Just a few lines about an external hard drive I was praising up in a thread a couple of weeks ago.
I have had a Freecom Classic sl usb 2.0 hard drive which worked perfectly until a few days ago, when I plugged it in and got a response of, "USB device has malfunctioned".
I tried it on three different systems, all with the same results, but having a lot of data I didn't want to lose, I stripped the drive apart from it's casing, only to find a Maxtor Diamondmax 10 250Gb ide drive attached by an ide cable to a chipset which converted the drive to USB2.0.
I installed the drive into my system by first carefully unplugging all connectors from the external drive, then disconnecting one of my optical drives, and plugging the drive in, "Viola", I now have a new 250Gb storage drive with all of my saved data intact.
I dare say I was lucky, but how many people have thrown away things like this.
I had a seagate external drive & had the same problem, worked for a while then died.
In my case it turned out that the little motherboard in the case was at fault, the board had a multi-function chip on board that apparently forgets what it's supposed to be, could be IDE to USB converter, could be a sound chip. Anyway I decided to free the drive from it's caddy and insert it into my PC case...
far easier said than done, you see the case was fastened together with security screws that resisted all attempts to unfasten, eventually I got fed up and attacked the case with a dremel, messy fun, but the case finally yeilded and I dusted the drive off and put it in my PC, where it sits humming away to this day.
Similar problem with the Freecom Classic 250. I bought two just over 14 months ago and the one failed within two weeks. Because it was under warranty it was exchanged by PC World who also recovered my data by opening the caddy. (Had to get permission from Freecom to do this otherwise it would invalidate the warranty)
The problem was the USB device. The HDD was also a Hitachi and in perfect nick.
I buy caddies and put redundant drives into them when I scrap an old computer. Quite a few of my mates have bought new computers when their old one fails and I rescue their old HDD and turn it into a backup for them. Something like this click here(nl-hd29)