External hard drive issues

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  • External hard drive issues
  • rkk01
    Member

    Connect the HD to a different computer?

    I rarely boot my PC or laptop with the external HD attached… As it’s a USB device it just gets connected when required.

    scratch
    Member

    I keep my I-tunes library on the HD so it kept it plugged in to the PC most of the time, I’ll know in future.

    Tried it on a number of latops / PC’s, still the same problem, I’m guessing the faults in the HD boot up process.

    I’ve tried installing latest HD drivers etc without any joy.

    scratch
    Member

    Please forgive my IT ignorance!

    I have an external hard drive that’s failing to boot up with my PC.

    WD External unit, 3 years old, not a great deal on it but there’s a few pics I’d like to keep hold of.

    It’s been run with an old shonky PC that has started to blue screen a lot more than it used to. speaking to the IT guy at work the hard drive appears to have picked up a ‘bad sector?’ from not being unattached properly when I’ve restarted the PC after it’s blue screened

    The hard drive spins and appears to be functionally sound, its suggested the bad sector is at the front of the boot up process and this is stalling the connection of the hard drive.

    Any ideas for a fix? I really don’t want to reformat the unit just yet

    z1ppy
    Member

    Get a linux boot disc (free downloads, then burn to cd/dvd), fire your pc up with that & see if you can access the drive then.

    Lots of info available on the net about “how to” do it

    muddy_bum
    Member

    I’ve used testdisk to fix and recover files.
    Testdisk drive repair/file recovery software

    tonyd
    Member

    Are you actually booting the operating system from this external drive? Sounds like it but would be beneficial to confirm that. If you’re not booting from the drive what exactly do you mean by the external drive fails to boot up?

    Presumably you’re using windows since you mention blue screen, I’m not that au fait with windows but can you use a recovery disk to restore the boot partition?

    Depending how the ‘bad sector’ has been damaged it is probably possible to fix it – it’s likely it has just been corrupted rather than physically damaged so if you’re booting from it I’d try a recovery disk, if you’re not then I’d expect a standard disk utility should be able to fix any bad sectors/blocks. Hopefully someone a bit more familiar with Windows will be along shortly to help!

    scratch
    Member

    Thanks all. No not booting up the OS from the HD. the OS is on the PC

    By booting up I mean the starting the HD and waiting for the PC to recognise its there, at the moment the loading light flashes on the HD but it never connects to the PC

    The HD icon does not show at all in the relevant folder at all even when left for 40mins or so.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    the IT guy at work the hard drive appears to have picked up a ‘bad sector?’ from not being unattached properly

    Nonsense.

    First thing I’d try would be to liberate the drive from its caddy and hook it up internally in a PC as a slave drive, to ascertain whether it’s the drive or the interface that’s at fault.

    tonyd
    Member

    Did the IT guy check the system logs? It would be worth looking to see what errors the OS is giving, that could be where he’s getting the bad sector statement from, however if you’re not booting the OS from it then a bad sector/cylinder/block/whatever shouldn’t stop the OS from seeing it at all.

    Maybe try the windows disk utility to see if that can see it, rather than Explorer. If the system can’t see it at all (and neither can these other systems you’ve tried) then per Cougar it could be in the transport somewhere.

    Presumably this is just a single drive enclosure, not a hardware RAID thingummy jig (multiple disks)? If so then there is no boot up sequence for the drive, you power it on and it is presented to the system/OS it’s plugged into. Hard drives don’t boot, operating systems do. If the IT guy yo’ve spoken to doesn’t know that then maybe find another IT guy to talk to 🙂

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    maybe find another IT guy to talk to

    I was trying to think of a diplomatic way of saying that and couldn’t manage it. Thanks. (-:

    A “bad sector” is physical damage to the surface of the disc platter. You can’t readily cause bad sectors from a software crash.

    Historically, sudden power loss to a spun-up disk drive could very easily have caused the heads to crash into the disc wreaking irreparable damage, but modern drives have all sorts of techno-wizardary built into them to safeguard against this sort of thing happening. I’m loathe to say it’s “impossible” but I’ll go with “highly unlikely” that the explanation you’ve been given is accurate.

    It’s possible that you’ve got data corruption on there. A corrupt file allocation table would cause problems when trying to read data, for instance, though this is nothing to do with any ‘boot up process’. If you don’t get a drive icon appearing in Windows at all though, I’d be leaning more towards catastrophic failure of the drive itself or the interface, which is why I suggested taking it out of the caddy.

    Mounty_73
    Member

    Does your external drive have a detachable USB lead?

    I had to replace the lead on my Freecom drive 6 months ago.

    sobriety
    Member

    The hard drive spins and appears to be functionally sound

    Do what Cougar said to confirm this, my mate had a WD one that I liberated from its case to check and the drive was knackered.

    scratch
    Member

    Thanks, yeah he gets by in IT with the old switch it off switch it back on again for the most part……

    Tried changing cables, no difference.
    When switched on you can feel the drive kick in and spin, there’s a small vibration as it kicks in so I guessed the mechanism was OK?

    scratch
    Member

    It’s a WD 1T Mybook for what its worth.

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