External Drive Wil Not Properly Load, Open, Or Move Files

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inthepink1221
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- May 3, 2016 at 01:09 PM
inthepink1221
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- May 9, 2016 at 01:12 PM
Out of the blue my external storage drive (which has about 15 years worth of files on it) has stopped working properly. I can see all of my files but it takes ages to load the file lists and when I try to click or move the files it will freeze up or knock itself off my laptop. I have never had any issues with this drive, in fact it was working fine just last week. I can't afford to lose these files but I don't know what to do. I guess the good thing is at least everything is still on there. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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xpcman
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May 3, 2016 at 01:43 PM
Sounds like a normal hard drive failure to me.

You might try cooling the drive in the freezer before you use it.
15 to 30 minutes in the freezer (use a good plastic bag) sometimes will allow a drive to be used - until it warms up again.

Today's drives are only made to last 4 or 5 years and you should always have two copies of data on two different devices.

Good Luck
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inthepink1221
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May 3, 2016 at 04:12 PM
It doesn't get hot or anything, would he freezer thing make a difference in this case? I have had this drive for well over ten years with no problems, never even thought about backing it up. Wish I had of :(
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xpcman
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May 3, 2016 at 06:07 PM
It's not because it's overheating. The freezing changes the I/O head alignment and electrical properties of the HD controller. This sometimes (like 1 in a 1000 times) makes the drive usable for a short time.

Ten years is like 5 years beyond the normal lifetime.

Some people have also had success with booting using a bootable Linux CD. Linux will sometimes be able to read a disk that Windows fails to.

Good luck
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inthepink1221
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May 3, 2016 at 06:09 PM
Those odds don't sound like it's even worth fooling with but I may just try it. If I took it to a repair place do you think they would be able to recover it?
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xpcman
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May 3, 2016 at 06:21 PM
Data recovery used to start at $1,000. They sometimes use an identical HD and transfer the platters in a clean room. They may no longer have the needed drive for such an old disk. A professional data recovery operation will take your money and probably not guaranty anything. Using a local PC repair shop you might be able to limit the charges to a max of $100 and have them evaluate the chances of recovery. It all depends on how much you value the data.
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inthepink1221
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May 8, 2016 at 08:35 PM
I am still trying to figure this out and IMO it is an issue with my (not even a year old) laptop. Possibly a W8 issue. because now it recognizes my external but then it just poofs away. E drive is there one minute, gone the next. It has never done this before. I have also noticed since my external can't be found that I have been having a lot of blue spinning issues with windows. Could upgrading to 10 fix this problem? At this point I think it is def the operating system not recognizing. Why I can't figure out.
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xpcman
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May 9, 2016 at 01:07 PM
I don't advise upgrading the OS if there are unresolved hardware issues.

Some people have report success when replacing the cable used to connect the external drive.
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inthepink1221
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> xpcman
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May 9, 2016 at 01:12 PM
Hmm I keep reading that upgrading could solve it. So yet another conflict there. I read that I could uninstall the drive and that might help, but I am always nervous to try things that I have no idea what the result may be.
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