How can I get the files off my Toshiba external drive that shows a blue light and makes a whirring noise?

ferlickity September 2, 2012
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I need help! My Toshiba 1TB external hard drive was ok last night, I was watching a film and when I woke up I turned the laptop on – I could see my files on the harddrive and the light was blue. I tried to play some music and the drive just disappeared… the light turned red.

I unplugged and plugged back in again the light is red for about 1min, there is a whirrling noise – no clicking – but then the light goes blue, theres no noise and the laptop does not recognise that there is a device attached.

I’ve tried it in another laptop, another USB port and the same happened.

I haven’t lost hope yet as the noise must mean it isn’t completely dead?

I need the files on there… there are photos / work / films the lot! I’m currently in Tunisia and not due to return to the UK until November so data recovery is a very very last resort for me here… it’s the work files i need back most desperately.

Is there anything, anyone could recommend to kick start the drive back up so I can at least have 5mins to retrieve the important stuff?

  1. Gabriel Avila
    September 12, 2012 at 12:01 am

    yes you might just need to mess around with the position of the cord

  2. Erlis Dhima
    September 4, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Have you tried opening it with another operating system?
    If it works, try to back up your files somewhere else, and format the hard disk, and than move the files again in this hard disk!

  3. ha14
    September 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    uninstall the driver from device manager while the hard drive is plugged, reboot and let windows to re-install a new driver.

  4. Zenphic
    September 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Perhaps a Check Disk could correct the error on the drive.

    You'll first have to check if the drive is recognized by windows by starting Disk Management (Run "diskmgmt.msc" or type "Disk Management" in the Start Menu). If you see an unknown 1TB partition, it's probably your drive. Assign it a drive letter (let's say X) but do not format it or you'll lose all the data on the drive.

    Then start Command Prompt (run "CMD" or type "CMD" in the Start Menu). Then type "chkdsk X: /r" and hit enter. A Check Disk will run and it might repair the errors.

  5. Bruce Epper
    September 2, 2012 at 11:58 am

    It sounds like the drive itself is working but the SATA to USB converter in the unit is no longer functioning. In that case, I normally just rip open the enclosure and remove the drive itself. Since you are using a laptop, you will need to put it into another enclosure. After that is done, there normally isn't any "recovery" necessary. You just access the drive like you always have in the past. Everything should still be there unharmed.

    • Justin Pot
      September 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      I think you're right, Bruce: the data is likely fine. Note that you can find SATA to USB cables cheaply if another enclosure is too much of an investment.

  6. Dayaanand1
    September 2, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Try to check the website for any data recovery, if nothing is available, then you will need to open the drive and connect it to another machine and then perform the data recovery.

    • ferlickity
      September 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Thanks, I've been looking up how to open the enclosure and try connecting it up another way - any tips? To connect it up I've been recommended to get a drive adapter and cable to do this.

      • Bruce Epper
        September 3, 2012 at 3:24 am

        I don't know if this is the type of enclosure for your device. You may need to attempt other searches to find the correct type, but here is one video showing how to open the case without damaging it.

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