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Dropped USB External Hard Drive


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#1 Mikelia

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 09:13 AM

Dear All

I just want to share the experience with you and perhaps, it can help you in case you accidentally dropped your external back-up drive.

About a week ago, my wife decided to clean up my cluttered desk and moved our Maxtor 200 GB external hard drive to a different location at the end of a bookcase. The bookends holding the books collapsed and pushed that hard drive falling to the carpeted floor about 4 feet below.

When I plugged that drive into the computer, the computer did not recognize it. I tried to straighten out the USB port connector, it did not work. I tried it on another computer, it was still not recognized.

I went in an absolute panic mode, because it contained the entire life data of all of our computers. I googled and found out if it were a head crash, then the drive must be rebuilt and the cost could be in thousands of dollars. I loaded some freeware to try to trouble shoot, zilch results.

I finally dissemble the plastic case and believe me, it was a plastic casing fastened by metal clips inside to try to prevent people from opening it. Finally I got the drive out. With an expert's help, we plugged it to a computer and the computer tried to read it and got all the folder names but it won't copy the data. Finally he used some kind of software and was able to copy all the data. But the strange thing is that after this, I was able to plug it using the 40 pin connector as an internal drive and it could be recognized with all the folders intact.

So if you have similar incident, before you totally give it up, giving another try using the above method. There appears to be something different by directly plugging the external drive into the 40 pin connector and using the USB connector. I am not a computer expert and I don't know why it worked. I have read similar suggestions from the web. My theory is that my hard drive was just knocked slightly off the position and the drive head had a very hard time to know its location. If someone uses a software to realign it, the drive would be alive again. But if you hear click, scratch or humming or some other noises, that drive is probably a toast!

Hope the above may help someone and rescue your life.

#2 cnm

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 10:44 PM

Interesting. I doubt that there was any damage to the drive. USB is a slow, error prone connection and I feel sure the trouble was there.

I have a Maxtor external USB hard drive myself. :)
It's convenient for my backups, which I make every day - but I always have the backup software verify the backup file. And every so often it does report that the backup is corrupt. I attribute this to USB. And redo the backup.
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#3 screen317

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:08 PM

Isn't USB 3.0 supposed to be coming out soon? I hear it's a step-up from 2.0, which shot 1.1 out of the water.. >_<

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