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Thread: Need Help, My External Hard Drive Disappeared :(

  1. #1
    Out of Hibernation Watti's Avatar




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    Default Need Help, My External Hard Drive Disappeared :(

    I know we have some pretty computer-savvy people around here, so I thought I'd toss this out there...

    The other day, for no apparent reason, I noticed my PC was no longer recognizing my external usb hard drive. I've tried all of the basic troubleshooting, such as unplugging/replugging, rebooting, etc, but can't for the life of me figure out why it disappeared or how to get the PC to recognize it again. It was always real simple plug-and-play, didn't even come with drivers. I never had a problem with it. I'm now fearing the drive simply crashed.

    If you have any ideas on how I can get it to be recognized again, I'd appreciate any help, but if it has in fact crashed, is there still a way to retain the data that's stored on it? I don't have anything "important," such as financial records, personal info, etc. Just mostly far more important stuff to me, like a crapload of pictures I've taken and some audio files I've recorded....

    Any help?

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    Win it again..for Tanner! nosoupforyou's Avatar




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    will it be recognized by someone else's computer?

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    Go, Kings, Go rinkrat's Avatar




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    Try deleting it off of your system then rebooting so it will discover it again.

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    I am ignoring you. Blurker's Avatar




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    I'm guessing that you're working on a Windows system and not a Mac.

    My first question was already asked, will it connect to another pc?

    Have you tried plugging into a different USB port on your system? Sometimes a USB port can die. You could also try another USB cable if you haven't already.

    Does the drive actually power up and spin? You should be able to feel it vibrate and/or hear it humming. Presumably there is a power led on the unit somewhere.

    And does the system still show the drive as connected, and you can't access it? Or the drive designation is not even showing up when you look at your drive list. (assuming Windows machine again.)

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    Out of Hibernation Watti's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by nosoupforyou View Post
    will it be recognized by someone else's computer?
    Not sure... I did try it on a laptop I have at home with no luck, but the laptop may not even meet the requirements to recognize it without drivers, it's pretty old. Might be able to bring it in to work tomorrow to check it, thanks for the suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by rinkrat View Post
    Try deleting it off of your system then rebooting so it will discover it again.
    Can't even find it to delete it... I did try a million combinations of unplugging, rebooting, plugging back in, etc. No luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blurker View Post
    I'm guessing that you're working on a Windows system and not a Mac.

    My first question was already asked, will it connect to another pc?

    Have you tried plugging into a different USB port on your system? Sometimes a USB port can die. You could also try another USB cable if you haven't already.

    Does the drive actually power up and spin? You should be able to feel it vibrate and/or hear it humming. Presumably there is a power led on the unit somewhere.

    And does the system still show the drive as connected, and you can't access it? Or the drive designation is not even showing up when you look at your drive list. (assuming Windows machine again.)
    Yeah, running Windows XP. I've tried the other USB ports with no luck, haven't tried a cable though... Will give that a shot tonight.

    The drive does power up just fine, has its own power supply and I can hear it clicking. But no, the system shows no sign of it whatsoever. It used to be listed as my E:\ drive, but now it's just missing.

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    Winning is habitual. Len-Det64's Avatar




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    The disk is still there. It needs to be reactivated.

    Follow these instructions (For Windows XP):

    Go to "Control Panel"

    Left Single Click on "Performance and Maintenance"

    Left Single Click on "Administrative Tools"

    Left Double Click on "Computer Management"

    Left Double Click on "Storage"

    Left Double Click on "Disk Management"

    In there you will see a list of Disks - typically labeled "Disk 0", "Disk 1", "Disk 2","Disk 3", etc...



    Right Single Click on the Disk that is not working or not activated (make sure that you right click in the area where it says "Disk(n)") then Left Single Click "Reactivate Disk."



    You might need to do some maintenance (check disk) on the disk after it is activated.

    There might be an easier way to get to your disk management if you have "Administrative Tools" activated on your start menu.
    Last edited by Len-Det64; March 12th, 2009 at 03:25 PM.


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    the Power in Powerplay HeShootsNScores's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by Watti View Post
    The drive does power up just fine, has its own power supply and I can hear it clicking. But no, the system shows no sign of it whatsoever. It used to be listed as my E:\ drive, but now it's just missing.
    Define "clicking"... clicking sounds on a HD is NEVER a good sign.

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    THHHHHTTPD!!!! Bandit's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by HeShootsNScores View Post
    Define "clicking"... clicking sounds on a HD is NEVER a good sign.
    Yeah, clicking = toast. I hope you have backups.

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    Out of Hibernation Watti's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by Len-Det64 View Post
    The disk is still there. It needs to be reactivated.
    Follow these instructions (For Windows XP):
    Go to "Control Panel"
    Left Single Click on "Performance and Maintenance"
    Left Single Click on "Administrative Tools"
    Left Double Click on "Computer Management"
    Left Double Click on "Storage"
    Left Double Click on "Disk Management"
    In there you will see a list of Disks - typically labeled "Disk 0", "Disk 1", "Disk 2","Disk 3", etc...

    Right Single Click on the Disk that is not working or not activated (make sure that you right click in the area where it says "Disk(n)") then Left Single Click "Reactivate Disk."

    You might need to do some maintenance (check disk) on the disk after it is activated.
    There might be an easier way to get to your disk management if you have "Administrative Tools" activated on your start menu.
    Thanks for the suggestion. Tried it, but it didn't show up in the Disk Management area. Just the partitions of my C: drive and my DVD drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by HeShootsNScores View Post
    Define "clicking"... clicking sounds on a HD is NEVER a good sign.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit View Post
    Yeah, clicking = toast. I hope you have backups.
    I shouldn't have said clicking, just the regular kind of almost inaudible hum that it normally has...

    The next thing I guess is to try it on another computer. I did try another USB cable, no luck.

    If the other computer thing doesn't work, is there no way to get the data off of the disk?

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    Waiting for the night Creeping Death's Avatar




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    Default

    Depends how hosed the disk is. Probably would want to take it out of the external case and plug it in internally into your computer and see if it reads it. If it can find it in the BIOS, it can probably be recovered for relatively cheap. If not, you are looking at some serious coin if the data is THAT important.
    And thats how you get ants!

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