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Thread: Disk failure

  1. #1
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    Disk failure

    I know my USB HDD has failed, but the symptoms are odd and I wondered if anyone has seen this before:

    When I plug in the drive it spins up (I can hear it) then the PC crashes, making a crash dump and emitting a loud buzzing noise (the PC, not the HDD).

    I've tried this on a second PC - same result so it obviously is the HDD. Other USB disks are fine.

    Does anyone have any insight as to what might be happening before I consign the disk - and its backups - to the bin ?

    Meantime fresh backups are being made . . .

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    Hi There's the old freezer trick, but I'm not a believer in it. I'm not recommending this, but some swear by it.
    Do you have any data on it that you can't live without?
    http://lifehacker.com/5515337/save-a...-freezer-redux

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    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    [removed PS comment, just now noticed it was an ext HD]
    Last edited by RolandJS; 2016-01-11 at 16:39.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Run a thorough chkdsk /r on the drive from a bootable disk, if it passes
    you could then use a dos command to copy the data off.
    (Don't plug the drive in until you actually need to access it).
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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    I'll try the freezer and PS ideas.

    Clint - it's an external USB drive: when I plug it in the PC crashes !

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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Run a thorough chkdsk /r on the drive from a bootable disk, if it passes
    you could then use a dos command to copy the data off.
    (Don't plug the drive in until you actually need to access it).
    I think the OP said this was a USB drive. Is the drive in a enclosure or does it have it's own USB cord??
    The enclosure could be bad.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinM View Post
    I'll try the freezer and PS ideas.

    Clint - it's an external USB drive: when I plug it in the PC crashes !
    Your drive is toasted, especially if it crashes a system while accessed underneath the OS. (as through a dos environment)
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
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    Just guessing here.
    1. If the USB drive has no external power adapter (using the USB power from the PC), there maybe a short in the USB enclosure. Or an internal short circuit, or bad connector in the internal system.
    2. If the USB drive uses a power adapter, try unplug the power adapter. Then USB connected to the PC. If the PC boots normally (surely cannot recognized the USB drive), then there maybe a short between the power adapter's 5V output and the PC 5V output (via the USB cable).
    3. If the USB is USB 3.0 cable or connector ports, try use a new USB3.0 cable. Also plug into another USB3.0 port. Reasons: USB3.0 connector wiper pins are delicate. Maybe there is a short between damaged pins. Same applies to USB3.0 ports. So change to another port on the PC / USB hub.
    4. If the USB port or cable is USB-C, try use a new USB-C cable and plug into another USB-C port.

    Results of 1 and 2 also mean toasted USB enclosure. (The circuit board is bad.)
    May try to open it and take out the hard drive. Hope the hard drive is still OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinM View Post
    I'll try the freezer and PS ideas.

    Clint - it's an external USB drive: when I plug it in the PC crashes !
    I don't see how putting a drive that crashes any PC it connects to, in the freezer, will help.

    The freezer trick is used on drives that are failing, but not failing like that - there are likely electrical issues with the drive. I have seen the freezer trick allow drives that were not recognized by the system and from which data could not be read. Around 3 years ago, at the company where I worked, my suggestion was met with disbelief, turned into astonishment when all the data was recovered from a disk that survived long enough, after a few hours in a freezer, to recover the data.

    It is possible that removing the disk from the enclosure and putting it in another enclosure, may allow you to access the data.
    Rui
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    R4

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    Hi scaisson! All good stuff. I like #1 and#2. I'm thinking the OP tried the USB on another PC and it did the same thing. It the enclosure is bad and causing the problem, then there are ways that you can retrieve the data.
    Hi ruirib! My bad! I agree the freezer trick isn't for this issue. I'm glad to hear that it has worked for you on some drives. Good to know that. I also like your suggestion about removing the disk from the enclosure. I think I mentioned that in my replies also. Good team work here! I like it a lot!
    PS looks like we replied to this thread at the same time.
    Last edited by holdum333; 2016-01-11 at 18:29.

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    I doubt a drive going bad can cause a system to go down. I would be more likely to believe it is the onboard power or a short in the cable.

    If you don't mind voiding the warranty it might be productive to open up the case and remove the drive and plug it directly into a desktop as a secondary drive to see if it still causes a shutdown.

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    Yes - I had also doubted that a bad USB HDD could crash a system but it does, repeatedly and with two different W7 laptops. The Blue Screen error comes up as a memory fault and proceeds to make a crash dump.
    I'm OK with the data - all safely duplicated - but remain mystified.
    I tried all the combinations of Power Supplies, Cables and ports, also tried attaching it through a USB hub - same result every time.
    I think it may be the controller rather then the platters or heads.

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    That is not what I meant. I doubt the drive is causing the issue. The external housing and the 12V==>5V step down and the data/power cable sure. Yank the drive out of the enclosure and see if you can read it in a desktop as a secondary drive. Of course it voids a warranty if any remains.

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    Good thought but I only have laptops - its too big. No matter - I was just curious how a failed peripheral could nuke my (any) system, Guess I'll never know.

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