Featured Article

Hard Drive Failure

Hi there I have a query that I’m hoping you can help with. I have a small home network through which everyone in the house streams their movies and listens to their music via a Verbatim 1TB external disc drive. When I first purchased it and set the network up everything ran like clockwork and I was really pleased with the performance. Lately though the transfer rate seemed to have become slower and I wondered what the problem was so I did a little housekeeping and cleared off a load of old duplicated files that were of no significance. Anyway the Verbatim was allowing access to 3 Windows-based PCs and an Apple Mac but then two of the Windows machines stopped seeing it closely followed by the Apple. Then yesterday all the machines stopped seeing it altogether and regardless of what I do I can’t get access to any of the files on the disc through any means. My son reliably informs me that the drive is failing even though we can’t establish why. I need all contents of the disc copied off for safekeeping but can’t access the folders – do you have any suggestions? I contacted the company I bought it from and they agreed to replace it but could not guarantee the safety of my files.

A while ago I bought a Bipra 640GB USB 2.0 portable hard drive to use while I was away from home. The idea was a simple one; I would store all of my files on the Bipra and then copy them to my main computer when I got home and this would act as both a portable drive and an ongoing backup as well. I was pleased with the drive when it first arrived and it came preformatted to FAT32 so there was nothing to do but plug it into Windows. As I was using Windows XP I reformatted the FAT32 to NTFS and off I went happily saving my documents up and down the country as I travelled. When I got home however and tried to connect the computer to my home PC that was when the problems started. The USB ports would not recognize the drive at all; any of them. My first thought was that there was something wrong with the plug and play aspect of the drive but having checked the website I wasn’t able to find any firmware that would put this right. So my position is this – I have 640GB drive which is the thickness of two or three credit cards that runs off USB power but won’t allow me to do anything to any of the information on it. Will I ever be able to get the data off the drive or is that it stone dead now? I should also mention that when I plug in the USB the power light does come on but nothing more.