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I have a hard drive that broke down. It's a Western Digital My Book 500 GB Hard drive. The data doesn't seem damaged but the head doesn't seem to catch on the drive so it won't start up. I need to know what my options are for repairing it. Data seems safe. Not retrieval problem then, just drive not starting up.

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i don't understand if your hdd working or not working? (read/write head spinning or not ?) if you hear a clicking sound from your hdd it means not enough electric ... – xpugur Jul 2 '10 at 11:08
Thanks for replying..I would describe it to help you get a clearer picture... I start the drive up. it runs. It makes a weird click sound ( a technology geek friend I have tell me the "head" on the drive isn't catching). then it dies. Then it tries to start up again, but never fully boots. The data is likely intact. But we can't get it to start up. I want to transfer data to another drive without paying the earth. If I can find someone to do it for me for cheap I'll cosider it. If I could do it myself, that'd be great. Please advice. Thanks so much!!! – Mehnar Jul 8 '10 at 6:18
Well basically the thing you need to do is get same hard drive as the one you have, disassemble them both and move the platters from old drive to the new drive. A single speck of dust in the new drive is enough to ruin the whole procedure. Also, major pressure change can ruin the drive, since the heads are literally floating above the platters often on a cushion of some sort of liquid. One of the biggest reasons why data recovery is so expensive are laboratories needed to reliably work on open HDDs. – AndrejaKo Aug 13 '10 at 17:46
or you can try another way ... take out hdd from its cover then connect it directly to the computer (from inside so you need data and electric cable to do that) so you can see hdd is alive or not ... if it is alive you can recover your data easily but if your hdd can't work with this way you need a professional help ... – xpugur Aug 14 '10 at 5:38
+agreed with xpugur: it might be the hard drive controller in the mybook case, not the hard drive itself. removing the hard drive, you might find there is nothing wrong with it. you don't have to hook it up internally though. you could put it in another external enclosure or use a sata to usb adapter. – Robert S Ciaccio Sep 22 '10 at 21:29

Some western digital mybook chassies have a problem with the power button getting stuck. If you have used the power button to turn the drive off and on this could be the problem for you as well. The symptoms of a stuck power button are just like you describe, the drive spins up then shuts down with a click and restarts.

On my mybook I need to "tap" the power button or the plastic near it a few times to get the button to release.

Note that the actual button doesn't seem to be stuck when looking at it, it's something beneath the actual button that gets stuck.

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I would suggest taking the case apart and attaching the drive to a separate pc. Run a diagnostic on the drive with ontrack or western digital diagnostic tool and make sure there's no i/o errors on the drive. It could be the case that has malfunctioned.

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Check the boot sequence and the master/slave config.

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I've seen these external drives fail when the USB power source is too weak.

  1. If it has an external power input, use it
  2. Try it on another computer, preferably a desktop machine

The power requirements can increase with age, so if this is your problem, be ready to replace it soon.

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