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External Hard Drive seems to have stopped spinning.

by PhilippeLemay / December 24, 2010 9:15 AM PST

My sister has an external 500 GB from Western Digital (MyBook I think it is), and as the title says it has stopped spinning. She can still plug it in and the light turns on, but she can't hear it spinning anymore and the computer doesn't see it.

Prior to it failing completely she told me it would sporadically fail on occasion, and she would unplug it and replug it and it would work again for a while. Now it won't work at all.

She would like to, first of all, know if it's at all possible to recover that data she had on it. If so, how much will it cost to get it done? And finally, who might be able to get it done. She was thinking of asking GeekSquad.

She has a lot of pictures on there, family and friends and trips and stuff, if we could save it it would be really appreciated.

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If a drive is spinning, you should be able to hear it or
by Steven Haninger / December 24, 2010 10:34 PM PST

feel a very slight vibration. If it isn't spinning, there is a possibility that it simply isn't getting power to the motor. If that's the case, you may be able to disassemble the device and either connect the drive directly to a port in the PC or put it into another external case. If no luck, there are professional data recovery services but you'd be looking at several hundred dollars for retrieval.

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by Willy / December 25, 2010 12:06 AM PST

First, I wouldn't recommend geekSquad, provided they don't try to retrieve datas, they're nothing more than a front to shift data recovery from some other vendor. All that costs and generally speaking you're better off using the recovery service directly, contact them. Google for them, but Data Savers and OnTrack services. Take your costs from them as they're good and not cheap. If you're tempted to use some form of data recovery s/w on your own, beware the HD has to working and not physically damaged and/.or somehow at fault. The s/w data may suffer worst in such attempts and become even more troublesome to recover, your choice.

Also, understand if there is any warranty, use it. However, they don't provide any data services. Further, you may void warranty upon opening the case, should you decide to the HD direct approach on available PC ports. However, provided the HD isn't damaged itself, that's about the best way to recover data. Also, the use of yet another ext. case will do as well. Once all done, you can then try the warranty path if you recover your data. In most cases, such problems as you described are power related, either at the ext. device itself or USB port.

tada -----Willy Happy

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