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Windows 7: Did I do anything wrong to crash my external hard drive?

3 Weeks Ago   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Did I do anything wrong to crash my external hard drive?

Concerned about a computer crash, I invested in an external storage device (Seagate) about 2 years ago. It worked fine for a while, then a few weeks ago, I tried to delete a folder from it and it froze and it froze my computer. I had to disconnect the USB cable to re-gain control of my computer, but after that, the EHD did not function. I tried connecting it to another computer, but it didn't work on that one, either.

Then I took it to a local computer repair shop. They kept it for a week, then their tech phoned me one evening and said they couldn't get it to work and were shipping it out to a company the specialized in data recovery and from that point, my business would be with that firm. Since I didn't know what the charges would be, perhaps exceeding the price of a new device, I told them not to send it out and that I would be there the next morning to pick it up.

When I arrived the tech handed it to me in pieces, having opened the case and removed parts (disc, circuit board). I was miffed, it's like they deliberately messed it up so I couldn't take it to anyone else. An what could this other company do that they couldn't?

Now I am concerned about getting a new EHD and having the same thing happen. I suspect the problem stemmed from trying to delete too many files at once and it have the EHD indigestion or not deleting files from folders first, or not deleting in the order they were uploaded. Many folder have sub-folders and sub-sub-folders with many, many files. Is that possible?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #2
Bat 1

8.1 home x64

After they wiped your data without backing anything up, You never thought of going to a different shop

Hard drive failure is a fact of life. You should always have second HDD copy stored and if you have the internet, also your most important data backed to the Cloud.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #3

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit 7601

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bat 1 View Post
Hard drive failure is a fact of life. You should always have second HDD copy stored and if you have the internet, also your most important data backed to the Cloud.
Just to add to the above.

Some people go one step further, They also give a copy to a friend or family member to store at their house.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

3 Weeks Ago   #4

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

Nothing that you did caused the crash. External USB drives sometimes fail, and it is because of a failure in the SATA-to-USB circuitry in the external plastic case.

It sounds like they removed the actual hard drive from the external plastic case. If that's what they did, you could probably install it as a standard internal SATA drive in your computer, and try to read it that way in Windows.

If Windows won't read the drive, create a Linux Live DVD or flash drive, then boot the computer into Linux Live, and see if you can read the drive in Linux. If you can read it, copy the data to an alternate location. Then format it and put the data back on it afterward, then use it in Windows as an extra internal hard drive. You'll have a more reliable drive if you use it as a standard internal SATA drive than if you use it as an external USB drive.

As for the shop you brought it to, I would never go to that shop again. To hand you the external drive in pieces is unacceptable. They should have either put it back together before giving it to you, or given you a discount on whatever they charged you, because undoubtedly your warranty on the drive has been voided by the opening of the case (if you still have a warranty - it's been about 2 years), unless they were authorized to open the case by the vendor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #5

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player

I'm a Paralegal, if your External HDD is Seagate 3TB, read this:

Seagate faces class-action lawsuit over 3TB hard drive failure rates

Here's a few links to Linux based data recovery programs:

Get Your Data Back with Linux-Based Data Recovery Tools

5 Best Data Recovery Tools For Linux To Recover Data Or Deleted Partitions

10 Linux rescue tools for recovering Linux, Windows, or Mac machines

My opinion, wherever you took your drive for work, they have a duty/obligation to secure your data on that drive. Malfeasance is an affirmative act that is illegal or wrongful. In tort law it is distinct from misfeasance, which is an act that is not illegal but is improperly performed. It is also distinct from Nonfeasance, which is a failure to act that results in injury.

Most small claims courts are relatively easy for the novice to present issues. The Judges understand that most are self-representing, and as such, tend to be relatively lenient on strict enforcement of court rules. If you have taken the time to prepare, collect all the evidence, assemble it in chronological order, and present it, they go a long way to render a fair/just resolve. Being that you indicate you are in the USA, upstate New York, if I were you, I'd google & look into it.

Incompetence always gets my dander up!

Wishing you the best of luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #6

Windows 7/8.1/10/XP multiboot

I don't see where the shop did anything wrong, guys, other than possibly not putting the unit back together for the customer. There is no indication the shop made anything worse or made the customer's data any less recoverable.

All hard disk drives are known to fail, and external drives more often than internal. As Jim rightly pointed out, the case's circuitry (the SATA-to-USB converter) is sometimes the culprit, but as Snick intimates, Seagates are just lousy drives and fail more frequently than the average. (Google for the Backblaze reliability reports for the last several years to learn more.)

I would expect any shop worth its salt to attempt to rule out the case as the source of the problem before throwing in the towel, and to do that they would need to remove the drive itself from within the case. It seems that's exactly what they did. By removing the drive they can test the drive directly, taking the case circuitry out of the loop.

The shop determined the drive itself had failed, but like most shops, they were not equipped to dismantle the drive platters and try to retrieve the magnetic bits from the platters. There are specialized companies that do that, but it requires a clean room and highly specialized equipment--and it's very expensive.

At that point, the shop determined they could not repair the drive. So, should they have reassembled the unit before giving it back to the customer? IMHO, not necessarily. But it would have been nice if they had cleared that with the customer.

There really is no purpose to putting the unit back together. It's not functioning, and there is no way anyone else is going to get it functioning if it's back in the case. By leaving it dismantled, the customer has the option of sending the internal drive to a professional data recovery service, or taking the internal drive to someone else to get a second opinion. Whatever the customer decides to do, the internal drive would have to be removed from the case again anyway, so one might say the shop is doing the customer a favor by leaving it dismantled.

Now, the shop's "beside manner" with the customer is another matter. They should have warned the costumer and either explained why they're doing the customer a favor if it's left dismantled, or cheerfully put it back together if the customer insisted. (I've done it many times, and it seldom takes more than about 5 minutes. They're hard to take apart, but easy to put back together.)

Either way, the shop has not made things any worse than they were.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
.......It sounds like they removed the actual hard drive from the external plastic case. If that's what they did, you could probably install it as a standard internal SATA drive in your computer, and try to read it that way in Windows.......
I would go with mrjimphelps. Whatever has happened had happened. Now the ball --nay the HDD - is in your court.

So you can internally connect the drive in the desktop and see what happens. If you have decided to go that way - there is no other way now -

1. Please provide the details of that HDD. Model No/name, capacity.

2. If your system does not stall with that HDD connected directly to the motherboard, please take a full screenshot of Windows Disk Management and post. Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #8

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player

Post was FYI regarding shop's duty & remedial action. Totally agree with gist of mrjimphleps post. If all they did was leave Ex HDD disassembled, then it's a moot issue. I agree, it's poor business procedure to return one's property in that state, unless requested by customer & one should refrain from utilizing them.

His issue with the drive failure isn't with the shop, it's with Seagate. Joining a class action suit is relatively simple. It's been well documented that Seagate has problems with certain releases of their 3TB Ex HDD. I have a Seagate 3TB drive, however, it is not on the "endangered list"!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Did I do anything wrong to crash my external hard drive?

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