How can a fix my broken external HDD?

Mishka Mohamed November 28, 2012
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I have a WD HDD that had a bit of a fall. Right after the fall I checked to see if it worked and it made a clicking sound, so I unplugged it and left it to cool down. When I tried to use it again, it didn’t make any clicking sound. The PC could read it and access the files on it, but after 2 minutes or so it would cause the computer to freeze.

It still does this. Every time I use the HDD, it stops working in the middle of data transfers or just watching a movie. Can anybody help me please?

  1. Douglas Mutay
    December 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    There is nothing you can do. It seems to be a physical damage. Try to save as much as possible data in another HDD when it's still possible because very soon you will not even be able to make it run for 2 min... sorry!

  2. Paul Pruitt
    December 1, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Put in double plastic bags ovvernight to freeze it, then try dd_rescue. Practice using the program beforehand so you can use the progam efficiently before the drive warms up. here is an account of somebody who had success doing this:

    • Joseph Videtto
      December 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      what does the freezing do ?

      • Paul Pruitt
        December 2, 2012 at 12:43 am

        Upon reading up, these days it may do more harm than good. Apparently works best on older drives where the freezing contracts the parts and realigns the heads, at least temporarily until the drive warms up.

        I know that is not a satisfactory explanation but I'm no expert. There are though several written accounts I have come across where the report is it worked. One was from 2006 that I read today.

        If you have nothing to lose because you are too poor to afford the software or the more expensive data recovery service, it might be worth a try still...

      • Paul Pruitt
        December 2, 2012 at 12:44 am

        Let us know if you do decide to do a freezing treatment and how it turned out.

  3. Nikhil Goswami
    November 30, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    If I were you, I would take it to a WD service center and try to get it fixed. Or, atleast get the files recovered and transfer it to a new media.

  4. Dave Rimmer
    November 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    As all have stated sounds like you have damaged it, i would try to use it as you are for a couple of minutes and try to salvage what ever you can then get a new one or if it is still under warranty return it. You could also try putting it in the freezer for a few minutes as you may get a bit more time to salvage your data.

  5. Aniket Singh
    November 29, 2012 at 11:24 am

    i think u canot fix it....but data can be recover by professional only

  6. Jan Fritsch
    November 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

    The combination of dropping it and clicking sound pretty much confirms it's a mechanical failure.

    Also it is not uncommon that a in such a case the drive would work in a "cold state" but as soon as it gets to operation temperature it stops responding.
    Naturally the computer will freeze to a certain degree once the drive stops responding as it will retry accessing it over and over causing one of the copy or read processes to be "stuck" in a retry loop.

    If you need the data of the drive the best thing I can suggest is to stop wearing it out with your attempts and hand it to a professional. Trying over and over could finalize a data loss.

  7. Abba Jee
    November 29, 2012 at 8:29 am

    if it made a clicking sound , sounds like HD media problem , i hope it can be fixed but don't think so you can claim warranty against this issue , the price to fix media problem in HD maybe half of price itself

  8. Jim Chambers
    November 29, 2012 at 2:53 am

    Download, install and use WD Diagnostic software available here -

  9. ha14
    November 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    perhaps driver problem, update?

  10. Mihovil Pletikos
    November 28, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    most probably nothing

  11. Alex Perkins
    November 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I reckon the read/write head hit the platter(s). Try using Recuva to salvage your data, if that doesn't work then as a last ditch effort open up the case and put it into your computer, if you can't (it's a laptop) then you could get another external case and try it in that one.

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