Forum Thread: Potentially Busted Hard Drive

Hey guys,

My name is Rachel. I'm the front page editor/community manager for the site. I'm a total novice when it comes to programming, and I have a total novice question... hoping somebody here might help  me out.

I have a hard drive with literally all of my music on it, not backed up. :(

When I plug it into my computer, the light goes on, like it's working. It makes a sound like it's "thinking". But the icon never shows up. Can anybody recommend any troubleshooting tips?

9 Responses

Does the drive sound different? Any grinding, etc? You mentioned you hear it "thinking". What does that sound like? A couple of short "ticks"?

Anyways, I would recommened getting a Linux Live CD, and then I could walk you through how to mount it etc. If Linux can see the drive, it may not be broken, but it could be on its way out. Worst case scenario, you could buy another one, and then pay someone to do what is called a "platter swap", which is essentially taking the disk part of the HDD, and moving it to an identicle drive.

damn. Yeah, i think it may be grinding. Why Linux live? (I have no background knowledge... I'm an ios user).

Linux tends to see hard drives connected to the system from the terminal, even if you can't browse the files, so it helps a lot with trouble shooting. It can also help determine if it's the computer, or the drive.

But, yeah...If it's grinding, you'll have to purchase and identical drive and have someone do a platter swap. You might want to find a local person, because companies tend to chard $500 or more :/

You could get daring and toss the hard drive in the freezer for a few hours (2 at most). This actually works 90% of the time. It will allow you to connect it and back everything up as quickly as possible before it stops working. Freezing it normally breaks it permanently, but allows you to recover the data.

I know it's the drive because I've tried it on several computers. I didn't know about the freezer trick. Maybe I'll try that. So just put it in the freezer for two hours, and then immediately connect it to my computer and transfer the files?

Thanks for the tips.

Yes indeed, two hours seems to be the "prime" point to remove it at.

No problem, :) I love to help.

I'm not sure if it did, but to me it seems likely that if the user was using OS X and didn't eject the drive properly before removing it the drive has become dirty. This often happens to me, but who knows what it could be without a little more info.

Did you ever resolve the problem, Rachel?

Great tip on the freezer tip, that was a new one for me, I am a ex trouble shooter. But I would check it for bad sectors before committing to something that would destroy the drive. If all the sectors looked good it would more than likely be something in the Fat system, if so that is fixable.

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