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My external hard drive, pic related, suddenly stopped working about an hour ago. I tried all of my computer's usb ports, but it won't turn on or show up on my computer. I don't really know what else to do. Is there anything I can try to get it working again, or is all the shit I had on it lost for good?
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it's hard to know what to recommend without knowing the model
is it under warranty? do you care about the drive or the data?

if you have nothing to lose, you can try opening the case and see if you can connect the drive internally. there's several caveats
first by opening it you void any warranty
second, if toshiba's like western digital, they skimp on usb drives and don't make a sata interface: they just put a proprietary USB interface straight out of the drive (pic related), and you can't plug that into a desktop
so yeah googling the model may help you find out whether you have those USB interfaces (and maybe steps on how to open it safely)

a few examples
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pS_EDsP2KI (at about 5:30)

then you'd connect it to your desktop like so
when you boot go into the BIOS. check the drive is visible. then make sure your boot drive is the main drive, not the drive you just plugged in.

then just work from there.hopefully you'll be able to see the drive from windows explorer and copy the data from it.

if you can't see the drive or there's a lot of errors or weird noises (clicking, screeching) it's probably physical failure and should be left to data recovery professionals.
Yeah, I was kind of hoping I wouldn't have to open it up. I don't have a warranty or information I really care too much about, but I was still hoping there could be a different solution. The model is a Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Portable External Hard Drive, which I believe is like the drive you posted, so I don't think you can even plug it into a desktop anyway.
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look at the first youtube link at 1:10 and the second at 3:20
you can see the internal drive is definitely a SATA drive. if you take that out you can plug it directly into a desktop.
if you don't have a desktop, you can plug it into a USB adapter (pic related) for a laptop too. the reason it's best to plug it internally is you can rule out USB (or USB power) as a potential problem.
more illustration of standard SATA connector inside a portable USB enclosure
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forgot pic
this is what it looks like on the underside once you pull it out. that's the standard SATA power and data connectors. same connectors are used in desktop and laptop hard drives.
Thanks for all your help, I was having trouble trying to get the thing open, so I decided to try plugging it in (for probably the hundredth time tonight), and, out of the blue, it came back to life. Who knows what happened... I'll keep your advice, though, just in case this ever happens again.
the first thing you should do now that it works is to copy all the data to another drive ASAP
do it as if it's the last time it's ever powering on. do it in priority what's important first. it might not power on again.
after that you can do diagnostics and all that fancy stuff, but while it works, get all you can.

and make backup plans from now on (this should be a huge wakeup call)
it's not a backup if it's the only copy
>proprietary USB
I don't think you know what these words mean.
Not OP but I too have an external HD problem and it looks like now's the best time to ask.

> Western Digital MyBook Essential, 500GB I believe
> HD does not power up
> Pulled the plug and replugged it, dim blue light but turns off immediately
> Hear spinning and then it stops
> Ruled out the adapter
> It's pretty old so warranty doesn't even matter

How salvageable is this? Most likely culprit is power supply, at least I sure hope it's not a dead drive.
i had a 2TB drive like that. the USB interface circuitry died, so i removed the drive from the case and plugged it into a SATA port, and it's still running today, four years later.
what kind of internal connector does it have?

I didn't phrase it well.
it doesn't have the standard SATA to USB connector. there's no SATA ports and it's merely USB fused onto the PCB, without the possibility of connecting it by other means if the USB port is broken or malfunctioning.

this other guy does some wizardry after he found the pinouts, but it's not something you can expect a regular user to figure out
in addition I see he's only got the data SATA connections, and nothing for power, so I don't know if he's powering it by USB or he's just not done
Every HD i've ever had die, was Western Digital.
>really makes you think...
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>what kind of internal connector does it have?
I'm not sure. What am I suppose to look for?

> worried laughter
you could either pry it open. it's not going to matter if it's not under warranty anymore. watch as many youtube tutorials as you can to prepare yourself mentally

or you could look at the part number and google what others who have opened it up have found
P/N should be printed on the underside somewhere
Didn't try to open it yet but at the risk of sounding like an idiot, eSata?

My frames of reference:
Nevermind, it can't be that one because I have Essential Edition, not Home.
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mine has these kinds of numbers on the underside, but naturally I can't assume they all do. was hoping yours did
>ruled out the adapter
How did you rule out the adapter? Because it sounds exactly like it's the adapter.
There are only three manufacturers. If you only buy Western Digital, what brand do you expect your dead drives will be?
Now that you can see the drive, I would recommend checking it for errors.
SeaTools from Seagate is a nice free program that can run a variety of checks to see if the drive is still healthy, bear in mind the long-generic test WILL take several hours if you try it so don't think this is abnormal
I did check that. MDL number is WD500H1U-00

Tried another adapter from a drive I know is actually working.
youtube has tutorials for similar versions
(1TB version. yours is 500GB)
they seem to have standard desktop (3.5") SATA WD drives inside
sorry meant to put this for the last link
I thought I bumped this to say that I had a false alarm. I forgot to the one thing that I should have and it's check to see if it works on another computer. In any case, it's old so I shouldn't take chances.

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