External hard drive locked up my computer

Discussion in 'hardware' started by ohblu, Jun 12, 2011.

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  1. ohblu

    ohblu Registered Member

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    I took the IDE hard drive out of my desktop PC and put it in a compatible enclosure making sure I followed all of the directions. I connected it to my laptop and that's when it sort of locked up my laptop. I couldn't open any files or anything. As soon as I pulled out the USB cable from the laptop, everything was ok. Also, the contents of the external hard drive did not show up. The drive may be damaged anyway, which is why I put it in an enclosure.

    Does anyone know why my laptop would lock up like this? This is my first time putting an internal hard drive into an enclosure, so maybe I didn't do something correctly.

    My laptop is running Win XP.
     
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Does this external USB hard drive have a Windows Operating System installed on it?

    In the past I have moved a SATA hard drive containing a Windows Operating System to be used as a internal SATA data backup hard drive. I was denied access from copying files from the hard drive. I used a Linux Distro "Live CD" to copy the files and then I deleted the hard drive partitions and formatted the hard drive. Then I copied the files back to the newly formatted hard drive using Windows.
     
  3. ohblu

    ohblu Registered Member

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    Yes, it has Windows XP. I'm trying to determine whether the drive is good or bad because when it was in the computer, I couldn't boot and got a "disk read error." I suspect it is still good, I think the problem is/was with the power supply or possibly corrupted boot files.

    I know that when it's in the enclosure and I turn it on, it makes the exact same sounds it made when it was in the computer and would work and boot normally. Since the Device Manager can see the model number, wouldn't that be an indication that it still works?

    From searching on Google, I know a lot of other people have had this exact same problem with various enclosures and a good, working hard drive. But in most cases, these people don't post back in the forums saying what resolved the problem. And if they do, their problem or the solution doesn't apply to my situation.
     
  4. Stem

    Stem Firewall Expert

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    It does sound like it is just corrupted rather than broken.

    When you moved the drive to the enclosure, did you change the jumper (on the back of the drive) to make it a slave?

    - Stem
     
  5. ohblu

    ohblu Registered Member

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    The instructions say to set it as Master. I thought about changing it to slave or even cable select just to see if that works, but wasn't sure if that would make things worse. I've never done any of this stuff before.

    The hard drive was working perfectly fine in my computer until the power supply started making an odd noise. When I went to boot the computer, it froze as it was loading my Desktop. I had no choice but to turn it off via the power switch. Ever since then, every time I turn the computer on I get a "disk read error." So I figure something got corrupted, but the drive is probably still good.
     
  6. Stem

    Stem Firewall Expert

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    Maybe my bad memory then?

    I do have a couple of old IDE drive in enclosures, I just found one to check. There are no jumpers on it at all. It does work correctly when connected via usb to both WinXP and Win7.

    Try changing, or even removing the jumper.

    Ah, unfortunately a bad power supply can kill hardware. Have you now changed the PSU?


    - Stem
     
  7. ohblu

    ohblu Registered Member

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    No, I wasn't sure if it was actually bad or what the problem was. I figured that I should check to see if the hard drive was still good before making any other decisions. Since I can't seem to access the hard drive, I'm not sure it's worth replacing both the hard drive and power supply since the computer is from 2002. I may just be better off buying a new computer. The old one worked very well, but it only has 512 MB RAM and USB 1.1 ports. Upgrading the USB ports looks like it may be a pain. I'd also like a TV Tuner and other upgrades so I may just be better off buying a new computer. If money wasn't a concern I would just go ahead and upgrade. Maybe I should anyway, just for the experience.

    I'd still like to see if I can access the files on the hard drive. There's some stuff that didn't get backed up because I had just downloaded it. Plus, some of the backup CDs don't work.
     
  8. ohblu

    ohblu Registered Member

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    I just had to share this. So Sunday night I created a help ticket with the company that made the enclosure. I said that I had followed the instructions and then I described the problem I was having. I also included the model of the hard drive and the specs of the computer I was connecting the enclosure to. So technical support replied back with a link to the directions and that was it. o_O I already told them I had followed the directions. I can't believe people get paid for that kind of stupidity.
     
  9. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    Do you have avast! for an antivirus? Sometimes when I put a USB flash drive in my computer with a lot of files, avast would use a lot of CPU. Also, disable your antivirus and connect the hard drive (if you sure it is clean of malware). See if that makes a difference. If you need the info on the computer and it still locks up, try downloading Puppy Linux, burn the iso with Imgburn or equivalent, and boot to it. Connect the hard drive and transfer the files back to your internal drive. Then reformat the drive.
     
  10. ohblu

    ohblu Registered Member

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    I just got the bright idea to check the Event Viewer logs (why didn't I think of that before?). When I plug in and turn on the hard drive enclosure, I get the following warnings until I disconnect the drive:

    The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk1\D
    An error was detected on \Device\Harddisk1\D during a paging operation
    Timed out sending notification of the device interface change to window of "SAS WIndow" - Source: PlugPlayManager
    The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur. - Source: Ftdisk

    When I plug in the hard drive I also get these messages:
    USB IDE Device Found (when I google this phrase, no exact matches are found which is odd)
    ST380020A found
    Disk Drive found

    And I'll also mention again that plugging in the hard drive causes my computer to hang.

    Maybe it's me, but could this problem having something to do with the fact that the hard drive contains Windows XP and is set to Master? I know the instructions say to set it as Master, but should it be set to Slave instead? It is an IDE hard drive, if that makes any difference.
     
  11. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    No nothing to do with that. Just drive hardware failure, not much can be done about it.
     
  12. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    If the drive is recognized by your computer (that it does), then its good. You just have a corrupted drive which is easy to fix. Just do a chkdsk x: /f (x= the drive letter of your corrupted drive. The abnormal shutdown corrupted your drive, it happened to me before. The chkdsk will fix it, if not you will need testdisk (freeware) it is more powerful in fixing corrupted drives.

    A corrupted drive will bring windows explorer to it's knees and freeze your entire computer. I don't suspect hard drive failure in your case. Fix the corruption and all your data will reappear as before. Just a few mb's of corrupted data will render the whole drive unusable (raw) but all your data is safe.

    Worstcase scenario you can use testdisk to recover your data.
     
  13. axial

    axial Registered Member

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    Most of the drive mfg have free tools that will test drives (you'd want to be sure you're choosing a non-destructive test first, of course!) that you could run from your laptop. Most of these tools will work on any drive, not just that specific mfg.

    For example, there's SeaTools by Seagate:
    -http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=SeaTools&vgnextoid=720bd20cacdec010VgnVCM100000dd04090aRCRD

    -http://forums.seagate.com/t5/SeaTools/bd-p/SeaTool

    With SeaTools you can create a bootable CD that has its own O/S to run the test, so Windows doesn't have to load and therefore that might allow you to put the drive back into the problem desktop to do the test.

    If errors are reported, it could also be that SeaTools can fix them.

    >> Because the software boots to its own operating system you can test your drive regardless of the OS installed on it. <<
     
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