Storage forum


External hard drive not reading and am at my wit's end!

by saskiatje / March 26, 2013 3:40 PM PDT

Hi folks,
I have a 500gb WD portable external hard drive. I'd say it's about 6 years old (ancient, I know) and has never given me strife EXCEPT for today.
I have it connected to my laptop pretty much all the time as my laptop is also old and ****** with little storage, so everything I d/l goes straight onto the external hd. I was using my laptop earlier and the hd starting making whirring and scratching noises, which it's never made before, and when I looked for it in MyComputer, it was nowhere to be seen. It's still showing up as connected to the computer in my device manager, and it's also able to be removed via the 'safely remove hardware' option - but I can't actually access what's on it!
I've tried uninstalling the driver via device manager, which was successful. I then re-installed and tried to update the driver software, and was told I already had the latest version. Still not showing up in MyComputer.
I also looked for it in disk management and SOMETHING was there - 'Disk 1 - Unknown' and when I looked at it, my option was to initialize. I'm pretty sure that will wipe all my data, though, so I chose not to do that.
All my photos and music and a heap of other sentimental stuff is on this thing (and it's not backed up - I KNOW I'm an idiot) and I was realllllly hoping that someone here would have some advice for me. If I can't fix the problem myself, what are my options...?
Thanks in advance...

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All Answers

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Did you read the top post in this forum?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 27, 2013 12:36 AM PDT

In the Welcome post titled Lost and Found we cover recovery titles from free to trial to pay and the recovery houses.

Please start there.

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PS. Nod to Recuva
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 29, 2013 3:35 AM PDT

Remember to NEVER repair the drive. Your seasoned data recovery person only READS from such drives. If anyone tells you to do anything that writes to said drive, you have to nod and forget what they are saying.

Recover the files, do not write to or repair the drive contents. If you can't use said tools, then back to drive savers.
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Stop using the drive immediately
by inou81 / March 29, 2013 3:21 AM PDT

Stop using the drive immediately If the drive is making the sounds you described, stop trying to restart it. You most likely are making matters worse. The scratching sound very well could be the heads hitting the platters causing more media damage. Unfortunately, this one will need to be sent out for recovery.

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