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Danny99 June 24 2013 10:29 PM

Did I Break My Hard Drive?
I have a external drive hooked up to my Windows PC to back up all my music, but I get most of my music off of my MacBook. I know they usually don't play well together, but I haven't had a problem in three years or so.

The music I have been gathering is .mp3 but now it won't transfer over when I try to switch it from laptop to PC by plugging in the hard drive into each.

I also tried to use Google Drive to transfer them and they still don't want to go, which leads me to think it's the music and not the drive.

What do you guys think?

Metryq June 25 2013 12:12 PM

Re: Did I Break My Hard Drive?
With the Mac, check the "permissions" on the hard-drive found in the Info window (Cmd-I). You might want to run the drive through the Mac's Disk Utility app and "repair permissions" from there. I'm guessing the drive is formatted for FAT32, which almost every computer on the planet can read. I'm not sure if Disk Utility's tools will all work on FAT32, but it won't hurt to try.

(If you were handling files over 4 GB, you could also use a drive formatted for NTFS. The Mac can read NTFS, but not write to it—at least not without third party help. NTFS-3G is one option and Paragon NTFS is another.)

If that works, you can at least copy the files and worry about making the two systems talk later. You might consider an NAS (network attached storage) drive. I know that Win7 "broke" the easy connectivity of WinXP. I haven't touched Win8 yet (ha-ha).

Danny99 July 7 2013 04:04 PM

Re: Did I Break My Hard Drive?
So I changed the location of the hard drive to a more ventilated area and straightened out the cord and poof, it works?

Could it be that simple?

Metryq July 7 2013 04:17 PM

Re: Did I Break My Hard Drive?
Glad to hear that the drive is working again. Could it be that simple? Not likely. At least, not based on what you've told us here. For example, if "straightening out the cord" fixed a poor connection, then the drive should not have mounted in the first place. If the drive mounted and played files, but would not transfer them... I really don't think straightening out the cord would do it. It's not a garden hose with a kink in it, after all.

When I was first learning to troubleshoot, a friend told me, "If a machine doesn't work at all, the problem is probably easy to fix. If the machine works, but not quite right, then it's going to be a difficult fix."

Again, glad to hear it's working again.

Retu July 8 2013 11:00 AM

Re: Did I Break My Hard Drive?
Bad SATA connector can make a hard drive do pretty weird things. I had a hard drive that was detected normally both by Windows and BIOS. Still the drive would sometimes refuse to transfer data, suddenly stop working altogether or just plain crash the system.

I was about to throw the drive away since it was "obviously" dying, even if all the diagnostic programs showed that it was intact. As a last ditch effort I decided to swap the data cable, since a couple of euros is still a lot cheaper than spending 50+ euros for a new hard drive. And hey presto! The drive started working again without any problems.

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