External harddisk suddenly not visible
Thread poster: jmadsen

jmadsen  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:28
Jan 2, 2008

I have two external harddisks and until yesterday they were working perfectly, but suddenly my computer doesn't recognise one of them. I have one Maxtor OneTouch USB device and one Maxtor OneTouch II USB device. The last one is currently not working/visible. They are both connected to my Windows XP stationary using USB cables. I had my motherboard changed last week, but both disks have been working since then.

When I open Device Manager, both harddisks are listed under Disk drives, and when I show properties for the disk drives, it says "This device is working properly" for both of them. But when I open Windows Explorer, one of the disks have disappeared under "This computer". They used to be drives E and F, but now only drive F appears. When I click the "Safely remove hardware" icon on the taskbar, I can see both external HDs, but only one has a drive letter assigned.

I have tried: Restarting the computer and restarting the external harddisks; switching to another USB port; switching the USB cable; connecting the external HD to another computer; running Windows Update; and tried troubleshooting the device (has that ever helped anyone), but nothing helps.

I am running out of ideas, and I am afraid the HD may be damaged
What do you think? I appreciate any ideas...

Jørgen


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:28
English to German
+ ...
Linux LiveCD Jan 2, 2008

One thing you could test is to boot from a Linux LiveCD (e.g. LinguasOS or DamnSmall Linux) - it won't affect your current operating system, and you can simply switch back to Windows removing the CD and rebooting. Make sure the HD you want to test is plugged in before booting.

Once the system is loaded, use the file manager to find out whether your external drive has been recognized by the system. If not, chances are the HD is damaged.

Links to the distros:
LinguasOS: http://www.linguasos.org
DamnSmall Linux: http://damnsmalllinux.org/

Good luck,

Sonja


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gfe
Local time: 02:28
English to Italian
+ ...
About the missing letter Jan 2, 2008

Go to Control Panel and click on an icon called something like Administrative Tools (sorry, my SW is not in English).
In the next window select an icon called something like Computer Management. You get to yet another window where you should click an icon probably named Disk Management.
Here you see what the system knows about your HD's. There is a chance that your "lost" HD is listed without a letter address, or has the same letter of another HD. If so, in that very window you can change letter assignments.

Hope it helps
GFE


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ozan karakış
Turkey
Local time: 03:28
English to Turkish
+ ...
might be a virus Jan 2, 2008

can you manage if you loose the data in it? If so, format it. Might help if it is infected.
If healed afterwards, smile. For the lost data, use a recovery program to regenerate them. Success? Smile, life is good and do what an Italian does when he loose his two cows. If not, I am sorry but no further help from here.


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Maxtor Jan 2, 2008

I have only one Maxtor and it is working properly. I read all what you have done and I wonder whether you tried to just reinstall the drivers for the missing external hard drive?

If you did already, sorry for the stupid answer
Giusi


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jmadsen  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:28
TOPIC STARTER
Replies and update Jan 3, 2008

Sonja: I may try that later.
GFE: The lost HD is not listed under Disk Management
Ozan: I hope not it's a virus, but regard it possible. I have hundreds of family photos, private documents and music files on that disc.
Giuseppina: I have tried reinstalling the driver for the HD.

When I started my computer this morning (with the "lost" HD connected), Windows won't start and the screen is just black. Then I just disconnected the HD, and Windows started. I then reconnected the HD, but still no success.

Jørgen


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ozan karakış
Turkey
Local time: 03:28
English to Turkish
+ ...
If it starts to halt Windows Jan 3, 2008

then (90%certain now) you have a mechanical problem.
Don't you worry about the lost data right now. You might recover almost anything even from a dead HD by recovery programs. If it comes to recovery stage, contact me...

I will do some research and come back to you soon..


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telefpro
Local time: 05:58
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Try on another computer Jan 3, 2008

Please try to check these two external hard disks on another computer and see if they are visible. This would give you a correct view.

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jmadsen  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:28
TOPIC STARTER
Replies and update #2 Jan 3, 2008

Ozan: I am really glad you still have hope for my HD Look foreward to what you find out.
Telefpro: I have tried that already, cf. my initial posting.

Tonight, I am taking the HD to my usual computer supplier (i.e. a guy who has his own computer hardware business). He supplies and repairs all my computer hardware (including week-ends if necessary!). I have also contacted a data recovery business, but they haven't replied yet. I'll try again tomorrow.

This crisis is really going on my nerves and is affecting my concentration so I am hoping for a quick solution

Fingers crossed,
Jørgen

[Edited at 2008-01-03 15:40]


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ozan karakış
Turkey
Local time: 03:28
English to Turkish
+ ...
mechanic problem Jan 3, 2008

research is over. The problem is most likely mechanical and I am very sorry to say, you cannot fix it by yourself unless you have electronics repairer program loaded on your brain. (remember Matrix...:))

Perhaps formating would not help at this stage, either. If you still have warranty on it, go for it. If your computer man can run a recovery program on it and regenerate, you should kiss him...:)

What is said about USB HDDs is that they are very delicate and even a simple coffee mug hit can damage them. They should be placed away from anything so that they cannot be rolled over or viloated by coffee mugs...

Since you have your computer guy working on the case, you should be alright, but if you need the recovery program: ozisef@yahoo.com.


Sorry for your lost


Ozan


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jmadsen  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:28
TOPIC STARTER
Harddisk declared dead Jan 9, 2008

My computer supplier and repairman declared my external harddisk dead two days ago. He really worked on it but had never seen so massive errors before. He offered to send the HD to another specialist, but that was very, very expensive. It probably couldn't be saved anyway.

The worst was our archive of family photos. Luckily I had backup of all digital photos up until 2005. At the moment I am running data recovery on all my computers to try and save all I can. Until now I have been able to recover most of the pictures from a wonderful three week camping trip around Sweden and Norway in 2006 (5,200 km). That was the worst pictures I could loose.

So, the lesson must be: MAKE BACKUPS!

Well, I just want thank everyone for their assistance and I attach a couple of the pictures we took on our 2006 vacation. Guess where the pictures were taken







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