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I accidentally dropped my 500gb Bufallo Ministation portable hard drive on the ground. It was still sorta working, just EXTREMELY slowly. I then ran the mac hard drive repair. It ran for about 5 minutes and then said it cannot repair it. Now, the hard drive wont even mount and i cant use it at all.

Anyone have any suggestions?

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Is the drive making any noises when you plug it in? Any ticks, clicks, etc.? –  Llamanerds Jan 8 '13 at 19:32
Also, have you removed the drive from the case to ensure that the damaged components aren't part of the enclosure instead of the drive? Harddrives are fairly robust, and if the drive is not in use/spinning at the time of drop can often survive just fine. I would pull the drive first and try mounting with a different adapter/cable –  Llamanerds Jan 8 '13 at 19:34

4 Answers 4

Using recovery software in case of physical damage may increase the damage. If you consider to freeze drive you should read this before do anything:


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Don't do this unless everything else has failed. It can make things worse. If you have slow access to the drive, rather use something like Gnu DDRescue to make a bit copy of as much as you can first. Then freeze it, resume/rerun DD Rescue and see if you can get any more off. –  davidgo Mar 15 at 2:39

The answer depends on the value of the data.

If the data is irreplaceable, don't try anything more. Take the drive to a recovery specialist and they can use their (expensive) tools and techniques to do the recovery. Expect to pay hundreds to a couple grand and there's no guarantee that they'll be successful.

Otherwise you might want to remove the drive from the enclosure and try a different one. If you're lucky, the drop is a coincidence and it's really an electrical problem.

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Place it in a zip-lock type bag and remove as much air as you can. Place it in the freezzer for several hours or longer. Remove the drive and wrap in a towel or something to insulate it for a bit. Connect and try.

You may need to do this for longer periods.

This does not always work but it has worked for me a number of times. One recovery had the drive on the freezer for several days.

If the electonics on the Buffalo case are damaged, you may need to open the case and freeze just the drive. Then connect with some sort of adapter(USB-SATA, etc)

While some may say freezing causes more issues, many are recovery companies/employees. All I can say is that it has worked many times and that there was no intention of using professional recovery. Risk was low for me.

After that, it may be necessary to have a professional recovery done. That can cost to the thousands of US dollars. Note that some will not charge if no recovery

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Not sure why no one here has answered this "appropriately", but the best way forward (assuming you don't have huge funds to send it to an expert recovey center), would be to get another drive, then run (GNU) DD Rescue to recover as much as you can off the drive - this may take days or hours. Once you have copied as many bits off it as you can, try running testdisk [ to see if you can fix the partitions ] and if that fails - which it most likely will - photorec to try recover as many files as you can.

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