External HDD problem

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by injected11, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. injected11

    injected11 Crescent Fresh™

    Jul 17, 2009
    United States
    So I went to plug my external HDD into my laptop today, and the white light on the front that normally comes on is not there, it is not recognized by my laptop, and it makes a buzzing noise every 3 seconds. Upon googling, this is apparently called the "buzz of death". I had over 1TB of media on the thing and was planning on copying it to another HDD in less than a week. Is there ANY way to recover the data? I'm desperate here. It took me quite awhile to amass that data, and I'm moving to a place that has terrible internet speeds. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    EDIT: I should note that when I have the HDD power plugged in but the USB cable is not plugged into the laptop, the drive's white light comes on like normal and it sounds normal (start up, no beeps). Could it possibly be the USB cable? Or am I grasping at straws?
  2. Lacius

    Lacius GBAtemp Guru

    May 11, 2008
    United States
    If you're using a USB drive, you might try using a different USB cable and/or using a different computer. However, it sounds like your external HDD is dead, and it's unlikely you'll be able to recover the data. Good luck.
  3. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy ~I have crippling depression~

    Global Moderator
    Jul 15, 2009
    United States
    [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]
    I've run into issues like that, but only with 2.5" externals (which require no additional power besides USB), but not 3.5" ones. The issue, in my case, was having too long a USB cable (or it was just a shitty cable)

    Your first course of action ought to be trying a different, and if possible, shorter cable.

    If that doesn't work, pop open the enclosure and put the drive in a desktop computer and see if it's able to be recognized.

    Otherwise... you are likely SoL :/
  4. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

    Apr 21, 2008
    London, UK
    A buzz every 3 seconds tells me it's unable to rev up to top speed. This could either be because of lack of power (it happens with long cables or single ended cables) or because of a hardware fault (motor/drive).

    For advice, see the 2 posts above.

    Edit: I'll also add, an external drive is the least secure location for your data storage, since external drives have the highest failure rate. External Maxtor drives are the worst.

    At least you can always take the drive out and just stick it in your PC.
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