My external hard disk drive only works when I hit it!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by rambomhtri, Nov 21, 2015.

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  1. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
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    I know it may sound funny, but 1 month ago I put an old hard disk drive from a laptop in my external USB case. Plugged it to my PC, formatted to NTFS and saved it. Today I wanted to use for the "first time" (as an external hard drive), but when I plugged it in, it started to make a noise every second, like a "click" or something, like trying to turn on. My PC was not recognizing anything. Then I hit it with my hand, and suddenly, it started to work, my PC recognized it and it was working fine.

    I did this 5 times, and every single one was the same. I plug it in, it starts to make a noise every second, in a loop, and when I hit it, it starts working normally.

    What can be happening?

    It seems it needs extra power to start the engine, lol, in form of slaps, :D

    Should I trust this HDD to move and save photos and stuff?
     
  2. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    It's dying. Backup your data ASAP.
     
  3. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    You must have some pretty kinky stuff on that drive for it to require you to slap it around before it will work.:D:D

    Back it up, it is dying.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  4. Hypatia's Protege

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 1, 2015
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    Don't even THINK of depositing valuable data on that drive!:eek::eek::eek: -- Sounds lake an old IBM/Hitachi Deskstar Deathstar:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    Best regards
    HP
     
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  5. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    There is a site somewhere in the Web where somebody took the pain to record the noise that dying HDDs make.

    All my clicking HDDs died soon after. BACKUP and move on.
     
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  6. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
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    I don't have anything important in that drive. As I said, I formatted it a month ago. If it's dying, it's weird that slapping it will make it work. Couldn't be a problem with the electric engine?
     
  7. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    That would be motor and not engine. And yes it is likely a problem with the motor if it starts to spin after striking it. My dishwasher was experiencing the exact same thing before it died.
     
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  8. Hypatia's Protege

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 1, 2015
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    @rambomhtri

    Whatever the (internal) failure mode, the unit it is not practically serviceable - Once opened (sans clean-room facilities and in-house specifications) the drive will be treacherously unreliable at best... While I genuinely admire your industry (as evinced by your preference for 'user-side solutions') - I'm bound to say 'resurrection' of HDDs is truly a blind alley...

    Aside from verifying power/signal connection integrity, replacement is your only reasonable option --- Should you choose to 'proceed regardless' -- Please do yourself a favor and never trust it with important data - Even if the drive seems to be working!!!:eek::eek::eek:

    Best regards
    HP:)
     
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  9. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    Sounds like stiction.
     
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  10. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a hard drive that is about to stop spinning.
     
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  11. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    The bearing lube in old hard drives can dry out and create too much static friction for the motor to start the platter.
    Hitting it breaks this stiction and the motor then has enough torque to run.
    Obviously such a drive is on the way to total failure and should not be used to store any important data.
     
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  12. Aleph(0)

    Member

    Mar 14, 2015
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    When in doubt use a bigger hammer:D!
     
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  13. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    hmmm ! A kinky HDD. Never heard of tht before
     
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  14. Aleph(0)

    Member

    Mar 14, 2015
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    Then you are leading the sheltered life;)!
     
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  15. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    @Aleph(0)
    I have seen that woman somewhere.
     
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  16. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    When I was a student and did not have the money to buy a new harddisk, I had a computer with a harddisk that would only start-up when I shaked the harddisk.
    It worked for quite some time that way.

    Bertus
     
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  17. Hypatia's Protege

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  18. Hypatia's Protege

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    Might I safely assume that new HDDs were significantly more expensive at the time?:D

    Best regards
    HP:)
     
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  19. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    @Hypatia's Protege ,
    Yes, the drive would have been about $500 for a 20 Mb.

    Bertus
     
  20. Hypatia's Protege

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    I rest my case:cool::cool::cool:

    Best regards
    HP:)
     
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