Question about Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1 TB USB 20 Portable External Only STAB1000400 Hard Drive

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Up until yesterday my Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1TB USB 2.0 External HDD has been working perfectly since I purchased it 5 months ago. Yesterday when I unplugged it from my laptop and then plugged it into one of my work computers 20 minutes later, the computer wouldn't recognize my HDD at all. I tried this on 5 computers with the same results and also 3 different USB data transfer cables. The double white line on the GoFlex mount lights up (though it takes 4x as long to light up), but, no computer will even recognize that the HDD is mounted to the computer. I've also found that when I plug in the HDD, a very faint beep can be heard almost every 2 seconds. It starts up before the GoFlex mount light comes on and continues for the entire duration it's plugged in. It's very important I find some way to get my HDD active again. I'm deployed to Iraq and, almost quite literally, most of my life is on theat HDD. My warranty dosn't cover damage outside of the U.S. so I'm more than willing to open the HDD and perform maintance on the internal components if needed. Thank you for your help

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  • Paul Clark III Apr 06, 2011

    Is there any way your prior fix can be performed with out the use of the Live Ubuntu disc? My capabilities of downloading and burning discs is limited out here so getting a hold of that software may not be that easy for me. I will give it a shot but I'm just trying to get a head start just in case that option dosn't work as my time on computers daily isn't that often.

  • Paul Clark III Apr 08, 2011

    Alright, I'll see what I can do to get my hands on a live linux disc. Unfortunetly most of the other options I'm not able to access right now due to my location. But I'll be in touch again with my results when I get them.

    If there's anything else you can think of I'm willing to try anything.
    I've already talked with the seagate recovery agents and they said that my warranty is still valid if my hard drive case is 'open' when I send it in. If I can't figure out any solutions I'll just have to wait until I'm back in the states to send it into the seagate recovery agency. But the sooner I'm able to access and transfer my files the better.


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You may not have access to any, but you can try disassembling the GoFlex and putting the SATA drive in another enclosure or desktop with available SATA cables. That will rule out that it was the GoFlex enclosure causing the problem.
Otherwise you can try creating a Live Ubuntu disc:
Boot your laptop off the live disc.
Try inserting the drive and see if it auto-mounts it and places it on the desktop, as Linux seems to do a better job of recognizing damaged disks. If so you may be able to copy the files you need over to the laptop or other external storage.
If it doesn't automount, remove the USB connection and open the terminal application. At the prompt type "cd /dev/disk/by-uuid" without the quotes and press enter. Type "ls" without the quotes and hit enter. This will give you a list of storage devices on the system.
Replug the USB connection and run the ls command again. If there is a new entry then it sees the drive and you may be able to get the data off. If not, either the cage or the drive has failed. If you can see the device, you may be able to copy the data off by mounting the device or by using tools like dd or ddrescue.
You can type "man dd" or "man mount" or "man ddrescue" to get further instructions on how to use these commands. I can probably be of some help with them as well, so reply with what issues you're having if things aren't going smoothly.

Posted on Apr 05, 2011

  • Jason Burkhardt Apr 06, 2011

    Well, if you have access to an external hard drive cage or desktop to put your drive in, you can see if Windows will recognize the drive. As long as it was the cage and not the hard drive that was damaged this should let you get your data without needing the live disc.

    You can also ask around, live discs are probably more common than you might think (you can use any live linux disc really, Ubuntu will probably just be the most common and easiest to use).

    By the way, if none of this works, there are advanced data recovery centers you can send the hard drive to if the information is of great value to you. It will probably end up being expensive (most will charge a low fee to assess it and total costs can range from around $100 to a few thousand depending on the state of damage to the drive), but they can usually get a lot of data off of almost any drive.


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