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Seagate Backup Plus 2TB Desktop External suddenly not detected


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#1 mikey2276

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 06:50 PM

Hey everyone. 

 

A few weeks ago, the 3.5" 2TB Seagate external (http://amzn.com/B00HFRWXV0), which I've been using for almost a year now, stopped working. My brother was using it to install a repack (game) and his computer froze on him, so the drive was disconnected  and the PC restarted. Prior to this, Windows told me the drive had errors on it, most likely referring to some corrupt data I already knew about and hadn't yet got around to repairing. (The corrupt data was copied to the drive using a Linux OS, and when trying to delete it, Windows error'ed with "The directory is not empty." After that, Windows started telling me that there was a problem with the drive and offered to help me find the corrupt sectors.)
 
After my brother's laptop rebooted, we reconnected it and that's when we discovered the predicament. Here's what's happening:
When plugging in the drive via USB, my computer plays the device detected sound and it shows up in Device Manager with the correct name.It is unusable since it doesn't show up in either My Computer or Disk Management. I downloaded Seatools and, after a rescan, it was detected with no serial, model, or firmware information. I used SeaTools to run a SMART and Short Drive Self Test, and they both passed. Today I plugged it in internally, and the computer took longer to boot up. In UEFI, the drive was not displayed, and it wasn't displayed in anything Windows (Device Manager, Disk Management, My Computer).. but Seatools still detected it and the same tests pass. 
 
The drive doesn't emit any noises that suggest hardware failure. After spin up, I only hear its usual hum. There are no clicks, scratches, or loose items bouncing around in it. It behaves the same in all 4 computers I've tested it on, and it's also the 3rd Seagate to fail on me. (A few months ago, I had a Seagate 2.5 External suddenly fail on me as well, but unlike this one which was regularly in use, this one hadn't been used for about two weeks.. and the last time I used it it working fine. The day I plugged it in to use it, Windows just didn't recognize it at all, although it still played the USB device detected sound.)
 
Anyway, I'd really prefer to get the data back if that's at all possible; it has all of my game saves, configuration files, software installs,.. my entire virtual life really. (Stupid of me to not have a secondary backup, I know, but I just hadn't yet gotten around to getting one.)
Someone suggested to me that it could be the MFT got corrupted, but would that result in the drive not being detected at all? Could this problem instead be the result of a faulty controller? (Not sure if that's the correct name for it - I mean the circuit board at the back of the drive) I don't want to try running any of the fix options in Seatools until I'm sure of what I'm dealing with, and any help will be greatly appreciated. 
 
In case it helps, here are the computer specifications of the computer the drive was usually plugged into:
Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H
Intel Core i5-4570
Nvidia Geforce GTX 760
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
8GB G.SKILL

Edited by mikey2276, 09 October 2014 - 06:54 PM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:20 PM

Hello, and Welcome,

Download Parted Magic. This is the last free version. The lastest is a $5 download. Burn the iso in Windows 7 by right clicking and select burn image. Boot the disk with the external drive attached. You may have to change UEFI to legacy in BIOS. When you get to the Parted Magic Desktop, Double click the File Manager Icon and see if linux can mount the drive. Sometimes linux will mount the drive where Windows cannot.



#3 mikey2276

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 01:55 AM

Damn, no luck. Doesn't show up in File Manager, Disk Health, or GParted. I noticed, however, that UEFI practically freezes when the problem drive is plugged in during boot up; why is that?


Edited by mikey2276, 10 October 2014 - 01:56 AM.


#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 07:43 AM

I am not sure about UEFI freezing unless it's trying to mount the drive automatically and it's failing. Boot Parted Magic. Open Terminal and type

fdisk -l 

is the drive listed?

 

If not, the only thing I can think of is to remove the drive from the case and attach it as a bare drive or use another enclosure. It's possible the USB bridge card failed.

 

How to remove a drive from the case.


Edited by JohnC_21, 10 October 2014 - 09:45 PM.


#5 mikey2276

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 07:35 PM

I connected it internally, but no luck I'm afraid. I'm guessing that means the drive is really unrecoverable. :( 

Sigh, do you suppose that it was killed by the disconnection while in use? Or by unplugging it from the power outlet? A friend of mine told me that abruptly removing power to the drive would cause the disk to get scratched up, because the arms didn't have time to lock first or something. I'm wondering what exactly happened so that I can prevent it from happening again.



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 07:44 PM

USB is supposed to be hot swappable. You can corrupt the data on a drive by pulling it before ejecting it but not cause it to fail. When the computer froze was probably when the drive failed. Even when connecting the drive internally, it was not detected? If that is the case, the only way to recover your data would be through a professional data recovery service, not cheap.

#7 mikey2276

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 09:58 PM

I'm guessing data recovery applications would be unable to help either since the computer can't even see the drive anymore, correct?



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 10:08 PM

Correct. Did you get any listing for the drive using the fdisk -l command in terminal of Parted Magic?

#9 mikey2276

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 10:48 PM

The other drives I had connected were displayed, but unfortunately not the problem drive. I guess I'll take it to a data recovery professional sometime. Is it, btw, going to get harder to recover the data the longer I wait?


Edited by mikey2276, 12 October 2014 - 10:52 PM.


#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 07:43 AM

As long as you do not open the drive you should be okay to let it set for awhile. Professional data recovery service can be very expensive,  $1000 or more. There is a vendor who claims to recover data for $300 but I have never used them.

 

Some Others. You may have others in your own area.

 

http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/

 

http://www.salvagedata.com/

 

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



#11 ranchhand_

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 03:15 PM

Mikey, try this: wrap the hard drive in plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator freezer for one hour. Remove it  and slave it (IOW connect it in a computer that has a working hard drive with Windows on it)  then boot into Windows and see if you can read it now. If you can, work fast and drag & drop your data onto your good machine. Sometimes this works but it won't cost anything and it's another thing to try.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#12 mikey2276

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 03:26 AM

Ah, no luck there either. I suppose my only choice is to take it to one of those professional recovery services John suggested. Thank you both for the helping me to troubleshoot it, anyway.






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