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External hard drive not mounted

IAmAndre

Hi,

 

My WD external hard drive stopped working a few days ago. I've been using for about 3 years now, but not very often (like once every month on average), and a couple days I plugged it on my computer but it wouldn't get mounted. The last time I used was about a couple months ago and it went just fine. I don't think that it received any impact because it usually just sits on a shelf (but maybe someone let it fall when I wasn't around).

However, when I plug it, it's still somehow detected by the system. I'm a Linux user, and when I run the lsusb command I can see the hard drive but I can't mount it via the command line. It should probably appear in the hard drive settings on Windows (I don't know what the actual name of the setting is).

How can I be sure that it's dead? Can I still at least recover my data?

 

EDIT : I also noticed that the system just freezes when it's connected via USB at start-up. It would just show the first screen with the brand of motherboard.

 

Thanks

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can you try checking the partition for errors at all?

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can you try checking the partition for errors at all?

Well it's not even mounted.

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I also noticed that the system just freezes when it's connected via USB at start-up. It would just show the first screen with the brand of motherboard. I'm editing my first post.

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Well it's not even mounted.

i know :) iirc you actually can't (or shouldn't) check a partition while it is mounted since apparently it will destroy it, so I was hoping that might be an option.  Sounds like something is definitely going wrong with the hardware.  Does the device show up in gparted, and will it show any partitions on the device and how much space has been used, etc.?

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i know :) iirc you actually can't (or shouldn't) check a partition while it is mounted since apparently it will destroy it, so I was hoping that might be an option.  Sounds like something is definitely going wrong with the hardware.  Does the device show up in gparted, and will it show any partitions on the device and how much space has been used, etc.?

No, Gparted only sees the drives/partitions that are mounted. It's crazy it seems to be detected just as a USB device but not an actual hard drive.

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No, Gparted only sees the drives/partitions that are mounted. It's crazy it seems to be detected just as a USB device but not an actual hard drive.

hm, that's not a good sign, but as least that's progress.  Is it by any chance a "regular" HDD in an external enclosure you got separately, or is it one of those "all-in-one" external drives that come as 1 package?

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hm, that's not a good sign, but as least that's progress.  Is it by any chance a "regular" HDD in an external enclosure you got separately, or is it one of those "all-in-one" external drives that come as 1 package?

It's a WD 500GB external hard drive. What scares me the most is the fact that the computer won't boot up if it's connected, or even turn off.

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It's a WD 500GB external hard drive. What scares me the most is the fact that the computer won't boot up if it's connected, or even turn off.

Sounds like one of those "all-in-ones" then.  I've heard that they use hardware encryption that you'll never notice under normal circumstances but as a result you cannot simply remove the HDD from the enclosure if the enclosure itself fails.  That is very strange that it will not boot up or turn off.  Can you be more specific?  Does it refuse to initiate a shutdown procedure, or does it appear to shutdown fully and then just not power off?  And when starting, I assume you mean that hitting the power button will literally do nothing if it is connected (which is very strange).  If you mean that it goes through the BIOS fine but then just won't boot Linus, that probably means it's just trying to boot that drive, and that can be easily fixed.

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Sounds like one of those "all-in-ones" then.  I've heard that they use hardware encryption that you'll never notice under normal circumstances but as a result you cannot simply remove the HDD from the enclosure if the enclosure itself fails.  That is very strange that it will not boot up or turn off.  Can you be more specific?  Does it refuse to initiate a shutdown procedure, or does it appear to shutdown fully and then just not power off?  And when starting, I assume you mean that hitting the power button will literally do nothing if it is connected (which is very strange).  If you mean that it goes through the BIOS fine but then just won't boot Linus, that probably means it's just trying to boot that drive, and that can be easily fixed.

So I just tried to turn my computer on and off with the hard drive plugged in and I didn't have any issues, but here's what happened last time I tried :

- It would just freeze at startup (maybe it was trying to boot on the hard drive as you said)

- It would also freeze when I turned it off. The screen would remain black and the computer would stay on until I pressed the power button for a few seconds.

 

Now I have none of these issues. The white LED indicator still turns on and starts blinking when I plug it in, but sometimes I hear the hard drive spinning a bit louder than it used to. Now I remember that I plugged it in on my Asus Transformer a few weeks ago to back up my data but it didn't recognize the hard drive. Actually it never recognized it, I think that's because the tablet doesn't provide enough power to the hard drive, so it doesn't even spin. Do you think this could be the cause of the "failure"?

 

Thanks

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So I just tried to turn my computer on and off with the hard drive plugged in and I didn't have any issues, but here's what happened last time I tried :

- It would just freeze at startup (maybe it was trying to boot on the hard drive as you said)

- It would also freeze when I turned it off. The screen would remain black and the computer would stay on until I pressed the power button for a few seconds.

 

Now I have none of these issues. The white LED indicator still turns on and starts blinking when I plug it in, but I sometimes hear the hard drive spinning a bit louder than it used too. I also remember that I plugged it in on my Asus Transformer a few weeks ago to back up my data but it didn't recognize the hard drive. Actually it never recognized it, I think that's because the tablet doesn't provide enough power to the hard drive, so it doesn't even spin. Do you think this could be the cause of the "failure"?

 

Thanks

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Boot then connect the drive. Go into start>devices & printers. Do you see the drive listed as a "Device"?

If so, probably either a driver/firmware issue. If not, possibly a fault with the drive.  (*This is with me assuming you're not just having a drive letter conflict*)

Also, although it is kinda weird that its holding up your boot, thats not necessarily an uncommon thing either and it doesn't really mean anything is wrong with the drive/computer. A thumbdrive can keep a system from booting that would otherwise run fine. Even a bootable CD can do it.

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Boot then connect the drive. Go into start>devices & printers. Do you see the drive listed as a "Device"?

If so, probably either a driver/firmware issue. If not, possibly a fault with the drive.  (*This is with me assuming you're not just having a drive letter conflict*)

Also, although it is kinda weird that its holding up your boot, thats not necessarily an uncommon thing either and it doesn't really mean anything is wrong with the drive/computer. A thumbdrive can keep a system from booting that would otherwise run fine. Even a bootable CD can do it.

Sorry for the late reply. The disk does show up in the "Devices" section. Any idea how I can fix the "driver/firmware issue".

 

Thanks

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 Actually it never recognized it, I think that's because the tablet doesn't provide enough power to the hard drive, so it doesn't even spin. Do you think this could be the cause of the "failure"?

 

Thanks

 

Highly unlikely in my opinion.  I don't think once receiving too little power to properly start could do any damage to the device, so I wouldn't worry about that.

 

Unfortunately I can't really think of anything else to try.  It's worth looking into the driver question as mentioned, but I don't have any real expectations that it will be the solution :(

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Highly unlikely in my opinion.  I don't think once receiving too little power to properly start could do any damage to the device, so I wouldn't worry about that.

 

Unfortunately I can't really think of anything else to try.  It's worth looking into the driver question as mentioned, but I don't have any real expectations that it will be the solution :(

OK I'll look into that, but since I haven't done any update recently on my Linux system, I don't think driver issues would suddenly make it stop working. Maybe the firmware is corrupted for some reason though. I'll try to contact WD tech support if there is any.

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