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Thread: External Storage Help Needed...

  1. #1
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    Default External Storage Help Needed...

    I have an External 3.5" HDD Casing & HDD (Samsung SP1614N) and it was working fine not too long ago when i came home one day and realised that both the "power" indicator and the "Activity" indicator was on.

    The "Activity" indicator kept blinking non-stop and i realised that i had an error message from my Win XP toolbar that stated "USB Device Not Recognized".

    Now the external hdd cannot be detected. I have tried installing it into another external casing and the results is still the same. I tried setting the jumpers but to no avail.

    The bad news is that almost 2 years worth of my pictures are all stored within this particular external HDD. Should anyone is able to help or assist in the recovery of my HDD, i would be most grateful.

    Alternatively, is it ok if i took the HDD out of the casing and installed it into my PC itself? I was told that once an external HDD has been used as an external HD in housed in an external casing, it can no longer be used as an internal hard drive? How true is that?



    Do advice pls.
    Last edited by Wolfgang; 14th December 2005 at 12:42 AM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: External Storage Help Needed...

    most likly it was bad sectors or bad controller. in either case...it means bad...

    hmm..if it can't work as an external drive, i dont think it will work as internal drive. from your description, i think it is more on bad controller. ( the board on the Hard disk).

    there is 3rd party that allow you to recover data but yours are totally unaccessable..

    so it is still under warrenty? if yes, will suggest email them, check with them if they do data recovery (change the board and etcc....). but most likely you got to pay a sum of money.

    another way is to source the same hard disk, same brand and model, replace the board yourself.

    good luck...maybe the ermm............sectors be with you.
    Objection !!!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: External Storage Help Needed...

    Quote Originally Posted by ninelives
    most likly it was bad sectors or bad controller. in either case...it means bad...

    hmm..if it can't work as an external drive, i dont think it will work as internal drive. from your description, i think it is more on bad controller. ( the board on the Hard disk).

    there is 3rd party that allow you to recover data but yours are totally unaccessable..

    so it is still under warrenty? if yes, will suggest email them, check with them if they do data recovery (change the board and etcc....). but most likely you got to pay a sum of money.

    another way is to source the same hard disk, same brand and model, replace the board yourself.

    good luck...maybe the ermm............sectors be with you.
    Sigh...
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  4. #4
    Member ransoma22's Avatar
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    Default Re: External Storage Help Needed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang
    I have an External 3.5" HDD Casing & HDD (Samsung SP1614N) and it was working fine not too long ago when i came home one day and realised that both the "power" indicator and the "Activity" indicator was on.

    The "Activity" indicator kept blinking non-stop and i realised that i had an error message from my Win XP toolbar that stated "USB Device Not Recognized".

    Now the external hdd cannot be detected. I have tried installing it into another external casing and the results is still the same. I tried setting the jumpers but to no avail.

    The bad news is that almost 2 years worth of my pictures are all stored within this particular external HDD. Should anyone is able to help or assist in the recovery of my HDD, i would be most grateful.

    Alternatively, is it ok if i took the HDD out of the casing and installed it into my PC itself? I was told that once an external HDD has been used as an external HD in housed in an external casing, it can no longer be used as an internal hard drive? How true is that?



    Do advice pls.
    Try installing in PC to see if can detect, if the data is corrupted..I can help u in the recovery. But most importantly, the HDD must be able to detect.
    If the worst case scenario happen, send for check, perhaps the PCB gone case or even wost, the hdd... faintz

  5. #5
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: External Storage Help Needed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang
    I have an External 3.5" HDD Casing & HDD (Samsung SP1614N) and it was working fine not too long ago when i came home one day and realised that both the "power" indicator and the "Activity" indicator was on.

    The "Activity" indicator kept blinking non-stop and i realised that i had an error message from my Win XP toolbar that stated "USB Device Not Recognized".

    Now the external hdd cannot be detected. I have tried installing it into another external casing and the results is still the same. I tried setting the jumpers but to no avail.

    The bad news is that almost 2 years worth of my pictures are all stored within this particular external HDD. Should anyone is able to help or assist in the recovery of my HDD, i would be most grateful.

    Alternatively, is it ok if i took the HDD out of the casing and installed it into my PC itself? I was told that once an external HDD has been used as an external HD in housed in an external casing, it can no longer be used as an internal hard drive? How true is that?



    Do advice pls.
    Not sure about the other IT folks here but I have ever taken a used HDD from my PC and place it into an external casing and use as an external hdd. And then took it out and connect it back into my PC and it was detected by my motherboard bios and Win98(FAT 32) and even when I switch over to XP Pro (NTSF). So long as the file allocation table is the same as the main drive and OS...it should work.

    What I did was to plug the HDD back into my PC and let the motherboard cmos auto detect the drive and then I boot as per normal in windows. Been doing this for years.

    As for your USB not recognising the external USB HDD. I have encountered a few scenario similar to this. Try one of these to see if it helps.

    1) Unplug your USB before you switch on your PC. Once it has complete its boot to windows. Then replug back the USB point and see if XP will detect it. ( you are using XP right?...XP will detect it automatically...with win98 you have to install drivers to activate or prompt the USB port to detect devices) If it detect...great. Although your external drive may power up even before your pc boot to windows, it is just the power from the USB port powering up the drive but it is not recognise at all till it gets into XP but sometime you need to unplug and plug to get the auto detection to kick in. It is just some of the crazy thing about XP.

    2) If that does not work. Switch off the PC, unplug all non essential USB devices and switch your PC back on. Then....try to plug it into difference USB port to see if anyone of the USB port will correctly detect the external USB hdd. I did that with my boss' PC. Seem the USB port he normally use with that device was faulty.

    3) Another trick I try and works is, I would go to my control panel and access the hardward manager and see if I can find any indication of a external driver. It might be there but still not recognise your USB HDD. What I do is remove the driver and reboot and see if XP will autodetect and re-establish the driver again. I have done this a few times and it works fine...don't ask me to explain it..it will take time and it is just theories I suspect heheh.

    4) Fourth would be to try what you thought of doing. Take the HDD out of the case and install it into your PC and then when you boot up your PC, enter CMOS and try to autodetect it. If it does...your worries are over. It could mean a faulty external casing or wiring.

    Good luck....oh...make sure you are well grounded before you handle your HDD. Do this by touch the bare metal parts of your PC frame to earth yourself before touching or dismantaling any hardware.

  6. #6

    Default Re: External Storage Help Needed...

    Frankly it does sound like a goner. You have a couple of choices from here on:

    1. Pay a data retrieval company lots of money to pull off as much data as they can.

    2. Buy the same model and switch the platters yourself in as clean an environment as you can create. May or may not help.

    3. Try something weird like putting your harddrive into the freezer for 24 hours and then hook up and keep your fingers crossed

    4. Get over it and move on as best you can. Send it in for the exchange.

    I have had at least two 120 gig drives dying sudden deaths, all when they were fairly new (under 6 months). The last time it happened, I took step no.3 and managed to retrieve 90% of my important data (about 80 gigs worth). Yes, there'd be people who'd scoff at this rather crazy sounding suggestion, but hey, it's worked for more than one person (you can Google this), not just me.

    You need to wrap the HD in an anti-stat bag and then place it in a ziploc freezer bag (two is advisable). Leave for 24 hours at least. When I removed the frozen drive I placed the drive still in the anti-stat bag into an insulated lunch bag (to reduce condensation and to keep the hardware cold longer) before I hooked it up to the IDE cable.

    Your mileage will certainly vary - some people have never gotten this to work.

    Next time, remember to back up.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
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    Default Re: External Storage Help Needed...

    er, sorree wolf gang i can't help, but i wanna ask kah heng, how come lowering the temperature will increase the chances of data recovery?

  8. #8

    Default Re: External Storage Help Needed...

    Quote Originally Posted by jOhO
    er, sorree wolf gang i can't help, but i wanna ask kah heng, how come lowering the temperature will increase the chances of data recovery?
    Frankly, I have no idea. I wish I knew. I did it because I felt I had nothing to lose.

    If it helps: The drive that I took this drastic measure to could spin up, but made a clanking sound, like its reading arm had some fault. For whatever reason, at a very low temp, the problem disappeared long enough for me to be able to retrieve a lot of data. Ultimately, refreezing the thing and trying it again didn't work.

    This DIY freezing method does not work for all dead drive problems - some people have tried it unsuccessfully (Google and you can read about both success and failures) - maybe for these folks, the circuit board is the problem.

    I would suggest that one tries this only as a very last resort. It's best to pay a professional data retrieval firm money to do the job right.

    BTW, when I was in Tehran, my host told me that a local techie helped him retrieve most of the data from his crashed laptop drive by using the platter transplant method. To be honest, the person who did it for him did sound like a part time pc repair man doing it to earn additional income. Doubt he had access to a proper clean room facility. If you do a search at Digg, there was a recent link to someone who documented his DIY platter transplant data recovery. Personally, I would not use the newly transplanted drive after the data has been recovered because it would be a compromised hardware.

    [Update: The DIY platter transplant article is here. Read the comments that accompany the article. Lots of other suggestions and experiences being shared. Instead of the more risky platter swop, or freezing, switching the circuit board first sounds like a good move for you Wolfie, if you're keen to DIY.]
    Last edited by kahheng; 14th December 2005 at 02:53 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: External Storage Help Needed...

    Why don't you try changing the external enclosure first before you decide the HDD is gone?

  10. #10

    Default Re: External Storage Help Needed...

    Now the external hdd cannot be detected. I have tried installing it into another external casing and the results is still the same. I tried setting the jumpers but to no avail.
    well he did tried it..

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