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Thread: Is my Hard Drive broken??

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    Is my Hard Drive broken??

    My 1.5Tb external drive has suddenly been doing this weird low beeping sound, over and over again. The light comes on, but it doesn't appear on the computer... I was only using it the other day and it was fine! It's like the disc in it keeps starting up and stopping again. I'm just double checking if it isn't something I can deal with, and I was told I should contact the manufacturer (Maxtor) but then I got this from Scan so maybe they would be better to deal with it? It's highly important the data is recovered, my life is on it and so is my work... it's a relatively new hard drive, it should be well within warranty.

    I work with music and wave samples etc, it's difficult to back a lot of it up but I do what I can.

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Is my Hard Drive broken??

    Could ether be the disk or the controller card in the unit, you'll be very limited on your options here if you want to try to recover the data without opening it up and there by voiding the warranty.

    If it's a sata drive inside then you can take it apart get the drive out and just plug it into your pc.
    If it's an IDE drive inside then you'd need a laptop IDE to normal IDE converter, fairly cheap to get.
    (these portables tend to use standard laptop hard drives inside them.)
    However both options assume the hard drive is not the fault and you don't mind breaking the warranty. Noramlly these portable drive caseing are held together by simple plastic catches and are next to impossible to open without damageing or leaveing other physical signs, which are grounds for warranty voiding.

    Sorry it's not a lot of help.

    Check Matrox's website esp for the modle of portable drive you have, they may have some info about recovery/ing of data on an RMA/warranty.
    Also ask Scan about it.

    Short of opening it up there's not a lot you can do yourself.

    p.s. have you tried it on a different computer? or with a different usb lead?
    I know they are idiot questions but you never know and you can bet that techsupport/CS will ask you that.

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    Re: Is my Hard Drive broken??

    Many thanks for the words of wisdom mate, it's really appreciated! I did test the others, particularly the lead one as the hugely annoying fault I had with this drive before was with a faulty USB cable lol!

    My assumptions were confirmed then, I would break the warranty if I were to try and fix this myself but I have a feeling that the actual hard disk drive has broken, so I'm definitely not going to pry the case apart - especially since I can make the most of the warranty.

    I'll check the Maxtor site now and get in contact with Scan tomorrow, thanks for the help chap

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    Re: Is my Hard Drive broken??

    Does it have an external powersupply? Some of the external drives (2.5") can struggle if they are powered from the USB connection, with symptoms similar to the ones you describe. If you can plug it into a desktop machine, can you read the disk? (Desktop machines tend not to have those problems - IF that is the cause)
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    Re: Is my Hard Drive broken??

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Does it have an external powersupply? Some of the external drives (2.5") can struggle if they are powered from the USB connection, with symptoms similar to the ones you describe. If you can plug it into a desktop machine, can you read the disk? (Desktop machines tend not to have those problems - IF that is the cause)
    It is 1.5TB so its not a 2.5" drive (unless he is from the future).

    If the data is really that important to you, take the enclosure apart. A new 1.5TB external drive is worth like 100 quids. If that is more than what your work is worth, you know the answer.

    The sound you mentioned is most likely the disk drive have failed. The only way to recover the data is to use a data recovery company. Some of the more expensive one will be able to keep the warranty of the drive but I think the extra markup is probably the same as getting another drive, so there is no appealing reason that you shouldn't open up the enclosure as you're stuck either way.

    You also have to consider if there is physical damage inside the harddrive, the sound samples you recovered could be corrupted. The time, effort and cost for the recovery might cost more than just start from fresh.
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    Re: Is my Hard Drive broken??

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurleung View Post
    It is 1.5TB so its not a 2.5" drive (unless he is from the future).
    Sorry - missed that bit (or byte) However problem could still lie with an external PSU (just had that happen to me)

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    Re: Is my Hard Drive broken??

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    If it's an IDE drive inside then you'd need a laptop IDE to normal IDE converter, fairly cheap to get.
    (these portables tend to use standard laptop hard drives inside them.)
    Erm... it's a 1.5TB drive, as stated, thus it won't be a 2.5" inch drive, thus it will be a full 3.5" SATA drive, thus he won't need a convertor. In fact, if I recall, they don't make PATA drives in capacties that large, let alone 2.5" PATA drives.
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    Re: Is my Hard Drive broken??

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Sorry - missed that bit (or byte) However problem could still lie with an external PSU (just had that happen to me)
    My experience is that when those PSU die, there wouldn't be any light at all. They either work or not, and not something in between
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    Re: Is my Hard Drive broken??

    Thanks for the further help chaps. As you lot worked out, this does indeed have no external power supply, it just plugs straight in.

    I spoke to a person who deals with this sort of thing regularly, apparently a data recovery firm like http://www.dq-int.co.uk will fix it for a minimum of around £250, depending on how fast I want it done etc.

    I have many things backed up, but not all of it. But I think I may just have to inevitably start from fresh My dad has a spare 500gb ext drive at home though which I may have to take to use as a more active form as backup for the most important things.

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