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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-08-2009, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
 
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External HD not recognized, not spinning

So I fired up my Mac to record some music today, upon start up I do not see the external HD icon on the desktop. I store all my music files on this external hd. The power light is on, but the access light is not lighting up at all, nor do I hear any spinning or activity going on inside the case of the HD.

I have a buslink firewire 3.5" hard drive. Last time I used it was last week, and now it doesnt seem to work, even if it is powered up. I tried restarting the Mac, reconnecting the cables several times but still nothing shows up on the mac.

Is there a way to still retrieve all my music files from the HD and store them into another HD, if this HD has died on me?

If so, how is this done? I have a ton of stuff on this HD but i'm afraid I might lose everything on it.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-08-2009, 01:30 AM
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

the enclosure probably failed... put the HD in a different external enclosure & it should work. lack of spinning is a good sign (no power) vs clunking (bad platter drive shot) ...glen
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-08-2009, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

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Originally Posted by jemsite View Post
the enclosure probably failed... put the HD in a different external enclosure & it should work. lack of spinning is a good sign (no power) vs clunking (bad platter drive shot) ...glen
Glen, I don't know if this is a problem but my Hard drive is an old model (Buslink mfw60 7200rpm firewire for mac). Getting another enclosure means I have to find another one of the same model right?

At least, do you know if there is a data transfer hardware that takes data from one hard drive(old one that's not spinning) to another one(new one), i'm more concerned about retrieving the music I recorded.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-08-2009, 09:35 AM
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

No any matching external enclosure will do. The hard drive itself has two ports.. one for data (IDE or SATA) and one for power. Google the specs see what type of drive & size is in the enclosure (IDE/SATA, 2.5/3.5", etc.). Then pry open the box & you'll see the actual drive & flimsy/cheap card that connects the Firewire port of the plastic enclosure to the actual drive itself (IDE/SATA connector & power).

You can get any matching "external enclosure" & put the drive in there & reconnect. The external enclosure must fit yoru hard drive & match the type. You can choose USB or firewire that is not an issue... there is no physical firewire/USB connection on the drive itself. You also might be able to plug that drive right into your PC depending on the cables & drives supported by your motherboard. ...glen
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-08-2009, 09:52 AM
 
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

this will sound weird but it should work for you if the drive isn't spinning / bad motor. put it in the freezer for a few hours. we do this in IT when our clients have the same issue. it does something to the metal / expand / contract / and causes the drive to actually spin so you can pull data off it. you have to work fast before it thaws...maybe 15 - 20 mins? you get one shot at it and you may have to freeze again. i have done it and it works...never had to freeze twice. i am confident this will work but do under your own discretion. if you have to freeze twice, wait 24 hours.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

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Originally Posted by jemsite View Post
No any matching external enclosure will do. The hard drive itself has two ports.. one for data (IDE or SATA) and one for power. Google the specs see what type of drive & size is in the enclosure (IDE/SATA, 2.5/3.5", etc.). Then pry open the box & you'll see the actual drive & flimsy/cheap card that connects the Firewire port of the plastic enclosure to the actual drive itself (IDE/SATA connector & power).

You can get any matching "external enclosure" & put the drive in there & reconnect. The external enclosure must fit yoru hard drive & match the type. You can choose USB or firewire that is not an issue... there is no physical firewire/USB connection on the drive itself. You also might be able to plug that drive right into your PC depending on the cables & drives supported by your motherboard. ...glen
ahh, the answer I was hoping for. I just ordered one with the same specs, so I hope I will be able to retrieve all my recorded music. Fingers crossed
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

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Originally Posted by shredmaster View Post
this will sound weird but it should work for you if the drive isn't spinning / bad motor. put it in the freezer for a few hours. we do this in IT when our clients have the same issue. it does something to the metal / expand / contract / and causes the drive to actually spin so you can pull data off it. you have to work fast before it thaws...maybe 15 - 20 mins? you get one shot at it and you may have to freeze again. i have done it and it works...never had to freeze twice. i am confident this will work but do under your own discretion. if you have to freeze twice, wait 24 hours.

yes, that does sound weird for a fix. I have too many important recordings in jeopardy, I think I'll try Glen's suggestion first. I don't think I could put my HD in the freezer though, but interesting alternative. I just ordered a new enclosure so hopefully that does the trick.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 09:18 AM
 
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

the freezer won't ruin your data but use it as a last resort. if the hard drive motor is NOT SPINNING, i don't see how a new enclosure will save you. the enclosure is simply a housing to connect your drive to external machines, it's just a carriage. if the drive was spinning but windows / mac wouldn't recognize the device, then yes, possibly the carriage / enclosure. if the drive itself isn't spinning it's the motor in the DRIVE and the new carriage will just act as a nice new enclosure to house your dead drive. this is where the freezer will help you. i have done it a handful of times and it only failed to work once, recently at work, because the drive was truly dead. good luck
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 10:09 AM
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

the drive is not spinning because it's probably (99% chance) is not being powered due to a faulty card in the external drive housing. Again that card connects & interfaces the external power & usb/firewire to the hard drive & it's built-in controller.

The housing is more than just a box. This is also why why some external enclosures are brutally bad & unreliable. Open up the external drive housing & you'll see a small, cheap "motherboard".

What steve is saying would be a last resort IMHO after failing to get the drive powered & connected. I wouldn't subject a drive to cold/condensation with data on it, unless i was at the "last resort" before admission of all data loss..

FWIW it's also possible it is spinning (4200) but you don't even know it... in that unlikely case the data connector portion of the motherboard is shot. You should feel vibrations if it powers up though, however slight. There are huge failures on these external "backup drives" i just swapped a neighbors myself again they're cheaply made & frail... glen
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

Another case, when having your important files on just one HD is not a smart move.

Copies people, its the only failsafe that works...

Which reminds me. Im off to buy a a 1 TB HD to Ghost a drive...

......
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

I got my new enclosure today.

I connect my "dead" drive to the new card inside (easy installation). According to the manual, it didn't need to install any drivers from the cd because it automatically should be recognized by the mac.

After connecting and powering up the new enclosure, I fired up the mac, but I still didn't see the new drive on my desktop anywhere. I made sure that the cable and port was working by plugging in my audio interface and the mac recognized it. I didnt hear anything spinning in the new enclosure, no vibrations, nothing......just like before.

So it sounds like the HD is really "dead". At this step, I might have to put this thing in the freezer like Shred was saying.........as it is really my last resort.

Unless I take it to a local data recovery service?? I'm sure they will charge me a good fee for it, but it's still not guaranteed that I can recover any, part, or all of the data.

Can the freezing temperature actually destroy the data inside the HD??

I'll probably get an internal hard drive for my mac, I know bad externals are very common and I don't really trust them anymore.

I know I should have made backups of everything, but I guess I am learning the hard way now, which sucks cuz I recorded a lot of my original music on this hard drive.......

Maybe the freezer might be the thing that saves it..........if someone begs to differ with another safer alternative, then please let me know!!
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

Quote:
Originally Posted by shredmaster View Post
this will sound weird but it should work for you if the drive isn't spinning / bad motor. put it in the freezer for a few hours. we do this in IT when our clients have the same issue. it does something to the metal / expand / contract / and causes the drive to actually spin so you can pull data off it. you have to work fast before it thaws...maybe 15 - 20 mins? you get one shot at it and you may have to freeze again. i have done it and it works...never had to freeze twice. i am confident this will work but do under your own discretion. if you have to freeze twice, wait 24 hours.
Shred, when you put it in the freezer do you just put it in a ziplock bag or something??

When things start to condense, won't it mess up the electrical stuff that you see on the underside of the drive??

If I have to freeze more than once, will it eventually screw up the Drive because of all the thawing?

I think I will try the freezer thing, at least it is another alternative that has been tried with success. Hopefully this is just another one of those drives that the freezer fixes.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 09:49 AM
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

bummer.

does your external enclosure have an external power supply... how is the drive being powered?

now you gotta rule out more things.... so far you just ruled out the external controller of the external drive is not the issue..

the drive itself can still be extracted, it's 50:50 at this time. see link below and also see "changing logic board" if the freezer fails you can consider that option. that assumes the platters are OK but the "electrical stuff" you see on the casing of the drive is shot.

http://www.datarecoverypros.com/hard...ry-freeze.html

freezer time is worth a try now... google "freezing a hard drive" or see link above. i'd stick it in the freezer before leaving for work then try when returning. i'd probably (before freezing) gently tap it on the side with a rubber mallet to "unstick" the drive as well but you're splitting hairs now (trial & error).

this can unstick (simple terms) the drive platters. the problem is once you start copying files off the drive now locks up again as it's heated. i'd put the drive & enclosure in the freezer to allow instant hookup. you could run a cable keeping the drive in the freezer (or a cooler) if this happens or repeat copying important files first. yes use a freezer bag. Good luck... glen

Last edited by jemsite; 06-11-2009 at 09:55 AM.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 10:44 AM
 
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

bummer about the enclosure: i had my feeling on that. to answer your question on data loss, no, it won't affect anything. it's not like you're going from freezing to out in the hot sun. freezing it for a few hours should work and if it doesn't, then the drive is truly dead. sure, the drive will get hot, as any drive will, during use, and that will dry up any condensation fast, so no issues.

The other thing you could do, although too time consuming and a huge hassle (if it can be done at all), is take it apart and put drive assembly with a working motor...if possible. this is a hassle and you may not even be able to do it. i wouldn't risk it. this is one of the main things data retrieval houses do, and why they charge so much!

when i did the freezer trick, it was in for about 4 hours or so. no bag, just the hard drive itself. once removed, i connected it and the OS saw it right away. i was always able to pull data off it. we tried it on a drive here at work, no go. the drive was truly dead. if you needed to do it a couple times, i would wait maybe a day between attempts. the reason for this... to make sure any condensation (IF there is any, is dried.) you don't want to FREEZE the unit up with ice. if you freeze it when it's dry, it will cause the metal to contract, which does something to the motor, and will enable to spin...hopefully.

good luck,
steve
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: External HD not recognized, not spinning

Quote:
Originally Posted by jemsite View Post
bummer.

does your external enclosure have an external power supply... how is the drive being powered?
yes it has an external power supply

Quote:
freezer time is worth a try now... google "freezing a hard drive" or see link above. i'd stick it in the freezer before leaving for work then try when returning. i'd probably (before freezing) gently tap it on the side with a rubber mallet to "unstick" the drive as well but you're splitting hairs now (trial & error).
I'll have to try this with caution!

Quote:
this can unstick (simple terms) the drive platters. the problem is once you start copying files off the drive now locks up again as it's heated. i'd put the drive & enclosure in the freezer to allow instant hookup. you could run a cable keeping the drive in the freezer (or a cooler) if this happens or repeat copying important files first. yes use a freezer bag. Good luck... glen
I'm assuming if i put everything hooked up in the freezer, even the enclosure, that it might ruin the enclosure in the process? I know if this is the case, I wouldn't care as long as I am able to retrieve the files to a safe place.

But thanks for all the advice and tips, there is still a little bit of hope left, thanks to you and shred. Hopefully I can give you good news soon!
Glen
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