Hard Drive Problem: Help!


Supreme Member
Apr 29, 2009
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I know this isnt IM related but I would really appreciate it if anyone with knowledge of HDD problems could have a read of this.

Here's my issue:

I bought a WD 500GB SATA internal HDD 1 year ago. Proceeded to fill it up with awesome data/content, up to 450GB.

Two weeks ago, I fly away on a 6 month trip to Thailand. I remove the HDD from the computer (I know my way around the inside of a desktop), wrap it in soft protective packaging and pack it safely away between my clothes. It would take some serious force to have damaged it while protected in this way, and frankly I don't think this is what the problem is.

Today I bought an external SATA carriage for the HDD, for use with my laptop (windows XP home). Plug everything in and turn on. Here's what happens:

1. Carriage turns on, HDD begins to spin

2. Laptop makes the "new hardware detected" beep, and a little message pops up saying "new disk drive detected"

3. New message pops up saying "hardware is ready to use"

4. Disk shows up in the device manager under Disk Drives. Properties says the device is working properly.

5. Clicking on the "volumes" tab and clicking "populate" shows 0MB of data

6. "My computer" does not show the disk

7. Right clicking my computer and selecting "manage" will not show the disk.

I know there is a problem with my HDD itself.

My question:

What measures can I take to try and view / recover my data?


My friend has a laptop which also cannot view the disk.

I have no access to a desktop, so all recovery efforts must be attempted through the USB carriage.
Was it ESD packaging? If not, or if it wasn't fully wrapped. The static from the friction of your clothes may have fried it. Static electricity is some bad shit on sensitive electronics.
I Proceeded to fill it up with awesome data...

the problem is your data is not awesome enough


well if you really didnt drop it, i doubt its the hard drive.

could be though - god knows i've had dozens fail on me

i would try a non USB bridge test first - e.g. try to plug it in a friends PC as a secondary drive.

or buy another USB bridge and try that.
kleg is right about the static, that's the first thing that came to mind when I read your post. One thing you could try is Spinrite. I'm not sure if it will work after ESD damage but if there is any chance of recovering your data Spinrite is your best bet.

The guy who made Spinrite (Steve Gibson) has been working on it since the very first hard drives came out as a maintenance and data recovery tool. He's also the guy that coined the term "spyware".
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