Maxtor external hard drive problem

  stroudgreen 13:37 09 Oct 2008

Hi guys, hoping to pick your collective brains on this one as I'm awaiting a reply from Maxtor/Seagate's email help. My maxtor 3200 series external hard drive won't power on properly anymore. When it worked, once the power cord was connected you could hear thew hard drive whirr into life, and the green light at the front of the unit would emit a solid, bright glow. At the moment, there are no noises whatsoever emanating from the unit, and the front light only flashes, very faintly and intermittently. I've tried two power cables, both of which work on other paraphanalia I've got lying around and I get the same results; so my presumption is that the unit itself is at fault.

What does everyone reckon? Could the flashing faint light be something as simple as a loose power connection? Or is it indicative of a more serious problem?

Further - whats the likelihood of being able to retrieve data from a knackered external hard drive if the worst has happened?


  Jak_1 13:45 09 Oct 2008

No noises whatsoever would indicate the drive is dead. Though possibly a loose connection within the drive casing.
As for data recovery, that is another thing altogether. It depends on how valuble the data is to you and whether is is worth the expense (very expensive) of employing a firm who specialise in this field.

  Pineman100 13:48 09 Oct 2008

Starting at the beginning, have you tried plugging something else into the wall socket that powers your external drive, just to check that the fault isn't in there?

You've tried power cables connecting the wall socket to the power port on the outside of the caddy, but have you checked that the drive itself is properly connected to the power plug inside the caddy?

If none of the above works, then I think my next move would be to install the drive as a slave inside the computer, to see whether it works like that.

If it's still kaput connected like that, then I suspect that it is indeed kaput.

If the drive is not functioning, then I'm afraid that recovering data from it will be the job of a specialist company. Not cheap.

  DieSse 13:51 09 Oct 2008

It could be the drive - it could be the electronics inside the external box.

One way to check out the drive itself is to remove it from the external box, and connect it directly inside the system. Exactly how you do that depends on what type of drive it is, and what types of drive your system can utilise. Details of the drive itself and your system will help.

If it's the drive itself the chances of data recovery are slim to non-existent. There are some (expensive data recovery services if the information on it is very valuable.

If it's the box - then new boxes are not too expensive.

If you're not using the original power supply, it's possible the power supply is the wrong specification.

  uesquebeathus 13:51 09 Oct 2008

External hard drives a not robust in any way or fashion, Fragility should be included in the specification, the drive is almost certainly damaged, the warranties are very simple but often are better aimed at the manufacturer than the purchaser, do not try and take it to bits as that will almost certainly void the warranty, check with the retailer.

  tullie 13:58 09 Oct 2008

Though it wont matter if its out of warrenty,we dont know how old it is.

  stroudgreen 14:19 09 Oct 2008

First of all, thanks very much for your time, effort and input, everyone. Much appreciated!

Sorry, I should have mentioned how old it is! Under a year, bought from Maplin; I still have it under manufacturer's warranty. I am yet to find a store receipt in my searchings.

Pineman - I've tried using different sockets across the house but the result is the same. As Uesquebeathus mentions, I'd be loathe to open it up myself because I have zero expertise in this kind of thing.

So I guess the first thing to do is to check the warranty. My main concern with this is that chances are I'd get a like-for-like replacement (as has happened before in my experience), as opposed to repair and the saving of data. Luckily, the data isn't ESSENTIAL, but of course I'd rather keep it than lose it.

It seems to me that I either go down the warranty route and risk losing data, or get the local computer man out to have a go at it (taking onboard the advice offered by you guys), but risking any fresh new unit that the warranty might afford me.

  Pineman100 14:58 09 Oct 2008

If it's still under warranty, then I guess you could get a replacement from Maplin. But, as you say, you would lose your data - and drive manufacturers specifically exclude the value of data from their warranties.

Why not give Maplin a call, explain the problem, and ask them whether they would allow you to open the caddy without invalidating the warranty?

If they agree, then you could (a) check the internal power connection to the drive, and/or (b) install the drive in your computer, to see whether that works.

  stroudgreen 15:14 09 Oct 2008

Pineman, that sounds like a good compromise between the two options. I'll get to it as soon as possible. Thanks everyone for your advice, again very much appreciated!

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