Computers & Electronics

External HD won't power up

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  • Jun 23rd, 2021 5:36 pm
[OP]
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Jan 2, 2012
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External HD won't power up

Hi everyone. I have an external Hard Drive, it was was my 1st one so has a lot of valuable pic's, etc on it from over the years. I haven't used it in awhile, and when i plugged it in and connected it to my PC it didn't power up, tried a different power adapter from another external HD and it still wouldn't power up. Anyone have any suggestions on how to save the data on it? Thanks in advance.
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Jul 27, 2002
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Are you comfortable opening it up? If its a 3.5" hd, you should be able to carefully open up the casing and plug it one of those hd toasters

https://www.newegg.ca/rosewill-rx234-do ... 6817182145 and see if it works that way.

If its a 2.5" it will be a little harder, but there are usb docks as well that will let you plug-in a 2.5" drive as well. they do cost a bit more though.

If its making clicking noises, be very careful. It the data is valuable it might be worth it to pay someone to get the stuff off.
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What brand and model you have ?
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Dec 6, 2020
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Call a data recovery company. Recovering dead hard drives is not a DIY project and experimenting with the drive will only reduce your chances of getting any data back.
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townie22 wrote: Hi everyone. I have an external Hard Drive, it was was my 1st one so has a lot of valuable pic's, etc on it from over the years. I haven't used it in awhile, and when i plugged it in and connected it to my PC it didn't power up, tried a different power adapter from another external HD and it still wouldn't power up. Anyone have any suggestions on how to save the data on it? Thanks in advance.
You should not have tried another power adapter unless it was the same amperage. If it is a seagate, then inside is a SATA interface in which case you can plug that into any desktop motherboard (after taking the external case off) and you should be able to access the data, provided it isnt turning on because the drive is damaged.

You can look up the model number and figure things out if it is a WD.

Like the other person said, if it is making a clicking sound then it is bad news. If you can hear the motor initially turning then nothing, then the magnet might be stuck to the platter.

Why dont you look at this in more detail because everything is a guess right now.

Do not do the freezer trick. It can damage your data beyond retrieval, and only works for very few select scenarios.
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Dec 6, 2020
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evilYoda wrote: You should not have tried another power adapter unless it was the same amperage.
FWIW, the rules for substituting power adapters that use generic barrel connectors are:

1. Same voltage.
2. Same polarity -- i.e. center positive vs. center negative.
3. Same current type -- i.e. AC vs DC.
4. Same or higher amperage.

USB 2.0 power supplies are usually interchangeable from a safety/device damage perspective, but lower amperage supplies will charge batteries much more slowly.

Laptop power supplies and USB-C devices are a different mess entirely. Neither these adapters, nor the cables they use, should be substituted under most circumstances. Fire may result.
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townie22 wrote: Sorry i took so long to reply, Thanks everyone. It's a LaCie HD https://www.cnet.com/products/lacie-har ... l-poulton/ I was careful with the power adapter, checked specs 1st before trying it.
Not powering up is very vague. Do you hear motor sounds when u plug it into the USB slot? Lacie should be Seagate, and if it is, then it should have sata interface.
[OP]
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Jan 2, 2012
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No, won't power up/on, no sounds what so ever. Power light doesn't come on when power switch is toggled On.
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Time to remove the drive from the external case then, and plug the sata into a desktop computer or sata adapter. The drive might still be alive, but the external usb to SATA circuitry died. No way to tell until you try this. The lack of even a LED light leads me to believe the drive is fine, but it is just the enclosure adapter that is fried.
[OP]
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Thanks very much for the advice, I'm not real techie but know a bit and think I can handle that. Appreciated.
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Mar 13, 2004
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First you need to troubleshoot the issue. Is the hard drive actually dead or is the external enclosure dead? Hopefully its just the enclosure in which case he can just remove the drive and plug it into a desktop computer as its likely a sata connection.

After that point if it still will not turn on then you can look into calling a data recovery company but not before that's just a waste of money as it could be a simple fix as mentioned.
middleofnowhere wrote: Call a data recovery company. Recovering dead hard drives is not a DIY project and experimenting with the drive will only reduce your chances of getting any data back.
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sickcars wrote: First you need to troubleshoot the issue. Is the hard drive actually dead or is the external enclosure dead? Hopefully its just the enclosure in which case he can just remove the drive and plug it into a desktop computer as its likely a sata connection.

After that point if it still will not turn on then you can look into calling a data recovery company but not before that's just a waste of money as it could be a simple fix as mentioned.
My view is that anyone who doesn't have the tech knowhow to know to remove the drive from the enclosure as a first troubleshooting step probably doesn't have the experience (and/or tools) to do it safely. Hence, especially given that OP has high-value data on the drive, my suggestion that OP get in touch with a specialist.

If I had a dead external drive, and I was reasonably certain that it didn't have an integrated USB bridge, I would try removing the drive. But, it's not something I'd casually recommend to someone who doesn't appear to have much experience with hardware.
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Ok fair enough however I still disagree with you for the following reasons. Not sure if you have ever tried or looked up the cost of DataRecovery this is not something thats going to cost you $100 or $200 last time I checked this is something that will cost $500 and up, have even seen prices over $1,000 to recover data so sending somebody directly to the data recovery company is incorrect in my opinion. If the user is not capable to take apart the drive and plug it into their computer which makes sense so you are correct on that part then the next best thing would be to bring it to a computer Technician to have them remove it from the enclosure and plug it into the computer to see if it works, if it does, great the tech will likely sell you a new enclosure and for under $100 you are on your way. No decent tech is going to try and open apart the actual hard drive to recovery anything and potentially risk the data, but either way the big companies can still recover it if needed for the most part.
middleofnowhere wrote: My view is that anyone who doesn't have the tech knowhow to know to remove the drive from the enclosure as a first troubleshooting step probably doesn't have the experience (and/or tools) to do it safely. Hence, especially given that OP has high-value data on the drive, my suggestion that OP get in touch with a specialist.

If I had a dead external drive, and I was reasonably certain that it didn't have an integrated USB bridge, I would try removing the drive. But, it's not something I'd casually recommend to someone who doesn't appear to have much experience with hardware.
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the OP can look up the model number and shucking on youtube and he'll see how others opened up the external case. This shouldnt be out of reach for him.
[OP]
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Jan 2, 2012
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I've never opened an external before, but i have put HD's into my Desktop computer.......... sorry for slow replies, i'm working 13 hour days.
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townie22 wrote: I've never opened an external before, but i have put HD's into my Desktop computer.......... sorry for slow replies, i'm working 13 hour days.
if no lights no sounds nothing. 2 reasons. power supply or the usb sata board is bad.

If its beyond warranty and for most external its a year and this thing is atleast 10years since it was last made. Your gonna have to shuck it or remove it from its housing. As it stands its dead anyway and the procedure is not rocket science so don't sweat it.

But lets think 2 steps ahead first. Your gonna need either a computer desktop to put it inside or an external case to place it in just to test that the drive works!

Honestly everyone should own one of these anyway

https://www.newegg.ca/orico-6519us3-bk- ... -_-Product

or buy something like the above but maybe cheaper locally. I recommend a dual bay to clone a drive if ever needed.

but you can also use any external drive enclosure they all work the same as the hub. Except they're just not drop and go style to test like drive docks are.
https://www.amazon.ca/Vantec-NexStar-Dr ... 29&sr=8-10
https://www.amazon.ca/Sabrent-External- ... 258&sr=8-4
https://www.amazon.ca/Sabrent-External- ... r=8-4&th=1
https://www.amazon.ca/Mackertop-Enclosu ... s&sr=1-186
[OP]
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Jan 2, 2012
4369 posts
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Charlottetown
lead wrote: if no lights no sounds nothing. 2 reasons. power supply or the usb sata board is bad.

If its beyond warranty and for most external its a year and this thing is atleast 10years since it was last made. Your gonna have to shuck it or remove it from its housing. As it stands its dead anyway and the procedure is not rocket science so don't sweat it.

But lets think 2 steps ahead first. Your gonna need either a computer desktop to put it inside or an external case to place it in just to test that the drive works!

Honestly everyone should own one of these anyway

https://www.newegg.ca/orico-6519us3-bk- ... -_-Product

or buy something like the above but maybe cheaper locally. I recommend a dual bay to clone a drive if ever needed.

but you can also use any external drive enclosure they all work the same as the hub. Except they're just not drop and go style to test like drive docks are.
https://www.amazon.ca/Vantec-NexStar-Dr ... 29&sr=8-10
https://www.amazon.ca/Sabrent-External- ... 258&sr=8-4
https://www.amazon.ca/Sabrent-External- ... r=8-4&th=1
https://www.amazon.ca/Mackertop-Enclosu ... s&sr=1-186
That's fantastic, i never knew they existed, thank you. Do you recommend the 1st one from Newegg? I'll order one right away depending on your recommendation.
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townie22 wrote: That's fantastic, i never knew they existed, thank you. Do you recommend the 1st one from Newegg? I'll order one right away depending on your recommendation.
for drive dock's? no I recommend the cheapest with dual drives. Why? you can never know what usb to sata board they use anyway as they always change so why spend extra and dual makes things easy to clone and transfer to new drive if recovering.

If you buy a single dock well any external enclosure can work just like a single dock anyway. Plus be more portable so? why buy a single dock then and just buy an external enclosure.

Just remember that hard drive dock's usually have next to zero drive spin down or idle on their own so if you leave the drive in it powered on most don't spin down on their own they aren't meant for 24/7.

if you the drive is good and you plan on keep using it as an external drive then you should look at a new enclosure one with a fan or all aluminum like this
https://www.amazon.ca/Vantec-NexStar-Dr ... 71&sr=8-15
https://www.amazon.ca/Vantec-NexStar-Dr ... 71&sr=8-42 this one has a warehouse return for 36 bucks. try if its too banged up or broke its a free return.
[OP]
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Jan 2, 2012
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Charlottetown
lead wrote: for drive dock's? no I recommend the cheapest with dual drives. Why? you can never know what usb to sata board they use anyway as they always change so why spend extra and dual makes things easy to clone and transfer to new drive if recovering.

If you buy a single dock well any external enclosure can work just like a single dock anyway. Plus be more portable so? why buy a single dock then and just buy an external enclosure.

*** Looks like the $36 ones are sold out.

Just remember that hard drive dock's usually have next to zero drive spin down or idle on their own so if you leave the drive in it powered on most don't spin down on their own they aren't meant for 24/7.

if you the drive is good and you plan on keep using it as an external drive then you should look at a new enclosure one with a fan or all aluminum like this
https://www.amazon.ca/Vantec-NexStar-Dr ... 71&sr=8-15
https://www.amazon.ca/Vantec-NexStar-Dr ... 71&sr=8-42 this one has a warehouse return for 36 bucks. try if its too banged up or broke its a free return.
Sounds good. You were right, it was easy to shuck, so i guess i'll just gamble a bit and try the NexStar for for $36, sound right?
*** Looks like the $36 ones are sold out.

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