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One foot in the grave: Unsolved common issue w/ Maxtor

by ericstjohn / January 20, 2010 10:17 PM PST

My issue is not unlike the many, many I've found over the days I've spent "googling" for resolution to my issue. I've posted in the tread I linked to, but at the risk of getting the spam bump, I'll begin anew with high hopes:
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7588_102-0.html?threadID=378896&tag=forums06;forum-threads
My issue is similar to that above:
Maxtor OneTouch4 Mini, new from evilBay two years ago. Used as backup storage for my main hdd. Four years of music and video production buried now b/c it, the ext hdd, has disappeared from My Computer. It seems as if it has one foot in the grave and still clinging to life.
It quietly "clicks" like a very tiny critter's inside making "giddy-up" noises and it has that electronic noise a cell phone makes over the car radio when passing a tower. I don't feel it 'vibrate' anymore when it's in my palm, either.
In addition to extensive "googling" for solutions, I've tried:
Different cnxn cable, different usb ports, UDA (a Universal Drive Adaptor) kit w/power (a new trick I learned today from utoob).
The first time I tried a different cable to a front of machine port I got that (above) error message. Second time, nothing. Tried the UDA and got that message the first time, too. The drive did appear briefly, and not as a recognizable storage drive, under the power tab in a usb root hub sub but not under usb controllers or disc devices. SO... should I even bother trying to jack this thing straight to the mobo? I do have room and another sata cable.
Funny. I was just "googling" to find a way to burn very large files (ie: a huge productivity suite) to multiple discs when this mess hit the fan.
Some history: A couple of weeks ago, while organizing my photo files and folders on the Maxtor, I ran across several that I could not rename, move or delete because the "file or directory is corrupt or can't be read." I could, though, read, hear, even open and edit PNGs along with the ability to 'copy as' to wherever I wanted within this malfunctioning Maxtor drive. The same held to be true of some audio files. This is what prompted me in the first place to begin the preparation to back everything up so I could either re-format the drive or get rid of it before I lost everything. Time, I guess, was not on my side.
I need what you'd call a miracle. And yes, I've read the "miracle" thread. That'll be my next stop if it need be, prior to going to the costly disc surgeons for a recovery.
Oh, Gear: Custom rig w/ xp pro sp3, Foxconn Mobo, Intel Core2 Duo/3ghz, 3g RAM, 300g Maxtor "C" Drive, Asus gfx, Audigy sound w/Z Platinum Pro breakout face and a couple DVD RW's. Oh, and a floppy. Go figure. OS/main drive's been freshly reformatted only days before this issue. That's why I put all that stuff on the Maxtor to begin with. My wife says she's never known anyone with as much computer problems. I said it's because I actually use it!
Thanks in advance for your patience and kind expertise in assisting yet another Maxtor victim and here's to hoping for success!
Peace and blessings,
Eric/St. Pete, FLA

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Did you try
by samkh / January 20, 2010 10:53 PM PST

taking the hard disk out of its case and attaching directly to SATA signal and power on your mobo?

Often, with mini-usb, there isn't enough power to feed the disk even when using dual A plugs at source. Maybe ok when new but electronics age especially in heat and need more current.

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No, I haven't...yet
by ericstjohn / January 21, 2010 4:02 AM PST
In reply to: Did you try

samkh:
Hi,
No I haven't tried that yet. Thanks for asking. To quote from my original post:

"In addition to extensive "googling" for solutions, I've tried: Different cnxn cable, different usb ports, UDA (a Universal Drive Adaptor) kit w/power (a new trick I learned today from utoob)..."
And,
"...SO... should I even bother trying to jack this thing straight to the mobo?"

I've been (not less than anxiously) waiting for more information/help before trying that. It may or may not be worth the bother. Bottom line is I HATE to lose all my work on that drive and prolly will go straight to the mobo unless advised against it. I'm intrigued by the "Skipping Windows" trick.
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7588_102-0.html?messageID=3079868&tag=forums06;posts#3079868
And the other softwares that "find data".
I talked to a tech today who wants $112US simply to check it (with 'the software'). Then $75/hour to recover. Which, if need be, may be my only option. I'm to meet with a tech friend today after he gets off work so I'll at least know more than I do now. Hopefully.
That or throw in the proverbial towel. Bottom line again is I HATE to lose all my work!
Have a great weekend!
Peace and blessings,
Eric

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What if I...
by ericstjohn / January 21, 2010 11:50 AM PST
In reply to: Did you try

... Suppose I was to break this mama open and snatch out the disc and stick it into a cheap POS I find on ebay or Craigslist and retrieve my valued files and scrap the whole pile? Is that not what a "professional" would do to recover my data anyway? I know the files aren't corrupt. I'm really leaning to thinking that this is a physical issue that disguises itself as a firmware issue. What would I look for as far as compatibility?

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First thing
by samkh / January 21, 2010 1:06 PM PST
In reply to: What if I...

you should do is take it out of case and attach to mobo SATA power to feel/listen if it spins up and whether noises you heard before goes away. If noise persist it's not good but take next step anyhow. Proceed to attach SATA signal cable and see if it appears under Disk Management. If it doesn't appear, go to a pro.

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A little joy
by ericstjohn / January 22, 2010 12:58 AM PST
In reply to: First thing

- but not much- after going to mobo with this. The noise has stopped and I can't tell for sure if it's spinning or not. I mean, it doesn't feel like a 30gig iPod in my hand. I listened to it with my wife's stethoscope and hear a very quiet... hard to describe... but, working sound as if it's running idle. Disk management does not see it, though. I may go mucking around in BIOS. I do have it set to read IDE and SATA, though since I have both of those types of DVD/RW's. Next stop, the pros, I guess, since we've pretty much covered everything but running some fancy "find stuff" software. What's available and reliable?
Thanks!

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I'm wrong. No jou.
by ericstjohn / January 22, 2010 2:13 AM PST
In reply to: A little joy

Time to go to the pros. You Tube that is. I'm gonna attempt a diy rebuild. Any good pointers like where to get good instructions etc will be greatly appreciated.
Wish me luck. Thanks!

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Maybe I'm not wrong after all.
by ericstjohn / January 22, 2010 2:50 AM PST
In reply to: I'm wrong. No jou.

The more I look into this issue, the more I learn, of course.
I don't think my drive has the "click of death". Not going from the various places I've visited online. I'm hoping now it's a board issue.
I may make a video and u-toob it so you can see (hear actually) what I mean.

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circuit board
by jjh306 / January 23, 2010 7:44 AM PST

MOST CIRCUIT BOARDS CONNECT TO THE DRIVE MOTOR THROUGH A RUBBER LIKE CONDUCTOR UNDER C.B. AT TIMES THESE WILL LOSE CONNECTION AND CAN BE CLEANED WITH CONTACT CLEANER OR ISO ALCOHOL AND ALLOW TO DRY , BE CAREFUL WHEN HANDLING CIRCUIT BOARD { STATIC & ACIS FROM SKIN CAN CAUSE DAMAGE }

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Thanx, jjh:
by ericstjohn / January 24, 2010 7:17 AM PST
In reply to: circuit board

I'll give that a shot.
Right now I'm also trying to find a same item hard drive to use for parts.
What's the difference between an ST9250827AS and an ST9259827AS-RK?
Do the part numbers need to match up? I found a logic board on evilBay as a single item but the part numbers are a bit off- just the last three.
So, first, the contact cleaner trick, second, the controller/logic board and then, if that doesn't work, I'll try the old inside-the-ziplock-freezer bag-clean room-rebuild trick.
Any other advice will be appreciated and taken under consideration.
Thanks, all. I appreciate it!

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VIDEO UPDATE
by ericstjohn / January 26, 2010 12:58 AM PST
In reply to: Thanx, jjh:
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(NT) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sHtGfhWsNM
by ericstjohn / January 26, 2010 12:59 AM PST
In reply to: circuit board
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