Solved 2TB External HDD malfunctioning after drop

January 18, 2014 at 08:28:17
Specs: Windows 8
External HDD won't connect to my PC after taking a bump while powered on. Windows says USB device has malfunctioned and may not be working properly. testdisk-6.14 can't see the drive, I even pulled the bare drive form its enclosure and tried to connect via a Thermaltake adapter, still nothing. Drive seems to be getting power but just can't connect.
This drive is not the end of the world but it's 2TB that I would have to spend a lot of time replacing.
This is beyond my realm now, what is the process to dive into this a bit further? any suggestions?

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January 18, 2014 at 08:34:13
✔ Best Answer
Try and recover the data with Recuva or pc files inspector. Don't install them on the 2 tb, install them on your system and scan the external drive....if they can see it. If they are not seen by the computer it will be a tough recovery if at all.

or pc files inspector

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!

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January 18, 2014 at 08:56:50
This is just one reason why it is important to always have a backup of important files. Files of particular importance need 2 or more backup copies. This is particularly important for files on external drives which can be subjected to mechanical shocks that are less common with internal drives.

There is not a drive ever built or will be that does not require a backup.

I started using computers back when floppy drives were the primary storage media. Most people quickly learned that they were unreliable and backups were essential. But modern hard drives are sufficiently reliable that most people have never experienced a failure and never seriously contemplate the possibility, and thus never make backups. Until a failure occurs, and then it is often too late.

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January 18, 2014 at 16:30:04
Is this a mains powered 3.5" external HDD or portable HDD?

Is the drive spinning, trying to spin, making ticking noises etc.

Maybe more ideas to come from other helpers, but if all else fails, the tale below may help:

Couple of years back, had a WD 3.5" external handed to me to try and fix.
It had taken a soft fall from desk to carpet, but the high torsional/gyroscopic effect of the spinning twin discs in the unit had somehow whacked the motor drive geometry out of kilter, causing it to stick. You could here it groaning etc at switch on, before it cut out.

At this time I hadn't a clue what was going on, but, nothing to lose, so unscrewed the top plate to gain access to the discs.
Being careful not to touch the discs or other vital bits, I noticed it struggling to spin up.

I found that just before the electronics cut the motor out, if I placed a long thin driver in a depression in the centre hub of the disc array and helped the motor along, it would slowly get up to full speed.

I was lucky in that it kept spinning for the next hour - long enough for me to retrieve a good chunk of the data on it.

Pure luck maybe, but I was pretty chuffed at what I managed to achieve.

Of course the HDD was scrapped after that. It wouldn't start up again during later attempts from a cold start. In any case, a drive opened up in such a way, not in a controlled, lab environment, would be a liability anyway, what with dust etc in the air....

So don't try to open up a good drive - only on a scrapper. ;o)

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