Question about Toshiba MK 4018GAP (MK4018GAP) 40 GB Hard Drive

1 Answer

External Hard drive doesn't want to work

I have a 40 (or 80) GB, USB, external, Toshiba hard drive that use for file back-up and to move files back and forth between work and home. The HHD model is MK4018GAP. I'm using Windows XP Media Edition on a Toshiba Satallite laptop that has always run perfectly. It's about 3 years old. The external drive may be 4-5 years old.

Last week it began cycling on very slowly. I was still getting the auto-prompt that you get when it cycles on, asking if I want to open the drive with such and such program.

This weekend the drive began screwing up. I no longer get the auto-prompt to open the drive, and I believe it's causing my laptop to hang-up. The light cycles from red (when you plug it in) to green, just as if would if were operating correctly. However, the drive doesn't show in "My Computer" as it always has.

Looking in the Device Manager, it shows as a "Mass Storage Drive" where it's always shown as a Toshiba MK4018GAP. In looking through the properties of the device, sometimes it's listed correctly, sometimes it's listed as a Mass Storage Device but I have no access to the files on the drive. As well, within the device manager on the device properties tab, sometimes it tells me the device is working properly and has a driver, other times it tells me there are no drivers installed.

I've done about everything I know how to do except swap out the USB cable. I was told, which is obviously wrong, that "they" don't make USB to USB connectors such as that which is on my external drive. I have two standards sized connectors, one on either end of the cable. Not sure of the defintion of "A" and "B" connectors, I assume the "B" is the little small USB connectiion with the hexagonal-shaped plug. I have two large USB connections on my drive, with no cages around the tongue of the USB connection. Nothing at Best Buy, nothing at Radio Shack. All they carry are the USB with the large connection at one end, and the smaller connection at the other end.

Also - when the drive is plugged in, sometimes it seems to be interfering with my celluar modem. At times, I cannot get my cell modem opening screen to come up. When I remove the USB HDD, the cell modem screen comes right up. The cell modem is also a USB device. I have no other USB devices plugged in, I have no yellow question marks or problems indicated in the device manager.

So - I'm at a loss, and I have 20-GB of law enforcement cases, 5 years of college work and pictures from my travels around the world that I cannot get off this HDD. I bought a new HDD today but I NEED the only to come up JUST ONCE so I can get my stuff off that drive.

Any ideas you may have will be most appreciated.

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  • uscg_counter Jan 19, 2009

    I haven't tried that (system restore) only because I recently installed new software while trying to research the "no driver" issue, as well as removing software I no longer use. I thought perhaps somehow something I removed may have been intermingled with the external HDD but, that didn't make any sense.

    If I do a System Restore, am I going to lose any software I recently installed, or gain software I recently deleted?

  • uscg_counter Jan 19, 2009

    I'll give it a shot. I'm not a computer GURU but I know just enough to be dangerous.

    I'll try it and post if it helped.




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Have you tried a system restore incase some system files have become corrupted other the past couple of weeks.

If not try it first, Click on Start>all programs>accessories>system Tools>system restore and restore your system to a date and time when you know that your drive was being read with no problems. Once you choose the date and time, the computer will restore and reboot. The restore program will then reopen to tell you if the restore was succesful or not.

Once the screen has been displayed click okay and then plug your hard drive back in.

Hopefully this will help if not let me know by posting a comment.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • Debs
    Debs Jan 19, 2009

    yes, although the software that you removed may not work but still show as installed and the latest software that you installed will not be there but may still leave behind some files. If you still have the software that you loaded and you installed it before you got problems with the hard drive it may be the cause of the problem, as is uninstalling software that may have drivers that the hard drive relys on. It is up to you. Personally I would try the restore (it may or may not work), if you want to access your files.

  • Debs
    Debs Jan 19, 2009

    okay let me know how you get on

  • Debs
    Debs Jan 21, 2009

    How did you get on?



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