Question about Fantom Drives 120 GB Hard Drive

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SATA Hard Drive causing system to crash

I have had a Fantom 1TB external USB drive for close to a year now, and it has worked great until a week ago. It started having the problem I've read so much about now, where it will show up in the "Safely Remove Hardware" window but the computer will not assign it a drive letter. I tried several different computers running both Vista and XP, but the problem occurred on all of them. At this point, I decided to take the enclosure apart and remove the drive.

The drive is a WD 1TB SATA. I hooked it up to my Gateway's motherboard into one of the six available SATA ports. When I booted up the computer, it took me to the Intel Matrix screen. Here, it showed my original HDD was non-RAID and the HDD from the USB enclosure had had a SMART event. After some Googling, I realized this wasn't a good thing! When I booted after this, the computer hung up before Windows loaded. This happened on all the SATA ports, and I switched cables with the good one but the computer continued to hang. As soon as I disconnected the new drive, the computer would run normally.

At this point, I took the drive to the Geek Squad figuring it was toast but holding on to a glimmer of hope. The tech there took it in the back and hooked it up to their machine. To my surprise, he said it came up fine and healthy. He said he suspected the enclosure was bad and suggested I hook it up to the motherboard. I told him I had. He said he thinks my computer is trying to force it into a RAID configuration and that's what's making it hang up. He recommended changing the BIOS settings to prevent this.

I was happy that the data was still there, and came home in better spirits than when I left. However, after tweaking the BIOS settings six ways from Sunday, I am still having the same problem. Anything I change the BIOS Drie settings to (AHCI, IDE) will cause the system to crash. In the BIOS settings, both drives are shown and show the right size. I even tried something the Geek Squad tech recommended, which was booting up with the original drive, then adding the new SATA drive after Windows was running. Basically hot-swapping to the motherboard. As soon as I plugged in the SATA cable, the computer got a busy icon and hung up. When I disconnected the guilty drive and restarted, the system ran normally.

Does anyone know why this drive is causing my system to hang up? All my other computers are strictly IDE, so I can't check with a different system. The thing that blows my mind is that it came right up on the Best Buy system, but since I can't even access it there's no way to transfer the info and format the drive. Worst case scenario, I can get Best Buy to transfer all the data to another external HDD for $99, but I'd like to know if there's a way to salvage this drive.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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You can go to Western Digital's web site ( and then go to their support section. In their support section you can download their diagnostic utilities. Note that you have to know the model number of your hard disk in order to select the right set of diagnostic utilities.

Also, note that some of the diagnostic utility functions are destructive in that they will erase all hard drive data. Follow their instructions about which diagnostic utilities you can run to check and attempt to repair the drive without losing all of your data.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: unable to read data on drive

Hi Franoisebis,

I can help you with that, you will need a data recovery pro to attempt to retrieve your data. Unfortunately Geek Squad really isn't equipped to do that. If you reply with your Country, State and City I will direct you to an appropriate Pro nearest your location.


Posted on Aug 30, 2009

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