How To Wipe/Recover Data On Drive You Can’t Access [SOLVED]

November 13th, 2020

This external hard drive died on me. First it stopped appearing in My Computer. The light on the bottom adapter went off. I tried unplugging the power and USB cords then re-plugged them back in but still the light wouldn’t turn on and I hear the drive spinning up and some clicks but shortly afterwards the drive powers down and turns off by itself.
Fortunately it is still under warranty. They sent me a replacement I got today and now I have to ship this back to them within 30 days. How do I wipe the data on it before I send it back when it doesn’t even turn on? Better yet, how can I recover the data that’s on it?

Answer #1
Depends on how worried you are about the information, or most importantly, who knows you have that information and wants it bad enough to intercept the drive before it gets to WD.
If I were you, I would just return it. We return anywhere from 10-30 drives a month. You can always pay your local shop like $20 bucks to degauss the drive for you.
Answer #2
The clicks usually mean that the read/write heads popped out. It’s one of the hardest drive defects to recover data from. You could try Recuva, or TestDisk, but I’m afraid they both aren’t going to work. There are company specialized in recovering data from disks like this, but it’ll cost you, big time. To wipe the data just get the biggest magnet you can find (it can’t be big enough), and pass it over the drive a couple of times. I’m not sure if this hurts your warranty tho.
Answer #3
Excellent. Will do the magnet thing since I don’t want to spend money having a shop degauss it. & Thank You both for your help, I appreciate it.


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