My external hard disk is dead

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  1. Posts : 180
    Windows 10 Pro v.20H2 OS Build 19041.662
       #1

    My external hard disk is dead


    My external hard disk which I use for backups stopped working. The day before its actual death Windows kept bringing up the usual notification about what to do with a newly connected device. Note that I had this external disk continuously connected to my laptop.

    The next day it stopped working entirely. I see a "No media" indication in Disk Management and I also see a message about an "Invalid parameter" when I switch off and on the power supply to it.

    The disk is a 1TB size disk in an external enclosure.I'm running Windows 10 pro with the latest updates installed.

    Is there anything could try before I consider it as well and truly dead?
      My Computer

  2. thomaseg1's Avatar
    Posts : 13,331
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 19042.804 & 21327.1000
       #2

    Placing it into a new enclosure to see if it is truly dead might work, the enclosure might have
    gone bad and not the disk.

    Try minitool partition to see if it is recognized and possibly repairable.

    all I can think of off hand.
      My Computers

  3. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 29,836
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #3

    Try Hard Disk Sentinel (trial/paid) - best instant analysis. But if it's a basic hardware/connection problem, then follow above recommendation- and try a different port and lead and make sure the port works with a different device that requires power.

    I also suggest you consider using a further form of backup e.g. periodic disk imaging (Macrium Reflect) as so often recommended here such that you store your backup media offline and separately - think power surge, virus, fire/theft/flood.

    Consider using a program such as Crystal Diskinfo that can continously monitor the state of disks and provide alerts against thresholds- hopefully give early warning.

    However your case may be some sudden hardware event, hopefully simple.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 180
    Windows 10 Pro v.20H2 OS Build 19041.662
    Thread Starter
       #4

    I connected the disk to a USB IDE/SATA converter device which I also used in the past with an old orphaned hard disk. Based on past experience the device works. However, nothing happened with the problematic hard disk. In addition, Windows Explorer would identify the external disk in the list of disks that I have connected to the laptop, but would then freeze if I tried to see this disk's properties.

    MiniTool Partition Wizard did not list the problematic disk.

    I suppose now I have to find a good way to dispose of this disk.

    As for backup, I do use a rather elaborate system to backup my laptop data. I actually have four external disks connected to the laptop and I use Macrium Reflect to do backups daily to them. One of these backups is an image backup. I have a scheme doing incremental and differential backups with some redundancy, and I also use @MaxSyncUp to do data backups during the day.

    On top of that I use Crashplan for offsite backups and every month or so I backup all data to two other external disks.
      My Computer

  5. thomaseg1's Avatar
    Posts : 13,331
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 19042.804 & 21327.1000
       #5

    sounds like your in good shape then.
    A local computer shop can tell you how to dispose of the HD.
    I remember drilling a hole through the platter to insure no data could be gain from it.
    Back before I retired.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 180
    Windows 10 Pro v.20H2 OS Build 19041.662
    Thread Starter
       #6

    I forgot to add that I did consider using Hard Disk Sentinel or Crystal DiskInfo in the past, but when I set up my backup scheme I thought that it may not be so critical, because if I were to lose any one of my backup disks it would not compromise the rest of the backups.
      My Computer

  7. thomaseg1's Avatar
    Posts : 13,331
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 19042.804 & 21327.1000
       #7

    You should set up a schedule to check the disks.
    every month before and after Patch Tuesday I'll run tests on my computers.
    Defrag Hdds and trim Sdds.
    It gets to be a habit after awhile.
      My Computers

  8. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,542
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
       #8

    Do not rely on USB IDE/SATA converter. If you had taken the HDD out of its casing , it is best to connect it internally on a desktop and have a check.

    If you cannot do it, you may ask your friendly neighbourhood computer shop to do it and have one final check before you decide to throw it away.

    Note: If it is a Western Digital external HDD other than Elements model, no need to do the above. All WD external HDDs other than Elements are hardware encrypted and even if the HDD you had taken out proves good, you can only recover the encrypted data which will be rubbish. You can forget data recovery.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 180
    Windows 10 Pro v.20H2 OS Build 19041.662
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Thank you jumanji. I only have a laptop and therefore the only option would have been to take the disk to someone who has a desktop PC. It's not worth the trouble, because even if I do manage to fix it somehow, I would never trust it for backup purposes.

    The disk is s actually a Seagate and the data on it is not important to me as I already have a copy elsewhere.
      My Computer

  10. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,542
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
       #10

    OK, then you have covered yourself well having a second copy. And yes, a backup is not really a backup if one doesn't have it on two different devices.
      My Computer


 
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