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Has My External Hard Drive Officially Crashed (+Symptoms)? Possible Data Recovery?


Dec 21, 2015
HP 500Gb External Hard Drive
model no. hp 5sd500a

I plug it into my computer, I can hear it whirring about inside, a series of 6 clicks amid the whirring sound, and then both cease. The power light then begins blinking. My computer fails to recognize that any new hardware has even been plugged in.

NOTE: It's been dropped several times in its life. The issue may be physical rather than internal.

What I'd like to skip right over is any reminders of mistreatment and negligence on my part, I'm well aware of all of this in retrospect.

1)What is the diagnosis?
2) What (if anything) can be done to restore/regenerate this external hard drive to the point that I can transfer all of the data onto another external hard drive that I've just purchased.

I only need one shot at this. Any suggestion/experience is much appreciated.
Hey Adam, welcome to the community! :)

It sounds like either the drive has been damaged to the point where it can't spin-up anymore. The other option is for the enclosure to be causing this. Of course that doesn't exclude trying out the drive with a different USB cable (preferably shorter than 12") and a different computer, to see if the issue reoccurs. If those options don't help at all, you could try taking the drive out of its enclosure and connecting it to a computer, either externally via a different external enclosure/SATA to USB adapter/docking station, or internally via a standard SATA connection. Note that this is not really recommended due to the following reasons: it voids the warranty of the drive (if it's still under warranty); you may further damage the HDD; it may have a proprietary connector, which would make it impossible for you to connect it without its original enclosure; if it has hardware encryption you might not be able to recover your data without its original enclosure. So if you decide to go with that, please do it at your own discretion having in mind you are aware of the possible risks.
Other than that, if there's no way for the drive to spin-up without stopping, I guess that a data recovery company might be the only viable option for you.

Please let me know how everything goes.


Aug 16, 2013
Unless it's purely a coincidence that your drive, which has been dropped several times, is now experiencing symptoms of mechanical failure(clicking), then there is nothing you can do to recover the data and the longer you have it on and attempt to power cycle it the more damage you will cause. AS Boogieman suggested, you'll need a professional data recovery lab. They will at the very least need to replace the Head Rack Assembly in a clean room environment, so expect to pay at least $1000 for the recovery.

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