Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 07, 2016, 11:59:36 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: External harddisk broken?  (Read 3826 times)

Ampa

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 592
  • I am cute ;)
    • View Profile
    • MonkeyDash - 2 Player strategy boardgame
    • Donate to Member
External harddisk broken?
« on: January 26, 2010, 10:46:45 AM »
Yesterday I found my old IDE hard drive which I plugged into a USB enclosure - it worked fine, 200GB verified as OK, so I started copying files to the drive as a backup.

Then a separate activity caused my PC to lockup, and I had to hit the power switch to restart.

Now the external HD is not recognised by WinXP, Ubuntu, or any of the HD recovery apps on Hiren's Boot CD.

The drive does power up and spins without making any aweful noises, but when the OS tries to access it, merely cycles endlessly through a 4 or 5 second loop of whirs and clicks.

I've tried a 2nd USB enclosure but get the same results.

Is it really dead? It feels to me that the MBR is corrupt and I just need to find a way to reformat and all will be well?

Any ideas how to achieve this?

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,099
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: External harddisk broken?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 07:09:09 PM »
Microsoft has a link that shows you how to fix a broken MBR
NTFS.com goes more into detail about it and has suggestions.

And you have the high grade stuff of course, but USD69,95 for a personal license is a bit steep for my taste...

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: External harddisk broken?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2010, 01:13:42 AM »
Now the external HD is not recognised by WinXP, Ubuntu, or any of the HD recovery apps on Hiren's Boot CD.
In which way? "Not getting a drive letter" doesn't necessarily mean a FUBAR disk (but does mean partition and/or filesystem problems), whereas not showing up in Windows diskmgmt.msc does.

The drive does power up and spins without making any aweful noises, but when the OS tries to access it, merely cycles endlessly through a 4 or 5 second loop of whirs and clicks.
That does actually sound like "awful noises" to me - like a stuck read/write head arm.
- carpe noctem

Ampa

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 592
  • I am cute ;)
    • View Profile
    • MonkeyDash - 2 Player strategy boardgame
    • Donate to Member
Re: External harddisk broken?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2010, 06:56:13 AM »
Shades: Can't get far enough to try these proceedures, as accessing the disk in anyway causes the whirring cycle.

"Not getting a drive letter" doesn't necessarily mean a FUBAR disk (but does mean partition and/or filesystem problems), whereas not showing up in Windows diskmgmt.msc does.

Drive does show up in Disk Management panel, and also in Device Manager (under Disk Drives).

It is now assigned a drive letter. (Not sure what changed!)

Both panels show the correct disk ID / Serial Number, and report the correct disk size. Disk Manager also report it as Healthy! But shows no filesystem type (should be NTFS)

Problems start when I try to do anything further... looking at the properties of the disk for example - then the whirring begins!

Quote
does actually sound like "awful noises" to me - like a stuck read/write head arm.
Is there a fix for this?

Thanks both of you for the thoughts so far.

MerleOne

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 949
  • 4D thinking
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: External harddisk broken?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2010, 08:41:25 AM »
You may try to recover files using Atola PFM : http://findandmount.com/
.merle1.

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: External harddisk broken?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2010, 11:05:25 AM »
OK, at least not a complete dead disk, then... but it still sounds pretty bad. It could be just the filesystem that's damaged, but since you say trying to access the partition causes whirring things still sound pretty bad. Does the drive properties dialog come up immediately when you try to open it, or does it take several seconds with the drive whirring meanwhile?

Quote from: f0dder
does actually sound like "awful noises" to me - like a stuck read/write head arm.
Is there a fix for this?
I've had success with tapping the drive (gently but firmly) with the head of a screwdriver... this is a last resort, and if it works you should copy data off your drive ASAP and expect it to die during the process or shortly after.

Let's hope it's not that bad, though.
- carpe noctem

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,412
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: External harddisk broken?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2010, 11:58:31 AM »
related thread on hard disk crashing and recovery here:
http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=2870.0

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: External harddisk broken?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2010, 11:46:41 PM »
I've had success with tapping the drive (gently but firmly) with the head of a screwdriver... this is a last resort, and if it works you should copy data off your drive ASAP and expect it to die during the process or shortly after.

IMHO, it's also preferable to tap the ends of the HDD, (which is the aspect you usually have easy access to anyway), tapping the top or bottom is likely to have a head bounce off a platter.
And the ends rather than the sides because it should transmit more lateral movement to the heads to try and get them to move - but as f0dder said, a last resort.

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,716
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: External harddisk broken?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2010, 01:17:43 AM »
The drive does power up and spins without making any aweful noises, but when the OS tries to access it, merely cycles endlessly through a 4 or 5 second loop of whirs and clicks.

This probably isn't useful, but I had a similar problem with a new SATA 2 HDD I bought. I plugged it in and it would just whir and click. It turns out I had to put the jumper on a specific setting for my non-SATA2 motherboard to recognize it.


Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: External harddisk broken?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2010, 03:52:22 AM »
Sounds unlikely if it was working for a while and then packed up.

HAve you tried pugging it into another SATA port or another computer. I have had mobos with dodgy SATA sockets that work when they feel like it.

Eóin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,401
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: External harddisk broken?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2010, 04:58:06 AM »
There's also the freezer trick. Don't hold me responsible if it doesn't work.

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,099
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: External harddisk broken?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2010, 06:43:20 PM »
Did you turn the drive upside down?

That has helped me on several drives already. Sometimes hard drives wear down enevenly and turning it upside down negates those negative effects...for a while at least.