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Can't access WD external hard drive!


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tayto's Avatar
tayto tayto is offline
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28-Oct-2008, 08:11 PM #1
Can't access WD external hard drive!
Hi,

I've windows XP and I can't use my WD My Book 500GB Essential edition. I have only had it a month and it has stopped working.

It isn't visible in "My Computer" or Disk Management but it installs when i plug it in and it can be "safely unplugged" from the safely remove hardware icon.

It's visible in Device Manager as both a WD drive and a "USB Mass Storage Device" and when I double click on either the Device Status box says the Device is working properly.

Any help would be really appreciated!

Thanks!
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28-Oct-2008, 09:17 PM #2
Are you sure about Disk Management? Did you scroll the window down?
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29-Oct-2008, 06:05 PM #3
Thanks for the response Elvandil!

Yeah, I am possitive. It isn't in the scroll down menu in disk manager. It is in device manager under
Right click my computer->manage
and it said it was working fine.

I saw a post where somebody had a problem just like it but they were able to see it in device manager.


Any more suggestions?
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30-Oct-2008, 09:18 AM #4
You should see it in 2 places in Device Manager: under Disk Drives and under your USB devices. Do you see it in both places?

Look at it's properties under Disk Drives. What do the tabs say? Is there a Policies tab and how is it set?
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30-Oct-2008, 11:36 AM #5
Hi,

Yeah it appears in both under disk drives and USB devices.
It appears as "WD" under disk drives and "USB Mass Storage Device" under USB devices.

In proerties under "WD" in disk drives the tabs say:

GENERAL TAB

WD

Device type: Disk drives
Manufacturer: (Standard disk drives)
Location: Location 0

Inthe device status box it says:
This device is working properly.

If you are having problems with this device, click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter.

In the "Device usage:" scroll box "Use this device (enable)" is selected.

Policies TAB

In the "Write caching and Safe Removal" box,

"Optimise for quick removal" is selected opposed to:
"Optimise for performance"

Volumes TAB

This tab states "The volumes contained on this disk are listed below."

However, under all categories, (Disk, Type, Status, Partition style, Capacity, Unallocated space, Reserved space), there is nothing but a dash (-).

The box below these categories is empty.
The "Populate" button is accessible but the "Properties! button isn't.

DRIVER TAB
It says:WD
Driver Provider: Microsoft
Driver Date: 01/07/2001
Driver Version: 51.2535.0
Digital Signer: Microsoft Windows Publisher

There are the options of the folllowing buttons:
Driver Details...
Update Driver....
Roll Back Driver
Uninstall

DETAILS TAB
In this tab there are numerous options in the scroll down menu which display different options.


I hope all of htis is some help!
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30-Oct-2008, 06:57 PM #6
OK. Does the Populate button do anything?

Can you hear any sound from the drive when it is powered? It looks like maybe the drive's electronics are working, but it may not be spinning and the drive itself is inaccessible.

But that still doesn't explain Disk Management. Is there even anything in DM that is unmarked or has no drive letter attached to it?

It would be useful if you could install Paragon and take a look at partitions it sees to see if any are hidden from the OS.

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30-Oct-2008, 07:14 PM #7
I had the same issue with my WD External Drive I restarted my comp with the drive plugged into the usb and it was fixed.
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02-Nov-2008, 11:30 AM #8
Hey Elvandil,

Sorry about the delay.

In device manager, when I populate the drive I get the following:

Disk: Disk 1
Type: Unknown
Status: Unreadable
Partition Style: Not Applicable
Capacity: 0 MB
Unallocated Space: 0 MB
Reserved Space: 0 MB

And nothhing appears in the "Volumes" box.

When I turn on the drive I do hear noises when I listen closely to it.

There is absolutely nothing in disk management at all. All that is there is my internal hard drive and my DVD drive.

I installed Paragon. How do I look at the partitions?
In the "Volume Explorer" tab my external HD isn't there.
I can see it in the "Disk view" tab. Here is what it says:

Basic Hard Disk 1 (WD)
Type: Basic Hard Disk Drive
Total Size: 2047.9GB
Sectors Per Track: 1
Heads: 1
Cylinders: 4294967295

However, my hard drive has a capacity of 500GB?!?

I coulnd't see where to view partitions so I clicked "format partition" with hope to see them. However, I noticed I don't have the option of chosing my external hard drive to format. When the curser hovers over my external HD, i get a different curser resembling that of a no-smoking sign (without the cigarette of course!).

Any other suggestions?

Thanks.

Hey Zackx,

That didn't solve the problem by the way.
Thanks though.
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03-Nov-2008, 02:04 PM #9
Sounds like time to use that warranty or to remove the drive from the case. The electronics seem to be OK, but the actual access to the drive platters is not there for some reason. I doubt you can even run tests on it.

So removing it from the case and connecting it to a desktop would seem to be the next steap. that will tell you if the drive or the enclosure's electronics are at fault here, or the drive is dead.
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03-Nov-2008, 02:35 PM #10
Oh right...that's bad.

I downloaded a program from WD to analyse the hard drive, lifeguard diagnostics, which returned an error of: 11 cable test error.
This error keeps on coming up so the correct procedure is to start an rma. so that's what I did.

Problem is I bought it in NY but I live in Ireland so it might be a problem sending it back. I'm going to see what they say to me, they might have a suggestion on how to fix it but it sounds like it's knackered. hopefully I'll be able to get a new one. If not I'll try opening it up and see if I can use it that way!

Thanks a lot for your help anyway, I'll let you know how it works out with the warranty.
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04-Nov-2008, 01:04 AM #11
You did try a new cable, right?

Good luck. WD are usually pretty good about RMA's.
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10-Nov-2008, 02:01 PM #12
Hey, sorry about the delay.

Yeah, I tried a different cable alright but no luck.
WD were pretty good alright, they changed the region warranty so I could post it to England. It cost me €15 but at least I'll have a hard drive in the end. Hopefully now I'll get a new one from them soon! I'll let you know how I get on anyway.
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10-Nov-2008, 02:04 PM #13
Hey, sorry about the delay.

Yeah, I tried a new cable alright but no luck.
WD were pretty good alright, they changed the regional warranty so I could post it to England. It cost me €15 to post but at least I'll have a hard drive in the end. Hopefully, I'll get one in the post now soon!

I'll let you know what happens anyway.
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17-Nov-2008, 05:28 PM #14
Here how I fixed mine
Computer Management > Disk Managment
Then right click on My book and assign a drive letter, the reason may be the file system is FAT32, but After I did this I can see the new drive on my computer and works fine. Hope this help
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17-Nov-2008, 08:40 PM #15
You can't assign a drive letter though if it can't be seen in Disk Management.
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