Western Digital My Passport 320GB HD failure - a warning for all and advice wanted!

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meanmachine01

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So about a month ago i purchased a new WD my passport 320GB drive, while undertaking the most recent firmware update the drive ejected itself and is now not recognised on any machine = warranty replacement.

PROBLEM!
Western digital refuse to pay for or do the data recovery. I obtained permission for two service firms here in NZ to look at the drive and recover any data if possible, except that WD has changed the setup of the drives to prevent people using them for other purposes (see here, http://forums.techguy.org/hardware/888253-sata-more-than-one-type.html). this then prevents companies accessing data on the drives as the usb connection is BUILT INTO the drive itself so no adaptor can be connected.

currently it looks as if all my data is going to be lost including my priceless photos etc.
im writing this so that people will be aware of the cunning plan WD has executed which has meant people cannot recover data!!

DO NOT BUY WESTERN DIGITAL IF IT HAS A PROPRIETARY DRIVE

any help you guys can provide will be greatly appreciated! is there even anything i can do???
 

EAFiedler

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Hi New Member

Please be advised, your member name will need to be changed. The Administrators will be online in the AM, please post a decent name in a reply to this thread, otherwise your new name will be changed to something else.

Thank you

I hope you are successful in retrieving your data.
 
Joined
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I have a WD and this last week I was scratching my head as to why the security tab was missing. None of the files on the drive have one either. I have full access but I can't change the permissions on the drive.
 

meanmachine01

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EAFiedler: Ouch. will meanmachine do?

AshleeD: hmmm, not sure what that would mean. possibly to do with your OS though
 

EAFiedler

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meanmachine sounds great (y), any preference for uppercase letters or keep it all in lowercase letters, hyphenation?
mean-machine?
MeanMachine?
Mean-Machine?
etc...
 
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Actually just checking my four USB drives and they don't either. All my other HDDs have security tabs, but they are all ex-internal drives.

Geez, do no manufactured external storage devices have security tabs?
 
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From the link you posted in post #1 I believe it was determined that the earlier "My Passport" drives used a standard SATA interface, and the later drives used the proprietary interface.

This situation is just another reason I believe a person is better off purchasing an enclosure and a drive with a standard interface and building their own external.

In my opinion the best way to get a manufacturers attention is to post a video on YouTube describing the problem. A thread at TSG or other tech site does not get near the attention a video post on YouTube receives.

Also a post on Epinions.com would be helpful to make other potential purchasers aware of a problem that may occur.
 
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Would it be possible to dismantle the drive and move the disk to another drive? Since it's unrecoverable data and it were so valuable to me I'd consider trying that.
 
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Today we have two standard interfaces for hard drives, i.e. PATA and SATA.

A "standard" recovery procedure for either interface (if the interface adapter in the present enclosure is defective) is to remove the drive from its enclosure and and install the drive in another enclosure or adapter and recover the data. When a manufacturer uses a hard drive with a proprietary interface it makes this option unavailable.

Removing the platters from a drive and installing in a new housing is a complex, expensive operation and is as such "the method of last resort" due to the expense involved.

Potential customers of an external hard drive that uses a manufacturer proprietary interface drive need to be made aware that if external hard drive that utilizes a proprietary interface suffers a problem where the drive needs to be removed from the manufacturers enclosure, the drive cannot be used with a "standard" enclosure or adapter for data recovery.
 

aka Brett

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I am glad I have run across this thread...I have recommended in prior threads in the past to purchase a wd passport just so people could try out a different os etc without doing anything to their current OS, then putting their old drive in the enclosure after putting the USB adapter on the old drive,so they could use the old drive as an external then copy any files they want over to the new setup.
Shame on WD
 
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Ah, ok. So that option is probably too expensive to even consider.

Just reading on the net, some others with the same issue have found solutions. It may not show up in My Computer but does it show in Device manager or Disk management? I'm sure you know but anyway it's Start menu > type in 'Computer management' > On the left hand menu tree will be Disk management.
 

meanmachine01

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Apr 27, 2010
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Thanks for the help guys; the advice from the people who saved my partner's drive by putting it in a new enclosure was that they wouldn't be able to do it for my drive. so the proprietary enclosure means that to recover data you will have to spend a lot of money (I was quoted Aus $600-$1200). im summation, OUCH.
 

meanmachine01

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Apr 27, 2010
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Ah, ok. So that option is probably too expensive to even consider.

Just reading on the net, some others with the same issue have found solutions. It may not show up in My Computer but does it show in Device manager or Disk management? I'm sure you know but anyway it's Start menu > type in 'Computer management' > On the left hand menu tree will be Disk management.
Ashlee: just plugged it into our brand new desktop and it installs the initio driver but doesn't show up on my computer or on disk management. suck!
 
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Ok that's some recognition, if it installs the sata driver it should show up under devices.

Same thing type "device manager" into the start menu, open it and expand disk drives. Do you see WD there?

$1200 that's insane
 
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