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I have recently bought a Seagate Expansion 750GB external hard drive and for a little while it was working fine. However, I'm pretty sure I corrupted the drive since now it isn't being recognized by my computer anymore. I am mainly using it for a WD TV Live, and that isn't recognizing it either. I tried one other computer and it acts the same way.

Basically, when I plug it into my computer (Windows XP SP2), it turns on, spins, no clicking sound, and the LED flickers. Despite this, my computer acts as if nothing has happened. It doesn't even show up in the "Disk Management" section of the "Computer Management" window.

All I want to do it reformat this damn thing so I can use it again. I already have all of the movies I stored on it on another drive. So my question is: Assuming I am correct in that the drive has been corrupted and needs to be reformatted, how do I accomplish this when the drive isn't even being seen by my computer? Or rather, how can I get my computer to recognize it? If I'm not correct, then that's an issue for another question.

Also, get this. It started acting this way after I accidentally momentarily inserted the tip of the USB plug upside-down into the port. After that, it started not working right. Since then, it was recognized once by my computer, after a reboot. Rebooting doesn't work anymore. It didn't make sense to me but hopefully it will make sense to someone here.

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closed as too localized by KronoS, studiohack Oct 5 '12 at 4:31

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

If you have this type of problem with an hard drive, just warranty replace it. If you faff around checking it out with Live CDs or PEs, you're asking for it... you're likely not going to fix the issue, and the conversation at your point of sale is going to go rouhgly like this: - You : "My Linux Live CD can read it but not Windows XP" Them: "Oh - so it is readable, just not in the OS of your choice... it's not 'unfit for purpose'?" Been there, done that, nearly lost my job over it. – user51470 Oct 6 '10 at 7:31

I suggest you return it under warranty.

BTW: if you could plug in the USB adapter upside-down far enough to cause harm, that suggests that either the drive or your PC has an non-comformant USB-connector.

But of course it's also possible that the hard disk was bad to start with, and the upside-down incident was just a coincidence...

Another idea: did you try to use another USB cable?

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The USB socket on the front of my PC is just loose from so much use. It performs awesomely besides this incident, which I'm almost 100% sure was not caused by the socket itself. It happened RIGHT AFTER I plugged it in upside-down (and it was only the tip - I can't get it in all the way upside-down). The drive spins properly with no clicking sound. As I have said, I'm pretty sure it's just corrupted and needs to be reformatted. Argh... – blastawaythewall Aug 26 '10 at 23:53
If the partitioning info or the filesystem is corrupted, it should still show up, and you should be able to repartition & reformat it. – JanC Aug 27 '10 at 10:26

External drive enclosures are just fancy cases for regular hard drives. It's got an itty-bitty backplane, a power converter, and a simple drive mount. You can buy empty cases at any good retailer.

Troubleshooting it in the case is a lost cause: either the case is dead, or the drive is dead, and you can't figure out which until you remove one variable from the equation.

Grab yourself a screwdriver, and unscrew the case. Then take out the hard drive, and hook it up as an internal drive in your computer. If it spins up fine, then you know the problem is in the enclosure. If it doesn't, then you know the problem is in the drive.

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I can tell that the drive is spinning just fine in the case. I don't have an extra slot in my old HP computer to test it anyway (or an extra cable). Besides, I still want the option of returning it. It's not really the kind of drive you can open with a screwdriver... it's a Seagate Expansion:…;. Neither the drive or the case is dead. – blastawaythewall Aug 26 '10 at 22:15
@blastawaythewall: How can you know that neither the drive nor the case is dead when you can't access the drive? Under normal circumstances, you can't break a drive to the point where it won't be recognized as a drive. At this point, I'd just return it. – Satanicpuppy Aug 27 '10 at 14:33

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