External hard drive - gone dark

  juliabuckley 17:53 24 Jul 08

My ancient PC finally bit the dust a couple of days ago, so I've splashed out on a new laptop and bought a caddy to rescue my old hard drive. I set everything up this morning and all seemed to be working fine. The caddy worked and I could access all my old files.

So I went through deleting everything I didn't need on the old hard drive... And I think this might've been where I messed up....

I think I deleted pretty much everything except My Documents on the caddied drive, because I thought it'd work now like a USB stick and wouldn't need any of it's own files to operate. It seemed to work no problem straight after I deleted the files, but a few hours later I tried to open the drive again and it won't open. It no longer appears in My Computer and I'm getting a message from the shortcut I made on the desktop saying the drive is unavailable.

I'm using Windows Vista.

Please help, I have lots of work on the drive I really need to access.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:02 24 Jul 08

Yes it should work like a memory stick.

tried removing and refitting in the USB port?

  juliabuckley 18:04 24 Jul 08

Well that's a relief, I was feeling really angry with myself thinking I'd caused it.

Yeah, tried unplugging and replugging everything - the usb, power, everything inside the caddy box.

Running out of ideas, but if it's not the deleting the files maybe there's something wrong with the caddy. It did work earlier though.

  sinbads 18:09 24 Jul 08

Is there a powwer light on the caddy, can you hear the drive in the caddy working?

  juliabuckley 18:14 24 Jul 08

Well, there's a green light on the front, which is flashing intermittently. I'm not sure whether it's a power light though or one to show the disk is being read. I can't hear any sound coming from it.

  sinbads 18:26 24 Jul 08

You should be able to hear the drive running as soon as the power is connected, not sure about the flashing light normally the caddy light comes on when the power is connected .

check all connections to, and inside your caddy Put your ear close to the caddy should be humming,

  juliabuckley 18:37 24 Jul 08

I've checked all the connections, everything seems firmly in place, but there's no humming - do you think it could be a problem with the power?

  sinbads 18:44 24 Jul 08

Thats what i'm thinking i assume its a 240v mains adaptor usually 12v output, the only way to check those is with a volt meter, check the wire and the jackplug going into your caddy could be a bad connection

  gazzaho 19:31 24 Jul 08

If the drive is IDE rather than SATA check that the jumper is set to master on the drive although this probably isn't the cause of the failure as you have been able to access it already, but it's worth a try.

  grey george 20:10 24 Jul 08

Why did the old pc die? It maybe the hdd was on the way out and all the use you have just given it has finished it off. Some caddy's don't allow enough cooling so after a lot of use the drive may over heat. Try another devise in the usb slot and restart your laptop.

  juliabuckley 20:44 24 Jul 08

You could have a point there grey george, I did notice that it was very warm when I picked it up when I first spotted that it wasn't working.

I'll see if I can find a way to try out the drive in another computer tomorrow - it's going to be tricky with only the documents left on there, maybe I can try and see if it works as a slave to another hard drive...

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