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Old December 3rd, 2011, 12:34 AM   #1
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Flakey Maxtor OneTouch Mini USB Drives.

If you have one of those little silver and rubbery backed small USB drives that power from the computer and have one which steadfastly refuses to play nicely, as in failed to be seen by the computer, or in PC Windows Explorer, shows as an empty drive yet when properties of looked at, shows data is contained, in absence of all other solutions maybe try this :-

Make sure you have the special branched USB cord that came with the device. It will not co-operate with any other cord. Make sure the plug which has two leads branching out of it is the one you plug into the computer.

If the drive still flakes out and takes your operating system down with it, disconnect the drive. Shut down, then restart, get your operating system healthy again, connect a known good USB drive, cycle into it and use the eject media process to remove it, then shut down Windows correctly, restart, reconnect the known good drive once more, check it is working with windows Explorer, then again eject this drive correctly.

Now, here's the tricky risky bit.

1. With the USB lead already unplugged from the computer, connect the small plug into the USB drive.

2. Incline the USB drive about 20 degrees clockwise from level, as viewed from the end opposite its USB socket. Do not allow it to move from this position whilst it is running otherwise it will fail entirely

3. Place your ear against the body of the drive. ( No I am not joking ).

4. Hot-plug the other end of the USB cord into the computer.

5. Listen for the spindle motor running up. If it doesn't, the drive is cactus or you do not have the right cable.

6. If the spindle motor runs up to speed, you should also hear some clicks as the read arm actuator comes off park and sets itself.

7. Give the drive about a minute to stabilise.

8. Open Explorer and hopefully, the drive will now be there and directories will be accessable.

9. Copy your files in singles, not by folders. The last thing you want is for the drive to go into a high duty cycle and forever die from overwork in its fragile state.

I do not know why this works, it just does ------ sometimes.

I can only assume that the guts of these drives wear prematurely, either the platter bearing runs out and the data bands on the platters move about faster than the tracking arm can follow them, or the tracking arm bearings themselves are worn and the arm and read heads lose alignment.

I imagine that with a much shorter stub axle than larger desktop drives, all other things being equal, wear of the stub-axle bearing combination will allow the platters in the smaller drive to run outside of precision sooner.

Inclining the drive may move points of contact into a more precise position - temporarily until these themselves wear down out of tolerance.

Moving many modern hard disk drives whilst they are spinning, risks overloading the platter bearing which is in many instances, an apparently dry-lubed precision plain bearing on a highly polished stub axle. When overloaded the platter bearing will momentarily overheat and seize onto the stub axle and then it is all over.

The gyroscopic forces of the platters themselves at 7,200rpm are considerable and an overload state due to physical movement of the drive off-axis is very possible.

So, when going through this exercise, do not handhold the drive up to your ear. You will not be able to hold it still enough.

If the material locked into the drive is mission critical or high value, then I recommend professional data recovery services be consulted versus any DOI solutions as they have a whole grab bag of tricks they hold close to their heart.

If you decide to go it alone, the responsibility for unfortunate outcomes rests with you.

There, some useless information for you. Please do not take it as gospel. No warranty of satisfactory performance is made, either express or implied. There would be no utility, just futility in suing me. I am near broke and all you would get would be vicarious satisfaction, no remedy and default on the costs order.

Last edited by Bob Hart; December 3rd, 2011 at 12:37 AM. Reason: error
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Old December 4th, 2011, 08:37 AM   #2
Inner Circle
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Posts: 4,299
Re: Flakey Maxtor OneTouch Mini USB Drives.

I meant to add. The last five files in the folder in the dodgy drive would not copy. They were reported as missing. A four hour rest in the chiller of the fridge and another attempt got them out intact.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 09:24 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 37
Re: Flakey Maxtor OneTouch Mini USB Drives.

Have a (sometimes) flaky 2.5". Could be cables, host-pc or a combination, or perhaps a timing problem, because what works reasonably well is connecting it to a powered hub, then connecting the hub to the pc.
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