External USB hard drive not spinning up/turning on/reacting at all when plugged into multiple USB ports/computers

mrosier
mrosier used Ask the Experts™
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So I have a user who has an external hard drive that suddenly doesn't power up at all when connecting it via USB. I have had him try alternate cables and computers as well. It's just a regular external USB drive where you plug it into USB, it spins up, and then you go. Now he plugs it in and nothing happens on it at all. I wanted to check here with you folks before telling him sorry it's just crashed and dead. I will try extracting the internal drive on it and directly connect it to a computer when he returns to the office. Anyone have any other suggestions by chance?
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Principal Software Engineer
Commented:
Your troubleshooting so far is exemplary and has localized the problem to something inside the drive enclosure.

If the drive inside is a 3.5" drive and there is no power supply attached, that's like to be the problem.  If there's a power supply attached, the supply might be dead.

If the drive inside is a 2.5" drive, then as you say the best approach if the data must be recovered is to crack open the enclosure.  If the drive doesn't have anything on it that must be recovered, check the warranty.  The usual warranty is one year, but if it was purchased with a credit card it is common for the credit card company to double the manufacturer's warranty period.

A word of caution:  The drives inside external enclosures used to be standard drives with USB adapters attached.  If the USB adapter failed, the drive was still usable as a drive.  However, more and more external drives are coming with built-in USB adapters and the only way to recover data off those drives is to send it out to a disk recovery company.  Once the enclosure is open you'll know.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
Sorry, it has crashed and died.  

If you are adept at taking it apart, you might try putting the drive in a carrier and see if you can recover data with Recuva or GetDataBack.  

More likely you will need a local recovery company.

These things die on us as well.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the info Doc/John! This drive is fairly old, so I am hoping the USB adapter is separate and failed and can be attached directly to the laptop. Since posting and getting your replies though he tried one last time before throwing in the towel and IT angel gave him a break and it spun up! So he is backing all of it up elsewhere and he will be good. I am still going to try connecting it directly to a computer to see just to see. Thanks a bunch!

Author

Commented:
I do apologize on this point  part as I don't know how to divy them up between the two of you, so I hope I am closing this question correctly.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Thanks for the update. See what happens next.

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