External HDD Issues

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JaconBacon

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#1
So my big external hard drive that I use for storing all my shows / movies / etc... had been buzzing and sounding generally worn out for a while, but it still functioned just perfectly. However, I lent it to my sister and when I got it back the USB port on the hard drive had become loose and wobbly. So much so that when I plugged the hard drive in, it wouldn't work at all.

I took it to a reliable local computer repair shop who said that all it needed was a case change and that the hard drive itself was probably fine, so one new case and 30 mins later, the HDD has a new home with a new USB cord and power cable. I get home and plug it into the TV: nothing. I try it on my computer and it says that it needs to be formatted before being used.

What happened? I was led to believe that a case change wouldn't have affected the actual drive or its contents. Is there a fix? Or at the very least a workaround? It's a seagate product if that is of any use to you.
 

jmarket

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#2
The USB port itself got wobbly? That's unusual. Usually once that happens, any electrical connections get severed rendering the device useless.

A new case won't solve anything. If anything opening it up will render it inoperable as all the parts are inside that case.
 

gus

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#3
When you took your drive to the repair shop I take it you told them what the issue was? Then after they diagnosed the problem being the enclosure did they test it after repair and demonstrate to you that the external drive was working?

If they did not you should take it back to the shop and explain it doesn't work. Also if the enclosure was not the identical one to the original there may well be incompatibility between the enclosure interface electronics to the old one..
 

JaconBacon

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#4
jmarket, it did, yes. When I positioned it just right, the power came back to it for a moment, but left again which is what led me to believe that the HDD itself would be fine.

gus, I told them what the issue was. I didn't see what processes they went through while repairing it, but they didn't demonstrate it for me afterwards, no. I took it on good faith that it was all sorted. I'm taking it back this afternoon to get them to have another pass at it. Another friend of mine mentioned the control card being the potential source of my issues, so I'll bring that up when I do. Guess I'll know more later today.
 
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JaconBacon

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#5
Just got back from the shop and they said there's nothing they can do for me, that it has to be formatted now. Putting all their bs behind me for the moment until it's fixed, what's my next step forward?

A friend has recommended "Take Ownership" as a program to go in and grab all my files and transfer them to my computer. From there, I just need to format it and replace everything again. Thoughts?

Update: I've downloaded TakeOwnershipPro, and it doesn't work. It can't read the entire E: drive where my HDD is. I'm on the hunt for something else to do the job in the meantime unless you have a particular program in mind...?
 

gus

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#6
What you could do is try it on another pc.
You could take the drive out of the enclosure and try it as a secondary drive in a pc.
You can get connectors and caddies that allow you to connect hard drives externally. These are different to an enclosure like you have.
It really depends how important the data is on the drive, and I guess now is not the time to lecture you about backups..

Take ownership is not going to help you if your are getting an error advising to reformat the drive.
There is a guide here if you want but that is not your issue. https://pchelpforum.net/resources/take-ownership-for-windows-7.78/
 

JaconBacon

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#7
I have, but it comes up with the same message.

The same friend made a similar suggestion about taking out the drive and working through it like that. My issue is that the point of the drive is to be able to cart it around the house / friend's places and be able to plug it into tvs and have it work.

It's not super pressing or anything, but it'd be a massive pain in the bum if I lost everything on it. It's used to keep all my movies and tv shows. The reason I don't keep it on my computer is because of how much space it all takes up. Hence, no backups.

Is there a data recovery program you guys recommend? Apparently the easiest way out of this is to just remove all the data I can, format it, then transfer all the files back onto the drive again.
 

gus

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#8
The same friend made a similar suggestion about taking out the drive and working through it like that. My issue is that the point of the drive is to be able to cart it around the house / friend's places and be able to plug it into tvs and have it work.
True but you have to fix it first.

Is there a data recovery program you guys recommend? Apparently the easiest way out of this is to just remove all the data I can, format it, then transfer all the files back onto the drive again.
There are heaps of so called recovery apps, but depending on what the actual fault is the may or may not be useful.

Have a look here
 

JaconBacon

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#9
Just an update guys:

I've sent the HDD off to my friend. He says he has all the necessary equipment to take the drive outta the case and read it directly. For the cost of postage there and back, he can open it up, make sure it's all still there, confirm that the drive itself is fine, transfer it all off, format the new case / drive / whatever, and move it all back again. Beats the hell outta taking it to a shop where they could charge me an arm and a leg. Shame it came to this, but I guess it's my lesson learnt about trusting computer repair shops and taking their work at face value. I'll be using them for cracked screens and that's about it in future.

Will update once again when he gives me feedback about its status later next week.
 
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vger

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Just an update guys:

I've sent the HDD off to my friend. He says he has all the necessary equipment to take the drive outta the case and read it directly. For the cost of postage there and back, he can open it up, make sure it's all still there, confirm that the drive itself is fine, transfer it all off, format the new case / drive / whatever, and move it all back again. Beats the hell outta taking it to a shop where they could charge me an arm and a leg. Shame it came to this, but I guess it's my lesson learnt about trusting computer repair shops and taking their work at face value. I'll be using them for cracked screens and that's about it in future.

Will update once again when he gives me feedback about its status later next week.
Thanks for the update...:)
 

JaconBacon

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#13
Sorry about the delays. It's a busy time of year. Apparently the dock thing my friend had was a cheap nasty one and blew out every peripheral port on his computer, effectively bricking it. He's bought a new one and it's on the way, but we're still playing the waiting game.

If nothing else, before it all went to hell in a handbasket, he did manage to confirm that all my data is safe and accounted for. It's just a matter of having the tech to take it all off and formatting it now. I suppose that as far as my initial concerns go, this issue is basically fixed now. I'm just waiting for the actual result. Appreciate all the feedback and assistance.
 
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JaconBacon

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#15
My friend is staying with me atm and working on it as we speak. Apparently the issue is more complicated than first diagnosed. Now it appears that the Hard Drive itself seems to intermittently work (on Linux) and then become unmountable randomly, making it impossible to know when we can plug it in and have it actually work to begin transferring files off. It was not detectable on Windows and didn't spin up at all. Most likely caused by the physical damage done in the first place. The new dilemma is if it's even possible to get it spinning up again to start the recovery process. Any advice? What're my options aside from randomly plugging it in now and then to test if it feels like working?
 

gus

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#16
There are a number of issues that can affect your drive, both internal and external, and without knowing exactly what is faulty it's almost impossible to say. Next time you plug it in and it works get your data off immediately. This is not the time to lecture you on the value of backing up your data, but you should give some thought to it if you value your data..
 
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