My Maxtor drive (Seagate disk??) won't mount. Where should I send it?
August 26, 2009 5:05 AM   Subscribe

My Maxtor Basics 1 terabyte external USB 2.0 drive no longer mounts. I have been through all the usual stuff with tech support (including disk management and device management) and I've tried it on multiple computers. Although the green light comes on when it's plugged into USB, apart from that it's not talking to the computer. There has been no strange noise, clicking, smoke or smell. Maxtor tech support say it's a failed drive. A data recovery company I phoned said it's probably damaged firmware but the data on the disk is probably safe. I'm nervous about sending it to a data recovery company because I seem to be looking at about GBP £179 minimum or maybe many, many hundreds more. Is it likely to be a matter of simply soldering something here or replacing something there, ie a job that I could take to a local geek? Or should I be looking to take this to a major data recovery centre? I'm in London, UK.
posted by skylar to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have a desktop computer, or are you a laptop-only household? If you do have a desktop (and you've got a SATA controller), you can almost certainly take the harddrive itself out of the USB casing, and install it in your case. If you don't know how to do this, you might want to invite a tech-savvy friend (if you've got one) over for a cup of coffee or a beer.

Naturally, this will completely void the warranty on any and all components of the drive. At the very least, it should tell you if the problem is with the drive itself, or the USB casing.
posted by Dysk at 5:22 AM on August 26, 2009

And even if you only had a laptop, a USB-SATA (or USB-EIDE) adapter cable can be bought for about $20, which lets you test the drive in isolation of the enclosure.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:31 AM on August 26, 2009

You could also buy a new SATA external case and pop it in there to see if it is the controller, and not the drive.
posted by Gungho at 5:32 AM on August 26, 2009

Try using SpinRite on it. If it doesn't work, at least you can get your money back.
posted by jaimev at 5:40 AM on August 26, 2009

To clarify Rhomboid's statement a little, it'd be a USB-SATA adaptor you'd want, not a USB-EIDE.
posted by Dysk at 5:50 AM on August 26, 2009

Boot the ubuntu live cd, or plug it into any computer and use the 'lsusb' command to see if the drive is recognized by the usb subsystem. If this is the case, you have a chance of using dd-rescue or other drive recovery software to recover the data on your own.
posted by zentrification at 10:52 AM on August 26, 2009

It's likely just the enclosure is borked -- they make those things as cheaply as possible. Inside it's just a regular 3.5" drive (IDE or SATA, it depends). Either install the drive in your computer directly or buy a new enclosure and put it in there.
posted by neckro23 at 2:02 PM on August 26, 2009

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