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External hard drive malfunction

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#1 lanya13


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Posted 13 March 2018 - 05:33 PM


I have a WD My Passport 0730 external hard drive which worked fine up to 2 weeks ago. When I connect to the USB port, it no longer shows up in the File Explorer until I refresh. However when I do this, An empty unidentified E Drive device appears. While it scans for files, laptop processes slowsdown e.g. loading web pages. Sometimes it will issue a device malfunction notification. I've changed the cable and used in different USB ports with same results. My other hard drive opens with no issues.


Are files retrievable or is there anyway to repair?


I use a Dell 15 Inspiron with Intel Core i7 processor. The operating system is Microsoft 10.


Many thanks in advance for assistance/ advice.




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#2 JohnC_21


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Posted 13 March 2018 - 05:55 PM

You can attempt to check the drive using WD diagnostic software but doing a check on the drive can send it over the edge where any chance of file recovery will be smaller or you can boot a live linux disk like Mint Cinnamon and hopefully recover all your files intact.


WD DataLifeguard Software


I have had success at retrieving files using linux on a drive that choked on Windows but there are no guarantees that this will work for you. 


Mint Cinnamon


Firstly if you are going to attempt to recover using a live linux disk you should disable Fast Startup In Windows 10


After disabling Fast Startup open an elevated command prompt (Windows key + X> command prompt as admin) This could be called powershell. Type the following commands.

powercfg.exe /hibernate off
shutdown /s /f /t 0

The above steps will give you read/write privileges in linux. After shutdown boot the computer and enter your UEFI settings (Tap F2 at boot). If Secureboot is enabled disable it. If the computer was pre-installed with Windows 7 Secureboot will not be in your settings. 


Download the Mint Cinnamon iso file. You can burn the iso to a DVD by right clicking and selecting Burn Disk Image. If you do not have a spare DVD you can create a bootable USB flash drive using Rufus. Attach your spare flash drive and run Rufus. Select MBR partition scheme. Leave all boxes as checked. Where you see FreeDos in the dropdown box select iso image. Click the icon and browse to the iso file of Mint. Press Start.


Note: If you cannot get the flash drive to boot select GPT for a partition scheme and repeat the steps.




Attach the flash drive or have the DVD in your optical drive. Power on the computer and tap F12. This should give you a boot menu where you can select the bootable device.


When Mint is booting do not input anything. Wait for it to reach the desktop. At the desktop attach your WD external drive. If Mint can mount it an icon will appear on the desktop and a File Manager window will open showing the contents of the drive. Next Click the Computer icon on the desktop. In the lower left pane you will see your Windows hard drive with a size shown in GBs. Click on this and you should see your Windows drive contents. You can copy the files from your WD external to you internal Windows drive. 

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