|Laptop (2.5") hard drives are typically warrantied for no longer than 3 years. They tend to fail sooner than 3.5" drives for desktops. You're fortunate this probably a lot older than that drive has lasted as long as it has. |
Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities
If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.
The Seagate Seatools diagnostics will test any brand, but you may not be able to repair the problem with it when it isn't a Seagate or Maxtor model.
If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.
External drives connected via USB require the USB port they are plugged must be able to supply 500ma of current, the max. standard spec for a USB port. They may not work properly when plugged into a hub that connects to one port directly connected to the mboard, or plugged into a front port on a desktop case, but they should work in any port directly connected to the mboard.
External driveswith 3.5" drives require a USB port that can supply 500ma, and an external power adapter thgat came with it must be powering the external case.
External drive enclosures with 2.5" hard drives may require TWO USB connections, or one USB connection and an external power adapter connected to a jack on the external case. Some laptops do not have any USB port that can supply 500ma - you must connect an external drive to TWO USB ports on the laptop.