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I have an old seagate 750gb with about 350gb of data on it. Its been lying a cupboard for well over a year and I decided to see what was on it and if I could recover the files. I find that there were so many files I needed on it and I though I had lost so I began to take the files off. Then all of a sudden about 2-3 hours later it just stopped.

I booted it up again a few days later and it ran for about 30 minutes then again it stopped.

Since then I have left it one week and I only got 5 minuted out of it. I have about 200gb left to take of it but it won't stay on long enough. What can I do? Is this a physical fault as, as far as I know its never been dropped or even hurt in any way.

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  • Try a different computer with CloneZilla to copy the partition/drive.
  • Put Hard drive in Freezer overnight, and then use to recover the data. To rule out hard drive getting heated and hence shutting down.
  • Make sure that your old hard drive is able to draw 5VDC from cable. It is possible that the external cable became defective. Try replacing the cable from a borrowed from a friend.
  • Use PhotoRec or Roadkil's Unstoppable Copier (RUSC) to transfer data through DMA channel, instead passing through OS. If it is a USB2.0, RUSC will be a better choice, IMHO.
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yes the drive is very hot so got a fan on it – Aasim Azam Aug 12 '12 at 22:47
i will try other methods after seagate diagnostic – Aasim Azam Aug 12 '12 at 22:49
I used RUSC and transferred all my files and kept the drive cool with a fan. I salvaged 99.9% of the data – Aasim Azam Aug 13 '12 at 12:22
Wonderful. I am glad you were able to save data. – C2940680 Aug 13 '12 at 21:37

So it just powers down all of a sudden? Is the drive making any weird noises? If so, that probably indicates a serious hardware issue (a head crash maybe), and you should think hard about whether you want to attempt further recovery yourself (at the risk of making things worse and the data irretrievable even for professionals). If there are no noises as such, try changing the power adapter and USB cable. If you can, your next step should be to remove the drive carefully from the casing and connect it directly to your PC. If the drive's detected by the BIOS, you can try GNU ddrescue from Linux (even a LiveCD/DVD will do), or (easier to use) Windows data recovery utils such as GetDataBack for NTFS, RStudio and Zero Assumption Recovery. As a last ditch effort to pull data from an almost dead drive, you can search the net for the "freeze hard drive" trick.

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there is a soft clicking just before it spins up up. im doing a seagate diagnostic on it to repair damaged sectors to see how that goes. its been about an hour so far – Aasim Azam Aug 12 '12 at 22:46

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