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Windows 7: External HDD Not Working - Computer Recognizes but wants to Initialize

12 Apr 2015   #1
maxtechno3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
External HDD Not Working - Computer Recognizes but wants to Initialize

I was using my computer and everything was fine and then BSOD.

I have had BSOD occasionally before (by that I mean the last one was on Nov. 12, 2014). Usually I just restart my computer, everything is fine and go about my business, well unfortunately not this time.

I have 2 WD external hard drives connected to the computer, and one decided to stop working. I believe it has connected before when a BSOD occurred and it was unaffected at that time.

I plug the drive into the computer. It does NOT show up under My Computer. It DOES show up in Device Manager and Disk Management. See the screenshot attached.

Drive C is an internal boot drive. Drive D is an older internal drive with files from before starting anew. Drive H is another WD external drive (unaffected by BSOD). The drive that isn't working was (N before I believe.

In Disk Management the drive comes up as "Disk 4" and in Device Manager it is "WD My Passport 0820 USB Device".

If I connect the drive to another computer, it will install the driver software and the same issue will occur. If I "uninstall" the drive, it will reinstall the driver software and still same issue.

The LED light is constantly on, but it does NOT feel like the drive is doing anything.

When I open "Disk Management" is prompts to "initialize" the drive. Another screenshot attached.

I haven't really been able to really figure out if "initializing" is data destructive or not... I think I've seen it both ways by reading different forums.

Reading several threads with similar issues lead me to install "MiniTool Partition Wizard", but the drive doesn't show up in that program. See screenshot number 3.

So... I'm pretty much at a loss. I've seen some Linux suggestions, but I basically have never used that so would prefer to try any Windows based solutions before going to that (but will go to Linux if that is the only/best option).

Any assistance is appreciated. Thanks in advance for the help.

EDIT: I've tried using various data recovery programs, and they don't see the drive. I'm not sure why my computer can see it (sort of) but most things can't...




Attached Thumbnails
External HDD Not Working - Computer Recognizes but wants to Initialize-external-screen.png   External HDD Not Working - Computer Recognizes but wants to Initialize-external-screen-2.png   External HDD Not Working - Computer Recognizes but wants to Initialize-external-screen-3.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Apr 2015   #2
MightyMiroWD

Windows 7
 
 

Hi there.

I'm sorry to hear about the problem you have. Probably something went wrong because of the BSOD, so can you run a test on the drive using Data Lifeguard Diagnostics and post back the results? You can download the program from here:

Support Answers

Let me know how it went.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2015   #3
maxtechno3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MightyMiroWD View Post
Hi there.

I'm sorry to hear about the problem you have. Probably something went wrong because of the BSOD, so can you run a test on the drive using Data Lifeguard Diagnostics and post back the results? You can download the program from here:

Support Answers

Let me know how it went.
Data Lifeguard Diagnostics picks up the drive, but it shows it as 0 MB which obviously it isn't...

I don't understand how this happened. I had two WD external drives plugged in when the BSOD occurred and the other one is completely fine. They've also been plugged in before on other past occasions when I've sometimes had a BSOD and nothing has happened. I have never had a drive just completely die like this at all, and especially less than a year and a half after buying it (still in warranty).

The only think I can think of is that the MBR or file system partition, I'm not exactly sure of the correct term, got corrupted and now I can't see any of the files on the drive. Is there anyway to view the files on the drive despite that? Like bypassing it and using a method directly on my computer; almost like when you visit a website and it's all gibberish but you change the encoding and make the text readable - instead of having to use the MBR/file system partition, etc. on the drive, use something on my PC and just skip the corrupted part entirely so I can get access to the files, copy them off the drive and then just reformat it... Since all the drives are formatted the same out of the box, wouldn't you just use whatever format that is to read the files? Or is it not that simple? (kind of throwing out possibilities in the hope someone comes up with an idea to get my data off the drive and avoid very costly professional data recovery...)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Apr 2015   #4
MightyMiroWD

Windows 7
 
 

I'm sorry to say that, but since the DLG tool sees the drive as 0MB, then I recommend to contact our support and RMA the drive:

Support Answers

In case you have important data stored on it, you can try to retrieve it with some recovery software, but keep in mind that the more you use your drive and try to repair/get back the files there, the worse the damage may become. That's why I think it will be better to consult with a data recovery company:

Support Answers

As for the exact reasons why that happened, there's no way to say for sure, I think it is related to the BSOD which occurred. Also, please do not remove the drive from the enclosure since WD My Passport drives are hardware encrypted which means that even if the drive is removed from the enclosure and connected directly to a computer, it will be unreadable because the hardware encryption chip is missing. Furthermore, by doing so you will avoid your warranty as well.

Best of luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2015   #5
maxtechno3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MightyMiroWD View Post
I'm sorry to say that, but since the DLG tool sees the drive as 0MB, then I recommend to contact our support and RMA the drive:

Support Answers

In case you have important data stored on it, you can try to retrieve it with some recovery software, but keep in mind that the more you use your drive and try to repair/get back the files there, the worse the damage may become. That's why I think it will be better to consult with a data recovery company:

Support Answers

As for the exact reasons why that happened, there's no way to say for sure, I think it is related to the BSOD which occurred. Also, please do not remove the drive from the enclosure since WD My Passport drives are hardware encrypted which means that even if the drive is removed from the enclosure and connected directly to a computer, it will be unreadable because the hardware encryption chip is missing. Furthermore, by doing so you will avoid your warranty as well.

Best of luck!
So... if there is something wrong with the enclosure... then I can't bypass that because it is encrypted? What if my data is still there but something just happened with the enclosure? What do I do then??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2015   #6
MightyMiroWD

Windows 7
 
 

Yes, since your drive is hardware encrypted you cannot access your files if it's removed from the enclosure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2015   #7
maxtechno3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by maxtechno3 View Post
What if my data is still there but something just happened with the enclosure? What do I do then??
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MightyMiroWD View Post
Yes, since your drive is hardware encrypted you cannot access your files if it's removed from the enclosure.
Then what to do you if there is only something wrong with the -enclosure-?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2015   #8
MightyMiroWD

Windows 7
 
 

You cannot access the files if the drive is removed due to the hardware encryption, so that's why the best thing is to consult with a data recovery specialist:

Support Answers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2015   #9
maxtechno3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MightyMiroWD View Post
You cannot access the files if the drive is removed due to the hardware encryption, so that's why the best thing is to consult with a data recovery specialist:

Support Answers
How is even a specialist going to get to the files if the drive is encrypted...?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2015   #10
MightyMiroWD

Windows 7
 
 

I can't tell you how they could extract your information since WD is not dealing with data recovery.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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