Windows 10: External hard drive is inaccessible

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  1. Posts : 10
    Windows 10 ProN (Build 10240) x64
       24 Oct 2015 #1

    External hard drive is inaccessible


    I have a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 2TB USB 3.0 external hard drive that I use to store (majority) videos and documents. A few days ago it started giving me this error for every folder and file, and eventually just from trying to access the hard drive itself from This PC:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	44512

    And this is what shows up in Device Manager:

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ID:	44513Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Device Manager 02.png 
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ID:	44514

    In Disk Management, this is what shows up at first (first image) and then when I refresh Disk Management through Action > Refresh (second image):

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Disk Management 01.png 
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ID:	44515Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Disk Management 02.png 
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ID:	44516

    As for specifications wise, I clean installed to Windows 10 Pro N x64 (a day after this error came up when I plugged in the hard drive, actually... Not sure what I was thinking at the time) with what I think are updated drivers for my hardware from the manufacturer's websites. Previously, it was a clean installation of Windows 10 Pro x64 after upgrading from Windows 8.1 Pro x64.

    Not sure if this is worth mentioning, but, all my folders and files show up when the computer actually can read the hard drive, I just can't open any of them. I've never had to deal with hardware problems before, so, if I'm missing something incredibly simple, please point me in the right direction. I really don't want to lose the files in that hard drive, as I'm not able to make a backup even if it was working (with it being my biggest external to date).

    P.S. > Not sure if it helps, but, this is what the hard drive shows on Speccy at a glance:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	44519

    (Is the serial number and firmware version supposed to be the same on all hard drives? O_o)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 2,036
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       24 Oct 2015 #2

    I had a 3TB once with same symptom. I am afraid that the disk is going to be dead soon.
    Download: CrystalDiskInfo6_3_2.zip - CrystalDiskInfo - SourceForge.JP Unzip and run to check the disk health. If it reports a lot of bad sectors then you can be sure it's going to get worse.
    External HD is not really designed for constant use. The enclosure does not have enough airflow to keep it cool and usually goes bad within 2-3 years.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 10
    Windows 10 ProN (Build 10240) x64
    Thread Starter
       24 Oct 2015 #3

    Thank you for replying, topgun. I downloaded it and it's showing as running in the Task Manager as a background process, so we'll see how it goes. I guess I should keep to internal hard drives next time, then? The external was bought back in November, so almost a year old only. (=_=; )
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 2,036
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       24 Oct 2015 #4

    No. It's not a background process. It should show you a screen as shown below:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	44522
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 10
    Windows 10 ProN (Build 10240) x64
    Thread Starter
       24 Oct 2015 #5

    Say, is this supposed to happen? I plugged in the hard drive again to see if Crystal Disk Info can find it this time, but, this shows up in Disk Management:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	disk management 03.png 
Views:	7 
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ID:	44523

    And yeah, I see what you mean. It showed up finally, after about 10 minutes of being a background process.

    EDIT > Try #2, program can't seem to find the external hard drive. Not sure what to do at this point.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	disk info.png 
Views:	2 
Size:	58.7 KB 
ID:	44524

    The only hard drive it's picking up is my internal hard drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 2,036
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       25 Oct 2015 #6

    From disk management. I saw something strange that you have a 1MB unallocated partition. Not sure how comfortable you are by taking the disk out of the enclosure and connect directly to one of the sata port in your PC. Sometimes the USB interface could be defective too since the disk is recognized by Disk Management but not from the Crystal Disk.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 10
    Windows 10 ProN (Build 10240) x64
    Thread Starter
       25 Oct 2015 #7

    I did think about taking it out and sticking in the extra hard drive slot and see if I can access the hard drive that way, but, I haven't found any spot on the external where I can pry it open (having never needing to do so before). That, and I think I read somewhere on these forums that if I take it out of the enclosure, the hard drive becomes completely inaccessible thereafter because of some encryption done by Seagate at the USB port connector thingie??

    EDIT > I found a YouTube video on how to open it, but, I'm not sure if I should because of the reason above. Is it "safe" to take it out of the enclosure?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 2,036
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       25 Oct 2015 #8

    Yes it is safe to take it out of the enclosure and connect directly to the Sata port. I had the same Model as yours except it was 3TB and that what I did to retrieve my data before I took it back to Cosco and returned it. I also think you should be able to RMA with Seagate if bought within 3 Years.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 2,303
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1706 (CU build 15063.608)
       25 Oct 2015 #9

    You can take the drive out but since there are no screws, you may have to break the enclosure open. Careful not to hit the drive and damage it further. Then if connecting it on the computer you can access it, backup all your data. Unfortunately external drives have only 1 year warranty. You can visit Seagate's site, go to RMA section and then check the serial, but I'm afraid it has expired. Needless to say that as long as you remove the case the warranty is void anyway. I would keep it for temporary file transfer. That is I would not trust files for long term, but I would copy some files to transfer to another computer and then delete them. Don't trust it as backup drive, it can die any moment!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 10
    Windows 10 ProN (Build 10240) x64
    Thread Starter
       25 Oct 2015 #10

    Thanks for all the responses. There's just one kink: my computer is a laptop, like I stated in my system specs. And my hard drive bay is, naturally, underneath all the battery and good stuff. How am I supposed to connect this seemingly 3.5" hard drive to my laptop to test??? Silly me thought that the hard drive was 2.5"... when it was an external. Go figure.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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