Hard Drive Problem

Discussion in 'hardware' started by firzen771, Apr 27, 2010.

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  1. firzen771

    firzen771 Registered Member

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    ok so my problem is, up until last night my external hard drive was working perfectly fine, a WD Caviar Black 1TB HD. but this morning when i woke up and turned it on, it kept making this sound where the hard drive tries to spin, but then it beeps, tries to spin again, then beeps. and it does this over and over again until windows starts to load and once in windows the hard drive isnt visible as a drive.

    any ideas whats going on all of a sudden or any ways to perhaps fix this?
     
  2. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    that doesn't sound good at all (excuse the pun). It might need a specialist shop to retrieve data, could be mechanical failure
     
  3. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    First suspect the USB enclosure. Place it in a real machine, preferably by itself (unhook other drives). If the bios sees it, and the power cycle issue is resolved, could be an easy fix.

    I have personally, and known many others, who have used the freezer trick for hdds. Place it in a ziplock bag or two, overnight. Then hook it up and get the data off ASAP. Does not always work, but sometimes it suprises you.

    If you cannot get it recognized by the bios, you are going to be in more serious trouble. Hopefully the data is replacable.

    Sul.
     
  4. firzen771

    firzen771 Registered Member

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    wen i go into the drive select screen at system startup before windows loads, the WD drive is listed as being able to boot to it, but windows isnt installed on it so i dont choose it of course, but it is still listed there. so that sounds like an enclosure problem to u?
     
  5. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Not necessarily. First you need to get to the lowest denominator. Is it the drive or not? Removing it from the enclosure and placing it on the motherboard will confirm this lowest level. If it does not work properly on the motherboard, then you have only two options essentially. Either the motherboard has an issue itself or with that particular drive, or the drive has the issue.

    Once you determine the drive seems to work fine outside the enclosure, you now have exponential issues to resolve. Could it be that the USB is sort of messed up? Or the enclosure it failing? Or the USB cable you are using? Or the internal data cable (sata or ide). Is it another software, presumably that interfaces to the USB bus? Is there an IRQ issue?

    Solving problems is always best solved by starting at the bottom and working your way up, at least if you want to do it in a reasonable amount of time.

    See?

    Sul.
     
  6. firzen771

    firzen771 Registered Member

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    thanks for the advice, ill give those a try, starting with taking it out of the enclosure :) and its connected thru SATA btw
     
  7. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    NP. I'll check tonight or tommorrow and see what you found.

    Sul.
     
  8. firzen771

    firzen771 Registered Member

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    just realized i have no extra regular Sata cables :mad: so im gunna have to wait till the weekend wen i can get my friend to perhaps bring over one, or if all else fails take it to my local TigerDirect and let them figure it out :'(

    also, if the drive turns out to be dead, is ther any way to recover any of the data off of it? is it even possible by anyone is basically my question
     
  9. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    If it is dead, there are specialized places that can retrieve the data. But last time I looked into this, it was pretty spendy. I suppose it just depends on what the data is...

    Sul.
     
  10. tipstir

    tipstir Registered Member

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    WD HDD, and USB Passport, Element they can be taken out or left in an placed in a heavy duty freezer bag. Stick that in to the deep freezer for 3 hrs. Once you remove it and let it warm up to room temp. The drive will continue to run without issues. I've tested this myself on disaster recovery on HDDs works every time. In the pass we use just take a back end of a screw driver and hit the HDD. Today the freezer idea works. The other day my WD passport had started to spin, stop, spin stop couldn't get to my data. Once I did the above now I was able to backup the data over network and even after than. I put the drive back in the freezer for 3 days. Removed it and was able to use it again without have any issues. Watch recorded TV shows listen to music and no more problems.
     
  11. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I doubt that its a drive issue as the drive in question works fine when plugged into a different PC. I will try this before sending the PC to the shop if all else fails. Or if you or someone else thinks it is likely to help I will try it sooner rather than later. Thanks for taking the time to post the suggestion.
     
  12. firzen771

    firzen771 Registered Member

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    huh?... actually tipstir, the thing u described with ur drive was exactly what im experiencing, except mine spins, then beeps, then tries to spin again etc. but the drive is recognized in the drive select windows before the OS loads so that seems to be a good thing, im just gunna have to wait till i can get my hands on a regular sata cable till i can test it outside of the enclosure, hopefully it will work then. and if it doesnt work then, i might just give that freezer idea a shot, hopefully it wont screw up the drive even more :p
     
  13. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    Great tip. I had 2 Seagate drives in Thermaltake external housings, connected by E-Sata, running all the time. At the end of June 2009 I came home to 1 drive not accessible and the second doing the belaboured spin-stop-spin-stop..... Very scary, but I'd backed up both to 16GB USB sticks for critical data so I wasn't too worried. I was able to get the 1 drive spinning and copied everything over to a 1TB drive.
    But I was sorry that fairly expensive drives were now junk, likely due to overheating in the external housings and constantly running 24x7.
    I'll try this, if it works I have 2 more drives...:)
    Then I'll fit each thermaltake housing with a 40mm fan to keep the drives cool enough to avoid the repeat of the problem.
    Thanks for the tip, it could be worth $400CAD to me :D
    Jim C
     
  14. firzen771

    firzen771 Registered Member

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    good luck with ur problem as well, hopefully it works for me too, the data is the important part to me, its years worth of collected data and valuable stuff, im on a budget so im not able to buy several drives for redundant backups unfortunetly, but it seems i may need to look into doing that, but for now, the data is what im worried about.
     
  15. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I would suggest you do some research on drives before you buy another if it will be powered on 24/7. Drives generally get 5 years for me without issue, when I am powering off the computers often, usually overnight.

    Some drives are really built to withstand longer times of power-on states.

    I have an older dell server, with 6 hotswap 10k scsi drives. It has had an almost 13 year uptime now. That is impressive. Even the psu is doing well. This server has a backup psu, and it runs all the time as well, but with no load. They sure don't make things that way anymore it seems.

    Sul.
     
  16. firzen771

    firzen771 Registered Member

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    alright so heres an update, i managed to get a hold of a sata cable to plug the hard drive directly into my mobo and its def not the enclosure thats the problem since the drive didnt work when directly plugged in either. ill probly have to call WD tech support then and see what they can do, if nothin works, looks like its goin in the freezer lol
     
  17. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    As crappy as that is, at least you know it is nothing usb related and likely have found the bottom issue.

    I recently picked up a synology nas box for $300, slapped in a couple of older sata I drives, and am using raid 1 on it. Not too shabby for a low power alternative to a full blown server, plus it serves up web pages and is a multimedia station as well. Time will tell, but I am hoping not to get into the situation like you are currently in where my data is on a failing drive. This way at least both of them would have to fail at the same time, which is much better odds in my favor ;)

    Sul.
     
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