Found old HDD last used in 2012 that I want to use again

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Hexley, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009
    I found HDDs that were last accessed in 2012. I plugged them into my HDD dock (NewerTech) and it is taking a long time to read em or even open the drive in finder.

    Any tips to make em behave as intend would be helpful
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If its having issues reading and accessing, perhaps it's now longer functioning.
  3. Hexley thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009
    Get Info.... works
    Seeing the file names... works
    Updating Aperture Library takes a long time
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    What happens if you run Disk Utility's "Repair disk" function on the drive(s)?

    Do you get a "good report"?
  5. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    Run SpinRite on the drives.
  6. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    First, take off all the information you need while you still can, or if you need to.

    Second, after all the information is off, use Disk Utility to reformat the drive with the security option set to write a single pass of zeros over the drive. It's possible that after sitting for a long time without exposure to head activity some of the magnetic signatures have weakened, and this **may** reinvigorate them.

    Third, try using the drive and see if it works. The biggest problem you'll likely encounter with drives that have been sitting for years will be weak sectors. A weak sector is a sector that can retain information but the magnetic signature is so low that the drive controller has to repeatedly read it and and average the detected data until it becomes readable. The signal is electrically "noisy" kind of like a faint radio station.

    I do beta testing for a product named Scannerz and it, to the best of my knowledge, is the only tool on the market that can detect and identify weak sectors. More info on it can be obtained here:

    I would add that you may not need it. Considering the fact that the drives are old, I'm assuming they may have be seen as "throw aways" at one point anyway. If you re-format and zero the drives out and they suddenly seem to work well, they may not need further testing, but I don't know if I'd consider using them for really critical data. Gaming systems and stuff like that, yes. Tax returns, no.

    I actually did that process some time ago for 10 year old drive and it did come back to life, but it was a 10G hard drive and even though I felt proud of myself for having brought an old hard drive back to life, the reality is I have no use for a 10G hard drive, and little more testing was done. :rolleyes:

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