Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: WD external hard drive not initialized.

07 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
WD external hard drive not initialized.

Hi, thanks for trying to help me with this.

I recently moved and had my external hard drive disconnected and in storage for several months. It is a Western Digital model# WD500H1U-00. It has a separate power supply. There is a blue light on the front that is illuminated all the time, except when I connect the HD, then it will flash. When I got unpacked I hooked it up to my desk top and the computer would not access it. I then tried to install it on my laptop with no success. Since then I purchased a USB cord, with no luck.

This hard drive has a LOT of irreplaceable information on it. Formatting it is not an option.

Kevin at was helping me with some other stuff and suggested I:

Regarding the ext HD, try this please:

1) Control panel===>administrative tools===>computer management===>Disk management

2) You'll Should see a list of Disks, Is Disk 1 listed with no partition letter assigned? if so continue

3) Right mouse click into the disk field, select Change drive letter and paths ===> choose a letter from the drop down, select OK. the HD should now be available.

No luck here either. When I right click on the disk field nothing happens. When I right click on the title block(?) I get: Initialize Disk (faded), Offline, Properties and, Help.

Kevin suggested I have you guys take a look at it.

Here are a couple of screen shots.

Attachment 316989

Attachment 316990

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2014   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

I also downloaded "MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition". That program did not recognize the HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Hi PBancroft,

Welcome to SevenForums.

The links appear broken. Please upload again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 May 2014   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Sorry, not sure what happened there, but I got them to work. Any ideas?

WD external hard drive not initialized.-capture.jpg

WD external hard drive not initialized.-capture2.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2014   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Bump. Any ideas? I have seen threads about removing the hard drive from the case and running it through an adapter. Is that what I am going to have to do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2014   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Unknown.... not initialised ..... no indication of capacity. The prognosis is bad indeed.

Your drive could have been physically damaged during the transit. That is my first thought. In such a case no software can retrieve your data and you may have to seek a professional data Recovery Service.

Anyway, first check your WD with Western Digital Datalifeguard Diagnostic for Windows WD Support / Downloads / SATA & SAS / WD VelociRaptor

( Do check the WD Support page for your particular WD model and confirm the same version applies to it.)

Run the short test and if it fails, the Long Test with repair option and see whether there is any hope of reviving it "as it is".

Please report the test results.

You may also run MiniTools Partition Wizard Home Edition v 8.1.1. Free download Magic Partition Manager Software, partition magic alternative, free partition magic, partition magic Windows 7 and server partition software - Partition Wizard Online

If Partition Wizard shows your drive as a BAD Disk , then you may have no other option but to take the HDD out and see whether it works when hooked as a second internal drive in a desktop.

That is all the best you can do, IMO

EDIT: Before doing any of these, just click on the "Populate " tab on the WD Properties Window (your second screenshot) and see whether it does some magic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2014   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Hi jumanji, thanks for helping with this. I agree it does not look good, but I thought it was worth a shot.

Populate failed in the WD properties field.

Here is the result of the Velociraptor test.

Test Option: QUICK TEST Model Number: WD Unit Serial Number:
Firmware Number: 1.65 Capacity: 0.00 GB SMART Status: Not Available Test Result: PASS Test Time: 09:38:17, May 11, 2014
Test Option: EXTENDED TEST Model Number: WD Unit Serial Number:
Firmware Number: 1.65 Capacity: 0.00 GB SMART Status: Not Available Test Result: FAIL Test Error Code: 08-Unable to repair bad sectors. Test Time: 10:08:07, May 11, 2014

The partition wizard did not even recognize the external hard drive.

WD external hard drive not initialized.-minitool.jpg

So it looks like its toast.
Do you have any recommendations on where to proceed? Directions how to remove the hard drive and get it hooked up so I can recover the info?

I really appreciate your help.

Thanks, Pete.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2014   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

If it is unrepairable bad sectors which the diagnostics found, there is simply no point in taking out the drive and hooking it up as a second drive. You will get the same result. Instead you can talk to Tech support of WD/ the vendor and explore getting a replacement if the drive is still under warranty/extended vendor guarantee.( Or even otherwise to find what WD Tech support says.)

(OK, even in the first post you said PW did not find the drive. That had escaped my mind.)

If there had been a deluge of bad sectors spread all over the platters, even if you try to recover data by any means, what all you will get - if at all you get something - will be corrupted and useless files.

Wait to see if other experts here suggest that you should still go ahead and try data recovery based on their perceptions and personal experience.

Here is a similar thread just hours back: Exteranl HDD - Unknown, Not Initialized and no disc size in Disk Manag
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2014   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Thanks jumanji. I really appreciate your help. I doubt it, but hopefully someone else will see this and have a miracle solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2014   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

If the disk can be detected in BIOS and in Disk Management then you can try to use this Partition Find and Mount tool.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 WD external hard drive not initialized.

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
External Hard Disk, Unknown, Not Initialized ! No Unallocated Space.
Hi, I'm new to this forum. My external hard disk (Seagate) is detected in the task bar after connecting, but not visible in "My Computer". It is visible in Device manager under Disk Drives but not under USB. There are few threads in this forum which are similar to mine, except that...
Hardware & Devices
1TWD external hard disk unknown,not initialized,unallocated,i/o error
This quick new hard disk. So sad I cant access it anymore? why this happen? You can see from the photo MY computer cant even see this driver anymore, so I check on the - Disk management it said unknown no driver letter too ,Not initialized. -Click Initialized it said i/o device error I...
Hardware & Devices
1TB WD external hard disk not initialized
I have an WD 1TB hard disk which failed to initialize recently. It gives me an I/O error message. I found a few old threads here with similar problem and tried out the suggested steps. I ran WD diagnostic tool and passed the Quick test and Extended test(Screenshot attached). I would like to avoid...
Hardware & Devices
Unaccessible External Hard Drive: Disk 1 Unknown, Not Initialized
Hello. Through the power of google, I have come here to see If I can get any help recovering data. Essentially found this thread: and just having really similar issues. Issue is with my sisters...
Hardware & Devices
Previously functional USB3 external hard drive shows not initialized
Have a 1TB Iomega USB3 external hard drive that worked well on both a desktop and laptop Win7/64 system. Now it shows up as unidentified and not initialized using computer/manage/storage/disk management. Disk Management also gives the optiin to initialize it but I declined because I would like to...
Hardware & Devices
1TB WD USB hard drive failure - is in Device Manager, not initialized
Hi. I was normally using my computer, when I suddenly noticed one of my hard drives disappeared from My Computer. Checked the Device Manager, I get the following. Trying to initialize it throws up this error: Seems to spin just fine. Trying...
Hardware & Devices

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:45.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App