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Firewire/usb drive no longer powers on

Hi, my hard drive which came formatted for my mac was originally used with my laptop. I brought it to the office and hooked it up to my desktop (mac) to export a video project through compressor. that was fine. saved without any problems. I closed out through the normal process and then transferred to a second desktop (mac also) to transfer files from it. again, through the normal process, it was fine. When I went back to the second desktop to finish the project, it would not power on. I have changed cables (even though this is brand new) tried on all three computers and nothing seems to work. A friend told me that the portable is only used for one computer and cannot be interchanged. Unfortunately, I was told this AFTER the fact! Is that true? Is there a way to get the files off of the portable? Thanks in advance!

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  • akipaki Oct 21, 2008

    Thanks. I talked to someone from the geeksquad and they told me to bring it in and let them check it out. He suggested that I try the usb cable since that usually will give it power but if it still didn't work, to drop it off. When I use the firewire, the light doesn't come on. When I use the USB the light comes on but the computer doesn't recognize the drive. He told me that my files are still on there and it can still be retrieved. Unfortunately, I called 20 minutes before closing...go figure! I just hope he's correct! I've only had this drive for a little over a week. I bought it because I wanted to do some editing while on a plane to CA which is a 5 hour flight. It did a great job and I was very happy with it. What's sad is that this happened moments after the whole job was completed and ready to be set into place in DVD Studio and then burned! Needless to say, I've handled this very well...I'm quite proud of myself...

  • A Womans Computer Man
    A Womans Computer Man May 11, 2010

    nope..that is not true..however, there is a chance that one of those machines may have infected your ext drive with a nasty...

    to get the files off a portable, use the repair services link on main page at fixya to find a local computer hard drive recovery specialist.

    and for goodness sakes, use an online back up, like mozy.com next time..


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If the drive doesn't even attempt to spin up and appears to be completely dead then most likely it's the PCB which is dead. Just to confirm you can remove the drive from external enclosure and connect it directly to computer. If still doesn't power up then most likely the PCB is dead.You could try to get another hard drive of the same model and try to swap PCB. Not sure if it's gonna work though.
 

Posted on Oct 21, 2008

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Bytecc 2.5 Mobile HDD Hotdrive


You don't need any specific software for Windows 2000 or above - the operating system will have the correct drivers built-in.

It should mount either on FireWire or USB (depends on which version you have - there's also a combo version).

If you're connecting via FireWire, you will need to make sure you are using a powered 6-pin FireWire connection. If your computer only has a 4-pin FireWire port, it won't provide power to the drive, so the drive won't spin up, and the system won't see it.

If you're connecting via USB, make sure you're connected to a USB 2.0 port. If you're connecting to USB 1.1, you need to connect both USB connectors on the supplied USB cable to the PC. One connector is data+power, and the other connector (the one that "branches off") is just power.

Check whether the device appears in Device Manager (hit Windows-Pause, or right-click My Computer go to Properties, Hardware, then click Device Manager).

It should appear as a hard disk drive.

Since your friend was using it on a Mac, it might be formatted as a Mac volume so Windows won't mount it as a drive letter.
Right-click My Computer, go to Manage, then click Disk Management. Either a window will pop up and ask you about initializing the disk, or an additional disk with "Unknown parititon" will appear as Removable Disk. Whatever you do, do not mess with any of the disk blocks with drive letters, especially C: as that's your system drive.

The easier method may simply be to ask your friend for format the disk as FAT32 for you. Then it'll mount in Windows and you can format it as NTFS if you need to.

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This could be a formatting issue, a power issue, or, if you use a hub, it may be a latency issue as well.

Mac's, in general, do not recognize NTFS formatted hard drives. Check the drive properties to see how it is formatted. If this is the case, you can try to reformat the drive as FAT32 (using the MAC) and start over. Keep in mind that you may run into partition size limitations, depending on how current your computers are set up.

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FYI, higher speed devices also tend to need shorter cables due to latency. (Light & electricity travels about 1 foot, or 30 cm, in a billionth of a second; this limits the size of high speed devices. In layman's terms, latency is the Brontosaurus effect, since the head takes a while to talk to the tail.)

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