any options.

First Screen: Select No Log ENTER

Second Screen: Select your correct drive (your faulty drive) ENTER

Third Screen: Intel ENTER

Fourth Screen: Select Advanced File System Utilities ENTER

Fifth Screen: Does it show your drive with the first Partition and other partitions you had on the drive?
If it does, select the first partition and Boot (would have already been selected by default if
not Select Boot) and ENTER

Sixth Screen: From hereon the screen may present different options depending upon your drive
condition and take appropriate action.

Generally, if boot Sector/Backup boot sector are OK you will select MFT Repair and proceed further. If boot sector is not OK but backup boot sector is OK, you will write the backup bootsector to the boot Sector and check whether it can list all the files.If both are not OK, you will rebuild boot sector and then try to check whether it can list all files. It is interactive and therefore difficult to say what you will see. If you can't makeup your mind on what action is to be done post the fifth screen.

Note: You can close TestDisk and rerun any number of times. But make doubly sure to select the correct drive each time. If you do any of these operations on the wrong drive, you may lose it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2014   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit

I tried Macrium but it didn't work. Looks like the drive just stops programs from working, as usual. So Macrium just becomes not responding.

Tried to boot into Linux Mint again but didn't work. Only the terminal comes up and doing a "startx" didn't get the GUI up either. I must've messed up something. So I reinstalled Linux Mint.

Now, for the testdisk. Both Boot sector and Backup boot sector were OK. But the MFT Repair failed.

"MFT and MFT mirror are bad. Failed to repair them." Don't really understand the significance of this error.

If I try the [List] in [Rebuild BS], I only get the following list:

>dr-xr-xr-x 0 0 0 7-Jun-2014 18:28 .
dr-xr-xr-x 0 0 0 7-Jun-2014 18:28 ..

What to do from here?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Seagate 2TB Hard Drive not responding, stops programs from working

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