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Smartdisk 160 gig not responding

I have a bunch of music that I can't recover because the drive just stopped being recognized by any computer. The light comes on but the drive is not being recognized. The only thing I want to salvage is 22 gigs of music it took me 10 me years to get. I was using this drive as a safe storage device and it looks like it was a big mistake. I thought it was the usb cable but unfortunately that is not the case. Do you think I should get a data recovery service? This is a real bummer. I had no idea this disk would go bad so quickly. Go figure. I have experienced many a crash but this thing was almost new with clean scanned stuff on it. ouch ouch ouch....Suggestions? Thank you. It is a 160g firelitre smartdisk and I have noted a few other people experiencing similar issues.

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  • bummed_in_va Sep 01, 2008

    Thanks for the advice. I can't internalize the drive because it is a usb external but I will keep trying. It's hard to let that much great music go down the drain. The rest of the data is replaceable. Any ideas on how much it would cost to go through a recovery service? Also I did have a thought on buying an identical drive and taking them both apart to try and put one back together with platters from the dead drive. I was just wondering if anyone has ever accomplished this kind of repair. Thanks again and I will be burning a boatload of cd's in the future. This one hurt a bunch...


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Where to start....
Data recovery services are VERY expensive. One of the oldest and Best around is OnTrack.
They also offer a "do it yourself" data recovery software. Success rate is unknown.

Any external drive is simply a hard drive. In 20 yr's of doing computers, I've seen hard drives DOA, quit within 10 days of new, and others last 8 years, and suddenly give up the ghost one morning.

One thing you might want to try is removing the hard drive from the external enclosure, and putting it in as an internal slave drive in a computer. It's a "might work" at best. But if you can get it to spin up, pull that data off as quickly as you can (not all at once, little chunks at a time is better)

Just for a suggestion, if you can recover it, burn your data to CD's or DVD's. As long as you are using them on a daily basis, you have a much better chance at long term storage.
If you want to use it on a daily basis, burn multiple copies.

Any data that goes onto a computer is always at risk of being lost. That's where a non motorized / non electronic storage media is highly recommended.

Sorry I don't have any better suggestions, but being in the business, I have to be realistic about it, and don't want to build your hopes up too far.
Is there a chance of recovering it? Yes
What is that chance? I would say at best, maybe 20% chance of success.

Posted on Sep 01, 2008

  • Coss Sep 01, 2008

    Cost? In the thousands of dollars.

    If you open that USB drive, you will find a regular hard drive in it.

    The USB is the connection that provides power and the R/W connection between the two. If you've put your hand on the case with you power it on, you'll feel it spin up.

    I've built a number of my own. You can buy the cases with the brain board for around $30, then you plug in either a SATA or IDE drive depending on the case maker. Some take 3.5 some take 5.25. That's why I suggested taking it apart, and using it as an internal drive. Occasionally you'll find that the problem in these drives is the USB brain board went south, and the HDD is fine.


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