Seagate Freeagent Go 500 GB problem on Vista 64bit


Aug 27, 2009
Hi everyone! i'm new to this forum, and after looking for a similar problem everywhere, i haven't found a solution. Seems that Tom's Hardware has a good reputation for solving tech issues, so here we go. Thanks in advance!

I have a problem with a Seagate Freeagent Go 500GB drive, it's one of those small portable ones. After working fine for a few months, it recently started slowing down and telling me that i should "use a USB 2.0 connection for faster performance," though i have a new laptop with USB 2.0. After i would unplug it and plug it back in, the problem would usually be resolved. So last night, i put my computer in hybernate as usual, unplugged the drive, and in the morning, Vista didn't recognize the drive. It said that a "local disc" is plugged in, but when i click the icon in my computer, it just freezes up and doesn't do anything. I tried plugging the drive into another comp - same problem. I even tried using a different usb 2.0 cable - same problem. I've never dropped the drive, nor have i ever spilled anything on it. The light on the drive works fine, and sometimes i can even hear it "thinking" but nothing happens in Vista. I tried "uninstalling" the drivers, "disabling" the drive through device manager, still the same ***. I also tried running "Disk Checker" utility, but it says Windows can't access the drive. Basically, it knows the drive is plugged in, but can't open it or run files from it. This is really lame because i had about 30gigs of music and videos that i hadn't had a chance to back up and would take me weeks to retrieve. Anyone have any other ideas? Could this be an overheating issue? Thank you for your answers!