Question about IO Magic Corporation GigaBank (I250HD35) 250 GB USB 2.0 Hard Drive

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External Hard Drive not being recognized (A little different)

I've gone around and read some of the solutions but I don't think they apply to my case. I probably don't know the difference either way but heres pretty much what happened.

About a month ago, my hard drive was fine. Had it for a few years now and it's performed flawlessly. Ever since I took it on a trip with me and plugged it into a different computer (it never had a problem in other computers) it would blink, and take much longer than before for the drive to be recognized. Ever since I got home its been doing that, blinking and taking much longer to be recognized.

When I got on my computer this morning, it was blinking but taking an EXTREMELY long time to load. After unplugging/replugging in the cables and turning it on/off, I decided to restart. As my computer was shutting down I noticed it stopped blinking so I canceled the shut down. Now when I turn it on, the light stays blue but that's it. It's not recognized, it doesn't blink, it doesn't do anything.

I've tried switching the USB cables but it doesn't make a difference. I don't have any other matching power chords to test it, but I don't think that's the problem. I would like to open it and install it directly into my computer via IDE but it's quite difficult to open and shows no immediate ways of opening the case, other than popping it open with brute strength which I'm afraid of damaging any of the internal components by doing so.

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  • Extacide Sep 23, 2008

    Argh, couldn't find a function any where to edit a question, so I'll just update it with a comment:

    I've finally managed to get it open. For future reference, open it from the back end where the ports are and not the front. If you open it from the front, you might rip out the LED wires from the front LED. Also, it doesn't snap back on, so yeah~

    I hooked it up to my computer as an internal hard drive, and all it's doing is making a clicking noise before going completely silent. My computer doesn't recognize it as a drive. There is a LOT of important information on there that I failed to back up, and losing it would be horrendous. @_@

  • Extacide Dec 27, 2008

    Thanks for the response!

    I was thinking of just doing just that; buying a new harddrive and replacing whatever is broken, or even removing the platters and putting them into the new harddrive. I guess I'd have more questions then:

    If I can simply put the platters into a new drive, is there any specific kind of compatibility issues I should be aware of, or will any harddrive do.

    Also, as for the data recovery. I got a few quotes that ranged from $400 to $600, but my friend said he knows of places that do it much cheaper. Would you be able to confirm and maybe even recommend where I could ship my harddrive to for a quick and cheap data recovery? I want to save money, but the information on the drive is too precious so I may have to resort to it in the end if I can't fix it myself.

    Also for the record, the click sound it makes is a VERY quiet click that clicks every second and a half.



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IOMagic has become notorious for some faulty power supplies in the past. If you've got it on your internal bus now and it's still not working, you're in trouble.

It all depends on the noise it's making. I've got an IOMagic 500G that's ticking away like crazy right now. The platter doesn't spin up though. Put your ear to it when you start your computer to see. If I give mine a quick twist I can get put a little inertia into the platters to help the motor overcome the standing friction and then it works until it powers down and stops spinning.

I've had others fail where the arm, with the read/write head on it, goes out to read the platter and the alignment is off, whether it's by impact or age or whatever, and you hear the arm go out, then there's a tick tick tick and then it parks itself and tries again. This is a really bad sign.

Some people have suggested freezing the drive. The cold changes the alignment for a while and you can maybe get it to read those first few sectors and then it's relatively fine for a while.

Some people have suggested buying an identical drive, exact same serial, to replace the external pcb incase the electronics have fried. This is not so likely but worth a shot, especially if you've got an old drive and a replacement is cheap.

There are a few other things but it gets more severe from here.

Advice: anything above that you do to it will void the waranty and will likely speed up decline of the drive.
If you get it to spin up and read, start imaging the drive to another drive right away and cross your fingers. It may never read again after that. Hope that you get it all before it kicks the bucket.
Make sure you image to another drive that is bigger. I've had an image of a 500G drive take over 3 days to complete only to fail because it didn't have enough room to close the control file. I was short a couple of kb on the destination drive. I was away when the fail happened and the drive powered itself down. I could never get it to read again. I was lucky enough to manually edit the control file and got almost all of my data back.

If your data is irreplaceable, and means the world to you, then your only real option is to take it to a data recovery company. They will remove the platters in a clean room and make an image to work from if they can't get it to work otherwise. This is of course very expensive. No one likes to hear it though. If you start messing with it first you may severely limit their chances for successful recovery.

If you simply can't afford it then try everything you can.

I've had drives not read for months and then I throw them in an enclosure just for kicks and the temp is just right or something, you never know, and they read long enough to get the info off.

Good luck.

"data doesn't exist unless it's in 3 different places", words to compute by.

Posted on Nov 22, 2008


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I hope this helps.

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