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Old 03-17-2012, 02:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default External Hard Drive Woes

I own a 100gb generic USB 2.0 External hard drive. The thing worked fine for over a year. Last night, I plug it in. Usually, the green LED light on the front of it would light up green, flash red a couple times, and then would be recognized by my machine as H: External. Last night when I go to plug it in, the LED lights up green, and then gets stuck on an orange color between green and red, not being detected by my machine. After several moments, it is only recognized as H: Local Disk. Windows repeatedly tells me I need to format the disk in order to use it. It appears to be blank, but when I used Test Disk to analyze the drive, my files show up, but are not accessible because my computer will not detect them when I plug in the drive. The drive shows up in Device Manager and Disk Management, and the computer seems to think the partition is healthy and just needs to be formatted. However, Testdisk has revealed my files are intact. Here are a few strange things: -Anytime I do anything that requires my computer to access it, the LED returns to the orange color and several minutes go by before anything happens. For example: -With it plugged in, Disk Management takes several moments to display all my drives. Once it does, Disk Management shows that the disk is blank. 100% free space. (Note: With the external unplugged, Disk Management works right away.) -Clicking on the drive in My Computer causes windows explorer to freeze up. Now, Iíve tried all the simple steps. Rebooting, trying different USB ports, trying to use the external on a different machine, and nothing has worked. I've checked external hard drive troubleshooting guides and found no apparent solutions to this problem. So, my files are there, but cannot be accessed. Iím wondering if thereís a way to transfer the files, which are still there but not easily accessible, over to my laptopís drive C, and then re-format the external? Or, even better, is there a way to fix this bloody problem easily?

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Old 03-17-2012, 07:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: External Hard Drive Woes

Try this first (IF YOU HAVE WINDOWS 7! Other versions of Windows may work this way, but I'm not sure):
Open Device Manager
Expand "Universal Serial Bus Controllers"
Right click all the "USB Root Hub" and click uninstall (Note: You may uninstall the drivers for the usb port the mouse/keyboard are using)
Once all of them are uninstalled, reboot
Plug in your external drive, Windows 7 will automatically reinstall all the appropriate drivers

If that doesn't work:
Download Ubuntu Live CD, install the ISO to a disk or bootable flash drive
Boot into Ubuntu
Plug in the External drive
See if the files can be accessed through there.

If that doesn't work:
There are hard drive recover programs out there that you can try...or wait for someone else's advice.

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Old 03-27-2012, 07:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: External Hard Drive Woes

Could be a virus infection or corruptionin one of the files on the drive that is causing the issue. Will check the issue later.
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