External hard drive no longer recognized

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Milewski, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Milewski macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #1
    My 6 month old imac (10.5.4) was working fine with an acomdata external hardrive for several months. The external HD has all my music and photos on it. All of a sudden its icon just stopped appearing on the desktop and when I go to disk utility it doesn't seem to be there either. The time machine function seemed to have been working fine with it. Any idea what happened and how to fix it? Thanks.:confused:
     
  2. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #2
    First thing to try is

    Power down your computer.
    Power off external and remove cable to computer.
    Turn on computer.
    Plug in external drive.

    Second thing to try is

    Try your external on another computer.

    Advice: Always keep a redundant backup. And if you are OCD like me, keep another backup off-site to protect against catastrophic failure like fire, theft, or tornado.

    Let us know what happens.
     
  3. Milewski thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #3
    I've tried shutting down and unplugging several times and it no longer works. It seemed to work a time or two when this first started happening but it doesn't do a thing any more. I'm trying it on my old imac now and it doesn't seem to show up on that either. Would the external HD be shot, and if so am I screwed or is there anything I can do? Thanks
     
  4. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #4
    I wouldn't be so quick to assume the drive is totally shot. I had an external go bad that turned out it was the enclosure (not the drive) that was the problem.

    If you can, investigate how to get the drive out of the enclosure if it came pre-built. See about buying (or borrowing) an empty enclosure, band name not important, and putting the drive in there. I use this nifty gadget to attach, mount, and analyze bare drives without having to deal with an enclosure.

    If the drive itself is failing, possibly you've noticed some odd sounds/clicks/lack of sounds coming from it? All those are pretty catastrophic but can -possibly- be saved from either "the freezer trick" or sending it out to a data rescue company for lots of $$$.
     
  5. Milewski thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #5
    All those are pretty catastrophic but can -possibly- be saved from either "the freezer trick" or sending it out to a data rescue company for lots of $$$.

    What is the "freezer trick?
     
  6. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #6
    It's a last resort, with very limited results. Basically the idea goes to seal the drive in an airtight ziplock bag, and put it in the freezer for somewhere between 30 to 60 minutes. Removing it and (quickly) attaching it to a computer *may* let you access it's contents for a short bit of time, that is, until it heated up sufficiently.

    I wouldn't go down this route until you've confirmed:
    1) It's most certainly a hard drive failure issue, and not an enclosure or configuration problem.
    2) You're aren't planning on spending money on professional data rescue.
     

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