Posts tagged with "fault"

It's Western Digital Question Time

Lately I've had a lot of faulty Western Digital hard drives to deal with. Some people are wanting them repaired, others are wanting the data taking off of them. Here are some of the enquiries:

I own a WD Passport external hard drive (1TB) which has stopped appearing on laptop so I am unable to access my files. It appears on 'open devices' on the laptop and the files are accessible when I plug it into my tv. When plugged into my laptop I hear a faint clicking sound. How much would it cost to recover my files?

Is it possible to get a budget quote to recover the data from a failed Hitachi HTS541616J9SA00 laptop HDD please? The drive makes a mechanical clicking noise on power up and does not register as an accessible device from the OS.

Western Digital MyPassport external hard drive has started clicking, and does not show up on my computer. It is formatted to a Mac.

My Passport Ultra 2TB (bought 25/10/2016) has stopped working, when I unplug-plug it starts, lights on, spins, but beeps 7 times, pause, 3 times, pause, 3 times and stops, sometimes in loops (7-3-3). After a few research, I assumed the problem is from the hardware. It didn't dropped, it is always safely connected as a backup disc, I had to carry it with me several times, always in safe conditions. First, I would like to know if I can do something about it on my own first or extract the datas with you without breaking the warranty, as you do not appear an the official WD's list.

The HD can't be opened from any device.

Drive spins up but is not recognised by BIOS or by Windows. Possible controller issue? If possible would like it repaired, but if not the photos and documents in the user area are my priority. 2TB Seagate Barracuda, DOM 07/12

I have an encrypted hard drive that is not allowing me to access my files. typically, when I plug in the Seagate external hard drive, a message pops up and asks for my password. Now, when I plug it it, I do not get a prompt for a password. I can see my folders and files, but when I try to access them, I get a message that says I do not have access. It has not been dropped/ damaged. I really need to access the data! Hope this is something you can deal with.

Fault Finding on Dell Servers

Lets say your server falls over - what are you going to do?
Dell logoThe first thing most of us would do would be to perform what's known as a 'power cycle'. This is a technical term for 'switch it off and switch it back on again'. So the next time you do this, simply tell people that you power cycled the device and everything worked again and they'll look at you all impressed while they wonder what 'power cycling' actually is.

Although many of us do it, power cycling can be very detrimental in certain circumstances.  Its not a problem if we do it to our mobile phones if they crash for some reason, but a rule of thumb is the larger the system and the amount of data, the more risky it is the power cycle. This is especially true on Dell servers - and in particular Dell RAID servers.

Why Power Cycling is Bad on Dell Servers

Any device that processes a lot of data, whether it be a server, RAID, external hard drive, is going to encounter problems if it is power cycled. This is because storage devices and particularly Dell systems write data to their storage disks almost continuously, and one of the operations best avoided with any Dell system is to perform a power cycle when data is being written to the hard drives.

It's impossible to tell when data is being written the the disks on Dell systems, but if the write operating is interrupted it can easily lead to data corruption which is obviously very damaging.

How Does The Data Corrupt?

According to Dell experts Data Clinic, data corruption occurs because not all data that is scheduled to be written to the disks is actually written. They have documented the failure process on Dell servers (in this case the Dell MD1000) on their page at The process works as follows

  • Data to be written to disk is transferred into the server's memory cache
  • A write operation that transfers the data from the cache and writes it to the disks in actioned
  • A power cycle interrupts this process before it is completed and the operation is not completed correctly. This corrupts the data.

What To Do?

If you run Dell servers and encounter problems like this I strongly advocate that you don't try and sort the problem yourself: data corruption is a very tricky issue and more often than not you'll end up making the situation worse. Instead call in a data recovery company like Data Clinic who will be able to help you. Other data recovery service providers can be found at and

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