Hard drive failure?


Classic one, external USB hard drive not recognized by windows (doesn’t appear on disk management).

tried different cable different computer and same results. 

Most likely, the drive is dead, but I’d like someone experienced opinion if that’s ok. Here’s what happens when I plug the drive (through USB).

The drive starts spinning gently, a white light gets on and stays. After few seconds (maybe 10-15), there’s a nasty clicking noise and the light starts blinking (and keeps blinking from there). The noise occurs once then the disk keeps spinning normally.

The drive was recognized not long ago but it the partition seemed to be corrupted as when I was trying to plug it in, windows was saying the drive needs to be formatted. 

Is there anything I can try ? 

Thanks a lot. 


This surly sounds like a drive failure.

What you can try, is to connect the drive directly to your desktop computer via SATA and try several recover tools for your data. I can not give you specific tool names, because it was a long time ago, i had a crashed HDD.

Drive recovery through a USB controller is IMHO impossible.

First try “chkdsk”, because it also could only be a filesystem error (what also sounds sometimes like a disc crash)

As last option, and if the drive is still recognized by partition tools, delete all partitions and fully format the drive. (e.g. with Partition Magic 8)

Thanks a lot. The only problem is that the usb adapter seems to be “merged” with the drive, or at least I don’t know how to remove it. I’ll try to have a look at it.

If you open the drive you void the warranty. If this is a drive that came with Smartware it is hardware encrypted by the circuit board so hooking it up internally won’t work.


The note about the void waranty is right. i haven’t thought about it, but if he wants his old data back, the price of an old drive is less then the value of your own data on it, imho.

What drive model is it?

Does the encryption (if its one of those drives) happen on the HDD or on the USB controller?

Joe_S is right, if you dont need your data on the drive, you should just RMA the drive before operating manually on the hardware. :wink: