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External USB hard drive no longer mounts or powers up

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  • Root Admin

Figured I'd post the following in case it helps anyone else out there with a failed USB drive.

I purchased a Seagate Portable 5TB External Hard Drive HDD – USB 3.0 for PC Laptop and Mac (STGX5000400) on  April 11, 2019 and it failed last night. It would no longer power up. I changed to another USB port, no change. Restarted my computer, no change. Changed the USB cable to a new cable, no change. Took the drive to another computer and plugged it in, no change. This is my main source drive that I keep all my working files on and then do backups to other drives. It was backed up a day ago so not a huge loss if I couldn't get it working again, but at 1AM it was still troubling for me as you wonder if there was some updated file that was not backed up yet before the failure. Since the drive was no longer working I had nothing to lose and I cracked open the case. Then I removed the SATA bridge card from the 2.5" normal SATA hard drive and plugged it into my Vantec USB 3.0 to 2.5" SATA HDD Adapter.

Like magic the drive powered right up and mounted normally. This is a pretty common issue for external drives. In fact it even happens on some internal drives that use junk controllers but depending on the model may be a bit harder to change out at home as you probably don't have dozens of old drives lying around like one might in an IT Dept or Repair Shop.

I have and use the following adapters to help me work with hard drives from various computers. Extremely handy to have around.

Vantec USB 3.0 to 2.5" SATA HDD Adapter with case (CB-STU3-2PB)

Vantec SATA/IDE to USB 3.0 Adapter (CB-ISA225-U3)

I'm sure there are YouTube videos out there that discuss this if you need more information about it. I've been doing Enterprise IT Support for many years now so I've come across this issue many times before.



Edited by AdvancedSetup
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I used an older USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter NewerTech SuperSpeed. I'm sure one of yours is similar. What happens from what I understand is the power supply that powers up the USB drive goes bad but I had no issues getting all the data back off an old Western Digital USB drive. I'm pretty sure I still have pictures of everything.

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