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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

computer not recognizing external hard drive


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kannd86

 
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I have a Samsung SimpleDrive that I use every day. I store all my music, photos, everything on it and can easily plug it into any computer. Usually I use it on this computer - an eMac (Mac OSX Version 10.3.9 1.25 GHz PowerPC G40, and sometimes with my brother's laptop, also a mac. I've never had a problem with it before, except that if I didn't eject it before unplugging it, I might lose some stuff, but I've been making sure to always eject it properly to avoid that. Today, before I restarted the computer, I ejected it, but left the USB plugged in so it would just show up automatically when the computer started up again as it always does. It didn't show up though so I unplugged the USB then plugged it back in and got an error message that the computer can't read the device and three options - initialize, ignore and eject. When I click initialize, it does say Samsung, so it does recognize it on some level, but I can't see any of my files. I plugged it into my brother's laptop and the same error message came up. You have to understand this is my worst nightmare. I've been meaning to get a backup hard drive for a while now, but funds are low and I never expected to have a problem. Please please help! Please tell me this is a common problem with an easy fix. I swear I'll back everything up right away, just please tell me all of my files are still there.
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chscag

 
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Sounds like the drive may have died. Try using Disk Utility to verify and repair the drive. If Disk Utility refuses to recognize the drive and only offers to initialize (format) it, then the drive may be defective.

If the data is important, you might want to try using Data Rescue II from ProSoft. Link It's $99.00 to purchase though and there's no guaranty that it will work.

Regards.
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kannd86

 
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What does that mean that it might have died? Do hard drives do that a lot? Out of nowhere? I use it a lot, but I didn't think that sort of thing could happen. It's not full to capacity. I just don't understand why.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kannd86 View Post
What does that mean that it might have died? Do hard drives do that a lot? Out of nowhere? I use it a lot, but I didn't think that sort of thing could happen. It's not full to capacity. I just don't understand why.
A hard drive is not only an electronic device, it's also a mechanical device. Like any other electronic or mechanical device it's subject to failure. Some hard drives fail after short usage, others operate for years before failing.

That's why it's always wise to have backups.

Regards.
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kannd86

 
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Ok, thank you for your help. One more question. Will repairing it with Disk Utility do anything to the data? I don't want to do anything that could possibly do more harm. What exactly does "Verify Disk" and "Repair Disk" do? What is it usually used for?
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hughvane

 
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Disk Utility, while useful, is limited in what it can do. I would instead suggest using Disk Warrior [rather expensive] or take your Samsung to a Mac technician who already has DW (which is what I've done in the past).

'Verify Disk' looks at the HFS (file structure) of the disk to see what is okay and what's not, and then 'Repair Disk' does just that. It does it in a number of ways, including transferring data from a damaged sector to a clean one, and then masking the part that's no longer any use. It does not harm data, as far as I know. If data itself is damaged beyond repair, it will be lost.

Another option is to take your Samsung to a data recovery expert who might be able to retrieve undamaged data from the drive. Again, not cheap I'm afraid, and not guaranteed to succeed.
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techiesteve

 
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If the drive has corrupted Disk Warrior is very effective, if it has developed a fault, data recovery via Data Rescue is very effective. Sometimes I find Data Rescue will not recover data but Boomerang will. A clean room data recovery, if successful, would be very expensive. All hard drives will eventually fail, it's just a matter of when.

Steve Bell
UK
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kannd86

 
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When I click Verify Disk, this is what I see: http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...taidfailed.png

First Aid Failed
Disk Utility stopped verifying "disk2s1" because the following error was encountered: Filesystem verify or repair failed.

Does that mean it's corrupt and Disk Warrior is the way to go? Also, my hard drive is a SimpleTech SimpleDrive, no where on it does it say Samsung. The computer says it's a Samsung, so that's why I called it one, but now I'm pretty sure it's not. Is that at all relevant?
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The 'Samsung' bit may well be the controlling chip*, the drive itself appears, from what I can discover, to be Hitachi brand. All very confusing.
[*My Seagate external HD has a Prolific brand controlling chip, and that name shows up in Disk Utility and System Profiler.]

To your direct question - yes, in your situation, I would go for Disk Warrior, mainly because, as your OP suggests, the data on the drive is important to you. Otherwise, a replacement drive would probably be cheaper.
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kannd86

 
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Thank you. I was talking to somebody who recommended a USB IDE/SATA adapter to recover the data and they gave me this link: TeckNet VS408 USB 2.0 to IDE/SATA Cable for 2.5-Inch: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo I would have to find a different retailer, as I'm not in the UK, but before I go look, I wanted to double check that this will help me. I'm not sure exactly what it's used for, or if it can be used with an external hard drive. What do you think?
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Your link to show that adapter is not working. However, if Disk Utility is reporting that it can not verify the drive, I doubt an external case or adapter will be useful. You can certainly give it a try. An external case or adapter can be kept for another occasion if it doesn't work. I keep one around for future use if needed.

You would probably be better off investing in Disk Warrior. And as with an external case or adapter - even if it doesn't work, it may come in handy later on.

Regards.
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hughvane

 
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I'm a great fan of adaptors for external hard drives - but I tend to agree with chscag, that such will not recover data from a drive that is faulty.

Next - you can find ATA/SATA-USB2 adaptors all over the place. I've bought them here in NZ on an online auction site for US$24 actually less, but prices have risen since. Try sites like Printers - Scanners - Toner - Monitors - Projectors & More at Super Warehouse or RadioShack.com - the nation's most experienced and trusted consumer electronics specialty retailers.

Good luck!
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chscag

 
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To hughvane:

Here's one I especially like: Link

However, I don't know if they will ship outside the US.

Regards.
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hughvane

 
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Yes, chscag, that is a good-looking, well-made unit. Here's an example of what's available here in NZ USB2.0-to-IDE/Sata For 2.5'/3.5' HDD /5.25' Drives for sale - TradeMe.co.nz - New Zealand with a price of US$20.

The TeckNet example listed by the OP is about the same price (converted) as the Coolgear one, and as the TN price is in £, one assumes s/he is in the UK. I'd suggest shopping online at any one of numerous electronics stores there.

Perhaps it should be added that these adaptors are not OS-specific, purely hardware, so there's no need to pay elevated prices for 'Apple' brand or 'Made-for-Mac' items.
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