Portable Hard drive stopped working

Robpne16

Estimable
Jun 30, 2015
4
0
4,510
0
My portable hard drive suddenly stopped working on my laptop. I have tried all USB ports and other laptops and still nothing. The light on the hard drive is flashing which indicates it is working but my laptop is not picking it up. If you have any suggestions then please let me know because I have many family photos stored on it.

Thanks

Rob
 

Barty1884

Admirable
Moderator
Hopefully it just doesn't have an assigned drive.

Head to "Disk Management" (depending on the OS, will depend how - searching it will work regardless)
You should see "Disk 0" which will be your internal HDD
Hopefully you have a "Disk 1" Showing brand & capacity. Right click on it and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths" and assign a letter.
It should now show in My Computer.
 

Robpne16

Estimable
Jun 30, 2015
4
0
4,510
0


It says disk 1 but does not show brand and capacity. Is there anything else I could try?
 

Robpne16

Estimable
Jun 30, 2015
4
0
4,510
0


I have heard a spinning noise like a disc. But i haven't dropped it.

 

Barty1884

Admirable
Moderator


If it's not showing a brand or capacity, there are only a couple of alternatives that I'm aware of.

1. Depending on the brand, manufacturers often offer diagnostic tools to help establish if the HDD has sustained damage (and whether you can salvage it). Visit the manufacturers website, or search for XXX external HDD diagnostics.

2. It might only be the external enclosure, removing the HDD from the enclosing & putting it into a new enclosure or another computer (unless it has a bootable OS, or your laptop has 2 HDD bays, you likely won't be able to do it with your laptop).

3. My only other suggestion may make the HDD useable again, but would format & erase all data.....which obviously you don't want to do (The suggestion would be to right click on the drive in disk manager & "initialize")
 
You can try partition recovery to see if maybe the partition table got lost: http://www.easeus.com/partition-recovery/

Otherwise the only hope you have to be able to get your data is to remove the drive from the casing and either plug it into a desktop (best) or get a usb/sata converter and see if that works.


Unfortunately far too many people use external hard drives wrong. An external drive is a great device for backups or for transporting/transfering data from computer A to computer B. Backup meaning that you have the data on a computer and are storing a additional copy of it on the external. External drives a horrible way to store the single copy of data, epically data that you cant loose; external drives are lower quality drives then what is in your laptop/desktop, are prone to failure after a drop off the desk, and can also have the usb circuit board go bad in them. I hope this will at least be a learning experience for you on external drives.
 

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