External Hard Drive Won't Work

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Mr Light, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    So I had an external hard drive on my computer that worked perfectly fine. Then I moved. When I took it back out, it didn't work. When I plugged it in, it didn't even spin up the way it used to. I tried it on two PCs and a laptop... nothing.

    So, I assumed it broke in the move.

    I bought a brand new external drive. And the same thing happened. Plugged it in and attached it... nothing happened!

    Am I doing something stupid? Or did I manage to break one, then buy a broken one?
     
  2. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    Does it make a noise when you move it? Wondering if the data drum (or whatever it's called) broke off. Whatever you do, don't throw it away. Chances are the data, if valuable, can be recovered.
     
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A really stupid question.

    Are you using the same power wall socket for your plug?

    Or even a double/triple/quadruple adapter?

    If yes, then try plugging it in somewhere else.

    Another stupid question...

    Have you tried plugging either of the external hard drives into a different computer?
     
  4. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Guy Gardener is on the right track. The basic tenet of troubleshooting is "isolate the variables." In other words, suspect everything and test each factor one at a time. Guy suggested checking the power supply—obviously you got a new one when you bought the new drive. Or is this a tiny drive meant to be powered by the data port? I've run into many "portable" USB drives that need more juice than a single USB port can supply, and not all USB ports are equal. Some can push more wattage than others. (This applies to other powered ports, too, but USB is the one I generally find being anemic.)

    Is the data cable good? If the drive and the computer don't see each other, the drive won't spin up.

    Is the port on the computer bad? You can check that by trying the drive on another computer and/or connecting a different drive (or other device) to the computer.

    And so on. Check each possible point of failure one at a time.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    It runs on a separate power source, and I've tried putting it in every USB port on the computer, and I've tried three different computers.
     
  6. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    Try removing the drive from the enclosure and installing it as an internal hard drive. It's possible the enclosure's electronics are dead, but the drive is fine.
     
  7. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which one?

    Two externals stopped working, that won't work on three computers.

    Unless there's a virus on your PC that kills externals and does nothing else "harmful" you should be able to Sherlock Holmes this, and find a common thread that ties this issue all together.

    You said you moved.

    Is there any chance that your new house is haunted?

    Real question...

    Have you updated anything recently?

    Even automatic updates from Microsoft can foul you up if you're in some crazy 1 percent group, and if it is automatic updates(which it probably isn't) that might change all the computers in your house simultaneously.

    Crazy %0.0000000001 group.
     
  8. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    How long have you had it? I've discovered those USB powered drives typically last maybe two years if you're lucky. I've had three in the last four years myself, and one of those died within six months. I just bought a new one around my birthday this past April, and so far, it's working great.

    Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't try everything everybody else here has said to try. Some of the troubleshooting advice has helped me in the past, but, yeah, those drives that are powered by the USB port don't typically last long.
     
  9. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If the new one is exhibiting the same problem, it's very likely that it's an issue with your computer. Did you try running the new one on other computers as well?
     
  10. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Take it back to your old house and see if it works there.
     
  11. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Original post said the new hard drive was tried on three different computers.
     
  12. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Did you right click on the usb drive and 'safely remove device' the last time you disconnected it at your old house? Sometimes if you don't it puts the usb port/device in a weird state that'll prevent it from being recognized in any other port. That said, re-connecting it to the port it was connected to before and doing the above should also reset it. Sounds like something went bad on the HD itself.
     
  13. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I tried the new EHD on the laptop. Nothing happened. I tried a different plug. Nothing happened. It makes no noise whatsoever. Nothing sounds loose in it.

    It is the same brand, Seagate. But I can't believe that my old one, and my new store bought on, are both broken.... but they're not doing anything on seperate computers and power sources...

    I even looked for an on/off button, there isn't one...

    I think I'm just going to return the new one.
     
  14. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Say no more.
     
  15. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    It's the cheap-o brand, hunh? The first one worked perfectly fine for like a year :lol:
     
  16. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No. He said he did that with the existing one. When he got the new one, he didn't say he tried it in other computers as well. THAT is what I wanted to confirm, so we can see if it's doing the same thing. If so... I'm starting to wonder if he might have a virus, because this is too much of a coincidence.

    Seagate had a period of screwing up, coinciding with their acquisition of Maxtor (a failed hard disk company). They have gotten much better. I'm using one of their SSD+HDD hybrid drives and it's terrific.

    See if you can download the manual for your external HDD and check the troubleshooting section. There may be something you've overlooked.
     
  17. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I did try the new one on a second computer.... still didn't work. I'm just gonna return it and buy a different brand...
     
  18. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh fine. The one I bought back in April was a Seagate. I'm guessing I can expect it to die around Febuary?

    I am not a happy man.
     
  19. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Any possibility that a malfunctioning USB port could trash the drive electronics (probably the USB-SATA bridge rather than the drive controller), which would lead to the drive not working on other systems? I've seen this happen when using a dual voltage supply where the 5V and 12V lines got swapped. USB is 5V only, of course.
     
  20. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Yaaaaaay I returned it with no problem. Now to buy a non-Seagate one!