Blinking light on external HD - HD not recognised

My friend has given me an external hard drive to try to fix for them, which has stopped showing up on their computer (shortly after they plugged it into a work computer, not sure if this is relevant).

When I plugged it in to my PC it won’t show up in My Computer; similarly it will not show up in Device Manager or the Disk Manager either. I’ve tried to use File Recovery Software as well, which also fails to detect the drive.

When I plug in the drive’s power cable and USB cables, a light on the drive blinks at a rate of about 3 blinks per second continually (for over an hour at least). The drive makes some quiet ‘spinning’ noises when plugged in but stops after about 10 seconds.

I’ve tried multiple power and USB cables and plugged it into multiple USB ports, and get the same result. So it’s definitely something wrong with the hard drive.

The drive is a 1TB drive of some sort. It has no external screws so I can’t open it.

I’m using Win7.

I’ve read through the Sticky FAQ on this forum and have tried all of the steps to no avail. Any explanation of what may be the cause would be much appreciated (even if there’s no solution, I’m just curious). I assumed that since the light still turns on, that the hard drive has some signs of life, though the steps outlined in the FAQ indicate it has complately failed.

Thanks in advance.

Hello Thundaga,

Are you connecting the power cable directly to the wall outlet?

Make sure that you are using the cable that came with the unit and test the drive on a home computer using the admin user to make sure that you have all the rights to use USB Devices.

Also you can try updating the drivers for the unit.

 see if the following link helps

I did plug it directly into the wall and use the original cables.

Then I tried opening the case and plugging the SATA and power (from the power supply) cables into the hard drive. When I did this something totally new happened.

Tthe computer takes an additional 2 minutes or so to start up (it hangs on the ‘Starting Windows’ screen for a while). This never happened when I plugged it in normally, so it must be detecting the hard drive in some way when it’s being plugged in directly. However, when Windows finally logs in, it is just like before, the hard drive doesn’t show up in device manager or My Computer.

What could be wrong with it that it is clearly being detected during start up, but then ignored like before (which had no impact on the start-up)?

My problem is that the drive is showing up in Device Mgt., but not in My Computer.  When in Device Mgr., it has no name or drive letter and it says it needs to be initialized.  It was working just fine, then my daughter renamed the drive and it wouldnt work after that. I read that giving it a drive letter should fix it, but I dont know how to do that.  Can anyone help?

Thundaga, is it possible that you’re having the same problem?

Thanks in advance!