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WD Elements powers on but drive is quiet, won't appear in Windows - HELP


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9 replies to this topic

#1 krs000a

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 03:45 AM

I was using my Western Digital MyBook (sorry, not Elements, wrote wrong name in the subject but can't change it now) external HDD, all of a sudden it disappeared in Windows. I tried unplugging and plugging it back in, but it didn't help. Tried restarting the PC, didn't help either. The light on the drive came on as normal. The drive is not visible in Disk Management.
I then realized the drive was totally silent. I tried with a different power adapter (I have a total of six of these WD Element external HDDs), same problem.
Also tried a different USB cord, even though obviously that wouldn't help but just so I could say I have tried that. I tried it on a different PC too.
Btw, I am plugging the harddrive directly into the PC without any USB extension cords, and while the AC adapter normally goes into a "power strip" thing with 8 outlets, I have now tried it directly to the wall socket to no avail.
It seems the power is fine, I think the drive itself is the problem. Could there be some kind of connection between the power supply and the drive that has somehow gotten "unhooked"?

I am very pissed off now because this is the second time this happens to one of these WD MyBook drives. I lost alot of data thanks to it. I do have many WD Passport type drives as well, which powers up with USB power and don't require AC power, and none of those drives have failed me so far. Makes me wonder if I should just copy the remaining WD Element drives' contents to passport drives and get rid of those awful MyBooks, because this makes me paranoid.

Please, if you have any suggestions what I could try, do share. My priority is to save the disk's contents, I could care less about the useless HDD itself.
Thank you so much for reading.


Edited by krs000a, 20 March 2016 - 03:49 AM.


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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 07:30 AM

Get yourself a USB Adapter.  Most likely the drive is SATA, but depending on age it could be IDE.  You will need to pull the drive from the case to connect it to the USB adapter.

 

Your chances of success are about 50/50.  I've seen a lot of the controller board fail on external drives, but the drives themselves fail almost as regularly.



#3 krs000a

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 02:06 AM

Get yourself a USB Adapter.  Most likely the drive is SATA, but depending on age it could be IDE.  You will need to pull the drive from the case to connect it to the USB adapter.

 

Your chances of success are about 50/50.  I've seen a lot of the controller board fail on external drives, but the drives themselves fail almost as regularly.

Thanks, will try that. I actually was thinking perhaps I should try that but wasn't sure if it would do much good.

Do you know if the WD Passport size drives fail just as often as the MyBook drives do? It seems odd a drive just dies like that after just being a couple years old. I think through the 30+ years of using computers, I have only had one (1) internal hdd die on me. Not sure why external drives would be more fragile?


Edited by krs000a, 21 March 2016 - 02:07 AM.


#4 SkyWolf2012

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 02:51 AM

I saw this and I thought to let you know the WD MyBook internal hard drives are encrypted. You will not be able to get at the data if you remove the drive from its housing.

DON'T DO ANYTHING; Go to their support forum for options.

https://community.wd.com/

If all else fails then do the following;

you could buy another WD My Book hdd and swap out the drives. But like the other guy said, its 50/50, and you could just be throwing good money after bad.

I wish you the very best of luck.

#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 04:33 PM

More info on MYBook Encryption here. Supposedly encryption is optional but as SkyWolf2012 posted head over to the WD forums.

 

https://carltonbale.com/western-digital-mybook-drive-lock-encryption-failure-and-recovery/

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpwt13uDDZo



#6 SpywareDoc

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 05:03 PM

krs000a, on 21 Mar 2016 - 03:06 AM said:

Do you know if the WD Passport size drives fail just as often as the MyBook drives do?

FWIW, I purchased a "WD My Passport 2TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 Black" from Amazon.com on "12/23/2012" and couldn't be happier. It lives in my right back pocket and is used pretty much daily. Plug it in to a USB port and "Da Dink", she's ready to go. :)



#7 SkyWolf2012

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 02:31 AM

krs000a, on 21 Mar 2016 - 03:06 AM said:

Do you know if the WD Passport size drives fail just as often as the MyBook drives do?

FWIW, I purchased a "WD My Passport 2TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 Black" from Amazon.com on "12/23/2012" and couldn't be happier. It lives in my right back pocket and is used pretty much daily. Plug it in to a USB port and "Da Dink", she's ready to go. :)


I personally wouldn't put all my eggs in a WD 2.5" form factor basket. Should you ever be unfortunate to have a failed My Passport drive, opening them up reveals the SATA USB connection soldered on the internal drive itself. This renders DIY data recovery impossible. :(

IMO, WD Elements 3.5 inch drives are the better choice for large data storage.

See here with the older version of the My Passport 2.5 inch drive.


And also see here. The guy makes a video about dismantling the My Passport Ultra HDD. Watch, to his disappointment, he realizes it doesn't have the standard SATA bridge connection. :(

Edited by SkyWolf2012, 22 March 2016 - 02:32 AM.


#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 08:21 AM

If you are considering a portable then always have your important data in two locations. Keeping your eggs in one basket is the key phrase here. You may want to look at getting a 2.5 Hard drive and put it in a generic enclosure. At least if the bridge card on the enclosure fails you can easily recover the data. 

 

On a WD with the integrated bridge card you have two chances for failure, the USB bridge circuit and the soldered USB connector. You don't want to find yourself trying to recover data because of a broken connector.

 

http://www.datarecoverytools.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/data-recovery-from-usb-only-western-digital-drives.jpg



#9 krs000a

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 07:01 AM

Thank for you all your replies and the Youtube links, I will check them out next!

Before reading your replies, I had already ordered a cheap USB adapter from a China site, with the intentions of plugging the hdd in that way. I did not add any encryption (although I knew this was an option). Actually, I believe I had at some point formatted the harddrive, and the WD files that came on the drive when I bought it are gone. If this would somehow remove the encryption feature, I am happy now afterward that I did what I did.

Anyways, the warranty is already expired and I've been in contact with WD support team, all they advised was to turn the drive over to a data rescue lab and pay for the service.

PS: I have many, many 2.5" WD drives (probably 10+), and so far none of them have failed. But from now on I will start keeping my data on two separate drives. Odds that both fails simultaneously should be rather low.



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 07:46 AM

It may sound extreme but if the data on the drives are very important to you and if lost would not be replaceable consider putting one of the drives offsite. You can also use cloud storage and encrypt it if the data is personal. Google gives you 15GB of cloud storage on OneDrive. I believe Amazon also gives you cloud storage if you have a Prime Account.






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