I had an email from my brother yesterday. He was having some difficulties with his hard drive that had his family pictures on and was getting some grief from his wife who was blaming him for losing the photos. He wrote: “I have a Fujitsu 100gb External usb hard drive that has stopped spinning. I last used it about two months,worked ok as i copied some music and photos to it.Tried to use it two days ago to transfer some photos,it did not fire up.It has a double usb cable,one for power, one for data transfer.The hard drive can be removed from the external case,and the hard drive can be removed from the usb connector.The drive shows up on my laptop,but I think it’s the connector showing.I need to recover the data on it,especially the photos. Any help would be grateful,and a idea of the cost please.”
The Fujitsu 100GB External hard drive you have is quite an old one. Early models used the double USB cable you described to power the drive and transfer data. My first question to ask you is have you changed the cable? I doubt that you have as the double USB cable was a short lived idea that was quickly replaced and is therefore quite a rare item.
You should be able to remove the hard drive from the case and plug in a normal SATA power and data cable to the drive – this will completely eliminate the connectors and cables and if it works then there’s obviously no problem with your hard drive and you’ll be able to copy off the data.
If you still have problems then you do indeed have a hard drive fault. What the fault is will require further investigation and you are welcome to contact us will you would like us to examine the hard drive for you. The cost of a normal data recovery service in the UK is usually between £400 and £600. But before you go off and start making calls to data recovery companies, why don’t you see if your work can sort it for you? Working for the Local Education Authority in the UK, I suggest you contact Jan Schon (see http://janschon.edublogs.org/) who does a lot with data recovery and works for the same people that you do. You may even get a better price if you go through her too.