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External Hard Drive has Stopped working.


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#1 Cartoon Shark

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 11:52 PM

Hello!

My external hard-drive has recently seemed to have stopped working. Whenever I plug it into one of my computer's USB ports, the indicator light comes on. However, the hard drive either does not show up in My Computer or does but gives me an error when trying to access it. As far as I know, the hard drive has not undergone any magnet damage or otherwise. It still operates as it should usually, yet I cannot access my files. I do have a warranty still on it, but I would rather see if I can fix the problem myself. I have tired plugging it into different USB ports; same problem. It is crucial that I get the files off of here, due to the fact that I have important old photos, old drawings, and more files on it that I don't have on my computer hard drive.

Please help me in any way you can! I appreciate any help.

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#2 Budapest

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 12:40 AM

Run a diagnostic test on the drive using Western Digital's Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows. Make sure you run the extended test.
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#3 Cartoon Shark

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 03:51 AM

The test turned up with bad sectors. It says that data in these sectors will be lost if I repair them. I don't want to lose any data but... do I proceed with the repairs?

#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 04:05 AM

I don't want to lose any data but... do I proceed with the repairs?

To proceed with the suggested repair attempt will be to risk losing data ... the main problem being that you will have no idea which data or how much data will be lost (if any at all). Therein lies the dilemma for you.

In order to avoid the potential loss of a significant amount of your valuable data, I caution you against proceeding with the suggested repairs. Simply close the diagnostic utility.

To retrieve your data from the problematic hard drive, I suggest that you try using a bootable CD or flashdrive running a Linux operating system. It is likely to have more success in reading the hard drive than you have with using Windows. There are a number of ways to go about it, so I will suggest just one that I consider the most appropriate in the circumstances. If at first you are not successful, we will move on to another technique to recover your files.

Download GETxPUD.exe to the desktop of your working computer
  • Run GETxPUD.exe
  • A new folder will appear on the desktop.
  • Open the GETxPUD folder and click on get&burn.bat
  • The program will download xpud_0.9.2.iso, and when finished will open BurnCDCC ready to burn the image.
    Please be patient: This could take awhile - download file size 63MB.
  • Click on Start and follow the prompts to burn the image to a CD.
You will use this CD to boot the ailing computer from.

Backup your important files to another media using xPUD:
  • Connect your external hard drive or flashdrive.
  • Boot the ailing computer to the xPUD CD.
    A Welcome to xPUD screen will appear.
  • Click on File.
  • Expand the mnt icon on the left (click on the little arrow beside the icon).
    • sda1, sda2 etc. ...usually correspond to your HDD partitions
    • sdb1, sdc1 is likely to correspond to a USB flashdrive, external USB hard drive etc.
      Can you find the problematic drive, and can you see all your files there? Let me know if not!
  • Copy your important files to another external hard drive or internal hard drive or flashdrive.
    • Open your hard drive partition and navigate to the files/folders that you wish to copy.
    • Select multiple files/folders by holding down the <CTRL> key and selecting them all.
    • Use right-click > Copy
    • Navigate to the drive that you intend saving files to, and in the right-side window pane, use right-click > Paste.
To shut down the computer:
  • Home > Power off
Success?

Edited by AustrAlien, 24 November 2011 - 04:09 AM.

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#5 Cartoon Shark

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 07:25 PM

I followed through with your instructions, however once I booted from the xPUD disk I could not get past the language selection screen. Whenever I chose my language, the program would say it was loading but then my monitor would lose connection and I couldn't see anything. I could try again, but I'm starting to wonder if it may just be easier to call a data recovery service or send my drive back to the manufacturer. I have an extended warranty on the drive, but then again, I don't want any data lost in the process of repairing it.

#6 AustrAlien

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 08:25 PM

I followed through with your instructions, however once I booted from the xPUD disk I could not get past the language selection screen. Whenever I chose my language, the program would say it was loading but then my monitor would lose connection and I couldn't see anything.

xPUD comes with a very limited selection of drivers, and so sometimes it will not work on some particular machines. It is a risk we take when recommending its use. The great advantage and the main reason for suggesting the use of xPUD is the relatively small download size.

Please try the following which should prove to be more successful ...

:step1: Using a working computer:
  • If you wish to use a LIVE CD ...
  • Download the Linux version of your choice (usually an .ISO image file).
  • There are many options to use for a LIVE CD. I suggest that you try one of the following:
  • Puppy Linux (smallest download file size at 128 MB)
  • Linux Mint 11 Katya (versions for a CD, and larger versions that need to be burned to a DVD disk)
[*]Burn the .ISO image to CD: If you do not already have a suitable burning program for writing .ISO images to disc ...
  • Download and install ImgBurn.
  • Ensure that you UN-check the box agreeing to install the Ask toolbar during the installation.
  • Place a new (blank) CD disc in the drive tray.
  • Choose Write image file to disc.
    • Under Source, click on the Browse button: Navigate to and select the .ISO file that you wish to burn.
    • Place a check-mark in the box beside Verify.
  • Click Posted Image
[*]When the CD has been burned and verified as successful, it will be bootable.
[/list][*]OR ... if you wish to use a LIVE flashdrive ...
  • Go to UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads and at the top of the page, click on Download (for Windows) to download the application.
  • Follow the instructions further down the page under the heading Installation & Screenshots.
  • Run the application to download and install the Linux version of choice to your flashdrive.
  • I suggest that you try one of the following:
  • Puppy Linux (smallest download file size at 128 MB)
  • Linux Mint 11 Katya (download file size depends on version)
[/list][/list]
:step2: Boot the machine from the LIVE CD or flashdrive.
  • (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD drive or the flashdrive, which ever you are using.)
  • Choose to run the Linux operating system from the CD or flashdrive without making any changes to your computer.
    Do NOT install Linux on your hard drive.
  • When the Linux operating system loads ...
  • You will be able to navigate to all the files on your HDDs.
  • You can backup your files by copying them to a flashdrive or an external or internal hard drive.
  • Before using the internet (if you choose to use Puppy, for example) you may have to:
  • Configure/set up the internet connection
  • Download a favourite browser
    (With Linux Mint the foregoing should not be necessary.)
[/list]You may find one of the following guides useful:
Recover files from Windows XP hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows Vista hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows 7 hard disk using Puppy Linux

The easiest way to copy files/folders in Puppy is to drag-and-drop from one window to another. To do this open a window showing what you want to copy. Open another window showing the location that you wish to copy to .... and move the windows so that you can conveniently see both at the same time.

Now, simply drag the items you wish to copy from one window into the other. Simple.

----------------
Recent news, November 2011: You may be interested to have a look at the following:

The most popular Linux is...

No itís not Fedora, openSUSE, or even Ubuntu. Itís Linux Mint.


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If you choose to use a professional recovery service it will likely cost you an arm and a leg. If you return the hard drive to the manufacturer, it is unlikely that you will ever see your data again. Recovering the data yourself (with a little guidance) will hopefully be fairly straight-forward for you, and I suggest you continue with the effort.
AustrAlien
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