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WD Passport Essential Recovery

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August 4, 2008 8:35:11 AM

My systems hard disk were on the way out with numerous bad sectors etc. Bough a WD Passport Essential drive and was pretty chuffed at first. now my system disk has died and upon rebuilding i find that the data on my WD is now esentially dead as well. most of my data is backed up to other sources but my .pst files from outlook are sadly not. anyone know of any way to access what is many gigabytes of emails from my portable hard disk? or am i going to have to break it to my parents that i have lost all their emails as well as mine?

regards
tim
August 4, 2008 9:10:50 AM

what do you mean by "essentially dead"?

You have tried the troubleshooting bits in the manuel? Have you contacted wd for advise?

http://support.wdc.com/

If all else fails you may have some luck by taking the drive apart and using it with another usb caddy, it probably uses a 2.5 inch IDE drive BUT MAKE SURE YOU DO THE ABOVE STEPS FIRST AS IT WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY!!!!
August 4, 2008 9:19:39 AM

The WD Sync program requires you to specify a user name and password before it then starts encrypting and copying the data to the drive. I did think of taking the drive out and placing it in an enclosure but i would still face the encryption problem. am trawling through the knowledge base but have had no luck yet.

My thought was that the WD sync program might create a cookie or a "key" file on the hard disk so it can associate with the drive but i have found no information to that effect as yet. Thanks for your help so far though
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August 4, 2008 9:21:54 AM

Damn. I got burnt in a similar way with windows encryption. Get hold of WD's tech support, if you're lucky they may recover the data for you
August 4, 2008 1:01:38 PM

Well I had to use File Scavenger to get my PST files back and still have no way to access the data on my WD Passport. Nothing from Western Digital yet but will keep everyone posted if they can provide a solution. Gutted that the only warning about the WDSync program not working if the original drives data is deleted is located on their website, not in the autorun program that comes with the disk. or at least not anywhere prominent. Hope no one else goes through my experience! lol

Thanks
tim
August 4, 2008 9:02:58 PM

How stupid of wd. What's the point of a backup if it is useless if you lose the original data. Doh!
August 4, 2008 9:32:56 PM

Your post seems confusing. The WD Sync software DOES allow you to retrieve your data from any computer. All you have to do is enter your username and password - just like when you started the encryption process and exactly like you do when you use the protable drive when away from your main computer.

Another explanation is that you're trying to break the encryption because you don't know your (or the legitamite owners) username and password.

So which is it?
August 9, 2008 11:10:00 AM

I must admit I do find the aspersion that I am a thief or data hacker a touch harsh but then I suppose the internet is full of shady characters. Suffice it to say that piratepast40 is correct with regard to just entering the username and password to gain access again to your data. The problem I faced though was that no login screen was presented when first connecting the drive to my fresh install of windows. What I had to do was create a brand new profile on the drive, sync some data and then finally reboot and reconnect. Initial attempts to enter my original username proved fruitless though after many failed attempts it finally seemed to decide that I was allowed to enter the username myself.

All in all not the most well documented piece of software or hardware that I have used and it was the following message on the WD website that I stumbled across only after having lost my original drive that gave me cause for concern:

"PLEASE NOTE: This is synchronization software intended to synchronize the data from one drive to another. This is not backup software and SHOULD NOT be used as backup software. To use this software properly, we advise that you do not wipe or erase the data from the internal hard drive and re-synchronize, as this will cause the data on the Passport hard drive to be deleted. "

End result is all data is safe and backed up but it was not as simple as I was hoping it to be.
August 9, 2008 11:22:05 AM

In fact further experimentation with the whole thing has uncovered what can only be described as flaky software. Using the WDSync.exe file on the hard disk does not allow me to select a username nor indeed enter one manually. Using the setup.exe file still does not allow me to enter different usernames but does have my original backuped data profile on there. Has been a very curious experience with a fair amount of wasted heartbeats!
August 9, 2008 4:18:06 PM

Bad experience for you, but I'm glad you shared your experiences with this p.o.s s.w . I'll remember not to use wd s.w if I get a wd portable drive.....
January 18, 2009 7:57:00 PM

WARNING: Do not think that the your WD Passport, using the WD Sync software, is a backup drive; it is NOT !

As per the documentation with this device:
"synchronization software is intended to synchronize the data from a
computer to the drive (WD Passport) and SHOULD NOT be used as backup software. To use this software properly, we advise that you do not wipe or erase the data from the internal hard drive (computer) and resynchronize, as this will cause the data that WD Sync stored to the Passport to be deleted."

Logic would have it that if you lose all your data on your computer, then try to use Sync to retrieve your synced data, Sync will delete all the data from your Passport, because it is no :fou:  longer on your computer.

This is why you are hearing so many people saying that they are deleting the WD Sync software, reformatting, and using the WC Passport as a true backup drive where you can actually see the files that you are backing up, rather than a bunch of unrecognizable Sync files that likely don't have all the files that you thought you "backed up".

May 30, 2009 5:50:01 AM

And so, I also stupidly purchased one of these units mindless thinking I could use as an external drive to hold large files (music/fotos) as an addition to my laptop. I did go thru the sync software when I first connected the device, but never used the sync software again. I began moving all files over to the wd drive....The laptop I initially used it w/ has XP....never had any probs...then I began to use to transfer files from my laptop to desktop, Dell also WinXP. My issues began after connecting the device to my new laptop, Dell, running Vista....no issues for weeks...using btwn the 3 computers....I accidently selected the sync software to open while connected to the Dell w/ Vista....everything froze...I had no idea what the real problem was, but knew wasn't good.

I stupidly downloaded a later version of the WD sync software to the desktop running XP and then signed in w/ the passcode I had assigned to the unit when first sync'd w/ the HP laptop..and to make worse, I then took the WD and connected to original laptop...it wouldn't allow me to use the same pass codes....I had to create a new acct, which at the time I didn't realize what I was doing.....it hit me just after I assigned a new pass code...so....I know I was an idiot, but never again....

Currently::::
Upon opening the drive using explorer, I can see all of my folders and upon opening the folders
I can see the files, and the files exist...I can run them and see them.....music/photos....but this doesn't last long....only for a few minutes....5 at the most. The drive freezes up and the response is the path is unknown.

I found a video on YouTube (see pasted detail below) that demonstrates how to remove the drive and place in shell w/ a different connector to my computer to have it run as a regular drive. If the files are there & I know they are, because I can definitely see them and infact, I've begun moving what I can w/i the few minutes I am able to back to my computer......


Oh, I've purchased a Seagate FreeAgent Go Drive that I am moving the files to from my computer....that device is formated like a normal hard drive and has a true backup software and sync software, as well as an encryption software for files you need to encrypt......

My question, if I remove the drive from the WD drive and the USB and replace w/ the connector needed, depending on whether IDE or SATA, based on what I've described above, is it your opinion that the files will still be there or not?

(Hi folks …. Yes, you can recover all your files. If you can hear the hard drive spinning, the problem is probably not the hard drive. You can recover all your files, but you must be willing to spend less than $30 and do a little work.

1) Disassemble your WD Passport. See the YouTube video at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K4MgukGtDM&feature=rela....
2) Find out if your hard drive is IDE or SATA. (Once you open up the drive, just read the label - look for IDE(EIDE) or SATA(Serial ATA).
3) Purchase the appropriate IDE or SATA compatible 2.5 in. portable hard drive enclosure (make sure it has either a USB Y cable or a 5V power supply - I bought mine for $12.99 with the USB Y cable but no power supply and it works fine.)
4) Assemble. This is extremely easy. If you can plug a power cord in a wall, you can plug a 2.5 in drive into its socket in the enclosure. (as an example see the YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a47G7nAjZ48)
5. Plug in your USB Y cable into your computer.
6. Wait while your computer recognizes the drive, installs the proper drivers and asks you if you want to open up the folder.
7. Voila! You are up and running again with all your files intact!

PS. I would get rid of WDsync for reasons I won’t detail here. Suffice it to say, beware of WDsync, under certain circumstances you can lose all of your files!


dgrasser said:
WARNING: Do not think that the your WD Passport, using the WD Sync software, is a backup drive; it is NOT !

As per the documentation with this device:
"synchronization software is intended to synchronize the data from a
computer to the drive (WD Passport) and SHOULD NOT be used as backup software. To use this software properly, we advise that you do not wipe or erase the data from the internal hard drive (computer) and resynchronize, as this will cause the data that WD Sync stored to the Passport to be deleted."

Logic would have it that if you lose all your data on your computer, then try to use Sync to retrieve your synced data, Sync will delete all the data from your Passport, because it is no :fou:  longer on your computer.

This is why you are hearing so many people saying that they are deleting the WD Sync software, reformatting, and using the WC Passport as a true backup drive where you can actually see the files that you are backing up, rather than a bunch of unrecognizable Sync files that likely don't have all the files that you thought you "backed up".

June 9, 2009 6:51:52 AM

Hi, I am living through exactly the same problem.

Presumably none of the Seagram people ever bother to google their own products. But if they stumble on this, they should understand that an introductory video is need which actually tells you how to use the product, not an advertising puff.

Mystifyingly about 60% of my transferred files are visible in the My Documents directory in my new computer. But 40% are not. Now why should that be? But some of the invisibles can be conjured back into life and it would seem that if you revive one file in a folder, then the entire folder becomes permanently visible.

Also using Google desktop, once it has had time to do its work indexing, particular files can be located, then called up, and after that the entire contents of the folder are visible.

That means the problem is presumably not very deep and could be solved -- if WD just cared to enlighten customers who use its products.

June 30, 2009 4:57:20 PM

I have a client's WD Passport 80 GB here, and thought the worst when I heard "the tick of death." After a few failed attempts at using EasyRecoveryPro (unable to detect drive for more than a few seconds), I resorted to the freezing technique. Same results.

I then went to YouTube, and found a few videos on how to open the Passport drives (some good, most were bad). Voila! I found a WD Scorpion notebook drive and a SATA to USB adapter! I removed the adapter, and used my own USB adapter. The drive works great!

I recovered all of the data, then installed the drive properly to a SATA cable. The drive tested fine. It seems that the SATA to USB adapter failed, but caused the drive to act like it was failing.

Never assume... :-)
Anonymous
a b G Storage
July 14, 2009 7:54:19 PM

I wonder if anyone can help me with my passport drive.It was working fine until the other night when I was copying some music files from my laptop to the passport.The passport fell of the table and landed on the floor hard.Now my laptop doesn't seem to recocnise the passport and all my photo files are on the passport and this is the only copy.
I know how to take it apart but don't know what the next step is?

Dave
Edinburgh
!