Why won’t my external hard drive power on after being connected to a faulty extension cord?

Adam Begin October 13, 2012

Hi there,

I have a Western Media 500GB external hard drive which has stopped turning on when I plug it in. This happened after having it plugged into a faulty extension cord, which made it turn on and off repeatedly while plugged into my laptop.

Did I fry the drive? Is there something I can do to kickstart this thing? How else could I recover the data?

  1. Alex Perkins
    December 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    The board that converts the SATA standard connection to the USB standard is likely kaput, try swapping the case out with another and maybe the drive will work.

  2. Jim Chambers
    October 21, 2012 at 3:12 am

    The power supply may have failed. Some reset if left unplugged for several minutes. Test it if you have a VOM. Test the drive as Bruce suggested. Replacing the power supply would probably cost more than buying a new case.

  3. Dave Rimmer
    October 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Have you tried it in another usb slot as Bruce stated you have done damage to the usb on the motherboard of the laptop, so hope you have more than 1 usb on your laptop if so try a good cable into a different usb slot if you only have 1 usb slot then try it on your mates PC with a good cable to rule out the HDD.

  4. davegeeit
    October 16, 2012 at 6:12 am

    I would suggest you to try the free trial version of hard disk data recovery software, with the help to this trial version you are able to see the preview of recovered data.
    You can download this software from here.



  5. Adrian Rea
    October 15, 2012 at 9:01 am

    If at the end of the day you still cannot get it to work and there is vital data you need on it, some specialists can recover the data but it can be costly. If you do ditch it, send it to a reputable recycler who can degauss it and not leave you open to id or data theft

  6. Anonymous
    October 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Go to the customer service of your hdd's manufacturer. They will help you.

  7. susendeep dutta
    October 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    It might had damaged the external HDD as a faulty wire was used.Also,there might be some power fluctuations that made your external HDD get damaged as HDD are susceptible to such things.

  8. Adrian Rea
    October 13, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Just before you do, sometimes external USBs get their settings in a knot and there may be a reset point on the drive that you need a pin to poke it. This is often the case on mp3s, some external hard drives, when disconnected from th.e pc without being 'ejected' from file manager. Hope that helps, if not it is there for others

  9. Dimal Chandrasiri
    October 13, 2012 at 5:04 am

    it's possible that you might have fried it. if you are still in the warranty period, get it replaced. or else, remover the enclosure and mount the HDD into another enclosure. this will help you.

  10. Bruce Epper
    October 13, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Although it is possible that the drive was fried, it is more likely that it toasted the USB converter board in the enclosure. You could always try to remove the drive from the enclosure and install it internally in your machine or drop it into a new enclosure or connect it with another SATA to USB adapter.

    • Drew Butler
      October 13, 2012 at 4:36 am

      ^correct. happened to me not so long ago. just ditch the case :)

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