These are some real problems experienced by MK4050GACE and Toshiba hard drives in general that we see in our lab. We are not affiliated in any way with hard drive manufacturers. All the information below is based solely on our experience and we do not make any claims regarding reliability of the specific model. We see mostly failed drives in our lab and therefore we don't have complete statistics.
Drive MK4050GACE is detected on boot sometimes, but attempts to recover or read data fail. No clicking sounds, appears to power on and spin up properly. Tried running spinrite, wd data lifeguard diagnostics, wasn't able to see the drive most of the time.
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Toshiba is represented on HDD market with laptop and SCSI drives. Main problem with Toshiba drives so far is bad quality of bearings lubricant in some of the 2.5 inch families(most often GAS and GAX). We see this hard drive failure since 2007 with its peak later that year.
Typical symptoms are:
drive spins up with loud grinding/buzzing/rattling/whirring noise: , or in worst case it appears to be dead and doesn't spin up at all
drive is not found in BIOS
when holding it next to the ear you might hear slight ticking or scratching noise as if motor tries to spin up but cannot: .
If you attempt to boot up from such drive or read any data from it you would get "Primary Master Hard Disk Fail" or "No operating system found" or "USB Device malfunctioned" error or "S.M.A.R.T. Capable But Command Failed" or some other hard drive error on boot.
There had been a power outage overnight and I got "Operating system not found" on my computer in the morning. I bought an "IDE to USB" cradle but it would not read or spinup or be seen under the drivers section or as a disk. I assumed that the controller card was bad so I bought and identical disk (Toshiba(model MK4050GACE)) and moved the new PCB over and it spins up and is seen by the BIOS as a USB mass storage and comes up as a disk. I hear it spin and it sounds like the reader does the normal click like ready to read so I'm assuming that the firmware on the negative cyclinders is corrupt or something.
Denver, Colorado, USA
All this makes the data inaccessible and laptop usually fails to boot and user get "Hard drive not found" error. Normally data recovery companies would attempt swapping platters is such cases in order to retrieve data. This is one of the most difficult and therefore most expensive jobs in data recovery, but in our lab we have our own know-how technology that allows to deal with this problem without opening the drive and helps us keep prices much lower.
Another quite common symptom Toshiba drives have is clicking, knocking or sweeping sound. The drive spins up and the head starts clicking right away with a constant or intermittent sound: . This is a clear sign of a bad head and clean room combined with experience and equipment is essential here for successful data recovery.
There is one more problem that is typical for all manufactured hard drives: bad sectors. After some period of time magnetic media the platters are covered with starts to degrade and bad sectors appear. Whenever the drive hits such unreadable bad sector it could start freezing, scratching, ticking and sometimes loud clicking: . This leads to further damage to the surface and causes more data loss. As soon as you start experiencing such symptoms while reading important files stop the drive immediately and send it to a data recovery lab. Any further attempts would just add up to the problems. In our lab we use special imaging hardware tools that are capable of reading raw sector data ignoring checksum check. That's usually the only way to retrieve as much data as possible from these LBAs.
Windows Vista does not show as drive, but sees as mass storage under manage drives. However, drive does spin and click, then later stops as if ready to use, but no letter assigned drive to access. When I attempt to initialize via disk manager, it says Device Not Ready - It never becomes ready. I would like to retrieve the pictures and other files.
Toshiba drives also share some common laptop drives problems. One of them is heads sticktion to the platter surface. Heads are normally parked on the parking ramp outside of the platters, but sometimes due to a hit or abnormal termination they fail to return to their regular parking position and are left on the surface. Immediately after the motor stops spinning they stick to the ideally smooth surface and it becomes impossible to release them without proper tools and experience. In this case hard drive appears to be dead and in order to retrieve data it needs to be opened in clean room. Don't attempt to open the drive by yourself - chances are you will damage the heads and the surface and this will make your data unrecoverable.
If you experience any of the symptoms described above with your Toshiba MK4050GACE please feel free to contact us to get upfront quote on data recovery from your failed drive.
If you hear your Toshiba hard drive making some other unusual noises visit our Hard Drive Sounds page for more examples.
We have seen a number of websites lately cloning information from our pages.
Stay away from those companies. They can steal information but they can't steal knowledge and experience.
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