Posted 23 July 2010 - 10:27 AM
I also had a Western Digital 160GB MyBook. I had a similar problem as you did. Starting with the random disconnects, and then being able to disconnect the hard drive when I want. My hard drive eventually started clicking (clicks of death, I'm sure you've heard of it) whenever it would turn on, which lead to its eventual demise. I ended up disassembling it and using a USB to PATA/SATA adapter to recover the data off it.
I am guessing this external has been with you for a few years at this point. I would recommend backing up the data and looking into something a bit bigger and sturdier. The fact that simply using the PATA/SATA to USB adaptor solved the problem signaled to me that the build in converter that is inside the external isn't meant to last and simply just breaks down over time. Also the MyBooks came formatted as FAT32 I believe. My new external is NTFS which is really useful when you want to hold individual files that are very large (FAT32 can't handle files larger than...3 or 4 gigs or something like that).
I like to think I know a bit about computers, I apologize if my advice is not sound or clear. I try my best to give good answers.
Line of Defense
aVast! | Comodo | Malwarebytes