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Old 06-13-2009, 03:06 PM   #1
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Unhappy External hard drive troubleshooting

Hello,

I accidentally plugged in a higher voltage / amperage converter into my external harddrive a proceeded to download files over from my cpu. It worked for a while, but when I got back after a couple hours, the external hard drive wasn't spinning and I couldn't get the cpu to recognize the drive (usually under F. The drive is a western digital 500 gb model that I got back in 07. It has worked fine up until this point.
I know the warranty and all that is void if I take it apart. I'm pretty sure they won't reimburse me anyway. As for the stuff on the drive, it's mainly music which I didn't have backed up anywhere else. I'd love to get the drive back up and running and get the music back. I'm not about to pay $1 K or more to send it off to a data recovery place, so I'll risk taking it apart if I can have a plan and some systems knowledge when I go in there.
I'm mainly looking for anyone's advice and am hoping maybe it's something as simple as a burn out motor or circuit that could be repaired. I don't know if there was any circuit protection on it anywhere so that the actual disc didn't get fried. Any info or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Frank
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: External hard drive troubleshooting

Take the drive out of the external enclosure and install it in your pc as a slave drive and try to access the data so we can figure out if it's a problem with the external enclosure or a problem with the drive itself. Sometimes the interface inside those external enclosures go bad.
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:12 PM   #3
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Red face Re: External hard drive troubleshooting

I appreciate the info, but I've never done any computer work before. How tough is it to do what you suggested? I've taken off just the outside plastic cover of the external hard drive, but I didn't open the actual metal hard drive casing. Will I need to do this to hook it up as a slave drive? How will I hook it up to my cpu? Are there any gotchas or things to be really careful about while doing this? If you have any diagrams or pictorial references, that would be great, but I think I could figure it out with some good instruction. Thanks again for your help.

Franko
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: External hard drive troubleshooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by franko View Post
I appreciate the info, but I've never done any computer work before. How tough is it to do what you suggested? I've taken off just the outside plastic cover of the external hard drive, but I didn't open the actual metal hard drive casing. Will I need to do this to hook it up as a slave drive? How will I hook it up to my cpu? Are there any gotchas or things to be really careful about while doing this? If you have any diagrams or pictorial references, that would be great, but I think I could figure it out with some good instruction. Thanks again for your help.

Franko
Metal casing? Whatever you do, never remove the top piece as shown here:

http://www.nkcsystems.com/content/harddrive.jpg

If you do, your hard drive will be useless. I'd disassemble mine and take photos of the process for you if I had time right now, but unfortunately that's not the case. :/
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: External hard drive troubleshooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by franko View Post
I appreciate the info, but I've never done any computer work before. How tough is it to do what you suggested? I've taken off just the outside plastic cover of the external hard drive, but I didn't open the actual metal hard drive casing. Will I need to do this to hook it up as a slave drive? How will I hook it up to my cpu? Are there any gotchas or things to be really careful about while doing this? If you have any diagrams or pictorial references, that would be great, but I think I could figure it out with some good instruction. Thanks again for your help.

Franko
No NO NO.....don't open the hard drive! Just take the actual hard drive out of the plastic case for the external enclosure.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: External hard drive troubleshooting

Yes. Never open a hard drive. They are manufactured in a dust free environment for this reason. One spec of dust and your HDD is shot because the space between the read/write head and the platter is smaller than a speck of dust, and even smaller then a speck of smoke..
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: External hard drive troubleshooting

Fellas, thanks for the quick words of caution. I had heard something to that effect about the sensitivity of the internal disc from a nice guy at the computer shop who kinda told me that there's a good chance the hard drive could be shot and didn't want to take me for $80 with no results. As far as hooking it up to my main pc / cpu as a slave drive, is this pretty easy to do? Do I have to actually take off the outer casing of my pc as well or can I hook it up with an external connection. Any advice or words are greatly appreciated.

Franko
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