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My WD external hard drive won't work, is there help to get the files?


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#1 maeflye63

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 06:09 PM

I have been trying to find a way to get my files off of a WD external hard drive and put them on a  1 TB digital. But it is not working, I can't find the external on my computer.  I have lap top running Windows 10.

 

One place told me to put the external in the freezer and that should work to get them off. Afraid to try because I would think condensation would hurt electronics.

 

And another place said if it is dead it's gone. 

 

I have some important stuff and pictures on there.

 

I thought using an external was the safe thing to do but now I might have lost it anyway.

 

Hubby checked and all the connections are good so we are not sure what it could be. Can't find the external on my laptop or his.

 

I saw on cnet that there are some recovery programs, any of them good?

 

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your time.

Donna M. Flye


Edited by hamluis, 09 February 2018 - 06:53 PM.
Moved from External Hardware to Backup/Imaging, etc. - Hamluis.


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#2 OldPhil

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 06:54 PM

The freezer trick has worked in some cases, important to put in a plastic bag sealed well.  It will stay cold for quite awhile giving you ample time to hook it up for a try.


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#3 Platypus

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 07:01 PM

You haven't said what model of drive it is - different types of external drives can have different causes for being unable to be accessed, and therefore different techniques that might restore access.


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#4 britechguy

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 07:04 PM

maeflye63,

 

         You have just learned, potentially the hard way (though I truly hope not), that having a single copy of anything, regardless of what media you're storing it on, is not safe - period.

 

         You must have a primary copy and a backup copy on separate external device (usually a HDD).  If something is really critical, you need three copies:  the primary, a backup on a device that may be located in the same place as the primary copy, and a backup on a device located safely away from the location of the primary copy.  With the advent of cloud backup services that's significantly easier than when two external HDDs were necessary and you had to ship them back and forth as subsequent backups were needed.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (my website address is in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

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#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 07:09 PM

You say Windows cannot see the drive. How is the drive shown in Disk Management? It may show as RAW or not initialized. Type Disk Management in the search box with the WD attached.



#6 maeflye63

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 10:27 PM

Platypus-- Model is Western digital Hard drive from a desk top my husband put in a external case. Worked great for a few years and suddenly it wouldn't work on my computer(laptop) anymore. Here looked it up, is this what you are looking for? 

Western Digital Blue WD800JB 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive  

 

I will check and see if I can find it the way JohnC_21 suggest first. 

 

OldPhil Freezer way, how long do you leave it in there?

 

Yes britechguy I did learn my lesson? I had a lot of it on some jump drives but my Daughter n law need to get a bunch of stuff off of her computer that was dying and she had tons of RAW picture files she needed to put somewhere so I put the stuff all on the external.

 

Hubby just told me the disk won't spin, so is there anything I can do?



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 10:36 PM

Change the cable. That may be the problem. Also the USB bridge card in the external enclosure could be bad while the drive could be fine.



#8 OldPhil

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 11:11 PM

45 Minutes will do, try to handle it as little as possible hold it with a cloth when you take it out.


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#9 Platypus

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 12:41 AM

As JohnC has said, it's possible the fault could lie in the external enclosure rather than the drive itself. Failure of the 12V supply within the enclosure (e.g. there can be a surface mount fuse on the PCB) can cause the spin motor to not operate.

One way to eliminate this as a possibility is to remove the drive from the enclosure and connect it internally to a system that still has an IDE port. Another way is to measure the 12V and 5V supply where the Molex connector goes onto the drive, using a digital multimeter.

I'd suggest viewing the freezer method as a last resort once other causes and remedies have been covered - freezing can for example unstick a seized bearing in a non-spinning drive, but unless there's a reasonable suspicion that is the cause, the risk of ice crystals inside the drive causing a head crash is there and if, say, loss of 12V is actually the cause, freezing will of course achieve nothing.

If the supply to the drive is normal, and it simply does not spin up, a faulty spin motor is a possible cause, as is a seized spin bearing or a stuck head. One possible way to free either of the latter is to sit the drive flat on a smooth surface, and with a good grip on the drive, use a gentle but sudden flicking motion of your wrist to spin the drive on the spindle axis. This can apply more torque to the platter assembly than a stalled spin motor can, and has been known to free a bearing.

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#10 OldPhil

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 07:21 AM

You say it does not spin and your hubby checked connections, did he check for power?  If it is getting power and don't spin your alternatives are slim.  You can try the freezer may work, you can also find the same drive used and swap the board.  I have rescued a "few" swapping the board.  Last resort with it hooked to the running lap top lift the enclosure about an inch and drop it if it spins go for it!


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