Resolved Question

My HDD close to Critical Malfunction - "Low Power" mode?

Jan 11, 2020 8:28AM PST

first off thank you for any advice/guidance.

WD Passport 2TB external drive that I use is about to critically malfunction, my goal is to immediately transfer all data off of it in the safest manner possible. Being that this particular drive hosts near 10 years of a completely 99.4% capacity 2TB drive I have been putting this task off until I had a brand new replacement drive (which I now I have)

However, I recently came across a functionality I was not aware of that I would very much like to use in this scenario, if possible, I just do not know how to set it or what it is called.

I was upgrading a laptop by putting a new internal hard drive in, in case the new one wasn't going to work I kept the original internal drive in the 2ndary drive slot connected to the motherboard, upon bootup I realized I still had access to the old HDD I had just replaced. Not just ReadOnly access but I could copy/move programs & files to other drives I had connected at the time.

The drive wasn't spinning the disk, atleast not from what I could tell. It was completely silent. Also I couldn't delete things from it, copy or move to it, nothing of that matter- the only thing I could do was take data FROM it.

Which is exactly what I need to do again, except on purpose. To my knowledge, ReadOnly is pretty straight forward, you can view content but not move it around also I'm not aware of it putting the drive in to a lower state of power consumption? (Which is what I'm referring to as the internal drive not making noise)

This drive literally has all my important data/unrecoverable data of things like events/everything.

Also I'm open to any advice in my attempts to move data from this drive as to better ways to do something I'm always willing to learn.

It's "beeping" also making weird noises in general and just listening to it you can hear where it must be trying to spin it gets a little louder, bit louder then normalizes. Repeats.

(Not sure this is going to matter but figured should include in case)
Average consumer (1) - (2) - .... (9) - (10) Expert [Scale of 1-10]
I am probably right in the middle 5, maybe a tad on the higer end but not much

Well it's still being recognized, I can still access the data. It's very very slow though. And every folder I click into- the drive goes (Not Responding) takes several seconds to load then finally loads. It does not disconnect during this time though.

Device about to die;
WD Passport 0720 2TB (1863GB)
New Device looking to transfer too;
Seagate Portable Backup 4TB (3653GB)

Not sure what other information would be of use but let me know if there is.

Thank you in advance

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Best Answer

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Full stop. Major issue found.
Jan 11, 2020 9:24AM PST

It appears you are in the same boat as many others. The boat's name is NOBACKUP.

When I bought my last set of backup drives I bought two so I can sync them and that's not my last backup copy as there are more. I have to work it from bulk stuff I could lose to backups of what I can't lose.

I wonder if you have two questions.

1. What's wrong with this drive?
My answer is it is failing. If you need more then the answer is costly as you have to find engineers that created the device to get into whether it's a hardware issue like bearings, the motor or actuator. Then you can have circuitry failures. Figure many thousand to find out what is going on. Since these drives are now under 99USD (I paid 70 for a Toshiba Canvio nod nod get this.)

2. Should I get a Seagate?
No. Get WD or Toshiba.

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Jan 11, 2020 10:16AM PST

I already bought the Seagate - that's fine though I'll just replace it too. I much prefer WD, it's what I've got many of and always get but Target literally only had Seagate's at time of visit.

I'm almost positive it's the Actuator Arm - reason being is that it did suffer a small fall long ago. I know how sensitive HDD can be to any type of fall/drop.
Soon after experiencing this drop, I started to hear a random "beep" which occurs maybe 2-3 times a minute now.

I've taken HDD's apart before, as I feel very comfortable dissambling devices I am unsure as to the sensitivity of the components within a HDD so I've been scared to even attempt a repair.

I do have models of my WD Passport 1 that's literally the exact same and multiples of others that are simliar.

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Jan 11, 2020 10:23AM PST

Also when I plug it in, you can really hear it quite clearly that it's pushing to do it's most. That being so I feel it has something to do with the spinning within the device

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Sorry if I was short about this.
Jan 11, 2020 10:36AM PST

But there has been few to none that were able to repair said drive. And by repair I mean a drive we might expect to work for a year or more.

The usual repair is to get the drive working long enough to get the data out. Then it's wiped or smashed and into the recycle bin.

As to Target I get mine from Amazon Prime.

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Best option
Jan 11, 2020 10:47AM PST

So what would you recommend for my best bet as of now?
I've only recently started to learn about the numerous backing up and recovering options.

Should I just clone and hope for the best? Hopefully it can make it through entire process?

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Yes. Clone and hope.
Jan 11, 2020 11:05AM PST

But if this was mine I'd go for a file sync using:


Why? Because the drive just has files and no OS we don't need to clone. Cloning as you guess is the usual sector by sector copy and only succeeds when it is complete where as the sync with ROADKIL succeeds with every file that gets synced. Also if the drive shuts down halfway through a sync ROADKIL and others like it (I won't write about others today) can pick up where it left off unlike a CLONE would have to start over.

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Sounds perfect
Jan 11, 2020 11:22AM PST

Ah that sounds much better. Thank you for the recommendation I'm going to download/buy immediately (if buying is required sounds like I will need it in future anyways)

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