Question! (About dead/dying external HD)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shibby327, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. shibby327 macrumors newbie


    Feb 25, 2008
    I recently purchased a external hard drive (Simpletech 500 GB from Best Buy) for use with my Macbook Pro. It worked perfectly up until today (does not show up on desktop). When I switch it on, the drive starts up and makes a slight clicking noise that continues for about twenty seconds and the the drive suddenly stops working (light indicator light stays on though) Has anyone else had this problem? Is there anyway to salvage my data that was on it? Should I ask the guys at Best Buy? :confused:
  2. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    Hmm.. From experience the clicking noise means the drive is failing, most probably due to hardware fault, but not always true.

    However, what happens when you launch the Disk Utility application? Does the drive show up as unmounted?

    If it doesn't show at all, I'd say the drive has already failed. Data can be recovery is possible, but the price is shockingly stiff!
  3. shibby327 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 25, 2008
    Well the drive does not show up at all...
    How would I go through recovering my data?
  4. Skystar macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2007
    Is it USB powered or does it have it's own power supply? I've had some hard drives make clicking noises if there was not enough power coming out of a USB port (if they were USB powered to begin with). But since you say it's 500GB, I'm thinking its self powered?
  5. shibby327 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 25, 2008
  6. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
  7. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
    heres a better question, why did you buy a simpletech brand when you could have had a nice WD mybook or passport?

    you bought a cheap product and are surprised it failed?

    not saying WD stuff dosent fail, it does, just not as often as cheap brand product
  8. shibby327 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 25, 2008
    thanks for the help squeeks

    but anyway, if my drive has failed, undoubtedly, what are my options now? recovering my data being my priority...
  9. Jabberwocky246 macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2008
    This could cost you


    When a drive dies, it frequently goes in stages. The first stage is where the computer's BIOS (or in your case, the USB auto-detect feature) can still recognize the drive but it is not allowing the OS to access the contents. Data from drives in this condition can often be recovered via software such as EasyRecovery™ DataRecovery 6.1 - Standard Edition from Ontrack. I have successfully used this software to recover data from a number of failing (not failed) drives. This is windows-based software only, so you'll need access to a PC to use it. The standard edition runs $199, but only you can decide if it's worth it. Note - you may be able to download a demo from Ontrack's web site to see if it will work.

    Once the computer cannot recognize the drive, you're in the second stage where you're going to have to rely on someone else to get your data back. Ontrack is the only data recovery service I have used, and it's quite expensive. The last time I checked, the price started at $1,200 and went up depending on difficulty. I'm sure there are cheaper outfits available, but Ontrack is the best-known.

    There are a number of "tricks" people employ to try to recover data, including putting the drive in the freezer (in a sealed plastic bag) for an hour or two and turning the drive upside down. I have never had any luck with these tricks, but you may want to give them a shot.

    There are two points to keep in mind. 1) The more you mess with the drive, the more difficult it will be to recover the data if you choose to use a professional data recovery service, and 2) You need to decide how much your data is worth and make up your mind whether or not to spend the money.

    Lastly, a comment. If this is a backup drive, why do you not still have the data on your laptop? If you are only using for extra storage, why are you not backing it up somehow?

    I'm sure you've learned a valuable, if painful lesson - all hard drives fail, it's just a matter of when.

    Good luck to you.
  10. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    If you open the enclosure up to try to recover data, you will likely void your Simpletech warranty.

    Welcome to MR : BTW: Hint for next time, use a subject on your post that is relevant to the question you're asking. We have an incredible number of threads entitled "Help!" or "Question".
  11. shibby327 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 25, 2008
    Wow, those prices are steep. Thanks so much for the info. Luckily, the data on the drive was also on another computer so it is not entirely lost. But does it seem for certain that my drive is toast? Do you think Best Buy will replace it if I had bought it maybe several weeks ago? Thats the only thing stopping me from opening the enclosure...

    Also, I'll keep that hint in mind :D
  12. Jabberwocky246 macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2008
    Clicking noises are a very bad sign. That, combined with the fact you can no longer mount the drive leads me to believe that, yes, your drive is probably toast.

    It's definitely worth taking it back to Best Buy to at least have it checked. I don't have any experience returning stuff to Best Buy, but you don't have anything to lose. Worst case they make you send it back to Simpletech.

    Best of luck.

  13. johnsy macrumors 6502

    Nov 15, 2006
    Always save receipt and box. Drive is a toast. you should retur it. If you need data on a drive try to connect drive and leave for about 20 minutes. It might connect. As far as being cheap, I don't agree. An external hard drive is essentially an external enclosure and a hard drive. Simpletech does not manufacture hard drives. Inside is probably WD, Samsung, Seagate or Hitachi hard drive. Failing Hard drive has nothing to do with an enclosure. An enclosure has very limited parts which can fail.
  14. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    One could consider WD Mybook cheap garbage as well, considering the case is made of plastic.

    Comments like this are not helpful or factual. Simpletech does not actually manufacture hard drives anyway. They are sourced from one or more of the major drive manufacturers today. In other words, it's possible that the OP's drive could have a Western Digital mechanism in it!

    Drive warranties do not cover your data, so if you find yourself in a position where the only copy of your precious data is on the faulty hard drive, you must make a decision between getting a warranty replacement or sending your drive away to get the data recovered. Can't have it both ways.

    Luckily you already have a backup. So I would try to get a warranty replacement if possible.
  15. shibby327 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 25, 2008

    well guys i went in to best buy with drive and receipt in hand and asked for it to be exchanged for a new one. i had gone over the 30 day policy by about a couple days but was fortunate enough to have a pleasant customer service employee who allowed me to exchange the product. although i never did recover my data, i am pleased to not have wasted the money that was spent on the drive.

    thanks to all who responded. your words of wisdom have benefitted me greatly. :D:apple:

Share This Page