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SimpleTech 1Tb External HDD is ..... broken?

This is a discussion on SimpleTech 1Tb External HDD is ..... broken? within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. A little less than a year ago I bought my SimpleTech/Fabrika External HDD, and just recently it started acting strange.


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Old 05-21-2009, 07:24 PM   #1
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A little less than a year ago I bought my SimpleTech/Fabrika External HDD, and just recently it started acting strange.

When I turn it on, windows makes the "there's a new piece of hardware" noise but then the HDD starts making its own noise. sound like it's skipping and i can't read any info off of it, in fact windows says it has a storage space of 0bytes and it says it cannot access the drive. It isn't the usb cable, I checked that, it is definitely a problem with the drive. Any suggestions on how to fix it while keeping my data?

And as far as I know i havent abused it. Haven't even moved it.

Ok, to be fair, the skipping didn't start out of the blue, it started a while ago. But up till now there was very little and it wasn't a problem. Now it does nothing but the skipping sound.

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Old 05-21-2009, 07:34 PM   #2
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My guess from your description is inside is a Seagate 7200.11 drive. I've done recoverieis on several SImpleTech externals with Seagates inside. First thing to do is remove the drive from teh enclosure and verify the make and model. Post them here - can you describe the sound a bit better perhaps, not sure what skipping means, is it a rhythmic click?
If it is a Seagate 7200.11 family drive, check the model number and serial number using the online app on Seagate's support site and see if it is affected by the firmware bug.
Let us know this information and we can focus on possible solutions.

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Old 05-21-2009, 08:06 PM   #3
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Not sure about opening the case as there is that lovely "warranty is void if this seal is torn" sticker on it. As for the skipping sound. Yes it is a rhythmic click, almost a rhythmic tick. If you've ever put a slightly cracked DVD into a DVD player, thats the kind of sound it makes. It sounds as if it is trying to read the disk, then for some reason the disk stops rotating and immediately it starts up again, then repeats the cycle. As for it being a firmware bug, does that affect the actual performance of the hard systems? Because the computer cannot even read the disk, "my computer" almost freezes every time i turn the HDD on.
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:21 PM   #4
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It could be firmware, a hard disk has it's own microcode, a processing unit, and configuration information that is specific to that individual drive based on the parameters of the drive when it is built. Like your computer, your HD literally has to 'boot' at startup so it knows how to access the information on the platter to allow the PC to boot. The clicking is not a good sign. Firmware would be the best possible solution. What you are describing indicates an inability of the drive to read the Service area of the platter, this is a user inaccessible area that contains a lot of the configuration information and firmware code. Possible cuases
1) Damage to the surface in the SA
2) Corrupted microcode in teh modules in the SA
3) Bad or weak head - possibly caused by a head crash
4) Weak or failed preamp
5) Corrupt or failed firmware on the PC board of the drive.
Your options are pretty slim - RMA the drive in the enclosure, you will get a replacement drive but no data
Take the drive out and we can see if perhaps the cause is a breakdown in the USB communications causing the drive to not init properly or see if there are any other options. USB doesn't pass all the commands and protocols that you can use on teh drive when it is connected internally.
Basically there is no software fix for the physical failures - it would require professional recovery in a clean room environment. Without knowing the actual make and model of the drive, probably talking $1200 - $2000 depending on the lab you used and the actual issue. The rotation stopping is to protect teh disk surface from additional damage since it cannot init properly. A head crash or dragging head could result in scratching or scarring the paltters making the drive unrecoverable even in a clean room.
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:31 PM   #5
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Hmmmm, so based on this it would seem I have only three options. 1) Void the warranty and open it, then see if I can self-repair and probably lose all my data. 2) Take it in to get a professional repair, warranty may cover it although i have a strong suspicion that they will say i misused it, possibly lose all my data. Or 3) get a new hard external drive and definitely lose all my data. That about right?
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:58 PM   #6
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And in step 2, nope warrantee will not cover it - all the warrantee covers id the drive, not your data. Pro repair... you will get your data back, you'll end up paying the bill, and the drive probably will not be replaced under warrantee - but you SHOULD get your data back, there is bno guarantee tho since there could be damage to the platter, in which case it would be game over. The only way to be sure tho is to open the actual hard drive, which will definitely void the warrantee. Option 1 - being honest, unless it is one of the Seagate's with a firmware issue - which Seagate has been fixing with data returned intact - then you probably won't be able to fix it. I suppose the bottom line is the value of the data. If it can be replaced relatively easily, then I'd RMA the drive if I was in your shoes. None of the 1TB drives are easy to work on.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:42 PM   #7
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having opened it up i can see it is a WD
model number WD10EACS-00ZJB0
S/N WCASJ1400281

I know that probably doesn't make much difference though
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:45 PM   #8
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For anyone reading this thread who's more of a hardware newb than I am, and for those people who have a similar problem with a similar piece of equipment.

The general solution was buy a new HDD, or if you need the data, pay lots of $$ and get a pro to help you
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:05 PM   #9
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Well being WD that pretty much tells me a head issue.... game over for home repair unfortunately.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:18 PM   #10
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Well that answers all my questions, and for everyone at home listening in, once again, buy a new external hard disk drive. It's cheaper and less stressful than the alternative.

Thanks for your time raptor :)

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