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Hard Drive Failure

Seagate STBX500200 500GB expansion drive has died. Literally. There was no warning, no noises, and no flashing lights, not a thing. It simply just stopped working and now I can’t get any computer in the office to recognize it. I tried a different power cable on it, tried using it with a different USB cable, the whole nine yards but nothing. I rang Seagate who were very polite in their answers and told me that they could replace it because it was under warranty but I’m not too bothered about the actual drive as I got it in a sale. The data on there is the important thing but they have quoted me an astronomical figure to try and retrieve it even though they say there is a risk and they might not succeed (but I will be charged anyway). Thinking back to the last time I used the drive there was nothing out of the ordinary that happened. It wasn’t dropped, moved or had anything spilled on it. I’m at a total loss but need help retrieving what I can. Can you help me with this? I’m happy to pay but not the sorts of money the manufacturer wants me to pay?

I’m a bit of a sucker for limited editions and special editions so I bought a limited edition Samsung M2 500GB USB 2.0 external drive with Michael Jackson livery and the concert movie pre-loaded. It was a great buy at the time and I have had a lot of use out of it but lately it has stopped recognizing the computer its attached to or any other computer for that matter. It keeps showing an error message that says ‘cyclic redundancy error’ and I have no idea what that means although what I can tell you is that the drive slowed down a hell of a lot before it stopped recognizing anything. I’ve been in touch with Samsung (now Seagate) and they’ve told me that I would have to pay – wait for it – £600 in order for them to attempt to recover my data. Notice I said attempt because they cannot guarantee the safe recovery of my data. The other problem I discovered is that the drive would never store large file sizes so I was always limited to the size of file I could save. Now I have a drive with a lot of information I’d like to get at but refuse – on principle – to pay Samsung/Seagate that amount of money when I know there are others who can do it cheaper and with a better success rate, hence my writing to you.