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Old October 19th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #1
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External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

I have a Fantom 2TB drive which I idiotically knocked over. It's now making weird beeping sounds, and won't be recognized with a computer connection. I am besides myself--so many valuable video files. Before I get further alarmed, what do those beeping sounds mean? I know it isn't good. What can Ido to save or salvage the drive?

Thanks.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 09:17 AM   #2
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

Hi Barry,

Where are you located? I recommend looking into a local service that specializes in data recovery. For example, here's one in Austin, TX that has very good reviews:

Austin Data Recovery Hard Drive Recovery Hard Disk Data Recovery Service RAID Data Recovery: IT Data Recovery

Apparently they will evaluate the drive for free. I have no direct experience with them and this is not an endorsement; just saying that in my opinion you should spend the money on a professional data recover service.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 09:45 AM   #3
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

Thanks.

I'm in New York, but I'll check on that.

So typical--I recently deleted tons of files lately from my computers after so efficiently funneling them into this external drive.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

It's possible that the electronics of the drive housing are damaged, but the drive itself could be ok. External drives just have a regular hard drive inside them, so if you can open the case and remove the drive, you can then either connect the drive internally in the PC or use an inexpensive "hard drive dock" and insert the drive into that.

That said, I think I know what you mean about the "weird beeping" and that does sound like the hard drive is damaged/dying, been there. But I would try the drive on its own before spending money on data recovery service.

Good luck

Jeff Pulera
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Rivadue View Post
I have a Fantom 2TB drive which I idiotically knocked over. It's now making weird beeping sounds, and won't be recognized with a computer connection. I am besides myself--so many valuable video files. Before I get further alarmed, what do those beeping sounds mean? I know it isn't good. What can Ido to save or salvage the drive?

Thanks.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

I have a dock, so I might as well try that--thanks.

This is one day I wish I could start over from scratch!
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Old October 19th, 2012, 10:31 AM   #6
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

Definitely try the dock!

I've had three individual 1TB external drives fail on me in the last 5 years and in all cases was able to get them working again long enough to recover the media simply by removing the HDD from the external drive housing and then simply slotting them in one of my Icy Box docks. In one case this was a drive I accidentally dropped 3-4 feet onto a hard floor.

People think I'm anal as every project and all raw media is backed up at least in duplicate, often in triplicate on the many drives I have (and on optical media too)....but now you know why!

Good luck!
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Old October 19th, 2012, 12:32 PM   #7
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

One problem is this Fantom drive has a mystery lock (?), preventing me from removing the case; it's seamlessly sealed otherwise. The lock looks like a keyhole.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 06:16 PM   #8
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

If it can be assembled, it can be DIS-assembled... you might try googling the drive name and "open", "disassemble", any other words that might get you to a YouTube video or other description of how to take it apart... it's not often you're the first to try to hack something!

And the beeping noise is probably not good - probably sort of a zzzt-click-beep (?) as the drive tries to get the heads to line up... if you need the files, be prepared for a very expensive data recovery...

This is why ALL critical files should be in no less that TWO discreet locations...
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Old October 19th, 2012, 06:43 PM   #9
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

I've lost two drives in the last year, and one of them was part of a two drive raid0. The other was a 1TB USB3 WD My book external. The former had important data that had two back ups (one manual about a week old, and the other via Shadow Protect with 15 minute incremental backups).

The external drive had partial manual backups, but most of the data was not critical. The problem is, I don't know what I have lost. Bummer. I've refrained from doing anything drastic with the external drive in case I can find a way to recover the data. I got two new drives to replaxe the raid0 array as I felt unable to trust either of the failed pair.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

Now that Carbonite has plans that include backing up external drives and video files all automatically I am seriously thinking about working that $150 a year into my budget.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 08:34 PM   #11
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

This has been a first for me after all these years, and such a sudden, stupid thing too. I probably have all the critical video files scattered elsewhere, and have located some already. Thanks for all the insights so far.

The sound is like a low buzz followed by a high beep. Followed by my going rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:00 PM   #12
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

The sound is like a low buzz followed by a high beep. Followed by my going rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Yup, it's dead Jim...

I do a little computer repair for friends,so I see a few "dead and dying" drives - a few too many lately...

This is why you should have the SMART functions enabled, and probably run a thorough drive checkup once in a while. Usually there are "watning signs", but they can be pretty subtle...

I had one main storage drive go - it started not "waking up" reliably when computer went into sleeep mode...Then I had some minor file corruption on a couple of files I mirrored off everything to it's "twin" (which is still going strong), and sure enough, it failed the manufacturers test - within a couple weeks, more file corruption and finally failure forced me to R&R it back to the manufacturer for replacement.

Another drive had been sitting around, had been fine, but when I hooked it up, made pretty much the sound you've described - buzz, click, beep, rrrrrrrrrr.... over and over. NO ability to revcover, as the computer could not access the drive at all (a "clean room recovery" CAN be done for a price on a DEAD drive... but you don't want to know the PRICE!). I sent that drive in, mfr replaced it, and I put the "refurbished" drive in as I wanted to do a fresh OS install - the replacement drive failed within a MONTH, again making strange noises... mfr replaced it again, the replacement seems to be going strong...

I guess the moral of the story is ALWAYS have a backup solution in place (even if it's as simple as copying your critical files manually to another drive on a regular basis). I've never been TOO worried about drive failure, but I've seen so many dead and dying drives in the last year or so, I'm becoming a bit more agressive about BACKUPS!!! If a file is in at least TWO places, you should be able to recover gracefully... if not, it ain't pretty.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 06:45 PM   #13
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

Thanks for your input. I still haven't done anything yet with the drive--I've been doing damage control to see what I still have elsewhere. Fortunately, I believe most of the same files are still in older computers that I can regroup. I also had funneled a lot of older files into a new 2TB computer recently that were also destined for the damaged drive. I don't know what's more upsetting--a drive that self destructs on its own or a stupid split second of clumsiness. Whatever the case, this vulnerability will not happen again--having so many key files in only one place.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 08:37 PM   #14
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

Okay, curious thing....on one hand I sprung the hard drive from its enclosure and popped it into a dock. Same kind of noises, except I also heard what sounded like "bum bum bum." However, I then connected it to a computer and was startled to see "driver software being downloaded." Followed by "driver (or drive?) ready for use." But it still makes noise. Is it half dead?

Last edited by Barry Rivadue; October 23rd, 2012 at 09:19 PM.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 01:32 AM   #15
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Re: External Drive Calamity. Please Advise.

Get off it what you can get off it, NOW!

If you can get anything at all, the drivers don't mean it's going to work, just that the interface is reckognised.

If it can't fly/ load the heads, it's totally stuffed, but hey, I've got my fingers crossed for you.


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