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Looking for recommendations on data recovery from Maxtor OneTouch 4 external hard drive

Posted on 2011-04-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Here's the scoop:

I have a Maxtor OneTouch 4 external that went bad while I was using it as a temporary repository for data during an OS reinstall.  (The timing was terrible.)

1. The power indicator on the OneTouch shows nothing and the server and other workstations can’t see it.
2. I’ve verified that the OneTouch power cord / power supply is good.
3. I suspect the circuitry associated with the drive is bad.  I also suspect (hope) that the drive itself is fine.
4. I went online.  This looks like the best plan of action:
   a. It appears that it’s a SATA drive.  (http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=195347)
   b. The chassis is a pain.  Here’s a recommended solution to cracking the case.  http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f16/maxtor-onetouch-4-500gb-disassembly-196930.html
   c. Carefully remove the drive, and connect it to my secondary SATA connector on my workstation that contains a SATA drive.

Feedback?  (Please feel free to tell me if you think my approach is flawed.  I don't want to lose this data.)
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Question by:jdana
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David earned 2000 total points
ID: 35453538
It uses an embedded LINUX kernel.  If the data is worth $500+ then take it to a data recovery company, because even powering it up can create more damage.  If it isn't worth THAT much money to recover, then hook the HDD up to a NON-RAID controller, boot the PC to Ubuntu (download a bootable USB stick or CD version).  If ubuntu sees the disk and partitions, then you know it is the electronics, which can be replaced.

If it does not see the disk drive, then data recovery firm is the next course of action.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jdana
ID: 35463280
dlethe,

Thanks for the Linux kernel hint.  Makes sense.  Wish me luck.

J
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by:David
ID: 35463322
no prob - a few more things
 - most of the time, 2 partitions, one for the embedded O/S, the other for linux
 - file system may be xfs.
 - download a server version of linux, not the desktop, as the server versions typically have all the possible kernel drivers.
 - almost always RAID is done by stock md driver, but you are not raid so that was just in case others stumble upon this.
 be sure to boot with it detached, then do a READ-ONLY mount attempt. This preserves everything
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