Windows 7 and usb issues with external HDD

Yesterday Windows 7 stopped recognizing my external HDD (My Book WD 500gb). Windows claims everything is ok and up to date, and it appears to see the disk, but it tells me that it is empty and has 559 mb of 559 mb available. I have tried uninstalling/disconnecting, that hasnt worked. I've updated chipset, and yanked out most of the hair on my left arm while frantically searching google. I really do not want to format it although that seems possible, I have stuff on there I need. From what I can gather it seems to be an issue with USB and Windows 7 not properly recognizing the drive. It has worked fine for 5 months, now this. Also, when I go to disk mgmt it does seem to see the actual size of the disk, but it still tells me the folder is empty. I have tried removing all usb connections, and reinstalling/plugging in, I have tried a couple different things off of Hiren's bootcd, but I really do not want to format the driver I have over 300gb of stuff on there. It was working fine on my old XP machine for a year and then for 4 months on this 7 machine until yesterday when I got an error message that kept popping up:

"USB Device not recognized: One of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and windows does not recognize it."

However it appears to be intact. I have also tried plugging directly into wall as opposed to a power strip and I have tried a new usb cable, still no luck.
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More about windows issues external
  1. Have you restarted your machine? Have you tried the drive in a different machine?
  2. I have tried it on my wife's Vista 32bit laptop, with the same results, however the data is still there. IS there any way to crack the case and plug this thing directly into the mobo? would that work?
  3. Hi there,

    You did not mention the model number of your My Book, but some of them have also an IEEE 1394 (firewire) connection and came with a cable for same.

    If yours does have the firewire port, you could try connecting it to your computer or another computer with a firewire port, and see if you can access the data.

    The spec sheet does not list the type of HDD in the My Book enclosure, but most external enclosures have a standard SATA or IDE drive plugged into a PCB interface board to USB, or IEEE 1394 or e-Sata connector, along with the power connector

    WD tech support could give you that information. Their tele number is 800.ASK.4WDC
  4. Hi, I have removed the drive from the enclosure and connected it thru SATA, however it still reads as 558mb of 558mb available, even though if I go to format it, it tells me it will be the actual size, 465gb. If I was to go ahead and format would I be able to use any recovery programs to recover my files once the disk is formatted? Or what? The disk itself seems to have been damaged in some way or the file system has become corrupted. WD tech support was useless. They only offered to replace the drive and a reduced price. What I want are my files, I can replace the drive myself. I had over 11 years worth of music on it.
  5. I hate to sound desparate but the thought of having to rebuild my music collection is leaving me somewhat depressed.
  6. It looks like there is some new firmware and software from wd are you running the latest and greatest?
  7. scanning with R-Studio now, getting alot of badsector messages. How could it be fine one moment and just brick the next? I hadn't moved it in months, no power issues, nothing that could conceivably cause this.
  8. It's old they do go bad.
  9. You'll have to try using a recovery software. I use "EasyRecovery Professional".
    I am not up-to-date with recovery software but this is one I used a long time ago. You could give it a try. Not sure if it works with Windows 7 either.
    Try google search for "free recovery software".

    Hope this helps
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