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Can't read External Hard Drive anymore!
External Hdd is dying

I have a WD Passport 750Gb USB disk. It has recently refused to show up on any of my computers when connected. When I plug it in, its light goes on and I can hear it spin up but it does not appear as a usable disk. After a while, it makes a click sound and continues spinning.

Under Vista, it will eventually appear under the "Safely remove hardware" tool as a external hard disk, but explorer does not show it. Under OSX, it does not appear at all.

Is there any way I can get this disk up and running so I can get the data off it? Perhaps plugging the disk into a different enclosure?

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, random Feb 11 '12 at 5:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
    
in windows the first place to look for a drive that doesnt "show in explorer" is the disk manager. the second place might be a partitioning software, preferably one with a nice gui, so you can see more about it, and why it might not be showing, before doing something to it that might change it. For a USb connecting drive, another place to look might be in the Device Manager, where you can trace down if its controller exists, and if the drive is shown. (view devices by connection) –  Psycogeek Feb 5 '12 at 3:11

1 Answer 1

Ditch the enclosure. Plug it directly into the motherboard via its native interface - see where that gets you. It might be an issue with the enclosure, might be damaged disk platter surface in crucial areas (MBR / Partition table), firmware damage or mechanical.

You will need a particular set of tools in order to do some modest logical diagnostics - smartmontools, hddtemp, hdparm, testdisk, parted and ntfs-3g. All of these are easily obtainable (however, some of them are just complimentary and might not come of handy depending on your particular case) on a Live Linux distro

hddtemp /dev/sd?

Will expose a human readable form of present disks in the system.

parted /dev/sdX

Will expose the partition table.

file -s /dev/sdX?

Will try to determine the filesystem on any present partitions.

hdparm -i /dev/sdX

Will show you the current active mode for the drive (PIO / DMA / UDMA). Normally, it should be the last possible UDMA or its predecessor.

This is only half of the instructions. Report back when they have been performed.

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