External drive not repairable?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Runeshai, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Runeshai macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2010
    I've had this 750 GB external drive for a year or two now, and have used it with no problems. All of a sudden, it can't be read by my MacBook. Finder can't see it. No applications can see it except Disk Utility. But DU can't repair it, and when I try verifying I just get "Verify volume failed: Invalid request."

    Also, when I'm using DU normally, I can't even eject the drive. But if I boot from my Mac disc, I can. But that's the only difference; still no repairing or verifying, and I get the same error message.

    I have a bunch of stuff on the drive and would really like to get back to it, anybody got any ideas? I'm fairly savvy but wouldn't trust myself with command-line anything. Thanks.
  2. dime21, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

    dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    That's like saying 'I'm a great chef, but I wouldn't trust myself with anything in the kitchen'.

    If the drive has truly failed, which it sounds like it has, simply toss it out and restore your data from backup. You DO have a backup of your data, yes? External hard drives are so dirt cheap these days, the only reason not to back up your data, is that you don't care about losing it.

    Without a backup of your data, your only option is to take the drive to a data recovery shop. The cost could be as high as several thousand dollars for this service, depending on how your drive failed.
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    From a hardware standpoint, hard disks are generally inexpensive and are usually replaced upon failure, not repaired.

    If you're talking about data recovery, that's another matter altogether. Have you tried connecting it to another machine?
  4. Runeshai thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2010
    Yup, I've tried connecting it to another machine, nothing happened. No, I don't have a backup. I was on a slim student budget (and still am), so I couldn't really spare the cash. This may mean lesson learned.
  5. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    Hard drives are consumables and they are disposable. Just like a light bulb or the tires on your car. They work great for a few years, and then they fail. You toss them out and replace with a new one. Consumable and disposable.

    Budget really isn't relevant. Instead of buying the 750 GB, I'm thinking you could have bought two 320 GB drives for the same price. Use one for data, use the other to make a backup of the first. Hard drives are so cheap, I'm betting you have textbooks that cost more than one hard drive.

    I always buy hard drives in same-size pairs, and I use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the primary to the backup once each month. Then I store the backup drives in a box at my office. Storing the backup offsite (i.e. outside of my home) protects me against all manner of disasters, not just mechanical failure of the drive. I'm protected against fire, flood, theft, vandalism, etc. Even if my house burns down, I have backup of all my data in that box at my office, and it's never more than a month old. :apple:
  6. Runeshai thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2010
    Thanks for the tips, I'll keep those in mind for sure.

    If anybody has any other ideas, I'd love to hear them. I won't be formatting it for a while still, I'm in no rush. Thanks either way.
  7. scottlinux macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    Have you tried the usual:

    Take it out of the enclosure and plug it in native to a PC via sata, etc. ?
  8. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    So far, all you really know is that you have a corrupt directory structure. This is where Disk Warrior shines. If there's no important data on the drive, you could just reformat it. That will clear away any kind of directory structure issues, but it will also erase the record of your data.
  9. Runeshai thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2010
    I haven't plugged it in native via SATA, I hadn't thought of that. I'll see if I can give that a shot, thanks!

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