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Thread: USB HD Format Failed, Now Drive not "seen"

  1. #1
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    USB HD Format Failed, Now Drive not "seen"

    Anyone,

    I am really starting to think this is a hardware error but I am hoping for any help I can get!

    I have a 1.8" Toshiba 120gb HD in a case and connect it via USB. I ran fdisk to format it with the ext2 fs using gparted. It failed in the middle and now the drive is not recognized by any computer I plug it into. (Debian, Vista, XP, Ubuntu, OpenSolaris....none)

    Is there another way for me to format the drive. I can hear the drive powering up when I plug the USB in....

    I am thinking I shouldn't have bought the cheap drive on EBay

    Thanks in Advance
    If only I knew as much as I thought I did...

  2. #2
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    Re: USB HD Format Failed, Now Drive not "seen"

    Can post the output of
    sudo fdisk -lu
    with the external unplugged and then the output of sudo fdisk -lu when the drive is plugged into the usb.
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  3. #3
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    Re: USB HD Format Failed, Now Drive not "seen"

    Don't be confused, /dev/sdc is a different 120GB HD. The USB Drive used to show up as /dev/sdd.

    In case you don't want to read it all....they look exactly the same....

    Unplugged:
    Disk /dev/sda: 251.0 GB, 251000193024 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30515 cylinders, total 490234752 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xabacc689

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 63 478078334 239039136 83 Linux
    /dev/sda2 478078335 490223474 6072570 5 Extended
    /dev/sda5 478078398 490223474 6072538+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

    Disk /dev/sdb: 122.9 GB, 122942324736 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14946 cylinders, total 240121728 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x3eec3eeb

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 63 240107489 120053713+ 83 Linux

    Disk /dev/sdc: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders, total 234441648 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x5b6ac646

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdc1 63 234436544 117218241 7 HPFS/NTFS

    Plugged:
    Disk /dev/sda: 251.0 GB, 251000193024 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30515 cylinders, total 490234752 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xabacc689

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 63 478078334 239039136 83 Linux
    /dev/sda2 478078335 490223474 6072570 5 Extended
    /dev/sda5 478078398 490223474 6072538+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

    Disk /dev/sdb: 122.9 GB, 122942324736 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14946 cylinders, total 240121728 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x3eec3eeb

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 63 240107489 120053713+ 83 Linux

    Disk /dev/sdc: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders, total 234441648 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x5b6ac646

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdc1 63 234436544 117218241 7 HPFS/NTFS
    If only I knew as much as I thought I did...

  4. #4
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    Re: USB HD Format Failed, Now Drive not "seen"

    Hmmm...it's not recognized at all. May be a cheap drive from e-bay was not a great idea. This is a long shot, but can you post the output of
    cat /proc/partitions
    with the questionable drive plugged in.
    Windows is the best virus detector on the market!
    Ubuntu attracts Human Beings - Windows attracts viruses and worms

  5. #5
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    Re: USB HD Format Failed, Now Drive not "seen"

    Unfortunately that also only shows the original 3 HD's.

    I also notice that before the format failed if I booted the PC with the drive plugged in it would recognize it and would pause while it searched the disk for a boot agent. Now if I boot the PC with the HD plugged in, it does not do this...so it is not being recognized at all.

    I personally think the drive is toast, but am trying to exhaust all hope that my $150 is not gone...

    When I plug the drive in I can hear and fell the drive spinning up and I get the green light on the USB housing. Just nothing else is possible after that.

    Do you know of any tools, DOS based or other that I can use to try to reformat the drive? (I assume if the machine can't see the drive at all...then it doesn't really matter...

    Thanks in Advance
    If only I knew as much as I thought I did...

  6. #6
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    Re: USB HD Format Failed, Now Drive not "seen"

    Most drive manufacturers have a downloadable tool that will check the drive for errors and fix them if possible. I suspect that this won't help much if the drive cannot be 'seen'. One thing you could try, which again is a bit of a long shot, is to try testdisk and see if it recognizes the drive as sdd. Testdisk is a data/partition recovery tool. It can be installed in ubuntu
    sudo apt-get install testdisk
    and start it with
    sudo testdisk
    Here's the website that explains how to use it, also look here for further explanation. Good luck, test disk will often recognise partitions that other tools miss - you might be lucky.
    Windows is the best virus detector on the market!
    Ubuntu attracts Human Beings - Windows attracts viruses and worms

  7. #7
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    Re: USB HD Format Failed, Now Drive not "seen"

    OK....I got it viewable again. I put the HD in my Gigabeat and was able to see the disk so I blew away the partition table with Fdisk. Well I can see it in Debian, but not Ubuntu....
    If only I knew as much as I thought I did...

  8. #8
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    Re: USB HD Format Failed, Now Drive not "seen"

    Disk is now showing up as /dev/sda

    Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
    147 heads, 63 sectors/track, 25314 cylinders, total 234441648 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 234432953 117216476+ b W95 FAT32

    debian:/home/eric# cat /proc/partitions
    major minor #blocks name

    3 0 8388608 hda
    3 1 7976241 hda1
    3 5 409626 hda5
    8 0 117220824 sda
    8 1 117216476 sda1

    debian:/home/eric# fsck -t vfat /dev/sda1
    fsck 1.40-WIP (14-Nov-2006)
    fsck: fsck.vfat: not found
    fsck: Error 2 while executing fsck.vfat for /dev/sda1

    debian:/home/eric# dmesg | tail
    sda: Current: sense key: No Sense
    Additional sense: No additional sense information
    sda: Current: sense key: No Sense
    Additional sense: No additional sense information
    sda: Current: sense key: No Sense
    Additional sense: No additional sense information
    sda: Current: sense key: No Sense
    Additional sense: No additional sense information
    FAT: bogus number of reserved sectors
    VFS: Can't find a valid FAT filesystem on dev sda1.

    debian:/home/eric# mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/harddrive
    mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sda1,
    missing codepage or other error
    In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try
    dmesg | tail or so

    Currently running testdisk command on the drive
    If only I knew as much as I thought I did...

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