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Windows 7: External HDD spins, no light, not recognizable by OS

04 Oct 2017   #21
bascaster

Windows 10
 
 

Thanks LMiller7 and jumanji. It was the most likely outcome. It is quite devastating actually, since I had pretty sensitive information there (financial and such) and I wouldn't trust any recovery company with it.

When I disassembled it to connect it via SATA I voided the warranty, so no luck that way either.

Now a few questions:
Do I have any way of knowing whether this is a circuit board problem, a platter problem or a header problem? I have some background in electronics and even though I will probably fail, I would try to do something about it anyway.
I'm guessing it's a board problem since the first thing I noticed was the lack of LED light it always has when it's connected. But I'm no expert.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Oct 2017   #22
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Too late now but this needs to be said.

The ideal way to deal with a failed drive is to replace it and restore the data from your backups. The failure is generally only an inconvenience. IT staff learn this early in their careers, those that don't usually don't last long. All files of any importance should have at least one backup copy while those of particular importance should have 2 or more backup copies. Any drive worth the trouble of data recovery would usually fall in the latter category. Files containing sensitive or encrypted data are no exception. You just need to take appropriate precautions with the backup media.

Any drive, new or old, conventional or SSD, can fail at any time, often without warning or apparent cause. In the case of an SSD this is typical. And there are all kinds of other reasons for data loss and you need to be prepared when something happens.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2017   #23
bascaster

Windows 10
 
 

Yes, I know. My problem was that it was originally a backup. I had to edit 100+ videos in a very short time, and my small 500GB hard drive was way too small. So initially I bought this to have backups, but as I moved forward I found myself with no more room so I started to temporarily store things as I freed space in my laptop. I was going to get another one as a backup some months from now because I never thought it would fry that soon. Thanks for the hint regarding SSDs, I'll be very wary of them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Oct 2017   #24
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

My statement regarding SSDs was not meant in any way a criticism of them. Anyone relying on a drive to provide some kind of warning of imminent failure is thinking wrong. First you have no assurance of a warning from a conventional drive. I once had a not very old conventional drive that was working fine one day, no warnings of any kind. The next day it wasn't even recognized by the BIOS. You don't rely a warning of imminent failure, you make backups so you don't need a warning, which may not come anyway.

At the present time SSDs are more reliable than conventional drives. Their only real disadvantage compared to conventional drives is higher cost. But that is changing. The day will come when conventional drives will be completely replaced by some form of SSD, not necessarily the same technology now in use. The only place you will see a conventional drive is in a museum and people will marvel that we ever used such things.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2017   #25
bascaster

Windows 10
 
 

Out of ignorance, I beg to differ. Perhaps you can shed some light into this:
I had problems with HDDs before in the form of sectors becoming randomly corrupt. Luckily, I saw that as a warning, so to speak. I'm not implying that they will always go bad this way, just saying that it is a possibility. I see that in SSD specs they even show the life cycle, which is great but it never came to mind that having not a lot of different mechanics such as a HDD, they can only go bad circuit-wise. Am I right? If I'm not mistaken they're just like a huge SD card. So I'm guessing if/when they go bad, it will go bad all the way. Is this correct or not?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2017   #26
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Like any other electronic component an SSD can fail in all sorts of ways with many different symptoms.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2017   #27
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

bascaster, there is one thing that no one has mentioned (unless I missed it): Boot your computer with a Linux DVD, and see if you can read the drive in Linux. Linux can sometimes read drives which Windows can't. Based on all that you have posted, it appears that the drive is dead, but you might get lucky.

Go to www.ubuntu.com, and make a Ubuntu Linux DVD. Install the bad drive into the computer. Boot with the Linux DVD. Tell it you want to run Linux from the DVD. Now try to read the hard drive. If you can read the drive, then you can copy the contents to an external drive.
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 External HDD spins, no light, not recognizable by OS




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