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Windows 7: WD External Hard drive not recognized


15 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 x64
 
 
WD External Hard drive not recognized

I have a My Book Essential 1TB External. I'm on Windows 7 x64. After I updated I've been getting a lot of bugs and extreme lag. I would click on the drive in My Computer, enter my HD password and the drive would open up with all my folders, etc. But then when I wanted to drag folders from my External onto my PC hard drive it would freeze up and automatically quit? Windows would no longer show the External as attached to my computer. No matter how many times I click on the icon in the task bar for WD SmartWare, it will never come back up. I have to restart my PC everytime so I can renter the External. I then installed all WD software from the Control Panel, didn't change anything or help at all.

I have no clue what to do or what has happened, but my External HD is pretty much useless right now. I have very important files on there, I need to get access to this immediately.


Please help!



EDIT: Now my PC has trouble recognizing the External. I tried it on my Laptop also, it doesn't show anything. It shows up under disk management sometimes. For example it'll show up then simply disappear.


Finally after restarting my PC a bunch of times and switching USB ports back and forth, this CD DRIVE E: icon appeared for the WD UNLOCKER. Whenever I try and double click on it to open it up, the green bar appears to load as seen below, then the icon just disappears, it will not open anything.





When the "CD Drive (E:\) WD Unlocker appears like above, my external HD will briefly appear under DISK MANAGEMENT. It shows up then just goes away along with the E:\ drive icon. I don't know if the USB cable that connects the External to my PC is bad or not? My external was working an hour before all this happened, so I don't understand what is happening?


Also, when I click on "Devices and Printers", an icon appears with "My Book 1130". This is what is shows.







My External does light up when plugged into my PC and turns off when removed. I can hear a ticking sound which sounds like the HD working? All these problems seemed to start after I updated to WD SmartWare 1.5.1.6. I even unistalled all the WD software. For some reason whenever I try to install "WDSmartWare_Software_Upgrader_for_Windows_1.5.1.6 " it just sits there and hangs, doesn't do anything.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Nov 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Hello bal1985 and welcome to Seven Forums.

You say "after I updated" you began having issues. What exactly did you update and can you undo the update? If this doesn't help you might have some damaged or corrupt drivers for your external HD. You can check the Western Digital site for the latest drivers.

WD Support / Downloads / Select Product

Another possible problem is if the USB cord got switched out. Sometimes a longer cord causes a detection problem ( data and/or voltage is compromised.)

Also, something may have scrambled the assigned drive letter causing the drive not to be recognized. Try changing the drive letter.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...ndows-7-a.html

Please post back and let us know if anything helped solve the issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

If you look at the forums on the WD website you will see lots of people unhappy with smartware software. ex.: What on EARTH is this useless Smartware software? - Western Digital Community

You do not need any 3rd party software to run an external drive with Windows. I usually delete everything preloaded on these drives before I start using them. I never install any software for a hard drive. If there are any features in the software that you might find useful I can assure you that there are better stand-alone programs that do the same thing.

You may need to uninstall the problematic software to get this drive to function normally, but you must recover/backup your important files from it first. I would not uninstall the Smartware program until I did so.

Try the suggestions marsmimar gave you. See if you can connect long enough to copy your files.

One of our regulars, gregrocker, always suggests these for recovering files from non-reponsive drives:
Try this method using the Windows 7 Install DVD or Repair CD to copy out stranded data: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console - Windows 7 Forums

If that fails, try this: Paragon rescue disk; change drive letter; recover data

Or use the Knoppix to copy the files over to external or another HD, then wipe and format the problem HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I took a screenshot of "Disk Management" to show you what it says. I'm not quite sure what this means but here you go: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/4.png

All the comes up is the "WD Unlocker". I tried changing the drive letter, so I changed it from E: to K:. It changed but nothing happened. When I try to click on it to bring up the password screen, it just disappears. I then have to restart my PC a bunch of times to get the "WD Unlocker" to come up again. The My Book drive does not show next to the C: drive though.

I think it does show up under "Device Manager", under the name of "My Book 1130". I'm assuming this is my External drive. Here is a screenshot: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/2.png

I do have a power strip/surge strip that I've been using, I never had any problems. My Book was working fine all night yesterday, then an hour later I start getting these problems. So I don't see how the power strip could be a problem. Because I also plug it into the wall outlet also, nothing changed.

I have Windows 7 x64 and everything is up to date, like I said my External hard drive was working fine for the past few months and all the way up until last night. I haven't update Windows 7 or changed anything, so Windows should not be effecting the hard drive. I did remove all the WD Smartware, I wanted to see if that would fix anything. Now when I try to install "WDSmartWare_Software_Upgrader_for_Windows_1.5.1.6" it just freezes at the installation screen, for some reason it wont install?

I've tried plugging my external hdd into several USB ports, on the front and back of my PC. I even tried plugging it into my Laptop, I get nothing. I've tried the front and back on my PC and the side on my Laptop, I've tried every port. I have no tried a different USB cable, I only have the Cable that came with my external hard drive. Where could I get one, as I really do not have the money for this. This external hard drive is not old at all, and has been working fine, I don't see how this could just break? Also, I seemed to get all these problems after I updated to the latest WD Smartware. I hadn't updated in awhile, so I went to my Product support page and downloaded the last WD Smartware. Maybe something is corrupt and not allowing me to use it? I did go into Add/Remove programs in the Control Panel and removed the WD software.

I also have a Airless USB plugged in to my PC, that works. I also have a Wireless Keyboard that is plugged in to. No problems with those at all as I'm typing now with my Wireless Keyboard/Mouse. And yes the External doesn't seem to work on my Laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

You need to work on recovering and/or backing up your data from that external hard drive. The reason is because to truly reverse the assumed problem, that seems to be pretty obviously caused by the Smartdrive software upgrade, you may need to format the drive as well as uninstall the software. Formatting the drive will destroy all of the data on the drive.

You can buy a data cable almost anywhere. You want to pay attention to the connector that goes into the drive. Most use a mini USB connector, but some of these newer drives are using a proprietary connector. You want a cable that is short and thick.

Your Disk Management shows 6 Hard Drives and 2 CD/DVD drives. Does this match reality? If so, what are the 6 Drives?

Your C: drive is a single partition on a single 640GB drive.
Drive N: looks like a Manufacturer's Recovery Partition.
WD Unlocker E: looks like a CD/DVD Data Disk in UDF format. It is not your external drive. It is that CD-ROM 1 Drive shown.

Now, Disk #5 looks like your external drive. It is 1TB. It is not initialized.
You could try and initialize it, that would make it visible to Windows, but I am nervous of what this might do to your data (You need to work on backing up your data!). I will ask around to see if this would be an issue.

In the meantime, more information about your system - reality vs reported - would be most helpful.

EDIT: You may not be able to initialize the drive without formatting it. You need to back up your data.
There is no reason to believe that the drive did not just die. It would not be the first time. Working to back up your data will also determine whether the drive is dead or is just not being recognized.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
You need to work on recovering and/or backing up your data from that external hard drive. The reason is because to truly reverse the assumed problem, that seems to be pretty obviously caused by the Smartdrive software upgrade, you may need to format the drive as well as uninstall the software. Formatting the drive will destroy all of the data on the drive.

You can buy a data cable almost anywhere. You want to pay attention to the connector that goes into the drive. Most use a mini USB connector, but some of these newer drives are using a proprietary connector. You want a cable that is short and thick.

Your Disk Management shows 6 Hard Drives and 2 CD/DVD drives. Does this match reality? If so, what are the 6 Drives?

Your C: drive is a single partition on a single 640GB drive.
Drive N: looks like a Manufacturer's Recovery Partition.
WD Unlocker E: looks like a CD/DVD Data Disk in UDF format. It is not your external drive. It is that CD-ROM 1 Drive shown.

Now, Disk #5 looks like your external drive. It is 1TB. It is not initialized.
You could try and initialize it, that would make it visible to Windows, but I am nervous of what this might do to your data (You need to work on backing up your data!). I will ask around to see if this would be an issue.

In the meantime, more information about your system - reality vs reported - would be most helpful.

EDIT: You may not be able to initialize the drive without formatting it. You need to back up your data.
There is no reason to believe that the drive did not just die. It would not be the first time. Working to back up your data will also determine whether the drive is dead or is just not being recognized.
Here is a screenshot of My Compute which shows my drives. My PC has a bunch of slots in the front for SD/CM/MS etc. I'm assuming that is whats its for?
disk 5 is is my External, disk 6 is for my wireless usb connector, the rest I dont use.





Ive been talking to WD throught their email service. This is the last message I sent them:
Quote:
When I plug the External drive into my computer this is the only thing I see. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/1.png
E: WD Unlocker shows up but If I click on it in any way it disappears and then I have to restart my PC. I also have to restart my PC several times to even get the WD Unlocker to show up in "My Computer" but like I said I can't do anything with it.

I did use Data LifeGaurd, here are the screenshots:
1) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/5.png
2) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/6.png
3) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/7.png

When I open up "Devices and Printers" from the Control Panel, "My Book 1130" shows up. Here are some screenshots:
1) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/2.png
2) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/3.png
3) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/3.png

And when I open "Disk Management" I get this:
1) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/4.png
2) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/5.png
3) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/6.png
4) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4598810/7.png

I do get a "Too Many Bad Sectors Detected" error. I also attached all the images for you.
They told me my HDD is to bad to repair because I got that error above. I dont know what to do? How could I do a backup like your telling me to do. I have no expierence in this. I do have Acronis True Image Home 2011 and other programs too. Just never used them. I'm extremely upset that this happened and they don't want to take any responsibility. I cant afford to pay someone to recover my data, its a lot of money. On the other hand I have every picture on there since my son was born so I might have to shell out a few bucks to get it done.

WD is sending me a replacement cable, but the time it gets here who knows if my HDD will still work at all?

And your saying that the WD Unlocker E: drive I'm seeing is not my external HD? If thats not it then my HD is not showing up at all. That is all I can see on "My Computer". So if I was doing a backup, what would I actually be backing up if nothing is their?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #7

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

You have my sympathies, really. I had a recent WD 2TB drive fail suddenly on me. Only a few months old, and it started getting sector failures. I ran the WD software on it. Told me the drive was not repairable.

But ... I was able to connect the drive using a hard drive USB adapter and cable and copy off the files I really needed. You might have to try doing the same.

If it's not showing up in Disk Management as being assigned a letter, I would not "initialize" it. I'm not sure, but there's a chance that will reformat the drive -- not wiping out your files, but making it harder to access them.

That said, I have used GetDataBack for NTFS from Runtime Software in the past, and it did a great job at recoving lost files and data. You can download the trial version for free, run it against the drive -- and see what it finds. You have to purchase it to do data recovery, but it may be worth doing that if only for peace of mind in recovering your files NOW before the drive gets any worse. I think it costs around $80 USD for a single license.

Then, you could try "initializing" the drive, and if that makes it visible again, you could have a go at copying off the files you want to save.

Your data -- your money -- your choice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #8

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
You have my sympathies, really. I had a recent WD 2TB drive fail suddenly on me. Only a few months old, and it started getting sector failures. I ran the WD software on it. Told me the drive was not repairable.

But ... I was able to connect the drive using a hard drive USB adapter and cable and copy off the files I really needed. You might have to try doing the same.

If it's not showing up in Disk Management as being assigned a letter, I would not "initialize" it. I'm not sure, but there's a chance that will reformat the drive -- not wiping out your files, but making it harder to access them.

That said, I have used GetDataBack for NTFS from Runtime Software in the past, and it did a great job at recoving lost files and data. You can download the trial version for free, run it against the drive -- and see what it finds. You have to purchase it to do data recovery, but it may be worth doing that if only for peace of mind in recovering your files NOW before the drive gets any worse. I think it costs around $80 USD for a single license.

Then, you could try "initializing" the drive, and if that makes it visible again, you could have a go at copying off the files you want to save.

Your data -- your money -- your choice.
How do you do that USB cable and adapter idea you where talking about above? What items do I need to buy and how do I do it. I'm really a beginner at all this stuff. Also, I did buy Runtime GetDataBack for NTFS FAT. How do I use this? Can it recover my data that way my external hd is now or do I have to take my external apart and connect it you my PC?

Did you mean something like this? Apricorn - SATA-to-USB Hard Drive Adapter - ASW-USB-KIT

I'm confused on what I need to get. No clue what is compatible with my external?

One last thing. I did open up GetDataBack, but I dont' see my external hard drive in the list?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

The hope is that the drive is not getting power, or that a data cable is faulty, or there is some other loose connection inside the external's case. A physical problem that can be corrected.

The idea with the SATA to USB cable is that you will physically remove the hard drive from it's plastic shell (take the external drive apart) and direct connect it to the PC with new cables. I might even go further and suggest connecting it directly to the motherboard's SATA connector using a SATA to SATA cable and a spare SATA power connector inside the computer. You won't be able to tell if you can do this without looking at the connectors on the actual drive - whether it is a 2.5 inch or 3.5 inch drive.

If you can get the drive to be recognized you may be able to simply cut and paste your files to a new drive. If Windows still will not recognize it you could try one of the 3 methods I showed you in post #3 of this thread, or GetDataBack, or any other method you like.

But if the drives platters are not spinning, the heads are damaged or locked, or the controller board is fried then there will be no software solution that will work. The drive's file system must be recognized.

Best Buy has a Geek Desk. You might be better off bringing it to them, or a local computer shop, to see if they can do something with this. None of this is really easy for the novice. At least you will have confirmation of the scope of your problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bal1985 View Post
I've tried every port. I have no tried a different USB cable, I only have the Cable that came with my external hard drive. Where could I get one, as I really do not have the money for this.
Hi,

Did you try a different USB cable as suggested by Mars? These are dirt cheap and can be purchased at any local PC retailer.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 WD External Hard drive not recognized




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