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#54595 - 05/16/20 05:56 AM External HD
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada
OS 10.12.6. My son has a 2TB Lacie external HD which has stopped working.
I plugged it into my hub and like on his desktop, it didn't show on mine either. I checked dick utility and it wasn't there. I then connected it directly into the back of my computer and it still didn't appear. I then gave it a few sharp knocks but to no avail. I know how to dismantle it but my question is, do I need a special instrument to test it?
Is there anything else I could do before opening it?

jaybass

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#54596 - 05/16/20 08:41 AM Re: External HD [Re: jaybass]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Your son's hard drive not showing up in "dick [sic] utility" should be posted in a medical forum, not here.

Sorry, everybody, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. shocked grin

(I won't be offended if this post is taken down. smile )
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#54597 - 05/16/20 08:55 AM Re: External HD [Re: artie505]
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada
Your humour is noted but you could have at least come up with a suggestion.

jaybass

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#54598 - 05/16/20 09:18 AM Re: External HD [Re: jaybass]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I didn't offer any suggestions, because in my unique way I misread your post.

OK, since the drive doesn't mount on two different computers you can assume it's not a USB port issue, and for the same reason you can't run any sort of diagnostics on it.

I'll suggest, then, that you swap out the LaCie's cable for a know good one, and if the problem turns out to be other than the cable, open the LaCie and swap out the 2 TB HD for a known good drive to determine whether it's the drive or the enclosure that's at fault. (I hope your son's data is backed up.)

Like everybody's got a spare HD lying around. tongue
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#54600 - 05/16/20 12:38 PM Re: External HD [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I would add to Artie's excellent suggestion the only way to test the drive itself after removing it from the enclosure would be to mount it into another known good enclosure or Drive Dock. If you open the drive itself, it is toast.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#54603 - 05/16/20 02:36 PM Re: External HD [Re: joemikeb]
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada
Thank you Joe. We did watch a video re a Lacie HD and this well informed person did open the casing but not the drive its self. He was talking about a Drive Dock but unless you are in the business of salvaging H D s, it's not worth buying one.

Thanks Artie for your suggestion.

jaybass

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#54604 - 05/16/20 02:54 PM Re: External HD [Re: jaybass]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
It's extraordinarily unusual for anyone to have to contradict joemike, but rather than a Drive Dock, I suggest a USB to SATA adapter which will cost around $10 and enable your son to determine whether it's his HDD or enclosure that's at the root of his problem (assuming, of course, that it's not his cable).

I suspect that any of the linked items will work with your son's Mac, but it'll be up to you guys to either do the research or provide answers so we can do it.

I've got one that cost me around $4 a bunch of years ago, and while it of course isn't particularly functional for computing, it was a life saver when I needed to access info on my daughter's drive which had gone south.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#54605 - 05/16/20 02:54 PM Re: External HD [Re: jaybass]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
The truth is at todays prices for rotating rust (ie. HDs) they aren't worth the labor to repair. Its cheaper to just toss them. Installing a new drive in an older enclosure is also questionable, because you can buy a new drive in a new enclosure potentially with a significantly faster I/O bus (USB 2 vs USB 3.0 vs USB 3.1 vs USB 3.2) for not that much more than you would pay for the drive alone.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#54606 - 05/16/20 04:37 PM Re: External HD [Re: joemikeb]
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada
Joe,
The guy in this video says that about 95% of "dead drives" are OK. He talks about bare drives which I assume they don't have a case.

Anyone curious about "failed" external HDs can watch this:


https://www.amazon.com/usb-sata-adapter/s?k=usb+to+sata+adapter

jaybass

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#54607 - 05/16/20 04:42 PM Re: External HD [Re: artie505]
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada
Artie,

My son will probably be interested in those USB to SATA adapters. At my age, I won't be getting into that side of it.

jaybass

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#54609 - 05/17/20 06:50 AM Re: External HD [Re: jaybass]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: jaybass
Joe,
The guy in this video says that about 95% of "dead drives" are OK. He talks about bare drives which I assume they don't have a case.
Your are correct, a bare drive does not have a case, neither does it have a power supply or a bridge chip that converts the drive's SATA connection to USB/Firewire/Thunderbolt for connection to a computer. All of that is provided by the enclosure or a drive dock. The USB to SATA adaptor you referenced is nothing more than a stripped down Dock that will work with 2.5" laptop drives that are bus powered, the larger higher capacity 3.5" drives typically draw more power than the USB bus provides and will have to have an external power supply to function.

There are any number of reasons that some users may perceive a drive as failing including:
  1. User error of some sort (the possibilities are almost infinite)
  2. A glitch that causes the volume or directory structure on the drive to get corrupted (often correctable with Disk Utility or DiskWarrior, TechTool Pro, Drive Genius (These last three run $100 each)
  3. Failure of a port on the computer (often repairable by resetting the PRAM or NVRAM)
  4. Failed connector cable
  5. Failure of the bridge chip in the external enclosure
  6. Failure of the power supply in the external enclosure
  7. a mechanical failure in the drive mechanism
  8. The magnetic media flaking off of the surface of the platters in the drive
  9. a head crash (at one time relatively common but quite rare these days)
The first three items can be corrected without replacement but the remaining six will require some level of replacement to correct and only in the last three instances has the drive itself actually failed. The trick is isolating the causes of the problem and Artie has done a good job of describing the process. Some of that process could be aided by a USB to SATA adapter or Driver Dock.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#54611 - 05/17/20 07:35 AM Re: External HD [Re: joemikeb]
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada
Thank you for your comprehensible reply. My son has DW & TTP. Should he reset the PRAM first and then DW & or TTP? Just how do you use those apps if the drive doesn't show on the desktop?

jaybass

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#54612 - 05/17/20 08:26 AM Re: External HD [Re: jaybass]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: jaybass
Thank you for your comprehensible reply. My son has DW & TTP. Should he reset the PRAM first and then DW & or TTP?

You have already ruled out Resetting the NVRAM or PRAM as a solution when you…

Originally Posted By: jaybass
I plugged it into my hub and like on his desktop, it didn't show on mine either. I checked dick utility and it wasn't there. I then connected it directly into the back of my computer and it still didn't appear.

Originally Posted By: jaybass
I then gave it a few sharp knocks but to no avail. I know how to dismantle it but my question is, do I need a special instrument to test it?
Is there anything else I could do before opening it?

A few sharp knocks would be more likely to cause irreparable physical damage than fixing anything. Forty years ago with some of the very early HDs the motors were sometimes too weak to spin the drive up to speed and we would reach in and give them a start with a thin bladed screwdriver to break the sticktion but a "sharp knock" is more likely to cause a head crash — which is by definition fatal.

Originally Posted By: jaybass
Just how do you use those apps if the drive doesn't show on the desktop?

Until you can establish communications with the drive there is no way to run any diagnostic or repair software.

Originally Posted By: artie505
I'll suggest, then, that you swap out the LaCie's cable for a know good one, and if the problem turns out to be other than the cable, open the LaCie and swap out the 2 TB HD for a known good drive to determine whether it's the drive or the enclosure that's at fault. (I hope your son's data is backed up.)

And if Artie's suggestion indicates the drive is the issue and the data on the drive is worth several hundred dollars to your son, then Drive Savers can probably recover the data to a new drive.

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