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Thread: SeaGate External Drive....finished?

  1. #1
    Searchin' My Soul DisneyBoy's Avatar
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    SeaGate External Drive....finished?

    So, I have more dull computer-related issues to discuss, if y'all will humour me...

    I have a SeaGate external hard drive I've been using to back up my stuff on my MacBook for the last few years. I've been having some issues with the drive lately as - with the slightest nudge of an elbow on the table - it would suddenly disconnect (as far as the comp was concerned, that is, as the wire would still be in place) and I'd get the "eject your disk properly!" message. I started to wonder if it was the wire, because that certainly seemed to be the issue. Very sensitive.

    Well, it got to the point where sometimes it would take a full minute before the computer would "detect it" when I plugged it in. Then, not at all. I would unplug it and try again, not knowing if the lights going on on the drive meant that it was about to be detected or not. Well, now it's not being detected at all.

    So I called Apple and we tried some stuff on Terminal, and while the comp knows it is plugged in, it says it can't "verify" the drive when we tried to do that.

    So...how messed am I right now? And what is the best way to try and retrieve my 500 gigs worth of stuff off that disk? Much of it can't be replaced The Apple worker said that there might be software that could help me "mount" the disk and copy the files but I ave zero experience with that. Is this going to be one of those fun experiences where you go to the Apple store and some "genius" goes file-by-file through your stuff and tries to save what he can? Can I get somewhere fixing his on my own? Or does this sound like a classic triple-hanky situation?

    .....SIGH.

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior
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    I'm trying to remember the name of the service a former coworker used to recover 80%+ of the files on their crashed hard drive... There are a number of data recovery services out there, though.

    In addition, it could just be the case/connections of the external, rather than the drive itself. You might be able to find a place that can crack it open and put the drive in either a new housing or even a "swappable" external housing (I had one that had two big holes in it for you to take a drive with no casing and just plug it in).

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior diosoth's Avatar
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    Data recovery costs a fortune. We're talking several hundred dollars.

    It may be the cable. Try it in another USB plug or another computer. Try other devices in that same USB port and see if they have issues connecting.

    And start backing up your files onto DVDs. Don't rely on an external hard drive and don't rely on only one backup copy.

  4. #4
    Searchin' My Soul DisneyBoy's Avatar
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    And start backing up your files onto DVDs. Don't rely on an external hard drive and don't rely on only one backup copy.
    Here I'd thought those days were behind me...I have a HUGE case of blank DVDs for that very reason. Only I figured they were less reliable because one scratch can ruin everything on a disc. Also: my Macbook was never able to burn DVDs. I tried I couple of times way back when I bought it and it was ERROR city. I probably should have had that checked out.

    It may be the cable. Try it in another USB plug or another computer. Try other devices in that same USB port and see if they have issues connecting.
    Will do.

    In addition, it could just be the case/connections of the external, rather than the drive itself. You might be able to find a place that can crack it open and put the drive in either a new housing or even a "swappable" external housing (I had one that had two big holes in it for you to take a drive with no casing and just plug it in).
    Thanks - never would have thought of that.
    Last edited by DisneyBoy; March 3, 2015 at 02:43pm.

  5. #5
    Drinking Innocence TheDeviot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diosoth View Post
    Data recovery costs a fortune. We're talking several hundred dollars.

    It may be the cable. Try it in another USB plug or another computer. Try other devices in that same USB port and see if they have issues connecting.

    And start backing up your files onto DVDs. Don't rely on an external hard drive and don't rely on only one backup copy.
    To be fair, some files may be too big to fit on DVD these days. They're fast running into a floppy diskette situation.

    But the sentiment is true. You should always have your data backed up in several places. I recommend a Solid State drive, and two hard drives for bulk.
    The primary drive in your computer should be a solid state. They have no moving parts, read/write much faster than a traditional hard drive, and are
    easy to set up. But they have a higher cost per GB so I can't recommend owning several. So you should still have two hard drives in addition. One for back up, and
    another for backing up the backup. You can also opt into
    a cloud service like Idrive. It's software that moves your files to a server automatically so if you crash you can re download them.
    But even if you DO that, I'd STILL have the extra hard drives. There's always the chance a server goes down/gets hacked/etc. and your data
    is still gone. If you're REALLY paranoid you can also put the absolutely most mission critical documents/photos/data on a Flash Drive so that if ALL
    of your other stuff dies, you can at least have the important stuff like tax documents, wedding pictures, etc. on something.

    Good luck to you man. Data recovery on broken drives usually goes for more than a grand. Hopefully it's just the casing/wiring in the external drive
    that went bad, and not the hard disk itself.
    The Deviot
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  6. #6
    Angast's #1 fan Bonehead's Avatar
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    Can you tell me what kind of HD it is exactly or maybe even post a pic? The model number for the drive would be extremely helpful.

    I've had this problem a few times before.

    You might be able to find a place that can crack it open and put the drive in either a new housing or even a "swappable" external housing
    IMO this is your best solution and it's so easy (and cheap) you can do it yourself. Almost half of all EHD problems are caused by the housing and not the drive itself. If that's the case with your drive, you can easily get your files back. If this isn't the problem, then you probably only will damage the casing if you're not careful but the drive will still be OK....or in the same condition it was before.

    The best thing to do is always save important stuff in more than one space. Relying on only 1 copy isn't a good idea.

  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior diosoth's Avatar
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    The problem with DVD backups is that the DVD-9 discs never became the consumer standard. They cost more, an average of $1 per disc while the standard 4.3 GB DVDs cost less than half that. Blu-Ray disc burners also aren't yet consumer-common enough for people to use those for backups. However you can easily make 2 or 3 copies of a DVD when you backup data, and for larger files I suppose WinRAR still supports archiving things in separate RAR files. I make backup of certain things when I have new content to store but much of my important things are backed up many times over. If my HDD dies I can put in a new one, install Windows and load up many of my files without much hassle to get back in order. And I own a second PC running Windows XP so I have internet access and PC usage even if this PC has issues.

    There are always online storage options, but those have limitations- you obviously would not put certain files in them(celebs storing their nude photos online was dumb, no matter who they try to blame for that) and they're always at a risk of being hacked into. You don't want your personal files compromised if the data center gets broken into. It's better to get a spindle of DVDs.

    External drives, flash sticks and all that are really better for quick backups and transporting files. DVDs are still more reliable for long-term storage.

    SSDs actually still have a few years to go before they become totally reliable. They still suffer from being expensive, have less storage capacity than standard drives and and limited write times, so they're guaranteed to eventually go bad. They can also be a bit slow compared to a drive with a high RPM. A lot of setups I hear about use the SSD for the OS and basic file storage with a second high RPM platter drive for games and other programs that need the faster disc access. They need to up the capacity, drop price and increase write times before they become a proper replacement drive. It's hard to imagine that the old format that's been in use for decades for hard drives wasn't replaced long ago- I guess it was just easier to improve that tech than come up with a better thing.

  8. #8
    Searchin' My Soul DisneyBoy's Avatar
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    Can anyone recommend a good (free?) Mac program for recovering files and disks? I called Seagate and their program is 100$

    My other concern is that I've read online that different programs can cause data loss as they recover....so how do you know which will? I obviously don't want to make things worse...


    Apparently all this might have happened because of a faulty wire.....

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