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Seagate external USB drive

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Seagate external USB drive

Post by sparks on Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:11 pm

It's a st3400832as 500 gig and I put it in a drawer for six months because it was full. Brought it out to check old files or watch a movie .... and it shows up as unformatted. Rebooted a number of times and changed USB cables and ports.

100's of sites for drivers if they are even needed and don't remember an install disk. Would hate to try to format just to get it working and all data would be gone if I did
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by CheenaGringo on Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:21 pm

You might try downloading Seagate's "Sea Tools": http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/
I used this tool to check the condition of another model Seagate. Once it determined that the drive was operating properly, I uninstalled the Seagate Dashboard. I then reinstalled from the Seagate website. Mine works fine now.

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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by sparks on Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:06 pm

Thanks ... will look at it. Never have installed anything that I remember. Just plugged it in and it worked
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by CheenaGringo on Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:07 pm

Mine downloaded the "Dashboard" the first time I plugged in the drive and then I had to choose some settings.

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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by HelperGuy on Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:35 pm

If the message says "needs to be formatted", then it is probably okay physically. That means the computer recognizes it, but chances of getting it back to work without formatting it are slim. If you know how, you can run chkdsk on it; that might help. Otherwise, you will need a tool like File Scavenger or something to get your files back, and then you can format it again. "PC Inspector" is a good free one, but slow. Here are a couple of others, with reviews: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-data-recovery-file-undelete-utility.htm

It has been my experience, after using a number of external drives, that they get corrupted fairly easily because of the whole USB connection issue.

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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by sparks on Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:04 pm

Sea Tools didn't recognize anything .... not even the Seagate drive. I assume that is just another "generic" release of some kind of "use support" thing

You can't burn your favorites to CD/DVD because they hold nothing so what is a good backup scheme these days
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by sparks on Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:20 am

Recuva just says disk not ready ... I guess it's dead. Oh well

I think it was a Norton util years ago maybe called undelete that would let you rename files. If files were deleted and not written over they just had a '?' as the first letter
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by HelperGuy on Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:24 am

That is still the way files are deleted... the first letter is just marked as unrecognizable to the file system. That's why recovery programs can often work.

So, you may have lost your files, but you may be able to get back your drive... type Computer Management into your Vista or W7 search box and select the program. Then find Disk Management in the list on the left of the window, and see if the drive turns up in the right-hand pane. Right-clicking on the disk "image" gets you various options.

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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by espíritu del lago on Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:50 am

I think he is running XP
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by HelperGuy on Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:33 am

In the case of XP, here's a good set of instructions for accessing Computer/Disk Management: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windowsxp/ht/disk-management-xp.htm

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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by arbon on Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:28 pm

Sparks was it stored in a plastic bag, or wrapped in plastic?
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by sparks on Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:20 pm

Just in a dresser drawer with other computer things

So far unable to format it so am downloading Seagate's DiscWizard but it's huge. If that doesn't do it it will become a doorstop
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by peteben on Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:22 pm

I would pull the drive out of the case and try it in a different (working) case, or even better, a direct connection to a motherboard.
Then get a good recovery program to see if the partitions or files can still be located.

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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by sparks on Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:13 pm

I suppose the case could be opened but no idea what I'd find inside. Not sure what kind of cable connection or if my MB will support it

Windows XP is the only thing that thinks it's working but no other software finds it and I can't format it. Found an interesting little program call Driver Genius 14 that gives you inventory and will supposedly update your drivers but didn't find the drive
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by HelperGuy on Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:27 pm

It is more than likely a SATA drive. Inside the case they will have a little part that converts the SATA to USB. Your XP machine may or may not have SATA connectors on the motherboard for plugging this in directly. I actually have a kit that lets me plug SATA into IDE (the old style connectors), and it works for the most part... however, when a drive is bad, it's impossible to tell when this kind of connection doesn't work if it's the drive or the cabling.

Taking it apart will probably render it useless as an external drive, but you won't know until you actually do it. They used to sell little cases to convert these drives into external USB drives, but I haven't found one (in Mexico) for a while... doesn't mean they aren't still out there.

Did you try the Disk Management tool?

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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by CheenaGringo on Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:33 pm

Sparks:

When I unknowingly had a failing hard drive in my laptop, I hooked up with live chat support: http://chatsupport.seagate.com/ChatLaunch?rc=1
8am - 11:30am and 1pm - 6pm Central Standard Time Monday through Friday

They talked me through a bunch of different tests during chat and then finally called me with further support.

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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by sparks on Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:34 pm

>>>> Did you try the Disk Management tool?

Yes and it sees it but just says no media. No format or partition option
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by arbon on Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:35 pm

Sparks did you back up XP when you still had SP2 amd now trying the HD with SP3?

Many Xp users were killed with SP3.
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by HelperGuy on Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:46 pm

Yes, XP3 was horrendous, and why Microsoft can't take the blame for their mistakes... or tell anyone, for that matter... is beyond me.

If Disk Management can't access it, then it is, unfortunately, gone from this life.

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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by sparks on Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:03 pm

I´ve had this PC for over 2 years and believe it came with SP3. I don´t remember doing it myself.

Could it be the electronic in the drive are being read but the drive is not spinning up. Maybe a bump on the floor Very Happy
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by peteben on Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:05 pm

Take it to one of the local computer stores. Ask them if they can take it out of the box and plug it into one of their computers. Then the Seagate diagnostics might give you more information, with the drive connected to the motherboard.

Does it still spin when you plug it in? Any lights come on? Funny noises?

I'd offer to look at it, but am going back to Canada in a few days.

Good luck.

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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by sparks on Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:42 am

There's a power lite .... but I've never seen a motion lite or heard it spin

There might be screws under the little rubber feet. I'll take a look
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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by HelperGuy on Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:03 pm

You can usually feel it spinning when you pick it up; almost like a gyro if you move it around. There won't be a motion light, just power. I have one by AData that doesn't even have that. And yes, you will find the screws, almost always hidden but obvious once you start.

If it makes a steady clicking sound, every couple of seconds, that is a sign that the drive is physically damaged. As peteben says, if it can come out of the case and get plugged in directly to a PC, that is the best bet... but a diagnostics tool of any sort will not help if it is not recognized, of course. If we're really lucky, it's just a bad USB connection.

On the other hand, I had AData actually fix one that I thought was dead... bad sector, they said, even though none of my tools would see it anymore. It was just luck, because my distributor has a warranty arrangement with their suppliers.

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Re: Seagate external USB drive

Post by CheenaGringo on Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:08 pm

One of the recommendations made by the Seagate tech was to plug the external drive into another computer. When we did that, the other computer immediately recognized the drive and was our first indicator that the internal drive in my laptop was where the problems were originating.

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