I had a 2TB external drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sagah, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. sagah macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2013
    I was carrying it in a backpack. The backpack fell.

    Out went all data in it.

    How can I prevent this from happening again? Never carry it in backpack? Put sponge around it? Make a case out of sponges to put it in before putting it in the backpack?
  2. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    I believe you were using a WD My Passport drive. They are amazing drives, but are not imune to such physical impact.

    If you want such proctection, some companies produce external drives that come "rugged" and will protect them from falling and even greater harzadous like fire and water.

    WD does make some external drives meeting this criteria (they even do a bullet proof version). Another popular brand is LAcie. I believe Transcend also makes some drives with such specification, but Im not sure. I do have a regular Transcend drive, and I love it.
  3. macs4nw macrumors 601


    I hope you had redundant back up. If you're going to put it in your backpack, at a minimum I would suggest to have it somewhere in the middle, surrounded by soft stuff such as a coat or a sweater or towel or such, but that by itself is not necessarily guaranteed to save your data. You need a drive that's built from the ground up to take a little abuse.

    The LaCie 5400rpm 2TB 'Rugged USB 3.0/ThunderBolt' drive is claimed to be able to shrug off drops of up to 1.2 mtrs, or 4 ft. That drive lists at a pricey $299.99 though. http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10599

    However the equivalent 'Rugged Triple USB 3.0' version at a slightly more reasonably listed $249.99, can withstand drops of up to 2 mtrs, or roughly 6½ Feet. http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10553

    And I'm sure there are other mobile drives with built-in shock protection.
  4. jger77, Mar 25, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014

    jger77 macrumors member

    Feb 23, 2014
    the Fraser Valley
    Depending on exactly what is broken on the HD you may be able to recover your data.
    Find a technician to help you out or

    Try this:

    find a usb-sata connector dock, they're around $20

    Very Carefuly
    Pry the case of your external HD open, look under any decals for screws, work the seam.

    Unfasten any retaining clips inside the enclosure.

    Disconect the HD from the drive interface.

    Mount the HD in the new dock and pray.
  5. sagah thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2013
  6. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    Decals are sticky labels that companies place in various places on their devices, which they frequently use to hide screw insets and other places where connectors reside that hold the case together.

    The "seam" may be a place where the two halves of the covering for the internals are joined together. Some device makers glue or snap their product together rather than screw it together. By using a butter knife or something else to work the seam, you may also be able to get the device open to remove the hard drive.

    Just remember that the an external drive is more than just the drive itself, it needs a chipset to talk to your computer and those chipsets are more fragile than the drive itself. Good luck.
  7. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Consider cloud storage or a NAS. I carry very little data around with me.

    Your other option is a rugged 3.5" case or an SSD
  8. jger77 macrumors member

    Feb 23, 2014
    the Fraser Valley
    Typicaly something like this:

    Will have something like this inside


    Your goal should now be to get the interal part out of the case.

    But, what you absolutely don't want to have happen, is for the internal part, the HD itself, or any of its connector pins to be damaged.

    In otherwords: Do not smash the case with a hammer!
    Instead pry the it open, working from its weak points.

    Attached Files:

  9. sagah thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2013
    Mine is this one: wdt-d3c


    WHat kind of plastic should I use to pry it open?


    Is it recommended you only use Mac computers precisely because you can't share HDD without splitting it and limiting the storage capacities?
  10. sagah thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2013
    Is it this?


    Also with this how can you transfer the data into another external drive? Do you have to first transfer to the computer and then from there to the external drive?
  11. cruisin macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2014
    Any brand should work, this one is fine.

    To get data off the drive, simply plug both into the same computer. You can do a simple copy and paste of everything from one to the other and then wait a few hours.

    For future reference, anything useful needs to be kept in at least two spots. Anything important should be in three spots and hopefully some kind of cloud service in case of fire. Definitely look at rugged drives if you are traveling with them.

    Use ExFAT for your drives. All computers will read that.
  12. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    No, actually you should not use ExFAT. It is an unreliable format and could get corrupted if unplugged without ejecting. I read this in another thread
    You should store all important data in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) (aka HFS+) and only use ExFAT for transferring data.
  13. cruisin macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2014
    All drives will get corrupted eventually without ejecting. You are literally removing the drive before the computer is done with it. That is why they added the eject feature to prevent this.

    For my personal use I use NTFS for all my external drives because I also use Windows and need files bigger than the 4 GB limit of FAT32. Paragon makes a driver for Mac and there is a fuse driver also.
  14. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014

    Extended (Journaled) is more resilient of removing without ejecting. The Journaling helps to find what got corrupted and fixes it.
  15. sagah thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2013
    So for NTFS you can only write to it from Windows and read it with Mac with a driver by Paragon?
  16. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    You can read it in Mac OS X, but to write in it you need a 3rd-party software.
  17. cruisin macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2014
    Mac reads NTFS by default, its the writing part that needs work. Windows has both read and write by default.

    There is a free fuse driver that people got to work, but I got the Paragon driver because I didn't want any issues. Linux comes with NTFS read and write by default, so its annoying that Mac refuses to have full support.
  18. sagah thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2013
    Is there any reason you don't prefer the WD My Cloud? You don't have to deal with formatting for that because it's WiFi.
  19. sagah thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2013
    If you formatted your drive to a format that Mac can read and write, is there a software that makes it possible for Windows to Read/Write from that external that was formatted to Apple?
  20. sagah, Jan 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015

    sagah thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2013
    It was dropped from about 2 meters height. Is there still a chance that the data survived?

    Also, it's been a while since it has happened. I think somewhere between 1 and half to 2 years. Is it harder to recover the data the longer it has been like that?
  21. UKgaryb macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2013
    Manchester, UK
  22. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    The time should make no difference as long as it's been stored in a reasonable location. Why not just open the case and give it a go? What have you got to lose?
  23. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    You need a backup in a safe location. If your data is on the drive, and the drive is in the backpack, and the backpack is taken by a thief, your data is gone. Dropping is not the only risk.
  24. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    +1, Storage is so cheap that there is no excuse for not having backups. They turn a potentially life changing event into a minor inconvenience.
  25. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    You had a 3.5" drive. They aren't meant to be portable and have no shock protection in the drive. You should really be using the smaller portable drives if you will be moving them around a bit.

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