Possible External HD failure?

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Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 3:01 pm

Oh dear I've had a potential disaster today as my primary back up HD refuses to be recognised by my computer! It's a Western Digital Elements 1Tb unit that takes it's power direct from the computer. The light is on the HD showing power is getting through, but the disc itself doesn't seem to be moving!
I believe it's possible to open the unit and dislodge the arm if it's stuck, and then data can be recovered. I assume that this could damage some of the HD sectors? I've watched a couple of Youtube videos, and on the face of it that exercise doesn't look too difficult!
Is it worth the effort is one question, and the other is could it be something else?
I'm now backing up my Working Data and Reference Files onto another external HD that is older but at least is currently working!
Any suggestions would be most welcome.


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  slipperman12 on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 4:25 pm

Hi Alec,
I wonder if these are two videos you've seen :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCS8ui-6WZY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5Y7BniaRXg

It is only something I would attempt if I already had the data saved elsewhere as there's a possibility of causing more damage!
As mentioned in the second video, a useful first test is to determine if there are any sounds coming from the drive when it's powered up. If there are no sounds, even though the indicator light is on, it's possible that the motor, or it control board, has failed. As stated, if the heads on your drive are "stuck", it's likely that damage has already been done and "unsticking" them may well cause more.

Good Luck!!

Cheers,
Ged



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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  35005CP on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 4:35 pm

Alec & Ged,

It is normally 9 times out of 10 the Control Board. Also you haven't said it is a 3.5" or a 2.5" Hard Drive in the External Caddy? You are always going to take a risk at opening a Hard Drive up and doing this. (Doesn't always work) I have done this out in the field and it is only a temporary solution in order to try and get the data of the Hard Drive as quick as possible? Are you getting a clicking sound from the Hard Drive?

If you have another Hard Drive that is the same you can try taking the control Board off that one and putting it onto the faulty one?

Of course, without seeing it I can't really help anyway, even though it is my background (Hardware Repairs) and the Business that I have just recently started up.

Andy


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  35005CP on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 7:00 pm

If there are no screws on the Enclosure around the Hard Drive. Then there will be clips around the back Panel which you need to slip something in between.... You need a tool such as a pocket knife or that similar to opening an Iphone. You need to work your way around the long side and then to the short side and then you should beable to get access to it!

Andy

:Edit: - Just seen that you've removed your post Alec!


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 7:32 pm

I removed it because the illustrated WD 1Tb External Drive isn't the same as mine. Mine is powered off of the computer via the USB 2.0 cable and was bought about 2 or 3 years ago. Probably not made now. I've been under the impression that at least 5 years was a reasonable life for an external HD.

I'll decide whether to root about inside later. I believe that you need to insert a smallish plastic blade and ease the back off - no screws. I guess the problems would arise if I try to access the actual disc!

I have looked at the second youtube video but not the first.


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  35005CP on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 8:55 pm

rufuskins wrote:I removed it because the illustrated WD 1Tb External Drive isn't the same as mine. Mine is powered off of the computer via the USB 2.0 cable and was bought about 2 or 3 years ago. Probably not made now. I've been under the impression that at least 5 years was a reasonable life for an external HD.

I'll decide whether to root about inside later. I believe that you need to insert a smallish plastic blade and ease the back off - no screws. I guess the problems would arise if I try to access the actual disc!

I have looked at the second youtube video but not the first.

Fair enough! All Hard Drives and the abuse they go through means there is no Life Span! It's like a car! And believe you me, if everything can go wrong in 4 weeks it has done! Week 1 - New Clutch (Expensive Job) - Week 2 - New Alternator! And as of yesterday the Turbo has gone and out Garage has said it will be £1k - 1.5k for the part and for re-fitting!
Funny, how a Turbo for our car on ebay is £100 - £200!!! I've looked at doing it myself and with 2 hours work from start to finish, I can save myself £800-£1300.00! I've spent enough and too much with our garage and I am suspecting foul play! Although I can't prove yet!

As I said previously! A tool as used on Iphones or a Pocket Knife will work just as well prising it very gently as you go! Most times the Hard Drives in these contained external cases don't have the same mount to fit internally into a PC..... Money making as always.... Although you can always rig up a wired setup if you know how to...


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 10:20 pm

I was wondering about a USB Adaptor as a means of accessing the data, after removing the casing, etc.?

I will have to pay out for our car as the radiator has developed a leak, which whilst better is not cured after using the stuff you pour into the cooling system! It will be expensive because in order to replace it the front of the car needs to be dismantled on a Vectra!


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  slipperman12 on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 11:18 pm

Hi Alec,
I was wondering about a USB Adaptor as a means of accessing the data, after removing the casing, etc.?
I'm not sure what you mean by "USB Adaptor", but it would need to interface with the hard drive.  As the latter is powered by the USB socket, it probably doesn't have a standard power socket (the data socket may be standard SATA, but it's no good without power!!).  If you do manage to get it out of its case, please post a screenshot of the socket end and we'd probably be able to tell if they are standard connections, or not.  A normal USB adapter certainly won't help!

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Sun 27 Jul 2014, 7:51 am

I didn't make what I meant clear about the adapter. There is a kit that includes all the leads normally required for accessing HDs and it includes a power lead. The kit is shown here

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bipra-SATA-Adapter-Power-Drive/dp/B001A5SK56


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Sun 27 Jul 2014, 3:44 pm

Right I took the proverbial bull by the horns and prised off the back. I had assumed that I would be able to take off the metal cover located over the actual disc, but it doesn't seem to be possible as the fixing locations don't have obvious indentations for a screwdriver! I've just plugged it into the computer and amazingly it briefly opened before twitching and reverting back to the "USB not recognised" stance! The power light keeps blinking on and off! The question is will the worms fit back into the tin!


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  slipperman12 on Sun 27 Jul 2014, 6:48 pm

Hi Alec,
That "USB not recognised" message would, to me, imply that the problem is with the USB interface, rather than with the hard drive. Did you remove the hard drive from its case? To do so, would mean unplugging it from the control board - before you tried it again, did you make sure it was pushed fully into the board socket again?

The adapter kit you linked to is for hard drives with standard connections - are you able to get a photo of your drive's connections?

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  35005CP on Sun 27 Jul 2014, 11:31 pm

rufuskins wrote:Right I took the proverbial bull by the horns and prised off the back. I had assumed that I would be able to take off the metal cover located over the actual disc, but it doesn't seem to be possible as the fixing locations don't have obvious indentations for a screwdriver! I've just plugged it into the computer and amazingly it briefly opened before twitching and reverting back to the "USB not recognised" stance! The power light keeps blinking on and off! The question is will the worms fit back into the tin!

The Screws are Torque screws on a Hard Drive. As Ged has said are you able to post any pictures of what you have done, so we can help you further?!


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Mon 28 Jul 2014, 12:00 pm

Here's a picture


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  35005CP on Mon 28 Jul 2014, 12:42 pm

As I said previously these are Torx Screws. T9 Torque driver size should work. If you have a local Maplin store they should stock them. This is what they look like; http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/maplin-12-in-1-pocket-precision-screwdriver-set-n46fb


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  slipperman12 on Mon 28 Jul 2014, 6:38 pm

Hi Alec,
It looks as if the hard drive is still in its case!
Seeing your photo reminded me that I have a very similar drive called a Touro Mobile Mk3 which contains a 500GB Western Digital drive. I took the back off the case and found I was looking at the printed circuit board side of the drive, but it was very easy to (gently) lift the end away from the USB socket and pull it out of the case. Don't try to lift the USB end of the drive!! The drive does have standard SATA data and power connections, so the Amazon unit would be suitable.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Mon 28 Jul 2014, 6:55 pm

Ged
You're right, but in order to access the actual disc if the arm was stuck it's necessary to take the metal shield off. As I said the circuit board is held down by the same type of "screw(?)" and is the same area as the face you can see. In addition there is a piece of silver tape that runs over the circuit board and just wraps round onto the back - you can just see the ends on the screenshot.


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  slipperman12 on Mon 28 Jul 2014, 7:48 pm

Hi Alec,
You shouldn't need to touch the circuit-board side of the drive to check the heads. Once you've got the correct screwdriver bit, remove the metal plate shown in your photo, following the YouTube video.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 1:06 pm

Well I've now got the correct screwdrivers, and I opened up one of the dodgy external HDs. The arm was in the correct place and seemed to be free. I've also obtained the Bipra set, and after connecting it the computer is reading the disc but taking an age over it. Once it's all opened I'll attempt to transfer the data to the new 3Tb external HD. (SWMBO was not overly impressed I hasten to add and I'll have to square the circle with her at a later stage!)


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 1:43 pm

For some reason unknown to me I can't copy the files on the old disc onto the new disc. Unless it's because the new disc and computer are NTFS and the old disc is FAT32? I'll see what's what on the internet.


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  35005CP on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 2:01 pm

Alec,

I have sent you an email after just seeing the posts. It shouldn't matter if the Old and new Discs are NTFS or FAT32. Has the new Hard Drive been formatted?
Also are you just making sure you are copying files such as Documents, photos, downloads etc....

Andy


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 2:31 pm

I can copy files, folders, etc. from another external HD to the new one and therefore there's no problem with the new one. When I'm trying to open the problem HD it takes a long time compared to other similar sized HDs. When it allows me to click on "copy" and I go to the new HD I can click on "paste" and it starts to show the window for copying. This window then closes and nothing has happened! Is there any mileage to be gained by converting the HD from FAT32 to NTFS - based on your response presumably not?
It's an interesting challenge but life's a bit too short to worry unduly.


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  35005CP on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 2:38 pm

If you go to the Old Hard Drive and just check in the folders are you able to open some data okay? If not then I would hazard a guess that the data has become corrupt.
Also you could try copying the data in Safe mode. Also can you check the old Hard Drive Properties and make sure that it is showing the complete Hard Drive Size (Minus the data)

Cheers

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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 4:04 pm

I've given up on the faulty external HDs; as I said earlier life's too short. They are now consigned to the bin! There is still one that "clicks" and is not recognised by the computer; i.e. doesn't show at all.


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 8:13 pm

I dismantled the HD and plugged in the Bipra cables, etc. Lo and behold the disc was recognised and I'm now transferring them to another HD.


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  slipperman12 on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 8:18 pm

Hi Alec,
That would seem to imply that it was the USB interface which failed!

Well done in getting it sorted Smile

The hard drive is obviously OK, so don't throw it away!! If you wanted, you could mount it into any PC you wanted; all you need are some adapter rails to fit the 2.5 inch drive into a 3.5 inch drive space.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  35005CP on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 9:40 pm

Alec,

That is fantastic news.... Maybe time to retrieve the others out of the bin and do as Ged has said! As you know, I never give up!! As you know from what I have said in today's email regarding one of My Hard Drives not starting up and finding a chip in the drawer which broke off and taping it so the contacts met and waiting till I have time in soldering them back on!!! Took me a while to locate where it broke off mind!

Andy


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  rufuskins on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 10:07 pm

It's too late for the others, but I do intend to keep this one in reserve. Hopefully I can get back to MSTS'ing!


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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  Scampispeedway on Fri 01 Aug 2014, 9:10 am

Hi Alec, when I changed my computer I retained the external HardDrive as I had loads of MSTS stuff on it.
In that time I've had to change the enclosure box twice due to a failure within the box and so I purchased a
Toshiba HDD 500Gb Stor.E drive and copied everything from the external Drive into to it so at least if the
same thing happens again, I have a back up.
The original HDD is only 250Gb and is rapidly filling up with downloaded files and I'm seriously thinking
of buying another Toshiba drive and doing away with the old drive as the new drive does not need a separate
power source and no moving parts inside,

Bob
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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  slipperman12 on Fri 01 Aug 2014, 9:33 am

Hi Bob,
the new drive does not need a separate power source and no moving parts inside,
May I just point out that, unless your new drive is an SSD, it will have moving parts!

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Possible External HD failure?

Post  Scampispeedway on Fri 01 Aug 2014, 8:00 pm

Hi Ged, you are quite correct and I couldn't believe that something so thin would have a movable drive in it.
Listening to it whilst under power, you can hear a whirring sound but as I said before I will seriously think
about getting another one to replace the old external drive.

Bob
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