External HD won't mount. Any way to get my data?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sigamy, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    I'm running OS X El Cap. I have a 1TB WD Black 3.5" drive that has been in an external USB 2 enclosure for years. These were purchased separately, not as an "external hard drive".

    A few weeks ago the drive started having issues where it would un-mount itself. It's possible my dog bumped it under the desk, or maybe a power surge. I read online lots of folks had this issue...I've tried few things but for past 3 weeks I have not been able to get the drive to mount. Well, it has mounted for maybe 10 seconds on a few occasions.

    I've tried three other enclosures. One is exactly the same as the first, one OWC dual bay and one of those "just the cables" things. The drive won't mount at all in these others. It doesn't even seem to spin up.

    I've tried the first enclosure via FireWire 400 daisy chained to a FW800 enclosure that is connected to my iMac. Drive won't mount.

    The drive powers and seems to spin up in the original MacAlly enclosure. It just won't mount.

    So...any ideas? Any way I can get the data off this drive? It has movie files and my iTunes library. I was not backing this up...

    I have Disk Warrior but I can't even mount the drive so not sure what to do.
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    If you have it backed up with TM or CCC, try to reformat and then restore.
  3. WhatAmI macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2009
    I went through the exact same thing with my less than a year old 3TB LaCie d2. Impossible to mount using USB3 or Thunderbolt, neither Mac nor PC would recognise it and ended up sending it away for diagnosis with a pro. He could only read the 1st 4GB of data and drive/data is lost forever. Seagate Barracudas I won't be using ever again
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    You will have to send it to a pro data recovery shop and cross your fingers. There is most likely some serious damage to the drive.
  5. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2015
    I had the same experience with a WD Passport Pro. Never using WD ever again for sure... too much PTSD.
  6. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Every brand of hard drive will fail eventually. If you don't backup your data, don't expect it to last...
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I was in almost exactly the same position a few years ago with a partition on a drive that contained a library of mp3 files.

    The partition disappeared, even though other partitions on the drive still mounted.
    But I only was concerned about getting the vanished mp3 partition back.

    So... what did I do?

    I re-initialzed the drive into a single partition. Yes, you are reading correctly -- I RE-initialized it.


    I did not -- repeat, DID NOT -- choose to "zero out" the drive. I just chose a quick re-initialization.

    The drive re-initialized without problems, and from that point appeared as an "empty" drive. HOWEVER, the data itself was still "out there" (again, because I had NOT zero'ed it out).

    I then aimed DataRescue at it, asking it to find files with the mp3 extension.

    DataRescue then ignored the empty directory, went "right to the platters" and FOUND the files, which it copied to another drive.

    But - even though the files were mostly recovered -- I had lost all previous folders and many file names (remember that these are a construct of a drive's directory).

    I then opened a completely fresh iTunes library (nothing in it at all), and "dumped" the entire batch of recovered mp3 files.

    iTunes was able to read the file metadata for almost all the files, and put together a largely reconstructed library with title/artist/album, etc.

    This worked when nothing else would.

    Might be worth a try...
  8. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Ok, so the one guy says he is never using Seagate again. You say you are never going to use WD again. Well, what are you guys going to use then since Seagate and WD have the entire HDD market?

    I love deductions based on anecdotal evidence. All drives from the manufacturer must be bad, because one drive failed
  9. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2015
    I know my opinion is biased/tainted by my experience. It's a traumatic experience to lose 50% of one's most precious files, user error or not (fortunately I've been able to recover most of them since then by running deleted data recovery programs on my old hard drive).

    Another brand I'll never use again - Brooks Brothers. Doesn't mean they're bad. Just means I had a bad experience with them and don't want to suffer at their hands again. Everyone has different experiences with different companies. Say your ex cheats on you - you may never want to look at her again, but some other guy may not care as much. Life is too short to get screwed by the same person (or company) twice.

    Brands I'll use again and again - Apple and Amazon. Both of their customer service are amazing. Some people may disagree and prefer Newegg or Ebay. Good for them, it's not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
  10. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    It doesn't matter what hard drive brand you use, if you don't backup your data properly, you're asking for trouble.
  11. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2015
    That's why I said user error. I've learned my lesson and now backup to 3 or more sources at any given time.

    Doesn't change the fact that I still feel an emotional distrust of Western Digital.

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