Need to obtain data from possibly "dead" Lacie hard drive...

idrawdesigns

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 18, 2009
5
0
Today I went to plug in my Lacie 250 GB USB external hard drive into my 13 in. MacBook to get a shirt template for a design I am making. I discovered that the hard drive just would not mount and show on the desktop, and I remembered that this happened a few days before, but all I did was unplug it and plug it back in, and it worked... except that today, that didn't work at all. I tried the other USB port, and the hard drive showed up on the desktop for about a second, and then disappeared. I kept on replugging it back into both USB ports, but nothing happened.

Then I tried to see if it would work on the PC beside me, and it was recognized as an external device; however, a message came up telling me the drive was malfunctioning. I am guessing this is from ejecting it incorrectly (because I am in a hurry to head to my next classes... I use this laptop at school), but I have incorrectly disconnected it before in the past and this problem never happened to me before.

Every single project I have ever created for my design career is on that hard drive, and all I want now is to get my files back. All I need it to do is show up on the desktop for just the right amount of time for me to copy my files onto my computer.

I read online to put it into the freezer for a while and it should mount, but that didn't work. I tried using Disk Warrior, Data Rescue 3, and Tech Tool Deluxe, but the hard drive did not show up on any of those apps.

I tried plugging the hard drive into an iMac as well, but it did not show up either.

Thanks in advanced... I really need these files, it's about 5 years worth of designs.
 

DewGuy1999

macrumors 68040
Jan 25, 2009
3,196
6
Does your drive use an external power supply? Could be the power supply has gone bad. Have you tried a different USB cable, could be the cable has gone bad? Does it show up in System Profiler or Disk Utility?
 

idrawdesigns

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 18, 2009
5
0
It does not use an external power supply, it gets it all from being connected on the Mac. I have used other cables, and it does not show up in any program or anything else.
 

DewGuy1999

macrumors 68040
Jan 25, 2009
3,196
6
Sounds like it may be dead. It's possible the hard drive is still functional and just the LaCie case/electronics have gone bad, you could always buy an external enclosure, remove the hard disk from the LaCie case and see if it will work in the new enclosure.
 

idrawdesigns

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 18, 2009
5
0
Sounds like it may be dead. It's possible the hard drive is still functional and just the LaCie case/electronics have gone bad, you could always buy an external enclosure, remove the hard disk from the LaCie case and see if it will work in the new enclosure.
Eh, I'm trying not to spend any money. :/ That is a possibility though, so I may try it in the future.

I have heard of people not touching their broken hardware for long periods of time, and then it ends up working after?
 

DewGuy1999

macrumors 68040
Jan 25, 2009
3,196
6
I suppose that's a possibilty, if it's not truly dead. When you connect it does it power on? Can you hear the hard drive spin up?
 

idrawdesigns

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 18, 2009
5
0
I suppose that's a possibilty, if it's not truly dead. When you connect it does it power on? Can you hear the hard drive spin up?
It does power up, I know it because the blue light comes on. I can also hear the fan (which is usually what I hear), and there's no clicking noises (which is usually a dead hard drive).
 

DewGuy1999

macrumors 68040
Jan 25, 2009
3,196
6
It does power up, I know it because the blue light comes on. I can also hear the fan (which is usually what I hear), and there's no clicking noises (which is usually a dead hard drive).
Hmm. That sounds encouraging. This is the only other thing that I can think of at this point. Could you disconnect all peripherals and try resetting this:

:apple: Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM

Then see if the drive shows up.
 

idrawdesigns

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 18, 2009
5
0
Hmm. That sounds encouraging. This is the only other thing that I can think of at this point. Could you disconnect all peripherals and try resetting this:

:apple: Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM

Then see if the drive shows up.
I will have to do that tomorrow, but I would like to know how that would help? I read about it and tried it but did it wrong, but I was too busy to try again. How would that exactly fix it? :p
 

DewGuy1999

macrumors 68040
Jan 25, 2009
3,196
6
I will have to do that tomorrow, but I would like to know how that would help? I read about it and tried it but did it wrong, but I was too busy to try again. How would that exactly fix it? :p
Well, I'm not sure that it would do any good in this situation, but it's easy to do and it's free. Right now I can't think of anything else other than a new external case so that's why I recommended it.

All you have to do is hold down the Command+Option+P+R immediately after pressing the power button. I would hold the Command+Option with my left hand, push the power button with my right and then immediately use my right hand to hold down the P+R keys. Keep holding all 4-keys down until you hear the startup chime 3 or 4 times then let them go. If another person is handy you can have them press the power button while you hold down the 4-keys.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
978
New England
You somehow need to separate the drive from the electronics.

I know you are trying not to spend money, but you can get an enclosure for $11 shipped. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...2.5"_USB_hDD_enclosure-_-17-816-001-_-Product

More importantly you really need to take this as a wake-up call to reconsider your workflow and backup schedule! This will definitely happen again if you continue to keep your design files in one place!

Even if you ultimately get the data off this disc, the HDD is suspect and you can't trust it anymore.

I assume you are using the external because the HDD in your MacBook is too small. Consider upgrading the HDD in your 13" to the largest drive you can (500 GB is ~$90, 320 GB is $65) to avoid having to use the external and ejecting in a hurry. The upgrade is not hard to do by yourself.

And then use an external of similar size as backup only.

B
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,557
6,285
RE:
"Eh, I'm trying not to spend any money. :/ That is a possibility though, so I may try it in the future."

Then, frankly, kiss your data and drive goodbye and start over. It's that simple.
Chances are, if you want your data back, it may cost you a little money. Or, perhaps more.

Do you want your data back?

It could be a dead enclosure (with the drive _inside_ still good).
It could be a dead drive (hardware problem)
It could be a functioning drive but with directory/partition/file corruption.

Here's what I'd suggest:
1. Buy one of these from newegg.com:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812119152

2. Open the drive enclosure, take the drive itself out, and connect it to the dongle.

3. Plug the dongle into a USB port and see what happens.

If the drive mounts on the desktop, it was likely a problem with the external enclosure.

If the drive DOES NOT mount on the desktop, can you see it using Disk Utility?

If you can, try the "Repair" button in DU.
DO NOT initialize the drive!

Don't give up if Disk Utility can't see the drive. There are still options to get the data back from it. But if you reach this point, it _IS_ going to cost you some money if you want that data back.

Here's how I suggest you proceed at this point:
1. Get ahold of "Data Rescue III". It's recovery software that works when EVERYTHING else has failed, and it will cost you $99.
2. Buy another drive that is "as big as" the one from which you're trying to recover. I'd suggest a "bare" SATA drive from newegg (or another good supplier)
3. You will also need to buy one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=usb+sata+dock&x=0&y=0
... and use it to connect the bare drive to.

If you want to use Data Rescue, you MUST use ANOTHER drive as well as the drive from which you're trying to "recover". It's important that you do nothing that will "write to" the problem drive.

Be aware that it will probably take several hours for DR3 to scan and scavenge the files from the damaged drive. It actually took me three "attempts" to finally get a good scan on a problem drive that I had, but it worked.

It will take time, effort, and $$$ to get the files back, but there is a good possibility that you can get them back (barring actual physical damage to the drive).

- John
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
978
New England

DewGuy1999

macrumors 68040
Jan 25, 2009
3,196
6
Isn't it possible that the OPs drive could be PATA instead of SATA? He might want to get the drive out of the enclosure before purchasing anything.
 

TRYSTERO777

macrumors newbie
Aug 12, 2011
2
0
This Forum Saved My Life (or at least my data!)

Thanks for this great thread all. I too had a "dead" Lacie 250GB HD. By following your very helpful advice I finally got another enclosure and power supply - by-passed everything but the IDE drive itself and just happily spent the last hour xfering all my data to a new GLYPH drive.

This is not hard nor expensive to do and it really saved me.

Thanks so much-
Trystero777
 

TRYSTERO777

macrumors newbie
Aug 12, 2011
2
0
Saved! PS

PS - I simply bought the Roswell kit suggested by Fisrrman above. I think it was $19.99. Best $ I ever spent.
Trystero777
 

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