Recover data from malfunctioning external hard drive

Hello experts,

I discovered this evening that one of my external hard drives that I purchased about a year ago is malfunctioning.  This is a link to the one that I have, the picture is the same anyway.  It's made by Iomega: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=iomega+external+hard+drives&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=18102572543345864819&ei=0Im9S6_FNo7mswO2pZ2DBQ&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=image&resnum=3&ved=0CCEQ8gIwAg#

When I connect the A/C adapter to it and press the power switch on the device, the light turns on.  It is getting power.  When I plug the USB cord into it and the other end of it into a USB port on the computer, nothing happens.  The computer does not see the device.  I've tried it on 2 different computers.  

Normally when you pick up a hard drive while it is plugged in to the computer you can feel the gyroscope effect that it has by gently tilting it side to side because of the spinning hard disk inside.  I don't feel this sensation when tilting the external hard drive side to side in my hand so that means the disk is not spinning.

Is there anyway I can still get the data off of my drive?  It appears to be defective, is this something I'm going to have to contact iomega about?

Thanks for your help.
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GewgalaAsked:
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blandyukCommented:
If nothing happens when you plug it in, it could be the circuit on the external drive thats faulty. Have you tried removing the HD from the enclosure and plugging it directly into your computer? If the disc has got a fault, like the disc no spinning at all or the circuit on the disc is faulty, your going to have a problem.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Take the drive out of enclosure and connect it directly to PC via free SATA or IDE connector. Check if the drive is detected in Windows Disk Management and if yes - copy out your data.
BTW, when you get to Windows Disk Management with connected USB drive - does it detect any device there?
Any warning in EventViewer or Device Manager?
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nobusCommented:
if the disk does not turn when directly connected to Sata or Ide, AND you need the data, you can try to replace the disk logic board. (but if the motor is bad, it won't help)
Be sure to buy the same drive model and same firmware level.
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Leo TorresSQL DeveloperCommented:
The disk may be damaged.. Have you tried to boot thru Linux.. Knoppix sometimes reads bad drives..
as long as your bios picks up the USB connection

You may have a chance to recover the data or at least some of it

For Recovery its been great download this ISO burn it to CD and boot with CD see if you can browse thru your drive

http://archive.cs.stedwards.edu/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V5.1.1CD-2007-01-04-EN.iso

You may not have many chances to do this so I would suggest you have a flash drive or extra hard drive connected so you can move the data you have from the bad disk to a working drive...

good luck and cheers!!
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nobusCommented:
the other option to get the data is with these guys : http://www.gillware.com/      
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GewgalaAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your suggestions.  I posted this question just before going to sleep last night and unfortunately now I am at work.  I will do what I can to follow all your advice as soon as I get off work today.  Again thank you very much.
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nobusCommented:
no problem - take your time; i'll be here!
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Me here too =)
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nobusCommented:
we can play cards, ,noxcho - btw where does that nickname come from ? if you don,'t mind telling that..
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
=)) Actually it is misprinting. There should be noHcho but I used wrong key.
When I set the name with error it was late to correct it. =)
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nobusCommented:
even more mysterious...family of C3pio maybe?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Family.
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webbster20Commented:
I Was going to recommend the removal from the enclosure idea as well.

If it was bought in the enclosure, ensure you contact the manufacturer first to ask if it is alright.

A little fudging may be required if not, just saying.
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GewgalaAuthor Commented:
I am so sorry for not having followed up on this yet, I've been really busy.  My network adapter on my desktop conveniently went out about the same time so I have been having to backup/restore/reformat etc. with the addition of a replacement motherboard.  I promise I have not forgotten about this, I will get to this as soon as I can.  I deeply appreciate all the suggestions thus far.

Webbster20 - what do you mean by "fudging"?  I did indeed buy the external hard drive in the encloser.  I have been wondering how I will be able to get the hard drive out of it.  I have the manual that came with it but I haven't had a chance to read it over yet.
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nobusCommented:
some cases hold with screws, other with clips.
sometimes you find how to open them on the net (it's not in the manual for most)
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GewgalaAuthor Commented:
Shame on me for taking so long guys.  I am currently out of town, I will be back Monday.  I swear I think about this every day, I will get to it Monday.  A thousand apologies for the delay.
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nobusCommented:
no problem, take your time!
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GewgalaAuthor Commented:
Hey guys, I just did something I bet you thought I'd never do:  I took the time to investigate this and successfully removed the drive from the casing that it came in!  However, how do I go about hooking this up directly to the motherboard?  Do I need a special SATA-to-mini-USB cable?  And then, do I have to use the same AC adapter?
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GewgalaAuthor Commented:
Ohhhhhh I see it.  There's a small circuit board plugged into the back of the drive, I just have to unscrew that from the casing and pull it off the drive, it's plugged into the drive's power/data inputs, where I would just plug in SATA cables and the power cable from the motherboard.  Duh...
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GewgalaAuthor Commented:
well I shut down my PC to connect the drive but then couldn't find any spare SATA cables.  I Just ordered some on Amazon, should get here by Tuesday.  Will update you all when I get the cables.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
You are doing good progress yourself =))) Keep on road.
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GewgalaAuthor Commented:
I'll be posting more feedback here when I get off work today.
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GewgalaAuthor Commented:
Ok.  I removed the drive from it's external casing and plugged it directly into the motherboard via SATA cable.  It works!  The drive is ok.  I can navigate through it's contents via windows explorer.  So what does this mean about the external casing?  Something is obviously bad there, but I think I'm going to just include it in my main computer's box as a backup drive in there so it doesn't really matter.  If I wanted to put it back with it's original casing though, what would I have to do?  Is it just scrap now?
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Leo TorresSQL DeveloperCommented:
I would not mess around too much I wold try to move your data to a flash or other Hard drive quickly that disk may have problems you may not be able to get it going anymore.. You must treat every minute as if it were its last. Save Documents and most important files first.  I will be here so let me know if you need help!!
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nobusCommented:
you can always buy a separate case : http://www.geeks.com/products.asp?cat=CSE
and put it in there !
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blandyukCommented:
I agree with ltorres321, get you data off just to be absolutly sure. Once done, you could check the disc for bad clusters / sectors using chkdsk or HD Tune Pro. It'll probably be ok as it was your external enclosure that was faulty.
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GewgalaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for everyone's participation.  Apologies again with my lazy procrastination (honestly though, I've been very busy, but when it takes 2+ months for me to get around to finalizing the question procrastination is included, too).  Thank you for your patience and understanding.  I awarded 475 points to blandyuk because he was the first to suggest removing the drive from the enclosure and plugging it in directly to the motherboard.  This is what fixed the problem.  25 points goes to nobus for shedding a little light on how to get the drive out of the enclosure.  These 2 comments were what I used to find my solution.  Thanks again for your participation!  
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