How can I fix a broken or damanged external hard drive?
Question by meriodere ukoli /

How can I fix my LG 250GB external hard disk? It seems to have fallen. Computer recognizes that something is attached, but can’t read the disk. Tried everything! This is a geek challenge because I heard it’s possible to fix it.

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Answers (27)
  • vinay kumar

    HEY , i m having a difrent problem . my hard drive is having virus some of my frndzz tried and scanned it till 40% and find out more then 1lakh trrozen horse drroper virus but they are not going further because it is taking too much of time .that is why i brouth kesper sky internet security but my pc is not detacting that hard disc . please tell me what should i do so that it get detacted

    • ha14

      1) open device manager (go to run and type devmgmt.msc)
      2) locate the external hard drive
      3) right click on it and choose uninstall
      4) reboot and let windows to reinstall a new driver.

  • Samonjoy Salman Bhattacharya

    hey guyz ..u got to help me….i recently bought a 1TB Seagate goflex…and have around 400 gb of data in it ….but somehow it fell off my hand ..around 2-3 ft down on ground and since …its not being recognized by my laptop…..and also when i plug it into my lappy…it makes wierd noises and a peep sound …..but nothing pops up on d screen ……………plzzzzzzzzzzzz help me i want my data back ….in ny way or d other …….seagate ….plz help me !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Samonjoy Salman Bhattacharya

    hey guyz ..u got to help me….i recently bought a 1TB Seagate goflex…and have around 400 gb of data in it ….but somehow it fell off my hand ..around 2-3 ft down on ground and since …its not being recognized by my laptop…..and also when i plug it into my lappy…it makes wierd noises and a peep sound …..but nothing pops up on d screen ……………plzzzzzzzzzzzz help me i want my data back ….in ny way or d other …….seagate ….plz help me  !!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • Mike

      Noises and beep sounds usually indicate a problem with the hard drives reading heads.

      You could try one of the things mentioned before e.g. the “freezer trick” or maybe gently hitting it by the side in case the heads are “stuck”.

      However, assuming that the hard drive was turned off when it fell out of your hands the platters containing the data should be untouched (un-damaged) which is the best situation for professional data recovery. Any “non-professional” attempt solving this mechanical problem could cause further damage.

      As always the best option is to see an professional with a data recovery lab and a clean room.

  • Afridmunawar27

    hey every1,
    my external hard disc -Western Digital 750GB hard fell on the floor with a loud thud. When i connected it,it began flashing with some sound within which would stop after about 5 secs. I opened the cover and checked out the inside of it. On holding 1 particular part,it sparked out. And now the sounds have stopped,but it still flashes and the computer does not read it since itz fall. Please help. I’v tried the command prompt technique,it says “cannot open volume for direct access”. i want to try the freezing technique,but thought id ask yo’l before that. PLEASE HELP!!!

  • Pv2runcie

    My buddy jerked my Computer Tower over a bit, and it shook my External HD causing it to fall to its side, and now, whenever i try to open it up, it causes my Windows Explorer to stop working, how can i fix this problem and get my HD to work again?

    • Anonymous

      1) open device manager (go to run and type devmgmt.msc)
      2) locate the external hard drive
      3) right click on it and choose uninstall
      4) reboot and let windows to reinstall a new driver.

  • Help :(

    Hi,
    I have a similar problem, i dropped my external hard drive the other day (for the second time, the first  was fine but i heard something rattling inside when i shook it but the second time nothing) and when i connect it to my PC  the light comes on and the computer recognises that the device is connected but tells me “the device must be formatted”. Any tips or ideas on how to make my data on my hard drive avalible again??
    Thanks

    • FIDELIS

      Hello, the easiest and free option for you would be to try and see if linux can see the contents of the external drive.  In order to do this, you could try downloading a linux based live cd like the one on the link.  Once the ISO image is downloaded, burn it to a CD.  Once live CD is burned, start up your computer from live CD and then connect the external.  The drive should be mounted by itself.  Explore the drive to see if you can find any files there:

      http://www.knoppix.net/

      You could also try other options but you have to consider that sometimes there is no other option than to pay for a recovery service.  Let me know how it goes after trying the live cd and we can take it from there.

  • Anirudh

    I have a WD external hard drive which i dropped. i have all my lifes work in it. is it possible for me to recover my files? the computer does not read it but the power light comes on along with a noise from the hard drive itself. Is there any way for me to get my files back?

    • Tina

      Anirudh,

      if all the tips above fail, you can always send your drive to a professional recovery service and they can recover your files for sure. However, this is expensive. Depending on how badly the drive is damaged, it could cost between US$500 and US$3000.

      So try the tips above. Let the drive sit for a while, so the mechanical parts can literally cool down. You might want to try the freezer trick, but be sure to seal the drive in a 100% tight plastic bag, so that it will not soak up moisture!

      Before you attach the drive to access files, be sure you know exactly what you want to backup first, where the files are, how you want to back them up and where to. You might only have a few minutes until it breaks entirely.

    • Saurav

      anirudh try from the command prompt it will surely work..
      i fixed my own hard disk dis way wen all other ways failed..just type in cmd:

      chkdsk e: /f                   (“e” is ur drive letter)

  • Afshasaj

    hello……..i have a similar problem, my LG hard disk drive fell down & not working. showed it 2 a authorised person he saz it wont work..but i feel it wil work coz when i connect indicator light is on & that vibrating mode is on…laptop doesnt recognises it…..plz help i have my memorable images in it………….

    • Tina

      Did you try any of the advice above? If the drive was physically damaged, and it obviously was, then you only have a slight chance of getting it to work. If you are very lucky, you will get it to work long enough to back up important data.

      If you desperately need the data on the drive, you can always have the data rescued. If you need advice for your specific case, i.e. what to do with the drive, how data can be rescued etc. please post a new question.

  • Brent Adonis

    I would suggest placing it (the hard drive) in an anti-static bag, with bubble wrap and leaving it in a deep freezer for 24 hours and then take it out and try the drive immediately (hopefully your hard drive can be taken out of it’s housing without voiding the warranty) . Reason for this is, the drive expands when hot and contracts when cold.

    It’s worked for me once. Maybe you might be lucky and the same might apply to you.

    • Manchurianite

      thanks but I don’t know what an anti-static bag is, or are you referring to the storage wraps with the bubbles/the foam that come with them. its seems a very “chilly” idea, heard of it once, maybe i will decide to have some guts and do it for the heck of it.

    • Tina

      The freezing trick works!

      An anti-static bag is a plastic bag that is anti-static. Hard drives come packed in such a bag when you buy them.

      I used a zip-lock bag to freeze a drive that had broken. The next day it didn’t work. :( But when I tried it again two years later (!!!) – a last time before I was going to throw it away – it did work and I could back up all my lost photos. Actually, the drive still works, over three years after breaking. Lesson: patience pays. :)

  • JJ

    Might be useful to add more information about the drive model, connection type, et caetera..

    Also, you may receive more answers if you respond to this question: do you care about the data on it, or just want to use the drive again?

    Hope your answers to any of these questions will help bigger geeks than myself to come up with a solution.

    Cheers!

    • meriodere ukoli

      would love to use the drive again, LG external HDD 250G connection type is USB, thanks all the same.good to know ppl are interested.

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