external Hard Drive Crazy/Serious Problem

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Hi, (in the words of somone on the internet who has the same problem as me but too has come across no solution)

I first got my external FreeAgent Go Hard drive about 1 year ago. It worked fine on a laptop (WinXP SP2) using USB ports for power and data.
Then, just today (worked fine yesterday) it inexplicably stopped working.

"It was as if the computer wasn't reconizing that the drive was plugged in. To make matters worse, when I plug it in it slows down my computer to the point of being unusable. Its only after unplugging the drive does the computer go back to normal.

Now when I connect it to the computer it AGAIN sits there, basically frozen. Unplug it and it snaps back to normal with an "unknown" drive being previously plugged in. Anytime I plug it in to the computer I can do a few operations before the computer just stops (AutoPlay also stopped running). If I try to open up Properties or anything related to the drive, the comp stops. But, as SOON as I unplug the FreeAgent, the computer goes back to normal.

I've left the drive plugged in for a few minutes to hours before touching the computer and when it comes to opening programs or looking at Disk Management/Hardware Profiles/Device Manager etc. the computer again freezes when the drive is connected to the computer."

I've tried restarting the computer (tried the external Hard Drive on couple, same result each one), cleaning and defragging the registry, a couple of USB power cords on the external hard drive itself, still no luck.

I'm going mad, and the fact the drive has loads of important work, photos, etc (some of it backed up, but not all!)

Cheers in advance for any help.

The Scop
 
Soldato
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Sounds like the caddy is borked somehow. Can you take it apart and connect the internal drive into your PC? You may at least get your data back then.
 
Soldato
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Lmao.

This screams HARD DRIVE GONE, had the same problem with my WD Mybook 500GB and it was down to overheating of the drive over time leading to it failing in just under 3 months.

I took mine out of the caddy and tried it in multiple machines... span up etc but could never read it on the PC.

Before you take it apart, think about the warranty... if it's in warranty don't rip the caddy to bits!

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Given the fact you say it comes up as an unknown device, it might be the caddy as Alex suggested. But taking the caddy apart will most likely stop you from sending it back under warranty so just a warning... You tried connecting it in safe mode?
 
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Hi again, cheers for the replies guys, in response:

Good sugestion on the safe mode thing, but in there it does nothing at all, no beep from the pc to say a usb device has been plugged in, nothing at all, the external hard drive itself lights up meaning it must be getting power, but yet cant access it.

Sorry dont know what a caddy is (fraid i dont know a tonne about computers and hard drives even less), plus fraid i cant open the case, no screws or anything. Plus warranty wise the things at least a year old, so i'm guessiing that expired a while ago, man I'd happily buy a new one so long as the data from this one could be put on it or transferred, i cant lose that stuff.

Any more advice hugely appreciated

Mark Scoppie
 
Soldato
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The caddy is the case in which the hard drive is stored in, and it gives a USB connection out usually. Normal hard drives dont have USB controllers on them, just SATA or IDE connections which are for internally connecting to a PC.

If the external drive caddy is disposable and out of warranty, but the data is not, it'd be worth your while to get it open and plug the hard drive inside directly into your PC. You may find there's a screw(s) under a sticker on the unit, or you may just need a thin knife or similar to gently prise the join on the casing apart to open it up.

Not sure whether you have the 3.5" or 2.5" version (I have taken apart a 3.5" one before), but I've found you a guide of how to open up the smaller version here.

Note that you'll need to know how to connect the drive to the SATA data and power connections inside your PC in order to obtain the data from it. You may need to purchase another SATA data cable if you don't have a spare. The power cables are usually connected to the power supply inside the machine, and if you have a vaugely new machine, you'll probably see a 3.5" hard drive inside with the same connections. That is, assuming you have a desktop machine and not just a laptop. If you only have a laptop, remove the drive as mentioned above, and providing it hasn't failed, install it into one of these, and use it like you normally would to get your data back.

Hope that helps.

(PS - next time make sure you have a solid backup!)
 
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cheers the advise helps a bunch, not sure if i have a spare sata cable, desktop is a family one bought from pc world back in 2005, defo has sata, i'll find out.

If i cant do it i'll take it to a computer shop, to technicians, at least from what your saying the data should still be there and it can be accessed through sata connection.

Yeah i will remember to back up stuff in future, just most of it is, however my laptop is full so i could have a back up of everything.
 
Soldato
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Good luck. Remember you can use CDs and DVD's for backups too, they're pretty safe, and if you use rewritable media not that expensive to keep up to date.

Try go to a smaller PC shop if you can, I'm sure the big boys will make what is quite a simple job very expensive. See how you go.
 
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Yeah I will if I can, fraid there's no pc shops near me (hertford area) there's a pc world in harlow, but like you say they may overcharge me, problem is as nobody else will prob have to take it to them, also they'd better not look through the 'private' stuff on there.
 
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Yeah I will if I can, fraid there's no pc shops near me (hertford area) there's a pc world in harlow, but like you say they may overcharge me, problem is as nobody else will prob have to take it to them, also they'd better not look through the 'private' stuff on there.

They will over charge you...and they will look through your 'private' stuff. I think they are both company policies at PC World. Remember Gary Glitter :eek:

Have you tried looking for someone other than PCWorld? http://www.bing.com/local/default.a..._cid=ansPhBkYp01&mkt=en-gb&ac=false&FORM=LARE

I'd still try and get yourself a SATA cable and try that, but also have you tried it on different USB ports? A different USB cable? A different computer? Have you tried it on a USB powered hub?
 
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Soldato
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Don't rip it open man... the warranty is 5 years.

Once you crack that case it's bye bye to the warranty. Get it RMA'ed.

http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=202271

Read through that knowledge base... some good info in there!


Check your warranty here


https://store.seagate.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SgCheckWarrantyView?


Also, this guys problem sounds like yours a bit...

http://en.kioskea.net/forum/affich-31876-external-hd-no-longer-works-with-computer

This article suggests trying the drive in another USB port so I would try that.

It also suggests using the FixMBR prog which I have used before with success, so maybe that is worth a try for you. DO NOT FIXMBR YOUR C: DRIVE
 
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They will over charge you...and they will look through your 'private' stuff. I think they are both company policies at PC World. Remember Gary Glitter :eek:

What thats outrageous, as such i dont have any 'private' stuff on there, however i'm just really worried abou the small collection of films and tv progs i have on there on there, some copied off a friend.

I'd still try and get yourself a SATA cable and try that, but also have you tried it on different USB ports? A different USB cable? A different computer? Have you tried it on a USB powered hub?

I would buy one but i have no experience with any pc hardware and would probably break it, in regards to the other q's - yeah i have tried it on another computer, same result ufortunately, and i have tried all the usb ports on both computers, even tried plugging the power lead of the y cable into a usb slot plugged directly into the mains, still no luck.

Oh darn it i'm properly worried now, i dont want to get arrested or something, i'll delete all the crap of it, i just wasnt the inportant data back, which is photos.

Thanks for all the help, any more suggestions, advice greatly appreciated.

The Scop
 
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