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Profile Image Dr. OMKAR HALWAI

I have a 5 year old Seagate free Agent GoFlex 1TB external HDD. A couple of days back when i connected it to my laptop, the message "USB Device not recognised" came on the screen. The external hard drive is not being detected on the computer as well as by

I have a 5 year old Seagate free Agent GoFlex 1TB external HDD. A couple of days back when i connected it to my laptop, the message "USB Device not recognised" came on the screen. The external hard drive is not being detected on the computer as well as by 1 year ago

  • Knowledge Junction:Answered in 45 mins

    Greetings Dr. Omkar,

    Unfortunate to hear about your predicament. There must be precious stuff on that harddisk!

    Let's break it down simply - 

    • Simplest - try another cable. If its a 5 year old Seagate we are probably looking at mini-USB 2.0 - easily available on Amazon, eBay and Lamington Road. Storite is a decent brand to opt for. If that doesn't work ...
    • Did the harddisk have any 'accident' recently? Any fall? Any drop? - that can cause a hardware problem.
    • Did you unplug it recently without using the 'Safely remove option'? - that can cause a software problem.
    • When connected to the computer - does the light on the harddisk casing come on? If Yes - does it stay on or does it blink periodically? 
    • No light = no power. Probably the change of cable will help. Or you can still have the casing removed and salvage your harddisk.
    • Constant light = power received but data is not being read. This can be a serious hardware issue (like the disk head corrupted or not spinning right)
    • Light blinking = everything is almost fine, might just be a software issue.
    • Trying putting your ear to the harddisk casing and see if you can hear the disk spinning or a 'tick' 'tick' sound of the head pin slipping and unable to read.
    • If none of these scenarios work out - have you tried connecting the harddisk to any other Operating System (Mac or Linux) - if it does get detected, then again - you are in luck - it's a software issue.
    • If the data is really precious - strongly recommend do not mess with it - head over to a specialist like Stellar Infosystems at Andheri East. They really are good with their work.
    • There are some softwares on the net like PC Inspector, i-Care and the likes that can help you try reading such harddisks (basically they take care of the software issues).

    This checklist should help you handle most tasks that an average tech enthusiast can try in the comfort of his home and his system. Beyond this - when it comes to harddisks that are this old (Seagate usually offers a 3 or 5 year warranty - with a clear clause of no data recovery only replacement) - DO NOT risk it. Seek professional help if nothing from here works for you.

    Best wishes! Hope it all gets sorted.

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