Harddrive or External Enclosure

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I have a Maxtor 40GB HDD from my old dell computer installed in a Maddog USB
HDD Enclosure (MegaVault I think). Recently, when I turn on the enclosure,
the drive seems to whirl and pulse a bit. If I turn if off and on repetedly,
eventually the drive fires up. This last time I tried a number of times and
finally I just left it on for a minute or so and it finally read the drive.
Does this sound like the drive is going bad or is it more likely the
enclosure? I have moved all of the data from the drive to the installed hdd
on my computer so I'm not going to lose data, but I'm not sure which
component I need to replace?

Re: Harddrive or External Enclosure

Kevin wrote:

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Have you tried testing the HD by plugging it directly into the
computer's IDE controller or by testing another IDE HD in the

Some enclosures are poorly ventilated and make the HD really hot,
especially enclosures with internal power supplies.  Worse, the HD can
be mounted almost right against the bottom of the enclosure and block
off ventilation to the chips, so you may want to raise it up a bit
with some washers (real hardware stores sell nylon washers, in case
it's possible to short out the electronics).   I've drilled holes in
HD enclosures that couldn't accommodate fans because enclosures are a
lot cheaper than data.

Another reason to avoid enclosures with internal power supplies is
that some of those power supplies are badly made and not UL or CSA
approved for safety, and when it's not approved for safety, it's
almost always so badly made that it may be badly designed and built
and could damage the HD.  So to play it safe, stick with external
power packs.

Fatwallet.com has a very good, very long thread about drive


Re: Harddrive or External Enclosure

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I cannot test the HDD in the computer because the external drive has an ATA
connection and the desktop has no ports for it, only SATA, thus the need for
the external enclosure, AND I don't have any other ATA devices to test in
the enclosure. However, from your other points, the drive does fit fairly
tight in the enclosure, and, although the power supply is external, the
enclosure does get quite warm. Thus, I will assume the issue is with the HDD
limping along and will not recover. I suppose then, I will be in search of
another HDD. I will be sure to purchase one with  the proper connection.

Re: Harddrive or External Enclosure

Kevin wrote:
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Consider what you just wrote about the tight fit and warm temperature. Why
would you want to stick a new HDD in an enclosure like that? You'd be
better served by a new enclosure with proper cooling. You might even
consider buying a top quality external drive and scrapping your present
setup. The prices have never been lower and units <500gB are downright
cheap (IMHO, of course) if you watch for sales and rebates.

I'll have to admit that I built my own external USB drives but I already
had a stack of 200gB drives and easy access to enclosures with proper
ventilation so the money saved was significant but otherwise pre-built
drives would be a simple choice.

John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]

Re: Harddrive or External Enclosure

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Sorry John, I afraid you misunderstood what I said (or maybe I miswrote what
I meant). The current setup is the result of my taking the HDD from my old
pc to use with my new one, but the new pc did not have any ports to connect
the old HDD, thus the enclosure. Since I am now in a position where I will
need to purchase a new HDD, I will find one that will install inside my pc
tower. Sorry for the confusion.

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