Lacie Hard Drive Makes Noises, Won't Mount

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by m0nkeybl1tz, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. m0nkeybl1tz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    #1
    So, I've had my hard drive for years without a problem, but all of a sudden it stopped working. It makes the kind of clicking noise it does when it's loading data, but after about 5 clicks, it makes the whirring noise it makes when it shuts down. Then it starts up all over again.

    Is the problem with my computer, or the hard drive, and if it's the hard drive, is it mechanical or some sort of connection issue? Is there any way to save the data? Thanks!
     
  2. needlnerdz macrumors regular

    needlnerdz

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Location:
    switzerland
    #2
    in some sort of bizarro universe, my harddrive just went similar-crazy last night too.. at about 3am european time.. everything was running fine, probably trying to do a few too many tasks at once.. then spinning wheel.. then STRANGE sound of the drive (internal on my macbook) - and then couldn't really do anything. A little worried from the sound I force shutdown... restart resulted in blinking ? folder - and now I'm having trouble with the disk not being recognized when loaded in firewire target mode or booting with DiskWarrior = starting to get scared... My intention is not to thread hi-jack but was surprised to find the exact/verysimilar situation happen at almost the same time.. and will have to subscribe to thread and continue googling for a solution.

    Best of luck with your drive in the meantime! [i shall now go a kick myself in the ass for having not backed up for a couple weeks...]
     
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    note of advice (probably a tad old)..

    dont buy lacie, they are so unreliable :(
     
  4. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #4
    Well for all intents and purposes I must sadly say that you should thank it for all the years of service it has given you before its untimely passing. :( The sounds and premature shut down (not to mention the repetitive restarts) you describe are almost certainly signs that the hard drive mechanism itself has failed (or at very least is in the stages of failing). This would be a mechanical problem- as I have sure never run across a case of a working connection or host computer causing something like your description. The clicking noise is a particularly bad sign as it is a common symptom of drive failure-- and I have to admit the premature spindown and continuous restarts don't add any joy at all.

    Hopefully you have backups of the data on this drive, because short of the VERY expensive option of professional data recovery (I was quoted from $800 to $2200 to recover a 320Gb drive recently by OnTrack for example) there is not a lot you can do. You could try a utility like Data Rescue which does do some great work at times (if the drive shows up on the desktop or Disk Utility) but I really don't feel hopeful unfortunately. If I were working on it I would try it since I keep that in my toolkit for client work but if you don't already have it I'm not convinced that the $99 investment to get it would be justified. For future problems yes, but for this one I doubt it.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news- and this is one of the few times I would be quite happy to be proven wrong. ;)

    EDIT: Whoops- I just reread your post and saw the question about recovering the data, so disregard the "Hopefully you have backups..." above.
     
  5. needlnerdz macrumors regular

    needlnerdz

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Location:
    switzerland
    #5
    in the quest to answer my own question of a clicking drive, Ive found some resources (well lots) - that talk about placing a //last resort// hard drive in the freezer for hours to overnight and then getting anywhere from 20minutes to a few hours to quickly recover their data. Im not quite that desperate myself, but it just might hit that point in the next day...

    good luck with your HD!
     
  6. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #6
    I had it happen once with a FW drive where it wouldn't mount. Disk Utility could see the drive, so I repaired it and it was fine.

    It sounds like your's is on its last legs (if not already dead), but you might check to see if Disk Utility can see it and repair it. It might allow you to recover data from it before it completely dies.
     
  7. EdbBob macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #7
    It sounds like the heads that are locked mechanicly. This should be a last option, only! I'll bet you lose your warranty...

    Back in the days, when harddrives where new there was a trick when you heard that clicking sound and the drive wouldn't start:

    Give the SIDE of the drive (unmounted from the cabinet) a smack with the handle of a screwdriver. It might still work if something mechanic is wrong inside the drive. (Don't be shy, when you hit it!) :)

    Don't hit top or bottom! Only the thin sides of the box!
     
  8. m0nkeybl1tz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    #8
    Wow, thanks for all the great responses. I kind of expected it would be unfixable, but Sickmacdoc, I dor appreciate your...bedside manner.

    I can get it to mount if I plug it in after I turn it on and let it go through a couple of clicking cycles, however it says it needs to be reformatted. So I might try that, not format it, then see if I can run disk utility on it. If not, then it's slapping, followed by freezer time. Thanks for all your help, and I'll let you know how things go.
     
  9. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #9
    Hi- just one more quick note- if you are talking about the dialog box that comes up that says something to the effect that "This drive cannot be read by this Macintosh" followed by the choices to "Initialize", "Ignore" or "Eject"-- DO NOT initialize it. Not only will it probably fail before completing (leaving the drive in a really indeterminate state) but even if does happen to complete that choice is effectively the same as using the "Erase" tab in Disk Utility! :(

    There is an ever-so-small chance that the freezer routine could work on a drive that is reported in that fashion. I was able to pull some of the stuff off of a drive that way one time, but that was out of about 10 that I tried it with. One little trick that worked that time for me to allow more to be pulled off it is to (silly as it sounds) put a blue ice package on top of the drive right after I pulled the drive from the freezer and hooked it up in an external drive enclosure with the outer case pulled off, as accessing the data tended to heat the drive up fairly quickly rendering it unreadable again in a short period of time. The ice pack(!!!) seemed to extend the time until that happened for quite a few more minutes than when I tried it without it though I would never have believed it had I not seen it myself! After several freeze/recover cycles I was able to pull virtually all the data (about 60Gb) off that one- with the end result being one VERY happy client and one very shocked ME! :D
     
  10. physic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    #10
    Seems like the head is out of alignment or something.
    I had one clicking like this a year ago. Luckily, I didn't need any data from it...
    Here's a good link from another topic about all these crazy sounds: http://datacent.com/hard_drive_sounds.php
     
  11. m0nkeybl1tz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    #11
    So it took me all night last night to clear up my computer's hard drive, so I haven't gotten a chance to do anything yet, though I discovered that disk utility doesn't recognize it. So, I'm wondering which side to hit, and if it should be in or out of the case. Thanks!
     
  12. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #12
    physic- Just wanted to say thanks for the reference of that site! I am adding to my references to give to people with various problems and that site could be very helpful in helping diagnose remotely.
     
  13. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #13
    Well, from past experience I would have to say out of the case. When we get to this level of desperation attempts I don't really think it matters which side you choose to whack it on though. :(

    This whole technique is a blast from the past, that's for sure. I still remember an old Seagate 49Mb drive (yes, that is Mb not Gb) that would not start spinning up without a good whack first ;) Good luck with it!
     

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