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Old 09-15-2017, 01:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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External HDD failure... ideas?

Howdy!

I have an external enclosure that houses a pair of 3.5" drives (because redundancy!). I recently took it out and plugged in the power cord without noticing that the switch was already in the "on" position. The fan spun up, then stopped, and now I can't get either drive in the enclosure to mount. It actually seems the enclosure itself isn't registering them - when it powers on, the lights for HDD1 and HDD2 show up, then turn off and the fan stops.

Any thoughts on how to get things moving again? Do I need to pull the drives and see if the heads need to be reset?
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, the immediate thought would be that if you were running them in mirror, and your enclosure actually used a format a computer can see, to install a drive internal and see if the computer sees it.

Unfortunately most of the little external NAS type things run a proprietary/weird file system that can't be seen by anything else.

The really bad part is that if these are platter drives and they were spinning like you infer when you were handling the case, they are likely done, particularly if desktop drives. I have a tendency to use laptop drives for non critical redundancies just due to the shock hardware.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Get a simple sata to usb and power cable and find a good raw read program to see if the drives spin up and mount (only need one to work)

I bought a copy of r tools r studio a while back and occasionally use it. It works on raid volumes. Im sure there are other programs, probably free ones, but it was one of the first that came up in a search many years ago.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
Major Power Factor
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: The Front Range, CO

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Okay, so damnedest thing. I took it all apart and inspected the drives - everything seemed fine. So I put them back in the enclosure and did some experimentation, and what I determined is that the issue is actually with the USB-3 cable. If I have it all the way in, the drives don't mount. If I have it in only far enough to engage the pins, the drives work flawlessly. Even weirder is that once they're mounted, I can push the cable the rest of the way in and they'll continue working without a problem. No idea what to make of this but at least I know what's going on.

I'm also going to order a second hard drive for super-duper redundancy.
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