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Western Digital external hard drive error

Discussion in 'Other PC hardware' started by ekul5400, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. ekul5400

    ekul5400 Member

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    Hi everyone, I've had a 250GB external hard drive for about four months being used for video footage. I uploaded some recordings today and unplugged the drive. Now whenever i plug the drive back in the autoload screen comes up and scans each file in the drive very slowly. I can import the footage into Vegas but that also takes a ridiculously long time. I really don't know what has happened, i always unplug it the same way and its always in the same usb port. I tried reinstalling the drivers but that didn't do anything and i can't risk reformatting the drive due to the amount of important data on it. Does anyone know why this could have happened or how I can get it back to its normal speed as it is basically inoperable at this rate,
    cheers
  2. AfterDawn

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  3. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    are you using usb2 as sounds like it is running at usb1 speeds? reinstall the usb2 driver for your motherboard.
  4. ekul5400

    ekul5400 Member

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    thanks for the suggestion ddp, I tried that but it hasn't proven successful. It just doesnt make sense as my computer wasnt in use between the time it was working and the time that it wasn't and I haven't installed anything new either.

    EDIT: it turns out i can't even view the footage directly from the hard drive, it plays a few seconds of the file and then crashes.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  5. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    try the drive on another pc to see if problem is with drive or your computer.
  6. ekul5400

    ekul5400 Member

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    Just plugged it in downstairs to a usb2 port and it had the same results, too slow and won't play videos back. So i guess its definitely the drive then. Is there anything else i can do apart from sending it back? If i tried to back up the data it would take weeks probably and its really important stuff.
    Thanks for your help so far btw.
  7. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    might be able to connect drive intermally in pc if taken out of enclosure tho could void warranty if there is a label on a seam. if have space on internal hd to take info off sick hd so it can be reformated back in enclosure.
  8. Rikoshay

    Rikoshay Regular member

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    What is the method you use to unplug the drive? Did you use the Safely Remove Drive task in Windows XP, or did do you just remove it when you unplugged it?

    It's quite possible that whatever you uploaded didn't completely finish copying and caused some data loss and in the worst case scenario some damage to the hard drive itself.

    You have to make absolutely sure that nothing is still in the cache of the system or it creates data loss on the drive, which could have been a likely cause.

    Next time you plug it in, go to Properties > Hardware > Drive name > Properties > Policies and put it on "Optimize for Quick Removal" and uncheck "Enable Write Caching on the Disk." It'll decrease performance some but you can easily remove the drive without waiting for anything to finish processing.

    I would also skip the autorun feature as well if it's not really needed; it just takes time to do and you could just easily open the hard drive itself and perform whatever is needed from there.

    If the performance is totally unusable, try doing some tests first. Try running Disk Cleanup, Error-checking and Defragmenting. If that doesn't help, try using another USB cord to connect with.

    If none of that helps, then it's very likely that the HDD has damage directly, which unless you have a program that can help repair any damages of that sort (a program like SpinRite), then you may have to replace that hard drive altogether.

    If you can't open up that external casing because it's from a HDD manufacturer, I would suggest getting an empty external enclosure next time, that way you can add any size hard drive you want to it and can easily take it out to put into your desktop if needed.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  9. ekul5400

    ekul5400 Member

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    thanks for the replies, I've already tried and error check and to degfragment the drive but both just stalled. Also the drive was already configured for safe quick removal. I even tried a different USB cable but that didn't help.
    Suprisingly enough I actually had a copy of spinrite on a disc (no idea how though) but it wouldn't detect the drive.
    Would opening the drive up and connecting it internally make it work? I'd want to send it back but if i do this i obviously won't be able to. I can't even copy the data onto a different hard drive as half way through the process i get an "I/O Device Error" message. The footage on the hard drive is for a project I'm working on and I really need to get it back.
    Any more ideas?
  10. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    try copying small sections at a time but will take longer
  11. Rikoshay

    Rikoshay Regular member

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    Honestly I can't think of much to do but to take it back or open it up.

    I had a problem similar to this; I had a Maxtor 250GB external HDD that I used to use a lot at school, but while I was setting up my friends front USB to work, I had it left in and on, so I think I shorted out the USB functions for it. I thought about sending it back, but I had no guarantee that I would have my data intact if I did. After about over a year not having it, I decided to ultimately open it, thereby voiding the warranty, and put it in my desktop. I was able to get all but one or two files off of it intact, and attempted to fix it with spinrite and what-not, but it was too far gone by that time.

    Now it's in the box it came with, and I've bought an external enclosure with a 300GB Seagate Barracuda in it that I've had for over a year now. No matter how much the external cost, I would assume your information is more important than that, so it's up to you which one you would value more.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  12. ekul5400

    ekul5400 Member

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    I think I'll try that then. At the minute im running a program called get data back which is scanning each individual sector of the drive, but is finding a lot of errors. It's supposedly gonna take 19 hours ... oh well i've got nothing to lose. If that doesnt work, ill open it up and just put the drive in my tower. I'll report back when I do and let you know if it worked. Thanks a lot to both of you for your help, I can always trust afterdawn for advice.
  13. Rikoshay

    Rikoshay Regular member

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    OK, but I hope for the best. If at least the drive isn't saved, I hope at least your stuff is still intact.
  14. ekul5400

    ekul5400 Member

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    Nope sadly that didn't work. Spent ages trying to crack open the western digital drive's case and when i finally did and plugged it in properly it behaved exactly as it did when it was plugged in via usb. Spinrite won't even find the drive either. I'm guessing that was my last chance of it working then?
  15. Rikoshay

    Rikoshay Regular member

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    That's unfortunate to hear. There still is a few options, but some of those options are pretty pricey, so I don't know if you wanna do that. Just keep trying to see if it can be recognized by your computer or by SpinRite. Try to get as much information off of it as you can.

    Sorry that you opening it up didn't exactly work, but I doubted it to work from just that. Again, try to get as much data off of it as you can; it seems like that drive is pretty much dead. At least I know which brand(s) not to trust anymore :D
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  16. ekul5400

    ekul5400 Member

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    It was "Western Digital 250GB "My Book" Essential 1U External Hard Drive USB2.0". The drive booted up when i set it to cable select but when i tried to put it on slave the pc wouldn't boot up.

    Oh well, what's done is done...Yup i will definitely not be buying another western digital drive ever again. I'll keep trying as much as I can with this for a little while though. I'll find a way, thanks for the help :D
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  17. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    was the wd drive the only drive on that ide cable because if so than remove the jumper? it is a wd issue that other hd manufacturers don't follow in that if wd is only drive on ide cable, do not jumper it at all.
  18. ekul5400

    ekul5400 Member

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    Putting the drive in by itself without a jumper allowed it to be detected by spinrite. When i started spinrite though i got the message "This drive's smart system is reporting that this drive is in IMMINENT DANGER of complete failure! You should only use spinrite in its data recovery mode (not deep testing and drive execising) and probably only after first carefully coping any crucial data this drive may contain. With a drive in this shape, there is a danger that any extensive data recovery work could push it over the edge, causing it to die completely. PLEASE copy any vital data from this drive BEFORE proceeding."

    Only problem is, i cant copy data from the drive...that's what im trying to do. Should i risk using the program or not?
  19. JiminRD

    JiminRD Member

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    HOW did you open the case. MyBook just crashed. Actually it smoked and I believe the power supply went or a power regulator chip. Need to yank the drive out. THANKS
  20. ekul5400

    ekul5400 Member

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    theres a full guide of how to do it here Good luck in fixing your drive :D

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