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Thread: Failed External HDD Data recovery

  1. #1
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    Default Failed External HDD Data recovery

    Hi guys,

    MY WD Passport External HDD just failed on me.
    I have a whole bunch of photos in it and they are important memories for me.

    The HDD when plugged in, actually receives power, Windows detects it, but says driver installation failed.
    Then the LED on the HDD starts doing this constant blinking and if you put your hand on the HDD, you can feel the HDD motor doing this constant "spin, stop, spin, stop" cycle.

    Pretty sure this means I can't be using any software solutions to recover the data.
    Does anyone know any reputable data recovery shops in Singapore or Johor?
    If yes, how much does it cost? Do let me know your personal experience with it if you have any.

    Thanks so much!

    Sincerely,
    Distraught.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Failed External HDD Data recovery

    Here are few things that you may want to consider.
    1. External HDD is just an internal HDD in a casing with USB interface. When you failed to connect the external HDD to the computer, the failure may due to the internal HDD or the USB interface. You can Google for instruction to open up the WD Passport. This will allow you to figure out if the problem is with the HDD or the USB interface.

    2. The easiest way to figure out what went wrong is to buy another portable HDD casing to use with the original internal HDD. The portable HDD casing will cost around 20+ dollars. Once you assembled the casing and the internal HDD, you can connect it to the computer. If you are lucky, that the problem was with the USB interface, you should be able to access to the content of you HDD.

    3. One thing to remember is that do not do anything that may alter the content of the internal HDD, such as HDD formatting, and so on. If it is that the HDD that having problem, the HDD will need to sent to those HDD recovery company. You would want to keep the HDD in the original form as much as possible.

    There are plenty of tutorials on the internet on HDD recovery, software, and so on. If you gain access to the HDD, you will have a chance to do the recovery on your own. Good luck...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Failed External HDD Data recovery

    Quote Originally Posted by ernestt View Post
    Here are few things that you may want to consider.
    1. External HDD is just an internal HDD in a casing with USB interface. When you failed to connect the external HDD to the computer, the failure may due to the internal HDD or the USB interface. You can Google for instruction to open up the WD Passport. This will allow you to figure out if the problem is with the HDD or the USB interface.

    2. The easiest way to figure out what went wrong is to buy another portable HDD casing to use with the original internal HDD. The portable HDD casing will cost around 20+ dollars. Once you assembled the casing and the internal HDD, you can connect it to the computer. If you are lucky, that the problem was with the USB interface, you should be able to access to the content of you HDD.

    3. One thing to remember is that do not do anything that may alter the content of the internal HDD, such as HDD formatting, and so on. If it is that the HDD that having problem, the HDD will need to sent to those HDD recovery company. You would want to keep the HDD in the original form as much as possible.

    There are plenty of tutorials on the internet on HDD recovery, software, and so on. If you gain access to the HDD, you will have a chance to do the recovery on your own. Good luck...
    Agree you can try to DIY first, I suggest you try opening up the casing first to see the connector interface (most likely SATA though small chance it is IDE if it's quite a few years old). Then get a HDD casing / USB adapter that has the compatible interface to try it out again.

    I guess it's a HDD problem, sounds like it was trying to re-read data many times (if it sometimes also does this with clicking sound then probably worse)... I have not used any hardware data recovery services, but I heard they charge by the amount of data to be recovered and can run into the thousands so it's always cheaper to DIY first.

    Good luck!


    To anyone else reading, just a reminder to always have at least 2 copies of your precious data. Though most experts recommend at least 3, with 1 at an off-site location

  4. #4
    Member Mythmaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Failed External HDD Data recovery

    Quote Originally Posted by ernestt View Post
    Here are few things that you may want to consider.
    1. External HDD is just an internal HDD in a casing with USB interface. When you failed to connect the external HDD to the computer, the failure may due to the internal HDD or the USB interface. You can Google for instruction to open up the WD Passport. This will allow you to figure out if the problem is with the HDD or the USB interface.

    2. The easiest way to figure out what went wrong is to buy another portable HDD casing to use with the original internal HDD. The portable HDD casing will cost around 20+ dollars. Once you assembled the casing and the internal HDD, you can connect it to the computer. If you are lucky, that the problem was with the USB interface, you should be able to access to the content of you HDD.
    Not for WD IIRC. They usually solder the interface board to the HDD; there's no sata connection from the hdd.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Failed External HDD Data recovery

    Quote Originally Posted by Mythmaker View Post
    Not for WD IIRC. They usually solder the interface board to the HDD; there's no sata connection from the hdd.
    Aiyo so unfriendly ah... I don't have first hand knowledge of opening up WD portable hard disks, just googled and saw some people opening up their WD portable hard disks for repair heh...

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