I have an external hard drive that connects to the PC via USB. Recently it stopped working, when I power it up, it starts reading, then reading, then reading, then reading... I have the impression that it repeatedly tries to find something on the disk and when it doesn't find it after n failed attempts, it gives up.
I tried removing it from the actual casing and connected it directly to the motherboard via SATA but I had the same result.
It is recognized in the BIOS but once Windows starts, it doesn't show up anywhere. I replaced the controller circuit board with no success.
My question is; is it possible to recover data from it by using external software utilities or does it look like this is really an actual hardware failure which can only be fixed when opening up the disk?