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Okay , so there are some steps to figure out what is wrong with your external.
Firstly , if your computer makes a sound when you plug in your external , go to Start-Control Panel-Administrative Tools-Computer Management-Disk Management , and see if your external drive is listed here with your local drives. If it is listed , right click on the drive and change the drive letter to make it appear in "my computer".
If your drive does not make a connection sound when connecting to your computer and also does not show up , please follow the next step.
Remove the hard drive from the casing if possible and install it in your computer case or another external case.If the drive works , the problem is with the casing and you can ignore the drive.
Now , if the problem is with the casing , there are still 3 possibilities.
- The USB cable between the drive and the computer may be damaged.
- The circuit board which connects your drive to the interface of the external may be blown.
- The power supply (if applicable) may have a blown transformer.
The latter is the easiest to diagnose , does your external light up at all when you plug in the power? If not , then this is probably your problem. On the bottom of the adapter is a label which you will be able to use to have a new adapter made at your local electronics shop and this will cost about $30 max. They will also be able to test the adapter with a clamp meter to see if this is really the problem and this should be free.
The second component you want to test is the USB cable. If you have a printer , swop out the cables and see if your printer functions normally. Most externals use the same connector so you should be able to test it in this manner. If the cable works go on to the last step. If the cable is defective , replace it with a new one which you can find for about $10 at most electronics and chain stores.
The last component to test is the circuit board. This is a bit of a grey zone as you probably won't be able to spot the blown component unless it failed really badly. With the casing already opened , locate the external's circuit board and check to see if you have any blackened components or fluids leaking from some components. If all the other components of the external worked perfectly , then this is the faulty part. It is not really economical to replace the circuit as most of the time it is out of production by the time you need to replace it and it still costs a lot even if it is available so if your drive is working perfectly when connected via sata or IDE on your computer , the best is to buy a new casing and place your old drive in the new casing.
A casing costs about $50 and you could get it at most tech shops and big chain stores like Best Buy.
I hope this solves your problem and please reply if you need more help.