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Exernal harddrive Fail :(


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#1 haven't a clue

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:12 AM

Hello all

I can't seem to open my exernal hard drive anymore, it worked yesterday.
But now when I plug it in I just get a box saying

"USB Device Not recognized one of the usb devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and windows does not recognize it"
I click on that and it says " and to try plugging it in again"

The exernal hard drive doesn't show up in computer or in disk management. But shows up in device manager as ether unknown device or as mass storage device.

I tried reinstalling the usb drives, powering down for ages (internet told me to). Updating driver for the hard drive (when it showns up as having them) it say that they're updated. I've opened the hard drive case and replugged everything back in and at this point I can't find any thing else online to do.
I'm not sure if its the computer or the hard drive as I haven't another computer to plug it in to.
Do I need to get a new case? I have a toshiba that uses vista.

Can anyone out there in internetland help me please.

Any help would be a god sent.

Thank you in advance.

A very desperate girl.

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#2 rotor123

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 02:02 PM

2 suggestions. Try the drive in a different USB port and see what happens. That will make Windows find it as a new device and load drivers all over again.

Also try the drive in another computer if the first suggestion does not work to pin down the problem to drive problem or computer problem.

Good Luck
Roger

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#3 haven't a clue

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:55 PM

I've tried the other usb ports still same thing. But other usbs do work in it.
So I'm thinking its likely be the hard drive.
Oh and I've looked again and I was wrong it does show up in disk management as unknown not initialized. What would happen if I do initialize?
Will I lose everything?

Thank you for relying :)

#4 James Litten

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:03 PM

Hi

We can take a closer look at the drive since you do see it in the disk management program.

Do not format it or initialize it. We just want to look at it without changing anything yet.

It sounds like you are using a laptop so while we do this make sure that the laptop is plugged in and not just running off of battery in case something we try takes a long time to run.

First lets use a free tool that will look at the hard drive and see if a small but important piece of data on it got a bit scrambled.

Make sure that your external drive is connected and powered on.

Download TestDisk from
http://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk-6.13.win.zip
and extract it to your desktop.
Open the folder testdisk-6.13
Double click testdisk_win.exe to run it.

TestDisk is a console application so you have to use your keyboard to interact with it instead of your mouse.

Choose Create and hit enter (this makes the file testdisk.log that is automatically created in the folder testdisk-6.13)
You should now see a list of drives. Your external drive is probably Disk /dev/sdb/ and says 1000GB or External
If you have any difficulty identifying which one it is, let us know what you see and we'll help you figure it out.
Select the external drive and choose Proceed and hit enter
Select Intel/PC partition and hit enter
Select Analyse and hit enter
Select Quick Search and hit enter
Say 'Y' if it asks if the disk was made in Vista/Win7 (even if it was made in XP say 'yes')

When it is done, let me know what it says and if the text is green or red or white (a picture from your cel phone or camera would be fine).

Press q four times to exit the program.

If you have a hard time getting me the info, you can attach the file testdisk.log that is automatically created in the folder testdisk-6.13

This will just look at the hard drive and not change anything.

Roger(Rotor123), please let us know if I miss anything or you have any other ideas :)

James

#5 haven't a clue

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:27 AM

Hello James

Thanks for anwsering my post I've done as you said and this is what popped up
Posted Image
:blink:
Please let me know what you make of it.

Thanks again :)

Melissa

#6 rotor123

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:59 AM

I was originally thinking a hardware problem when the opening post said it wasn't showing up in disk management.
Since it is I'm going to have to think about it. Unfortunately I'll be busy today, It being mothers day takes precedence. Hopefully tomorrow will be less hectic.

Sorry.
Roger

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#7 haven't a clue

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:25 AM

Yup mothers day definitely takes precedence.
And thank you for reminding me I have a call to make.
:)
Melissa

#8 James Litten

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:54 AM

Hi Melissa

You did great except that appears to be your internal drive and not your external drive.

When you run TestDisk and choose Create to create a log file and hit enter, the next screen should list the disk drives on the machine. You should have at least two (the internal and the external).

Do you only see one?

James

#9 haven't a clue

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 11:29 AM

Hello James

Yes there seem to only be one :(

Melissa

#10 James Litten

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:23 PM

Okay, it looks like you see it in the Disk Management program intermittently since at first you did not see it there but later you did. If it is showing in the Disk Management program then you should see it in TestDisk so check to see if it has disappeared from there again.

It may be a hardware issue with the drive. We don't know yet and that's why we're checking with TestDisk first because it is quick, easy (when you have instructions :) ), will tell us some critical information and it's free.

Typically if the drive got a little scrambled (usually from unplugging it while it is trying to write something) then the next time you plug it in it will say "Drive is not formatted, would you like to format it now?" and you think "Format it? All my data is on there ZOMG!". It can also give the error you are getting "one of the usb devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned".

Though, the second error message can occur if it is a hardware issue too. So we try to find out which it is.

Next you need to see if you can get it to show up in the Disk Management program again and then immediately run TestDisk like you did before and hopefully it will be listed there.

Try
Starting the computer with the drive plugged in.
Plugging the drive in after booting the computer.
Unplugging the drive from the computer while it is running and counting to 5 and plugging it back in.

Each time seeing if the drive shows up in the Disk Management program so that you can try TestDisk again.

Let us know how this goes and we'll proceed from there depending on what it is able to do.

James

#11 haven't a clue

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:24 PM

Hello

Well now it just keeps showing like this
Posted Image
I'm guessing that second box was important.
:(
Melissa

Edited by haven't a clue, 13 May 2012 - 06:34 PM.


#12 James Litten

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:41 PM

Thanks for the screenshot.
This can happen when the drive is not properly connected inside the enclosure.

I see you opened the enclosure before.

I've opened the hard drive case and replugged everything back in and at this point I can't find any thing else online to do.

Unplug everything and look in the case again and doublecheck your work to make sure that everything is plugged in correctly. Be gentle and careful.

What is the manufacturer/model of the external drive?

James

EDIT:If possible also try a different USB cable. The drive may be gone but I have seen drives recover from this error in the past.

Edited by NeverSayDie, 13 May 2012 - 07:12 PM.


#13 haven't a clue

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:41 PM

Well its the hard drive from my old computer put into a casing. Not sure what make it was.
Tried replugging everything and its still the same.

So is it time to lose hope yet/take it in tommorow when the shops are open again?

And nope haven't got a usb cable to try.
Thanks for all your help :)
Melissa

#14 James Litten

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:03 PM

Yeah, I'm afraid that's as far as we can go.

You did an excellent job of troubleshooting.

Let me know if you have anymore questions.

James

#15 haven't a clue

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:19 PM

Thank you James again for all you help.

For a moment there I felt almost computer literate :)

Melissa




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