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I have a Seagate 4TB external usb hard drive that I believe has fallen (it was attached to a laptop). Now, when I plug it into my laptop, the white light on the drive turns on, but it is not recognized by Windows or Ubuntu. If I try to turn the computer on with the drive plugged in, the computer will freeze on a blank screen before any operating system begins to load. Is this drive repairable? How can I fix it?

  • It would be cheaper to buy a new external hard drive, rather than repair it. If there was any data on it that you find valuable, you would have to send it into a company that does data recovery. – DrZoo Jun 21 '18 at 18:03
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    Even when done by a data recovery professional repairs are considered temporary and useful only for the purposes of data recovery. The drive is not considered sufficiently reliable for continued use. – LMiller7 Jun 21 '18 at 18:22
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    You can't realistically repair the drive. Usually when things like this happens to a drive, the number one goal is data recovery. You could try loading the drive form Linux and see if it can see the drive.. which could be enough to recover the data. If not then send it in to get the data if it is important. – Eric F Jun 21 '18 at 18:48
  • Possible duplicate of Seagate Expansion Hard Drive (Portable) is not recognized By Windows! – Moab Jun 21 '18 at 19:31
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What is your goal with repairing? Are you trying to recover the data? Or do you hope to use the drive again?

If you want to recover the data: It depends.

It's very likely that is the data is very valuable you can pay qualified people to repair the drive and access and retrieve the data.

If you want to use the drive again: Don't.

Once a drive has been dropped, if it hasn't already suffered damage to the point of not working, the drive should no longer be trusted for storing anything of any value.

  • Agree with the rest, but I'd lose 'repair' from "qualified people to repair the drive & retrieve..." Retrieval is paramount [assuming no backup]. The drive ought to be considered trash afterwards. – Tetsujin Jun 21 '18 at 18:57
  • My understanding of data recovery involves removing the platters from the damaged drive and installing them in another unit. I'd think the heads in the damaged unit would be unable to do any reading. This, of course, has to be done in a cleanroom. – BillDOe Jun 21 '18 at 19:04
  • mhm, my impression is that the original 'drive' is nothing more than a bag of bits once they've finished. – Tetsujin Jun 21 '18 at 19:16
  • Data recovery involves whatever is necessary. The salient connection is that the purpose of the repair isn't to make the drive usable on an ongoing basis, but to make it usable enough to retrieve the data. The drive itself, even after that repair, is not to be trusted as a storage source. – music2myear Jun 22 '18 at 18:58

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