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View Full Version : External Hard Drive Freezes in Disk Management and My Computer


ThisDude
04-05-2010, 03:39 AM
Hey everybody, I'm experiencing some problems with my external HD. One day I woke up to use it, plugged it in and all it and suddenly didn't work. The 'My Computer' window isn't recognizing my external drive and I've done a good 15 hours of googling on how to fix this yet to no avail, I still havent been able to fix it. The external hard drive isn't making any excessive clicking noises, just the usual noises it makes when it spins up, I don't hear any constant/repetitive spinning up or down, and because I don't hear anything abnormal, I have a feeling it maybe with the HD circuit board or it could be the hardware board that comes in the external hard drive that drives the power through to the hard drive and where I also plug in the USB cable and power cable through.

I have a Seagate FreeAgent Desk 1.5TB Silver External Hard Drive

What my problem is, is that when I plug in the external to my laptop, it will spin up, and making the usual clicking noises, but when I open up my "My Computer" window it freezes it and I can't do anything with that window, I can do other stuff on my laptop except for that, when I unplug it, it unfreezes. I've also looked at Device Manager and Disk Management. In Device Manager, the external hard drive shows up as 'Mass Storage Device' with no yellow or red mark. But in Disk Management, it just stays at the gray window that says "Connecting to Virtual Disk Service" and when I unplug it the drives show up. I've also tried changing the letters. At first when I'd unplug the external, the icon and letter would show up, so at the "My Computer" I'd see "Local Disk (I)." So I decided to change the letters, I took my CD-ROM drive and changed the letter from G to I which I guess made it a little better because when I plugged in my external, it didn't freeze the "My Computer" window anymore however it still does not appear in the "My Computer" window. The external shows up as "Disk 1" in Disk Management but 1-2 seconds after the whole Disk Management window freezes until I unplug it. Oh and when I unplug it, I saw at a quick glance that the external drive's new letter is now F.

I've gone through countless methods of trying to fix this such as uninstalling the driver and reinstalling with the latest, I've used TestDisk (which didn't work because it freezes at the screen where it brings up the drives), I've also looked at upgrading firmware, but it seems that it won't be of any help at this point.

Hopefully someone can please help me, I've tried my best at describing the whole problem. Thanksss.

DarDar
04-05-2010, 04:38 AM
Hi, it sounds as if the drive/casing has either packed it or the partitions are messed up in a serious way. You should consider removing the drive from the casing and then mounting it in a desktop or in a spare caddy. If you still can't read it then i would run hdtune to see if it can pick up any errors. testdisk would also run more effectively here too.

If the data is real important to you, you should consider taking it to a data recovery professional as you may end up causing more damage in running these tools if there is physical damage.

I have to ask, are you a tech? This site is really a site for computer technicians or those in the process of becoming one. If you are - great! If not, i would reccommend you look at bleeping computer or majorgeeks for help. Even better - try and link up with one of the techs from here and they will be able to look after you and your data.

Seatek
04-05-2010, 05:45 AM
Probably reverted to a RAW drive by not using the 'safely remove hardware' ...

If that's the case, you will need to do some data recovery and format the drive ..

I've seen this 4-5 times and it's never good, raw data recovery is not fun by any means ..

good luck

ThisDude
04-05-2010, 06:30 AM
@DarDar: Thanks, I will try HDtune, I took apart the external and am about to put it into my desktop to see if it works internally. I've tried testdisk with the external drive plugged in, but once i get past the log window testdisk stays at the window where it searches for the drives and stays there until I unplug my external. I am very techie but I don't think I am tech enough to the point where I can help someone out on this forum. I know what I'm doing a good 99% of the time. And I don't do anything without multiple references via google searches.

@Seatek: Yea, I dont use "Safely Remove Hardware" I always just unplug it. But if that is the case how can I go about doing raw data recovery?

Seatek
04-05-2010, 07:16 AM
@Seatek: Yea, I dont use "Safely Remove Hardware" I always just unplug it. But if that is the case how can I go about doing raw data recovery?

The recovery software of your choice, I like Get Data Back. Whatever your choice you will need to make sure the software can handle RAW or corrupt partitions. If this is the case at least the drive should still be OK after a format, and of course if it's released from the OS before yanking it out!

The b&$%! about RAW recovery is not having ANY file structure at all, you will be presented with buttloads of folders that don't mean anything to you, with which you get to go sift out your data... This won't be so bad if your looking for one file type (ie.. you just want to get pics back).

I've had one drive where I had over 1400 folders to sift through and it was not fun, also this drive took 40+ hours to perform the recovery (500 gigger), but worked just fine after a format. I got the guys pics out of the folders then told him some ridiculous price if I was the one that had to find all his other files for him, he opted to do the searching :)

good luck, keep us posted on results please.

SeaTek

ThisDude
04-05-2010, 07:37 AM
Thanks Seatek! I will definitely try that, I actually was looking into using GetDataBack, but wasn't so sure how to do so, and thank you for clarifying it. I will definitely ask for more questions if I need help. I'll try your method after I put my external HD into my desktop to see if it functions properly internally. Thanks again!

Oh and with GetDataBack which one should I get, I'm on their website and I see several versions. I'm quite sure my HD is in NTFS. And how would I format it, I can't access any of the drives functions, even in the "My computer" window it freezes, same with it in the Disk management window.

Seatek
04-05-2010, 08:18 AM
I'm pretty sure that anyone getting FAT would be after recovering from SD or a jump drive or what not .. unless their a company with some p2's still laying around .. but yes, get data back for ntfs, and pray you have small files and not 430 gigs of data like I had a month or so ago. You will also have to slave the drive into a tech box and check disk management, if the file system says NTFS then my diag is wrong, if it says RAW then my diag is right. This (even with unscrewing the side panel, plugging in drive and booting up your lightning fast tech rig) should take literally less than 5 minutes.

Definition for NTFS - What you wish your drive still had :D

SeaTek

JW The Computer Guy
04-05-2010, 01:12 PM
Have you tried a linux live-cd such as Ubuntu?

One time I had a drive that wouldn't show up period in windows, ran Ubuntu live-cd and it saw it.

snifferpro
04-05-2010, 01:44 PM
Is this an IDE or SATA drive?

Have you tried running Segate Seatools diagnostic on the drive?

I use an external drive adapter to test all suspected bad hard drives.
There is a version for both SATA and IDE.

Normally when your system hangs while trying to read a drive it is
in error recovery on the drive which indicates a bad drive.

Download Seatools (I think there is a bootable CD version) and run it
against the drive.

DarDar
04-05-2010, 03:41 PM
@DarDar: I am very techie but I don't think I am tech enough to the point where I can help someone out on this forum. I know what I'm doing a good 99% of the time. And I don't do anything without multiple references via google searches.



In that case ThisDude, i take it that your are not running your own computer tech business or in the process of doing so? This site is for those who are doing so and is not a general help forum. This is for techs in business to help one another. You can appreciate that we make our living from this and by giving out free advice, we are losing out on possible income for ourselves or other techs in the industry.

hyfidel
04-05-2010, 04:57 PM
+1 for trying to mount it in Linux first.

ThisDude
04-05-2010, 05:44 PM
oh.. Sorry, didn't know this was this kind of a forum. I saw a lot of resourceful tips and advice on this forum so I thought I'd give my own question a go. :/

In that case ThisDude, i take it that your are not running your own computer tech business or in the process of doing so? This site is for those who are doing so and is not a general help forum. This is for techs in business to help one another. You can appreciate that we make our living from this and by giving out free advice, we are losing out on possible income for ourselves or other techs in the industry.

I'm thinking that my problem is most likely that I've damaged my USB to SATA card probably due to overuse or overheating as my hard drive spins up and sounds like its spinning up correctly.