External HD not readable?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ladymacbeth, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. ladymacbeth macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    #1
    Well, this is a very unfortunate way to start off the new year... :(

    I have an August 2008 Macbook, 2.4ghz processor, 2 gb memory, 250 gig HD (113.5gigs used), running OS 10.5.6. This is my first Mac (and first post here), so I still have a lot to learn.

    This morning I accidentally knocked over my 2-day-old Western Digital
    750 gig MyBook External HD. It was about 2/3 of the way through its first Time Machine backup and plugged in at the time. It had been working well up to that point, albeit a little slow.

    When I went to plug the HD back in, I received an error.

    "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer" with the options "Initialize" "Ignore" and "Eject" (see attached)

    I've ejected, restarted, unplugged, etc multiple times, but my laptop still won't recognize the drive to continue backup or access any of the files. Also, in the Disk Manager, the HD is showing up as having a capacity of 2 TB (far from the actual size of 698.5gig or so once it was formatted initially).

    Thankfully, I don't need the files that are on it (I can always run another Time Machine backup) but if I cant afford to buy another hard drive. My plan was to use this drive to back up everything so that I could install Windows through Bootcamp today, but I've gone and messed that last bit up. Since its a Holiday I cant reach Western Digital, and I'm a good drive from the closest Apple store, you guys are my only hope!

    I'm pretty ashamed that I've messed up this badly... Is there anything I can do to save my external HD?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Reflow macrumors 68000

    Reflow

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    #2
    Do you have a PC you could hook it up to? Maybe the PC will see it.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #3
    Well the good news is that the computer is detecting the drive. What happens when you click "Initialize"? Does it give you options to reformat? If it does you should try doing that and hope that it will work so you can start another TM backup.
     
  4. MasterNile macrumors 65816

    MasterNile

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    San Antonio, TX
    #4
    Having experience the incorrect reading of 2TBs on a 500GB external WD HDD and trying to fix it I would be willing to bet that the drive is physically damaged and without a lot of money/time it will not work again.

    Edit: if you try to format it again do you get a read/write error?
     
  5. Jonnyfive macrumors regular

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    British Columbia
    #5
    and if all else fails you should still be able to return or exchange it.
     
  6. ladymacbeth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2009
    #6
    Reflow - I do have a pc laptop, I'll go see if I can find it.

    Miles01110 - Meanwhile, when I click "Initialize" it brings up the Disk Manager (see attachment). As far as I know, it won't let me restore anything. I've tried erasing the disk, but it doesn't seem to give me options. Am I looking in the wrong place?

    Masternile - And... I'm fearing physical damage. It wasn't a hard fall, just two and a half feet onto cushy carpet.

    Jonnyfive - That's what I'm hoping. I mean... I've only had it for two days! And I'm not generally this clumsy. I bought it from Newegg and I think they have a good return policy.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. MasterNile macrumors 65816

    MasterNile

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    #7
    Erase is the tab between First Aid and Partition
     
  8. ladymacbeth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2009
    #8
    Silly me. I did get an error: "input/output error"

    Thank you everyone for your prompt replies.
     
  9. ladymacbeth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2009
    #9
    External HD is recognized as a MyBook by my HP Laptop and claims to have installed the correct drivers. But... I cant seem to find the drive under My Computer. (Similar to not being able to find it on the Mac I guess?) I'll keep looking.

    I don't know if this is of importance, but there is also little to no sound coming from the external hd with the exception of immediately after I plug it in to either of the Laptops. Could that be hinting at physical damage?
     
  10. MasterNile macrumors 65816

    MasterNile

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    #10
    The symptoms to me mean that it is physical damage, like I said I had the same thing happen to a 500GB WD external HD (well it was my friends but he wanted me to try to fix it) and all the symptoms are the same and I couldn't bring the hard drive back to life, I just ripped it out of the casing and now have a new external enclosure if I ever need one, but you might be able to talk to WD about getting a new one.
     
  11. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #11
    What shows up under the "erase" tab? If it doesn't give you options then that's not a good sign...
     
  12. MasterNile macrumors 65816

    MasterNile

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    #12
    It gives her the option but when she tries she gets an input/output error
     
  13. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #13
    Ah. In that case there's probably hardware damage as MasterNile has been suggesting. I guess this comes up from time to time and is generally indicative of a bad drive- the person in this thread looks like they got the error even without a little fall:

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1431587&tstart=0

    Try to return it and say it was bad out of the box...
     
  14. ladymacbeth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2009
    #14
    If it is physical damage, I guess I have no other choice but to talk to WD. I hate to admit defeat but I'm glad I didn't lose any valuable data.

    Thanks so much for helping me diagnose. I'm going to have to be far more careful in the future.

    It does seem that hard drive failures are somewhat common. Are there any alternatives to super-ridiculously-delicate external hard drives in the future? I'm a college student and I was planning on using this external nearly every day for photo storage/schoolwork backup but a dorm room is a very dangerous place for delicate devices. I'm beginning to think my best bet is just to keep the external in a drawer or duct taped to the wall and wrapped in bubble wrap at all times.

    Thanks again for all of the help. :)
     
  15. MasterNile macrumors 65816

    MasterNile

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    #15
    Lol I've had my one and only 250GB external WD HD for about 4 years and had no problem with it, it's just that they can't handle a hit when they're trying to write to the disk, that's where your problem occured, it was writing when it fell, if it had been off or even just idle when it fell you wouldn't have sustained the physical damage that it did. However the only other choice (besides the ones you mentioned) is to get an external SSD (solid state drive) because it doesn't have any moving parts it can handle hits better, but ATM they are fairly expensive.
     

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