External HD no longer accessible

Wd Mybook home elite 2tb
May 25, 2010 at 07:53:18
Specs: Windows XP and 7, 4 Go
Never had a problem with that drive before.

Here is what happen:

- As soon as i connect the drive, the usual scan activity take place (drive light working) but nothing in windows yet.

- After a while nothing appears in windows XP but Windows 7 ask to format the drive.

- After the starting process of the drive, the light flashes like when the drive is access but there is no sound inside.

Also, i must point out that if i want to try a software to test the drive, i MUST do it while the drive is starting, because when the light start flashing and the drive stops, nothing more can be done.

I tried: Spinrite 6 (level 4), the maintenance cycle started allright but i stopped it after 2 hours because the percentage done was only 0,0024%.

I tried GetDataBack for NTFS, but after identifying the presence of the drive an I/O error appears stating the drive was no longer accessible.

I finally tried TestDisk, my best luck so far, bringing me some hope. It finds the partition, and when i pressed "P", surprise, it listed the files on the drive, so i guess that nothing seems to be lost.

Is this problem seems familiar to you ?

Thank you !

See More: External HD no longer accessible

Report •

May 26, 2010 at 05:45:26
Additionnal information:

Using WD Diagnostic, i found out that SMART was defective.

So, i opened the mybook case, plug the naked drive directly into an available sata port inside the computer and started windows. During windows startup, it asked to CHKDSK the drive (never could have this opportunity before).

I left it the whole night and this morning, here is what i got so far:


Yes, obviously, there are some bad sectors, i'm really looking forward to when the process will finish.

Report •

May 26, 2010 at 05:52:41
Have you always properly removed that drive before disconnecting it? Data corruption can occur if that is not done.

An external hard drive is more vulnerable to data loss than an internal drive but ALL storage media is subject to data loss or corruption. Hard drives are particularly vulnerable because they are mechanical devices and also have sensitive electronic circuits.

The point is that there is no substitute for regular backups of your personal data.

Report •

May 26, 2010 at 14:37:44
Maybe not, but data corruption to that extent, i don't think so.

Report •

Related Solutions

May 26, 2010 at 14:43:50
OK then, I guess you know better than me.

Report •

May 26, 2010 at 18:36:21
Hmm, sorry if i seem to have hurt your feeling.

What i meant was yes, not correctly disconnecting the drive can corrupt the drive, it can be responsible for the smart being reported bad for some reasons. It could also be responsible if the drive has a bad boot sector in comparison to the backup boot sector.

But, if you have seen my screenshot i strongly think that these damages could not have been done at the same time and because of the same event.

Report •

May 26, 2010 at 19:36:06
You didn't hurt my feelings. That said, all your report states is that some sectors are unreadable. Doesn't necessarily mean they are physically damaged.

So, did you improperly remove the drive in the past or not?

Report •

May 27, 2010 at 05:57:03
Maybe once, a few months ago under win xp, but the problem came gradually over the last few days only.

Right now, as we speak, the chkdsk finally finished during the night. No files appears in windows but this morning i re-run testdisk and voilĂ  ! The files are back. So, while the computer is on, i'm copying what i can in a safe place, but these are huge video files and since the drive is much more slower than usual, i expect it will finish copying in a few days. I have no choice but to wait.

Report •

May 27, 2010 at 07:02:02
If all the files are present then the issue was/is most likely file system corruption. That can happen when the drive was interrupted during the process of writing. Also possible that the drive is too full or fragmented.

When writing large files that must be broken up in order to find empty space on the drive it is more likely to get corruption.

Report •

May 27, 2010 at 07:30:27
It has about 1.5 TB of stuff, all was written during a 4 weeks period after the drive was brand new in august. Nothing else was written after that.

Anyway, the mportant thing is that i am rescuing the files (i hope), and since i open the plastic case for that (didn't work otherwise), i can say goodbye to the warranty. But it's better than losing a months worth of hard work.

Report •

May 27, 2010 at 09:01:55
Many pre-assembled USB external drives are prone to overheating. If you have a plastic case and no fan then it may be overheating. Especially if you are writing to it for extended periods of time.

You really should think about some sort of redundancy.

Report •

May 27, 2010 at 09:23:46
That kind of space is expensive, i paid 750$ for the 2 mybook of 2 Tb each.

The good news is, i just check the file transfer and it is working. After the rescue operation, i will zero that drive and do a thorough scan for defects and if it appears the least unreliable, it will go to garbage. The HD inside was a WD Caviar GREEN. I already have a Caviar BLACK drive that performs beautifully. I guess that will be only BLACK drives for me in the future.

Report •

May 27, 2010 at 09:26:12
The heating could be the problem. I did not thought of that. No problem for my internal hd, i always keep plenty of fans inside the computer.

Maybe i will buy an external case with fan because mobility is very useful.

Report •

May 27, 2010 at 09:27:27
You don't happen to know a "super drive" that could hold 5-6 TB and that will sell for a reasonable price ?

Report •

Ask Question