Question about Maxtor Hard Drive

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Laptop not recognising external HDD

I have a Maxtor external HDD that inadvertantly had the usb cable pulled out yesterday while it was being used to watch a movie (which was paused at the time). I thought nothing of it and turned the movie off and went on to cooking dinner. Later last night I tried to access my external HDD again and have had no luck since. When plugging in the LED on the HDD illuminates, the HDD initially makes a whining noise(which is repetitive as if it is stuck at a certain spot and is unable to skip past) after about 5-10 mins it stops making noise, the LED remains illuminated but my laptop still wont pick up HDD. I have tried to plug it into my wifes laptop and change the USB cable with other cables that I know work and have no joy with any.

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  • dsvowell Feb 03, 2009

    yes I have rebooted my laptop several times both with device connected and without. I have disconnected the HDD from the power source and plugged it back in. I have just checked my device manager and it my HDD wasn't listed. I have had no problems with my HDD until now.

  • Palmbeach
    Palmbeach May 11, 2010

    Check the drive's power unit. Although it is not good practice to pull out the USB cable while the drive is being written to or read from, it should not cause any damage, apart from perhaps some corrupted data on the drive. It should certainly not stop it from working.

    However, the switch mode power unit that powers the drive could have been damaged by a voltage spike. If it has been damaged, it is likely that the voltage would be ok if you were able to measure it, but the load on it caused by the drive, pulls the voltage down and that can cause the constant whirring, clicking or searching effect.

    Try a replacement power unit.

  • Tricia Scerbo
    Tricia Scerbo May 11, 2010

    Have you rebooted your laptop to see if that solves the problem? If you have a desktop pc, try connecting it there to see if you can access the drive. Does the drive show up in My Computer? If not, have you checked Device Manager to see if there are any conflicts? (There may not have been before, but pcs are like that!) Thanks



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OH OH!!!!!

There are several things that this could be.

1) You didn't safely disengage your usb device and have lost or damaged info on external HDD.

could try scandisk or formatting drive.

2) USB cable may be damaged.

not likely but possible(Fix is replacing cable if that is the problem)(Drivers could get switched for device in very rare occasions of one or two, but not likely.)

3) This one is scary. Hard disk may have been spinning when bumped and the heads may may have broken off. Fix is to buy a new one if this is case.

If this drive is holding very important data, there are specialists that can retrieve most or all of your data for an extremely high fee, even if the external HDD is completely smashed up.

4) If external HDD is working but that file isn't, file may be damaged, try scandisk or replacing file is fix.

5) Your program reading movie may be fragmented. This is unlikely because you tried this on other system. If so replace program.

These are some possible things, but I am afraid I may not have given you good news,

Good luck(My guess is option 3 and I hope I am wrong.)

Posted on Feb 03, 2009

  • John  Davis
    John Davis Feb 03, 2009

    Ummmm...Device Manager wasn't mentioned with this person unless they have contacted you but even so that does not mean driver problem automatically. Cable replacement and find new hardware are cheap though and might be good first step. If device shows on puter try scandisk if that doesn't work....Ummmm

    May be time to get a new hard drive.

    I broke one of these in the past by pulling out cord and it made that sound and didn't show, I found ut I broke heads and messed up usb port on external HDD.

    Laf a lot gave good procedure for finding missing working device and if thaat is the case do it.


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Since it's not listed in Device Manager, it needs to be reinstalled, or it is possibly another problem. Let's try the easy part first. Uninstall any software/drivers that are in your system using Add/Remove Programs. Then, connect the drive to the laptop with the USB cable and see if it is recognized. If so, you will be prompted to install the drivers. You can also try the Find New Hardware (in Control Panel) to see if it appears, then follow the instructions for installing the drivers. Let me know how that goes.

Posted on Feb 03, 2009


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