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External Drive not working/clicking.. :(


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#1 Slave2Society7

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 07:04 PM

Hey guys, I have a very VERY scary problem today. Hopefully someone can help me out!

 

Anyway, I sit at my computer and notice it say's "Drive F: needs to be reformatted" or something like that. I find that my External Drive is switched to OFF... well I was watching a 2 year old all day and he DID go in my room :\ Who knows what he did! Anyway, I figure turning it on and restarting is the best idea. Well after restarting the drive still wouldn't show up...

 

When I would turn it on or off the computer would make a recognition sound which was great... but now it's not making that sound anymore. It actually then started to click over and over!!! So now I'm freaking out because this drive has my "life" on it and I NEVER touch it or turn it off because I didn't want something like this to happen:( At the moment it stopped clicking so I'm not gonna touch anything until I hear from you guys.

 

Okay so let me tell ya anything you might need to know:

I know my way around a computer fairly well so I don't need baby steps:)

I run Windows 7

The external drive that I'm having the issue with is an HITACHI... It's an older model I think, so it's kinda fat, say's HITACHI in red at the bottom with a red LED circle light/button in the middle.

I found in under device manager and it's labeled as Hitachi HDT725032VLA360 ATA Device (if that helps)

Of course it say's "This device is working properly.", I've never seen anything different unless it had a yellow exlamation mark.

I believe it has a TB of space.

Hooked up via USB

The light right now is solid red (Instead of "moving/thinking")

 

Gee I don't know what else you might need. Just let me know. I want to thank in advance for anyone who responds! I've been here before and ALWAYS have been helped :) Thanks again guys

 

Colin

 

P.S. Not showing up in disc management :\ and it even shows  up in device manager when it's off.. so that means nothing.. I had to try turning it off and on again and it's clicking away :( I might go to sleep or something.. I can't even THINK about losing everything..heh. BUT I'll be checking back often :P


Edited by Slave2Society7, 01 April 2014 - 07:38 PM.

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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 07:42 PM

Hello, A clicking hard drive is very bad. Something you cannot recover using software. You will have to give it to professional recovery service that will take apart the drive in a clean room and recover what data they can. If you say your life is on this drive, do not turn it on again and contact a professional recovery service.

 

I do not have experience with the following companies but you can get quotes from them.

 

http://www.securedatarecovery.com/

 

http://www.werecoverdata.com/hard-drive-recovery/


Edited by JohnC_21, 01 April 2014 - 07:43 PM.


#3 Slave2Society7

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:29 PM

Hey there.. sorry for the late reply, but thank you for you quick answer! This is so unfortunate though:( Unfortunatly the middle class is dead and I'm not apart of the 1%. Sooo I could never afford getting it back or have even a place to place the retrieved data... :( It was bascially stuff I've been collecting since I was about 12 and I'm 31 now! Music, OLD chat logs... etc. etc. man of man:( I can't believe a baby turning it off did this! Nutts!

Colin


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#4 smax013

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:01 AM

Clicking sounds from a hard drive usually mean an impending hardware failure of the drive or one that has already happened. Since you cannot get the hard drive to actually mount, it suggests that it is a hardware failure that has already occurred.

As noted, if it is a hardware failure, then more than likely using typical consumer data recovery software likely won't help. More than likely your best option is a data recovery service that can take the drive apart as the other poster noted. In addition to the ones the other poster listed, I will offer this one:

https://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com

They are well recognized.

Of course, the downside of using a data recovery service is that you are likely talking several hundred dollar or more…potentially more than a thousand dollars. In other words, it will likely be quite expensive. So, deciding whether to go that route will be a function of your budget and how important your data was/is.

Assuming you have completely ruled out going the route of a data recovery company, then you could try some data recovery options yourself if you want as in theory you have nothing to lose at that point. If want to try this, then you can try a free program such as Recuva: http://www.piriform.com/recuva or some paid program (a friend successfully used Data Rescue, but his drive would still power on…i.e. it was NOT a hardware issue).

In addition, you could try pulling the internal drive out of the external enclosure (external drive are just an enclosure with an internal drive of the same type that you would put in your computer). While clicking noises do tend to suggest a hardware failure or impending failure with that internal drive, it is possible that it is some issue with the enclosure, not the internal drive, that is preventing it from mounting. If that is the case, but the "bare" drive still clicks when you hook it up without an enclosure, then that internal drive will likely fail soon even if you can mount it and get to the data…so make sure you get the data off the drive quickly and then don't use that drive any more. If you go this route, then you can either mount the "bare" internal drive from the drive enclosure in your computer directly (assuming it is a desktop) or use a universal drive adapter (here is an example: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/U3NVSPATA/ ).

One last thing…whether you are able to recover your data or not, I would strongly encourage you to start a backup routine in the future so that you don't have this happen again to you again. FWIW, you are not the first to "learn the hard way" about why backing up is a good idea and you will not be the last. I have gotten a bit "preachy" about as I too "learned the hard way" a long time ago.

#5 Slave2Society7

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 12:11 AM

Hey sMax! Thank you for your help. I def. can't afford what it would cost to have an expert take care of it... so I am left to try some data recovery options like you suggested. Otherwise the drive will just sit here forever for me to look at sadly. :( I can't believe just having the on and off switch toggled a few times has done this! Oh well, I will look in Recuva or Data Rescue even though my problem DOES seem like hardware issues... Quick quwestion... do those programs try to fix the drive at all or just transfer the data? Probably transfers.. I'd have to find a lot of space some how. But my situation doesn't look good.

 

If it comes to it I will follow your instructions and try pulling the internal drive out. I appreciate all the ideas! My brother also told me he heard someone put their drive in the freezer for a while or something.  Hmmm, that will be the LAST attempt though.

 

Well, asuming you check this thread again... I KNOW so well that you are right about backing up.. BECAUSE this HAS happened a long time ago too. The only thing I can't figure out is how to back up?? I'm a data hog.. so if I have a TB drive almost full, what do I have to do? By another drive to just put the exact same stuff on it?? I DID back up a few pictures and stuff, but that was a loooong time ago and out dated.. so most important documents with important info etc. are gone :\

 

Anyway, no matter what happens I want to thank you so much for your time and information! Without it I'd be a sitting duck :P So.. THANKS again ;)

 

Colin

 

P.S. Those programs like Recuva can only help me if my drive shows up huh?


Edited by Slave2Society7, 04 April 2014 - 12:14 AM.

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#6 smax013

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 02:37 AM

Hey sMax! Thank you for your help. I def. can't afford what it would cost to have an expert take care of it... so I am left to try some data recovery options like you suggested. Otherwise the drive will just sit here forever for me to look at sadly. :( I can't believe just having the on and off switch toggled a few times has done this! Oh well, I will look in Recuva or Data Rescue even though my problem DOES seem like hardware issues... Quick quwestion... do those programs try to fix the drive at all or just transfer the data? Probably transfers.. I'd have to find a lot of space some how. But my situation doesn't look good.


Generally such programs are mainly for recovering the files to another drive. It is possible that some data recovery programs might be able to fix some "software" disk programs such a rebuild directories, etc…but you would have read the features to know if a data recovery programs will do such work or not.

The end result is that it will likely be a recovery operation only. Even if you could somehow "repair" the drive, you would DEFINITELY not want to trust that drive and quickly get all your data onto a new drive. The point is that you will need a new drive under basically all scenarios.

If a drive is spinning, then sometimes it cannot take much to royally hose it. So, if the drive was actually "doing stuff" when the switch was flipped on and off, then it might be enough. The other possibility is that the drive have been on its "last legs" so to speak already and the flipping of the switch on and off tipped it over the edge.
 

If it comes to it I will follow your instructions and try pulling the internal drive out. I appreciate all the ideas! My brother also told me he heard someone put their drive in the freezer for a while or something.  Hmmm, that will be the LAST attempt though.


I have heard of people saying that putting a drive in the freezer helped them be able to mount the drive long enough to get their data off. I have no clue how accurate such reports are as I have never tried it myself.
 

Well, asuming you check this thread again... I KNOW so well that you are right about backing up.. BECAUSE this HAS happened a long time ago too. The only thing I can't figure out is how to back up?? I'm a data hog.. so if I have a TB drive almost full, what do I have to do? By another drive to just put the exact same stuff on it?? I DID back up a few pictures and stuff, but that was a loooong time ago and out dated.. so most important documents with important info etc. are gone :\


Backing up can be a simple or as complex as you want. A lot of it will depend on how paranoid you are about protecting your data.

The simplest approach is to get a second drive and manually copy (i.e. just like you would copy a file in Windows from one location to another) any important files from the primary drive to the backup drive. Obviously, if you are dealing with a lot of data/files, then this can become tedious, especially trying to keep track of what you have backed up and what you have not.

So, the next step up is to use some sort of backup program. Depending on what version of Windows you are running, you might have built-in Windows backup function. For some versions of Windows, it is pretty good. Of course, you can always buy a third party backup program. Most backup programs allow you to setup automatic backup schedules…or you could do it manually (i.e. you manually start up the backup program and run the backup yourself). If you go this route, then you will want a backup program that can do "incremental backups". You could even look at an online backup service like Carbonite, CrashPlan, Mozy, etc. When you reach that point of trying to pick backup software, you can always create another thread asking for advice.

From there is can get more and more complicated by doing multiple backup copies, adding in offsite storage of at least one backup copy (some people use online "cloud" backups for this), etc.

The other simple way would be have your new external drive be an RAID 1 external drive. A RAID 1 actually uses to hard drives such that the one hard drive automatically, on-the-fly is being duplicated to the other drive. The idea is that if one of the drives in the RAID 1 array dies, you will still have your data on the other drive. Technically, this is not a "true" backup as you can still lose data to accidental deletion or file corruption (i.e. you delete or corrupt the file on one drive, it gets deleted or corrupted on the other drive). As a result, even if you go this route, you likely would still want to do a traditional backup to another separate external drive.
 

Anyway, no matter what happens I want to thank you so much for your time and information! Without it I'd be a sitting duck :P So.. THANKS again ;)
 
Colin
 
P.S. Those programs like Recuva can only help me if my drive shows up huh?


Depends on why the drive is not showing up. If the partition table has been hosed, then yes, they may still help. If it is an actual hardware problem like we suspect, however, then they probably will not help…unless maybe was some sort of intermittent hardware failure that did something like hose the partition table, etc (i.e. not enough of a hardware failure that the drive is completely dead, but a more "minor" hardware failure that scrambled some of the critical OS level type information that is need to mount the drive).




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