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Old 01-08-2009, 05:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Very particular hard-drive problem (inaccessable)

Hi everyone. About 5 months ago my external hard drive stopped working. Well it's an internal one actually, it's a 40gb Maxtor 3.5" IDE drive that I used via a USB caddy. When I plug it in, with usb:

> windows dings and detects a new storage device
> it shows up correctly in Device Manager
> it does NOT appear in My Computer
> it does NOT appear in Disk Management

Please note those points carefully, because I've seen other people ask about this kind of thing and people always assume that the drive is visible in Disk Management even when they say it isn't.

I haven't managed to get it working when connected into another computer internally, either. They either just won't boot up at all, or the drive doesn't show up. I have a laptop and don't have access to a desktop computer to be plugging it into. Ideally a solution would therefore be viable with just a USB connection.

Any ideas how I can retrieve the data? It is the contents of the drive that I want back, and I will go to any length to retrieve it.

Many thanks
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very particular hard-drive problem (inaccessable)

Do you hear any sounds at all from the drive? Professional data recovery services can generally retrieve the data but it is expensive.
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very particular hard-drive problem (inaccessable)

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Originally Posted by hefemeister View Post
Do you hear any sounds at all from the drive? Professional data recovery services can generally retrieve the data but it is expensive.
Nope, it sounds clean, and I didn't notice anything unusual just before it stopped working.

Around that time, last summer, I had formatted the absolute **** out of it - with various tools I downloaded. Like really nuked it. It worked on two or three occasions following that, but then stopped. Perhaps I messed something up in it's "software" with all my work on it?
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very particular hard-drive problem (inaccessable)

Sounds clean as in you can hear it running? Just want to confirm that it is spinning.
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very particular hard-drive problem (inaccessable)

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Originally Posted by hefemeister View Post
Sounds clean as in you can hear it running? Just want to confirm that it is spinning.
Yea it whirrs to life when I plug it in and there's no detectable scratching or bad-sounding noises. There are no read/write crunchy noises, either, though.
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very particular hard-drive problem (inaccessable)

Sounds like a typical Maxtor.

You say you will go to any length to retrieve data...well I think your first step is to try it in a desktop without the USB thing.
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very particular hard-drive problem (inaccessable)

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Sounds like a typical Maxtor.

You say you will go to any length to retrieve data...well I think your first step is to try it in a desktop without the USB thing.
I mentioned having done that in my first post. No configuration of it in either of two computers could get it to work. I also tried various pin settings, you know the master/slave settings where you join up certain pins. I tried it in two different computers, and I couldn't get any sense out of it.

I also tried it on Fedora (run from a CD)
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very particular hard-drive problem (inaccessable)

I have used drive savers before but it was around $2,000 for 1 drive. You have tried about everything I would try. I know you said it was not recognized in disk management when you had it installed internally but did you scroll down to the bottom of the list to ensure it was not down there. I have made that mistake before.
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very particular hard-drive problem (inaccessable)

Try SpinRite or HDD Regenerator.

EDIT: And if that doesn't work, more than likely the controller is dead. If you can find an identical drive you might be able to transfer the controller and it might work again (assuming that is the problem). Having failed that, it will need to be sent to a professional data recovery which is extremely expensive, and doesn't guarantee success.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very particular hard-drive problem (inaccessable)

Hi again. I have just been trying the hard drive again and had no luck. I used SeaTools on it, and the short generic and long generic tests both came back as passed. The other tests are not available for this particular hard drive.


I will consider buying one of those two products recommended above.

I've googled the **** out of this issue but I can't find a single resolved case similar to mine. Other people have had the same symptoms, just none got answers that work.

I'll keep searching

EDIT: If I go to [Device Manager > Disk Drives > Generic USB Disk USB Device > Properties // Volumes] I get the following:



Does that tell us anything about the ways my HD is and is not working?
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