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Dead external hard drive

maroondah 15 239 1 Australia
20 Oct 2011 4:35PM
Hi everyone,

I won't wear you out with all the details but needless to say some advice is urgently needed. I have been using a Toshiba external hard drive to transfer my images to. Once I had the images all together I was going to back them up on discs and another external hard drive. I never got the chance to finish it as the drive appears to be dead. My wife took it into our local PC repairs who said that the drive couldn't be read as the needle (not sure thats exactly right) wasn't making contact with the drive itself. They were unable to undertake any repair but said they could send it off but the cost of data recovery would be about 700.
Now all this may be true but any advice about data recovery from dead drives would be more than welcome, even if its all bad news I still need to know.


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strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
20 Oct 2011 5:04PM
It all depends upon the nature of the failure. Sometimes it is just the interface electronics so you can just remove it from the external drive box and plug it into another. Sometimes it is a mechanical failure, sounds like yours is the latter. Do a search on the web for companies that offer to recover lost data it will not be inexpensive.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
20 Oct 2011 6:24PM
Give this company a call ........Grin

They have done work for me in the recent past, Not only are they very good, They don't charge a fortune like so many get rich quick merchants.

They do a very fast turnaround too, Highly recommended.....Smile
Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
20 Oct 2011 6:32PM
I don't know what they meant.
But could you get the hard drive out of its casing, buy a USB docks like Icy Box IB-110StUS2-B Docking Station ?
mohikan22 14 2.3k 2 United Kingdom
20 Oct 2011 6:55PM
"who said that the drive couldn't be read as the needle (not sure thats exactly right) wasn't making contact with the drive itself"
This refers to the reading head that skims above the platters (discs) inside that reads and writes data. its nto supposed to touch the disc anyways!! blimey. if it does you have a "head slap" which will very much damage the platters and your data. i should think you actually have a dead power board unless you have dropped the drive or kicked it. some shops have no idea i tell ya! i would try the suggestion by Coleslaw first before anything.

Logic says" if the needle isnt makeing contact" how are you supposed to retreive the data??
unless you undo all the screws. void the warranty and then "repiar the reading head" of which u need a microscope for. oh how do i know.... I worked for Maxtor and built and tested hard drives for a living.
mohikan22 14 2.3k 2 United Kingdom
20 Oct 2011 7:06PM
ah another wee helpful suggestion to give you a head start....... u need a quiet room or your ear as close to the hard drive as possible. make sure your pc is running. now plug inteh hard drive and LISTEN... it will spin up or it wont. itll click or it wont.. if none of these the POWER is dead. if it spins up or clicks at least you have power and can go from there. probably not too much help but its a start
maroondah 15 239 1 Australia
20 Oct 2011 8:33PM
Thanks everyone. Great advice.
janeez Plus
9 1.8k 8 United Kingdom
20 Oct 2011 11:30PM
Is this the Toshiba with the pretty blue light that lets you know it is alive? I've got that one and had a problem with the lead going into the plug. If it is kinked then the ext drive won't power up. Had my heart racing a bit when I thought it had died! Wink

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