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  1. #1
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    FYI if you have external drives that you think have kicked the bucket
    When I went back to Rochester in March I grabbed all the external hard drives that my son and I had (lots, we are heavy users, lol) and brought them with me to CA. (in hindsight, I should have grabbed the internals out of my computer that is "on the truck" too, but that is yet another topic)

    Over the past few weeks I have been going through the drives organizing them. We duplicated files many times from drive to drive for fear of one or another crashing. Recently the 2 maxtors HAVE been crashing regularly, but freezing them revives them. So a couple weeks ago I went out and got a new enclosure because one of the Maxtor power cords quit working. Come to find out the Maxtor requires a special cable. Long story short, the drives work perfectly in the new enclosure with a new (different) power supply. Not only that, but a supposedly dead SimpleTech drive (I never toss a drive even if I think it is dead) works perfectly in the new enclosure as well.

    Moral of the story, if you have an external drive that crashes, continually overheats or just stops working, spend $40 on a new external enclosure and see if that helps. If not, take the enclosure back to the store. No harm, no foul.

    Best $40 I spent this month.... especially since I have a complete server back up on one of the supposedly "dead" drives I may need to get another one, just depends how much juggling I feel like doing.....
    Deborah Carney
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  2. #2
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Freezing my internals has saved my butt a couple of times. They don't last much longer, but long enough to get any vital stuff off of them. Very weird though. A friend went to get some ice one day, took forever to explain that I wasn't drunk at that time when I stuck the one he saw in there.

    Or maybe I was, but I still did it on purpose.

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  3. #3
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    sometimes, it is worth the $ to invest in a good HD enclosure. Some of the cheaper ones are built for min usage and without fan or with bad airflow design.

    One of my friend work for Hitachi and we had a long discussion about HD and HD failures.

    Freezing will give it an extended life but it will not resolve the problem, it will die sooner or later so back up your stuff.

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It can also be helpful to direct an external fan at the problem drive while you're working with it.

    For checking and repairing of bad drives, I highly recommend SpinRite 6.0. It rescued a drive for me when nothing else worked.
    Michael Coley
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  5. #5
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    Actually some drives that I have frozen have gone on to live long productive lives. I have hopes for the one that overheated yesterday in the Maxtor case. And their is one in one of my laptops that was totally toast that has now worked for 2 years. So my theory is that if you find the problem fast enough, and solve the reasons for the overheating, you may be fine.

    And spending $40 on a case for a $300 drive is a bargain, IMNSHO.

    Now to look into a rack system of some sort, since there are 8 more old internal drives "on the truck" from various old computers. If there is a rack system where I can plug them all in and use them for backup, storage, moving files for temporary organizing and reorganizing for burning to DVD, that would be great.

    Or I could be crazy, I've been told that before....
    Deborah Carney
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  6. #6
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    how many drives have you gone through loxly?
    over the past 10 years I have gone through 10 but they all work. My oldest drive is a 4GB hdd that i still have stuck in 1 of my computers and it's still going strong.

    I have never had a drive die on me though.

  7. #7
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    I did my MCSE Internship at the school where I studied (S.U.). We moved to the main campus right then and had to install new rooms and networks and computers. For the short term we installed enclosures that fit in a bay of the computers into which we could plug hard drives that were fitted into "tin cans" that could fit right into the computer. I think I've seen other forms of this where there is a mini fan built into the enclosure with which to guaranteed-cool each hard drive.

    Our purpose at the time was to give each student his/her own hard drive to work with, but this would allow booting up with anything you choose. Don't know if bus mastering has gotten to the point where you can plug in a second drive (where you're already operating) and have it come up and be recognized.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    how many drives have you gone through loxly?
    over the past 10 years I have gone through 10 but they all work. My oldest drive is a 4GB hdd that i still have stuck in 1 of my computers and it's still going strong.

    I have never had a drive die on me though.
    I have killed internal drives, probably 4 over the past 15 years, and before I knew about freezing. Recently (like the past 2 years) I have killed about 5, brought all but one back to life and have a stack of drives from old computers (I have 4 p3-4's that should be on the truck ) Rather than set up all those computers.... I don't think I have that many monitors any more, I would rather get a rack that I could plug them all into, am I dreaming?

    I may take one of the p4's and make it a linux box, been planning to do that for years and never took the plunge... but now it would come in handy to do things on a local server...
    Deborah Carney
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  9. #9
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    You hard drive will record every small bump or drop.

    so if u drop your hard drive, eventhough it works, the hardd drive mmight have some error.

    This is a hard drive storage
    http://www.directron.com/sc101na.html

  10. #10
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    My externals hardly ever leave the table. But I do have a new LaCie portable drive that gets dropped regularly and says "do it again mom, that was fun!!!!". On the other hand, the Western Digital Passport groans if I just move it from the table to the laptop bag.

    Don't worry, everything on the LaCie is burned to DVD, then backed up to elsewhere. It truly is the travel drive that just comes with me and carries all the important data (plus music) for day to day travel and trips.

    I am not a novice computer hardware user, although at times it seems I am. I have built and rebuilt computers and made new computers out of old parts and love reusing everything I can.
    Deborah Carney
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  11. #11
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    Can i suggest this then.

    there are flash drives out there and they are at 4GB the last time i checked. That was like 2-3 months ago cos I used to work for an computer/electronic super store - mktg mgr. Got lots of freebies then :-)

    Those things are new in the market when it comes to production and relatively cheap. Overall, a good deal and failure is less likely unless you run over it with your car. I had friends throw thier flash into the washer then drier by accident, still running.

  12. #12
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    Eric, I think you actually missed the point of the whole thread, but that's ok I am very adept at making sure these days that I have what I need to back up, I am anal at backing things up since I lost so much in the past. The point of the thread was to suggest checking power supplies before tossing a drive you may think has died. I think many of the external drives do not have sufficient circulation and are overheating causing them to fail.

    Personally, what I will be looking for in the near future is a rack for my various hard drives (many more than 2, as will fit in the case you suggested, but that may be a start) to put them all in one place on a manageable power supply. I think this will be an expensive, but necessary, precaution going into the future because since I personally work with a large number of graphics files I need expandable storage space that will not require a 220 line and cables running from room to room Anyone that has seen pics of my desk already will be impressed that I am trying to "get organized".

    And again, the whole point was to give out advise about power supplies.... honest
    Deborah Carney
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  13. #13

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    Great advice, but not all external enclosures are built the same. I have had several that overheat badly, and others that work beautifully for years. Some connect up properly, and other drop the USB/firewire connection every time you turn around.

    The best luck I have had is with 2.5" drive enclosures using 2.5" drives of course. Smaller capacity, but more portable and seem sturdier, and less heat issues.

    Though I do have (4) 300GB drives in externals all hooked up as networked drives on our network for over a 1TB of data. Was a nice inexpensive solution at the time.

    Flash drives are at 8GB right now (under $200), and 4GB models just hit under $100 which makes them a good alternative but still a limited capacity. That is all supposed to change soon though.


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