failed hard drives

Is My New Hard Drive Dead?

My Book

Episode 1705

Dan from Upland, CA

Dan bought a new 4TB external hard drive but his mac won't read it. It can see it, but Dan needs a workaround to get it working. Leo isn't a fan of giant drives because the larger they get, the less reliable they can be. But in this case, it doesn't sound like a bad drive, but a bad USB card in the enclosure. Leo suspects that the enclosure failed. So the trick will be to get an identical enclosure and card and see if it will read it. Leo also says that 4TB drive may actually be 2 TB drives in a RAID array. So look out for that. Dan says it's one drive, which is good news.

How can I get my computer to reboot?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1666

Mario from Franklin Park, IL

Mario recently replaced his hard drive with a Samsung Solid State Drive. Then he upgraded to Windows 10. The computer went to sleep. And now it won't come back on. He managed to get a boot menu by pressing F12. But nothing else. Leo says that means the screen is still good. But it could also mean that the hard drive died. Even though it's new, they can die out quickly. If your computer is old enough, it could be the CMOS battery has died and needs replacing. Check the date/time in the setup. If it thinks it's 1969, then that's what happened.

Why can't I read my hard drive?

Western Digital 6TB USB Drive

Episode 1468

Jonathan from Long Beach, CA

Jonathan plugged in an external drive but he can't see it on his Mac. It wants it to re-initialize. Leo says it could be a host of things from the drive, to the cable, to the USB port, to even a software error. So he'll have to break it down. First, unplug the drive and plug it into a new port. If he's using a USB hub, try directly into the computer instead. Make sure if it's a powered drive that it's getting power. Jonathan can run Disk Utility on the Mac and see if it sees the drive. If he sees it there, then that means that the drive is starting to fail or the formatting is corrupted.

Why can't I boot up my Intel SSD?

Episode 1461

Jim from Cameron, WI

Jim is having boot up issues with his computer. He gets an error on his SSD and Leo suspects that the drive is failing and the computer can't see the boot drive. Leo suspects that his SSD isn't meant to be a boot drive since it's an Intel hybrid drive. He shouldn't mess with it. It's not really two drives, it's one drive that appears as two.

Leo says if there's data on the drive, it's going to be tricky to recover it. The Dell recovery disks could help but chances are, he'll need a tech to get the data off it. It would be best to replace it with a dedicated SSD.

What do I do with a hard drive fail warning?

Episode 1248

Ann from Oceanside, CA

Ann is getting a warning that her hard drive is failing. How can she backup her data? Leo says to get an external USB drive and just drag and drop everthing over that. What about her favorites? Leo says she can export her favorites from the browser and email them to herself.

Leo says the computer should be still under warranty and if there's a warning, then it should be replaced. It could also be a false positive. Leo has never had a hard drive fail after a warning. They usually fail without warning. So she should back it up and then take it in to be looked at.