Hello, I have a Packard Bell Store & Save 3500 external hard drive that has stopped working.  When it was working I noticed that it would be warm then, for no apparent reason - hadn't been dropped, unplugged, wet etc, it went cold and stopped working.  When it is plugged in to the usb port it does not register on 'my computer'.  I bought a new lead thinking this might be the problem, however, it remains the same.  Is there any way of resolving this?  Can I take it somewhere and have the data restored or is it totally capoot?  Thanks in advance




There are places to go to recover the data on the drive, but it's a very expensive process and only worth it to do if you have lots of cash, and the DATA is THAT critical to you. Many businesses carry insurance that pays for such data recovery, but even the insurance costs a lot.

I have taken external drives apart before, pulled out the drive, and hooked them up internally to a computer with success.

If the logic board on the HDD is bad, you can often buy a matching drive and swap the boards between the drives to recover your data. This only costs the price of an identical drive, and costs far less than professional data recovery does.

If, as you say, the external drive was getting hot, it's cooling fan probably failed. That excessive heat probably ruined the power circuitry inside the box. The drive inside is probably still good.


Great advice. The first thing I would try as was suggested is take the hard drive out of the enclosure and plugging it directly into a computer and seeing what you get.

Hard drive recovery could cost you thousands of dollars if the drive is shot.


I have done the similar HD recovery using the techniques that realneil has mentioned with success. the only times I had considered purchasing an identical HD to .swap boards was only when the data stored was worth the bit of time and additional expense.

Even-though I did not look up your actual HD enclosure,  if the model has an AC adapter they sometimes need to be replaced,as well.

By the way ...Welcome to HH Cheetalah [:)]


I can attest to the controller swap. We've done it a work a few times, however it is not guaranteed.

If any internals have gone bad for example, bad sectors, a messed up read/write head then you might be SOL. Even a failing controller can sometimes corrupt data on the disk and replacing the controller board may be too little too late.

At least if you attempt a board swap and it doesn't work, you can just put it back on the new drive and (assuming you were careful with it, duh) you will have a new drive so its not like a complete waste of $$$.

Also, try looking into a program called HDAT2 to test the drive. Can test for and sometimes repair bad sectors, display S.M.A.R.T. errors, etc.


Good luck.


P.S. If you try a swap, the drive must be IDENTICAL. sometimes even coming down to the revision number on the logic board.

  •  acarzt
  • 100% (Exalted)
  • Advanced Member

I should also add... if you take out the logic board and swap it into that drive, you need to move your data off that drive ASAP!

Hard drives are suppsed to stay sealed and have only a small hole to let air in and out.

The platters need to stay absolutely clean or data can be corrupted, you'll get bad reads and writes, the head can become damaged, the head can great scratched and you will lose large chunks of data and capacity. By opening a hard drive you are severely shortening it's lifespan.

So.... Back up your data off that drive if you are finally able to get to it and toss the drive when you're done.

You should also look into investing in a RAID. WIth a $/GB these things are going for... there is hardly a reason to go without a RAID. They are too easy to setup and they save lives!


I have a Packard Bell Store & Save 3500 external hard drive with the same problem. i accidently unpluged it which ive done a few times but this time it stoped functioning properly it starts up but just keeps ticking ive looked at the board attached and it looks like a part on it has burned out if this is the same problem how can it be resolved or renew the part as i have my marrige photos and the birth of one of my sons is there  apart to fix it please reply with a part and where to find it  as ive been searching for ages thanks ps ive just joined so i dont know if this the place to put this thanks for any help


Can you post a picture of the part?

Usually you have to find the exact same drive and revision of board and swap them out to fix the problem. If the hard drive has just a standard sata connection though you might be able to remove it from the enclosure and plug it in directly.