External USB HDD freezing Windows Explorer when trying to access it.
Posted on 2010-01-12
I have a 250Gb Seagate HD connected to my PC via an USB external enclosure.
This enclosure is also powered through the mains and has an ON/OFF switch. It also has a blue light that shows when the enclosure is on, and a red light that goes on when the HD is being accessed from the computer.
The problem is that this HD has now stopped working. I was playing via iTunes some music tracks (just copied onto this external HD, received from a friend - maybe containing virus?) that were stored onto the hard disk, when the track I was playing started jumping like the old vinyls. My PC (which runs Windows XP) had also frozen and it did not get unstuck until I switched off the hard disk enclosure.
Since then, every time I turn on the external HD (and the USB cable is plugged into my PC) the red light of the enclosure goes on constant (and you can hear the buzzing noise of the HD being accessed), but the drive does not appear on My Computer. Every time my computer freezes and when I turn the HD back off in can see in the Folders List of My Computer the icon of a disk drive appearing briefly (for 1 second max) marked with a red question mark. As soon as I turn the power off on the HD enclosure, my PC revives.
If I turn the enclosure on without being plugged into the PC, only the blue light goes on (not the red light) and no intermittent buzzing noise of a functioning HD can be heard.
I have tried the following:
-using a different PC (still with XP) to access it. Same result
-using a different USB enclosure. Same result
-using different USB cables to connect the enclosure to my PC. Same result
-connecting it through firewire instead of USB. No change whatsoever.
-disabling the autorun function. The only difference is that the computer does not freeze straight away, but maybe half a minute later when I try to somehow access it via My Computer.
It could be that the HD has just decided to give up on me, but I have suspicions on that music track I was playing of being a virus. What can I do to restore my HD to healthy state and recover all my precious files?