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Old 11-20-2010, 02:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy External HD Not Working

After about a year of use, my Western Digital external hard drive has stopped working properly.

Everytime I try to access folders or any file on it, windows explorer freezes temporarily and a message that says
"You need to format the disk in drive J: before you can use it" pops up.

Help please!
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HD Not Working

Does it work on any other computer? Do you hear it clicking at all?
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HD Not Working

No, I plugged it into another computer and it made weird scratching noises and the activity light kept on flashing.

I opened it up in windows explorer and found many files missing.

It was also very slow and Windows Explorer froze a few times.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HD Not Working

That clicking/scratching sound is your HDD degrading. Try to backup what you can.

Tear the cover off, and put the HDD internally into the computer, see if you can get anything.
You can try the freezer method, to preserve it long enough to get the data off.
OR
Use a data recovery software like Recuva.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HD Not Working

The drive is failing. Any sounds from a hard drive is a bad sign. Files missing from it are also clear indications. MoM already gave you the best information possible.

When it comes to externals, it is best not to have them plugged in and operational all the time. I found this out the hard way myself. I destroyed my backup drive a couple of years ago cause i never turned it off. It crashed and burned after just 6 months.
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