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Hard Drive not seen when Connected to USB Port



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 21st 18, 12:40 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
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Posts: 60
Default Hard Drive not seen when Connected to USB Port

I have a Western Digital WD5000AAKX hard drive that I was using via an adaptor connected to an external USB port.

One day the drive could no longer be seen by my PC running Windows XP. And also not by my PC running Windows 10. At least not completely. From my desktop I can click it off so I can "Safely remove" it, but it doesn't show up in "My Computer".

I was using a cheap adapter from China. I think the drive when it was working was running hot.

Any guesses on whether or not the drive is recoverable or toast?

Thanks.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
  #2  
Old February 21st 18, 03:20 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Paul[_26_]
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Posts: 766
Default Hard Drive not seen when Connected to USB Port

wrote:
I have a Western Digital WD5000AAKX hard drive that I was using via an adaptor connected to an external USB port.

One day the drive could no longer be seen by my PC running Windows XP. And also not by my PC running Windows 10. At least not completely. From my desktop I can click it off so I can "Safely remove" it, but it doesn't show up in "My Computer".

I was using a cheap adapter from China. I think the drive when it was working was running hot.

Any guesses on whether or not the drive is recoverable or toast?

Thanks.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.


Normally, there's no SMART passthru over USB.

Pulling the drive from the enclosure and connecting it
to a SATA port, might give you better access to it.

SMART over SATA, could be reviewed via the Health tab in HDTune.

http://www.hdtune.com/files/hdtune_255.exe

*******

Disk Management has a status of "Online" or "Offline". The Offline
value can be forced by the user, while in Disk Management (i.e. to
make it easier to get Safely Remove to work perhaps). But if one
of the drive numeric identifiers is the same as some other drive
(perhaps bad cloning software), then the second disk drive will be
forced offline by the OS. You cannot force that drive online
again, unless the (apparently) identical drive has been unplugged
with the power off.

When Offline, the partitions on the drive do not show up in
My Computer.

Whether a drive is online or offline, it should show up in Disk
Management, with the partition table contents showing. So at least
you have some idea what needs to be put Online. You should be
able to see D: in Partition Management, but it only shows up
in My Computer if none of the rules for mounting it are violated.

*******

On a modern machine, a USB hard drive may be seen at BIOS level. In
the popup boot menu perhaps (press F8 or F12 or F2, depends on brand).
If this happens, it means the drive has responded to at least the
"identify yourself" query. A drive will *not* respond to such a query,
if it is not healthy. The drive will try to "hide" itself if it's
failing the simple tests the drive uses at startup. The Service Area
(SA, track -1) must be read by the drive, before the entire firmware
inside the drive is available and it becomes visible. If the heads
won't mount, the SA is damaged, it remains invisible.

The enclosure USB processor also has firmware. It's not unheard of,
for the enclosure chip to get erased. I had that happen to an
enclosure using a Cypress branded USB chip. A recipe on the Internet
told me how to re-flash the config info and make it visible
again. Took about 10 minutes or so to fix, and a while with
ye old Google to find the recipe.

*******

While I might suggest TestDisk at a point like this, the fact
you're getting some response in Windows 10, means you should
return to Disk Management there and have a look.

https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

TestDisk is available for multiple platforms. It's on Linux LiveCDs by
default. Normally it rebuilds a partition table if it got damaged,
but I don't recommend that unless you know *exactly* what the
table is supposed to look like. The program will detect
phantom partitions that were deleted three years ago,
which can cause havoc if you accept the new partition
table (partitions will get damaged).

But the program, once it's detected a partition, also has
an option to go look at the files. You can copy and paste files
off the disk using that interface. You could probably copy the
entire drive, if you had a single partition at the top that
needed to be copied. It's not practical to copy the entire
OS (System32, WinSXS) as there are lots of "tricky" types in
there that are hard to copy properly. But it will allow recovery
of your personal files and email database or the like. You can
certainly copy the entire drive, but don't expect the copy of
the drive made, to be bootable.

Now, if that happened here, I'd boot my Macrium backup software
emergency CD and try and make a backup image of the external drive,
and store it on some other drive. This would give me more freedom
later, to reformat, Secure Erase, or otherwise play rough
with the drive contents.

If you can at least get some evidence the drive is present,
it's not time to panic yet. If it didn't show up in any OS,
I might be tempted to dig a hole in the back yard for it...
Hook the drive up to a SATA port, to make sure it's not
an enclosure issue, if it completely disappears. In some
cases, it's a bad power supply on (or outside) the enclosure.

Paul
  #3  
Old February 21st 18, 03:20 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Flasherly[_2_]
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Posts: 2,048
Default Hard Drive not seen when Connected to USB Port

On Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:40:01 -0800 (PST),
wrote:

I was using a cheap adapter from China. I think the drive when it was working was running hot.

Any guesses on whether or not the drive is recoverable or toast?


I've three or four those adaptors, and they also are hot. What I did
was eventually to buy a Walmart an office fan, a mini-4" personal
model, which runs directly from regular household AC current. I put
that fan on drive docking stations for any extended operational time.
Even with the fan a few inches away, after 4 or 6 hours running, HDDs
are not exactly cool (half, a third of the drive is still inside the
enclosure, so only the top half gets air).

You can listen to it, for sounds if and how it comes up, see what
happens connected for a BIOS identification, past that to run
diagnostics and format utilities.

I've an old PATA Seagate which exhibited issues, and after several
connection swaps and power-cycle attempts eventually it came back up
and took a format. Something like that for me becomes a 3rd
generation backup -- having three iterations of data I wish to secure
is better than what I normally keep on two non-problematic drives.

Sometimes I also use fan on a drive dangling down from cables, sitting
on one of its sides, out the side of a case, hooked up but not
mounted. Such an "orphaned" drive will run marginally cooler, than
inside a docking station, but not as cool as inside from a case
equipped with a fan mounted over a drive array.
 




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