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External Hard Disk drive shows up in devices and printers, but not in the file explorer

I have an old WD 160gb hard disk, which used to work great, until now. I recently tried connecting it to get a movie from it, but it didn't work. It had worked the previous day, though. It shows up in Devices and Printers, but not in the file explorer. I also get an option in the taskbar to eject it. The things I've tried so far:
1. Uninstalled drivers and reinstalled them.
2. Checked disk management. (My PC-> Manage-> Disk Management). It says that 'Disk 1' isn't initialized. When I try and initialize using MBR, it says invalid function or something like that. The other option won't work, obviously. This thing's just 160gb.
3. I've tried connecting it with a different cable, to different devices, and updating the drivers.
4. There were no changes made between the day that it was working and the day it stopped working.

None of these work. I've got a lot of precious data on it, and losing all of it wouldn't be good. What can I do? Can I get it all back, or is it gone forever? A friend told me that it was possible to format a device and then retrieve the data. This would be the last option, but is it possible? My PC is Win10, by the way.

Thanks. Any help appreciated.
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Hey there, Zacckron.

    Sorry to hear about the issues you're having with your WD drive. It sounds like you've done the basic troubleshooting already, so good job!

    Your friend is generally right, because formatting the drive basically changes the file system of the partition, which is need by the OS to be able to read the data. So if you reformat a healthy drive, you should be able to recover the data if you don't overwrite it with new one. However, this is never recommended.

    As for your case, I'm afraid that if you can't initialize the drive you won't be able to format it. It sounds like the HDD has probably failed. There are still some things you could try. Data recovery software is one of the options - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/filerecovery/tp/free-file-recovery-programs.htm. Another one would be to give it a go with Ubuntu Live USB/DVD, to see if that OS is capable of recognizing the drive's partitions properly so that you can recover your files. And last, but not least, you could go for professional help, such as a data recovery company: WD Data Recovery Partners.

    Hope that helps. Please let me know how everything goes.
    Boogieman_WD
  2. Boogieman_WD said:
    Hey there, Zacckron.

    Sorry to hear about the issues you're having with your WD drive. It sounds like you've done the basic troubleshooting already, so good job!

    Your friend is generally right, because formatting the drive basically changes the file system of the partition, which is need by the OS to be able to read the data. So if you reformat a healthy drive, you should be able to recover the data if you don't overwrite it with new one. However, this is never recommended.

    As for your case, I'm afraid that if you can't initialize the drive you won't be able to format it. It sounds like the HDD has probably failed. There are still some things you could try. Data recovery software is one of the options - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/filerecovery/tp/free-file-recovery-programs.htm. Another one would be to give it a go with Ubuntu Live USB/DVD, to see if that OS is capable of recognizing the drive's partitions properly so that you can recover your files. And last, but not least, you could go for professional help, such as a data recovery company: WD Data Recovery Partners.

    Hope that helps. Please let me know how everything goes.
    Boogieman_WD


    Thanks for the reply!
    I'm going to try your solution. Let's just see if it works.
    By the way, the hard disk is pretty old, and I have a better one, so it's alright if the hard disk can't be fixed. It's just the data in it that I need.
  3. I hope you're able to get to your files. Please keep me posted.
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