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External hard drive issues need solving

It's actually an internal drive I put into an enclosure, but technically external. ~a week ago the computer stopped reading it and flashed its red LED at me aggressively. Tried putting it into the mini-tower, still fail. Got a new enclosure, still fail. The tech people from the new enclosure's manufacturer say I have to format it. :'( I don't want to lose all my scores and documents and such! ~sigh~ Any help you can offer is appreciated! I really don't want to lose my work, and Carbonite restore is giving me flak (I'm calling tech support in the morning).
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  1. Hey there, Matveimediaarts!

    What do you mean stop reading it?
    Have you checked if Disk management or Device management can detect it? Can you tell me what's the status of the drive in the disk management tool?
    I'd suggest you to run some tests on the drive, using a software like Data LifeGuard Diagnostic: http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=810
    Run an extended test to see what exactly is wrong with your HDD.
    Another thing I can recommend you to do, if your computer detects the drive anywhere, is to use the Command prompt to check and fix bad sectors on the drive if there are any.
    All you need to do is:
    - Open RUN (run it as administrator)
    - Type cmd (the command prompt black window is going to pop up)
    - Type chkdsk x: /r (where x is the drive letter assigned to your external HDD)

    I'd be glad to help out more once you can provide me with more details on the drive's condition.
    A quick tip, speaking from personal experience: Always back up your data, it will help you avoid such unpleasant situations.
    Hope this helps though.
  2. Thanks for replying promptly, SuperSoph!
    When I say "stopped reading it", I mean that when I turned the enclosure the drive was not recognized and did not show up in file explorer (or anywhere else). I heard the *bloop* sound that normally happens when a USB device is attached and the drive spun for a while, but that's all that happened (and this is a brand new enclosure).
    WRT disk management, the drive is listed as H:. Layout, simple; type, basic; file system, RAW; status: healthy; capacity: 279.47 GB; Free space: 279.47 GB; % free: 100%.

    I'm restoring my carbonite backup of the data to my C: drive now (it will take a few days), but it would be so much easier if I could just access the drive.

    I will try your other suggestions in the meanwhile.
  3. Best answer
    Matveimediaarts said:
    Thanks for replying promptly, SuperSoph!
    When I say "stopped reading it", I mean that when I turned the enclosure the drive was not recognized and did not show up in file explorer (or anywhere else). I heard the *bloop* sound that normally happens when a USB device is attached and the drive spun for a while, but that's all that happened (and this is a brand new enclosure).
    WRT disk management, the drive is listed as H:. Layout, simple; type, basic; file system, RAW; status: healthy; capacity: 279.47 GB; Free space: 279.47 GB; % free: 100%.
    I'm restoring my carbonite backup of the data to my C: drive now (it will take a few days), but it would be so much easier if I could just access the drive.

    I will try your other suggestions in the meanwhile.

    Since you can see the drive in the Disk management tool, it just popped in my mind that you could try something else as well:
    Right click on it and select "Change Drive Letter" and assign a new letter to your HDD.
    I hope it will give you the option to do so, but since your drive appears as RAW under file system, I'm not sure. This usually means that you accidentally lost a partition. Something else that might help in such a case is this thread:
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/280932-32-hard-drive-recovery

    Keep me posted and good luck! :)
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