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Please Read if Your Drive Isn't "Recognized" Anymore. An Easy Primer and Tutorial.
on February 21, 2012
Many people have complained about the Toshiba 2.5" drives (of all capacities and price points) quickly 'dying' after a very short time. This opinion is prevalent on both Amazon and other shopping sites and even Toshiba's direct site itself.
I was in the same boat. My Canvio Basics failed to be "recognized" by my PC within 1 month. My 2-star rating reflects this.
HOWEVER, this is directed toward those who believe "all [my] valuable data is lost forever". I conjecture that 99% of the time it is not, and there is a relatively very simple & inexpensive fix.
The problem is most likely not with the drive itself but rather the 'bridge' circuitry between the drive and the USB connection. There is most likely nothing wrong with the drive itself, and thus nor is there anything wrong with your data. Such was also the case with me.
These drives, regardless of manufacturer or capacity, are essentially identical in their 'guts'. The difference is often nothing more than what you see: packaging, branding, bloatware, and other brand-specific identities. Indeed, crack open a lesser-known brand (Calvary, Fantom, etc.) and there's a good chance you will actually see Toshiba, Hitachi, Western Digital, or some other recognizable name's 'guts' inside.
Here is how to fix the problem.
1. Purchase a 2.5" SATA-to-USB enclosure. Amazon lists them for as little as $3. If you are fortunate enough to live close to a MicroCenter, they sell them for $6. Yes this is extra money and hassle, but your data is worth it, and I presume for many of you this is more convenient than dealing with returning the drive. You probably purchased this drive because it was over $6 cheaper anyway.
2. The drive casing is a 2-piece shell. Use an Exacto knife or boxcutter to gently pry/'slice' open the seam between the 2 pieces. Once you get it 'started' it will be quite easy to pop apart the rest of the fasteners.
3. From here it is simply a plug-and-play situation. Disengage ('unplug') the drive from the circuitry. Be gentle (use the wiggle method). Then 'plug' the drive into your new enclosure and, *Voila*.
There are several Youtube videos showing this as well.
Now, there are several sites/Youtube videos that claim this is not a permanent solution, due to the 'delicate balance' of the rubber bumpers in the original drive. I smell bull-manure, but only time will tell... maybe this new setup will last until the expected life of the drive, maybe it won't. Also, the $3/6 new enclosures will not support USB 3.0; you'll indeed have to shell out extra money for that. Regardless, this process will almost certainly buy you enough time to find another place for your data.
All is not lost! Hope this helps.