[Hard Drives] External WD Element not detecting.

I have owned a WD Elements 1TB hard-drive for about 2 years now. No longer is on newegg or any store sites that I can find so here is the link.

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=301&lang=en WD10000E035 version.

It was working fine until recently, I plugged it in and Windows wouldn't detect it. I should note that when I plug it in (via the usb ports) I hear the customary ding from Windows 7, but it won't show up in explorer. I will list what I have tried:

- Uninstalling and re-installing the drive through Device Manager.
- Updating the drivers through device manager
- Disabling the power management through device management so it is externally powered
- Trying to use Western Digitals data recovery software (but the only option it seems to give me is reformat the drive to repair it)

So I decided to take it apart and insert it into my desktop as a SATA secondary drive Everything hooked up, and it showed up in BIOS just fine, but when I went into windows... just like when it was attached with USB it would not show up. It will show up under Device Manager in drives, as just WD (no other description). But when I go to disk management nothing shows up.

I'm kind of at my wits end not knowing what to try next. To me the warranty and refund money is not important (since I took it apart) but the almost 1TB of data I have on it is. Seems to me like I will have to try and take it to a data recovery place, unless someone has another suggestion I can try.

Thanks for any advice that one may have. I can provide more details if needed as well.
17 answers Last reply
More about hard drives external element detecting
  1. Sounds like the HDD itself is defective. BTW, does the drive appear in Disk Management at all (with an unknown partition type)? Also, have you enabled SMART in your BIOS to see what it says regarding the HDD's health. Worth a shot, but it looks like you will have to reformat to have any chance to use.

    Last, before you reformat, do you have access to a Linux PC? If so, you might be able to get a non-PC to recognize the HDD partition and allow you to copy your files elsewhere. I have a system at home that I use for such actions.

    Also, is this disk encrypted?
  2. Thanks for the quick answer COLGeek.

    - The drive will only briefly appear in disk management right after I uninstall + reinstall the drive. It shows up as uninitialized, and when I try and initialize the drive I get an error. It does not allow me to partition it or anything else. After awhile it dissapears from the disk management.

    - I will try and enable SMART in BIOS to see what it reports.

    - I do not have access to a linux PC and have never dealt with linux in the past so that option seems like a last resort.

    - And no the disk is not encrypted.

    I won't be reformatting this drive either, I am only interested in the data. After something like this I won't feel safe storing any data on it. I'm planning on taking it to a local computer shop to see if they can do any data recovery on it after work.
  3. I strongly suspect that the HDD is defective. A data recovery service may be able to get your data for you, but they tend to be rather expensive. Hopefully your local shop can help. Good luck.
  4. I currently have the same external drive. This is the second one because I RMA'd the first one for the same reason. The one that I have now sometimes works and sometimes dosen't. The power cord that plugs into the back of the drive for some reason quits working and I have to unplug it and then replug it in to get it working again. The "smart" power function is supposed to turn the drive on and off as the computer itself is turned on and off - this works sporatically. Sometimes it wont turn on or off. Although cheap at $90 for this much storage, I bought a Fantom GreenDrive for half the price and it is designed to stay on all the time and I've never had a bit of problems with it.
  5. I have just noticed the same problem. It seems to be that my pc can only run 1 WD Elements 1042 at a time. Tried different USB ports, reseating the cable etc. When I disconnected the other 1042 and connected the new one it worked, and vice-versa. Strange. Any ideas as to why this is the case? When I click to 'safetly remove' I can see both 1042's but the only one fully listed (name etc.) is the one first connected.
    Many thanks!
  6. The exact same thing was happening to me. SO...
    So I changed the letter of my WD Elements to H: as it was set to I: and voila!! It works!
    All the files show up, and the icon is back..yee ha!
    Now if you can tell me why MY files aren't showing up on my WD Live from my shared folders on my computer (unless I use Serviio).
    Steve

    JordoR said:
    I have owned a WD Elements 1TB hard-drive for about 2 years now. No longer is on newegg or any store sites that I can find so here is the link.

    http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=301&lang=en WD10000E035 version.

    It was working fine until recently, I plugged it in and Windows wouldn't detect it. I should note that when I plug it in (via the usb ports) I hear the customary ding from Windows 7, but it won't show up in explorer. I will list what I have tried:

    - Uninstalling and re-installing the drive through Device Manager.
    - Updating the drivers through device manager
    - Disabling the power management through device management so it is externally powered
    - Trying to use Western Digitals data recovery software (but the only option it seems to give me is reformat the drive to repair it)

    So I decided to take it apart and insert it into my desktop as a SATA secondary drive Everything hooked up, and it showed up in BIOS just fine, but when I went into windows... just like when it was attached with USB it would not show up. It will show up under Device Manager in drives, as just WD (no other description). But when I go to disk management nothing shows up.

    I'm kind of at my wits end not knowing what to try next. To me the warranty and refund money is not important (since I took it apart) but the almost 1TB of data I have on it is. Seems to me like I will have to try and take it to a data recovery place, unless someone has another suggestion I can try.

    Thanks for any advice that one may have. I can provide more details if needed as well.
  7. Hi Steve,
    How exactly did you change the letter of the WD Drive?
    I'm having the same problem. It shows up as a "Local Drive (I: ) " which I can't open. Properties shows 0bytes size.

    Thanks,
    Soumyo

    Steve Solomon said:
    The exact same thing was happening to me. SO...
    So I changed the letter of my WD Elements to H: as it was set to I: and voila!! It works!
    All the files show up, and the icon is back..yee ha!
    Now if you can tell me why MY files aren't showing up on my WD Live from my shared folders on my computer (unless I use Serviio).
    Steve

    JordoR said:
    I have owned a WD Elements 1TB hard-drive for about 2 years now. No longer is on newegg or any store sites that I can find so here is the link.

    http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=301&lang=en WD10000E035 version.

    It was working fine until recently, I plugged it in and Windows wouldn't detect it. I should note that when I plug it in (via the usb ports) I hear the customary ding from Windows 7, but it won't show up in explorer. I will list what I have tried:

    - Uninstalling and re-installing the drive through Device Manager.
    - Updating the drivers through device manager
    - Disabling the power management through device management so it is externally powered
    - Trying to use Western Digitals data recovery software (but the only option it seems to give me is reformat the drive to repair it)

    So I decided to take it apart and insert it into my desktop as a SATA secondary drive Everything hooked up, and it showed up in BIOS just fine, but when I went into windows... just like when it was attached with USB it would not show up. It will show up under Device Manager in drives, as just WD (no other description). But when I go to disk management nothing shows up.

    I'm kind of at my wits end not knowing what to try next. To me the warranty and refund money is not important (since I took it apart) but the almost 1TB of data I have on it is. Seems to me like I will have to try and take it to a data recovery place, unless someone has another suggestion I can try.

    Thanks for any advice that one may have. I can provide more details if needed as well.


  8. I had similar problem with WD elemet 2tb. I tryed winXP and Windows 7.
    My sitation was that the drver was healthy(using Windows Exploer->Computer->Manage->Stotage.Diskanagement) at the bottom display, but no Volume info & no Drive leter atthe top.
    When I right click the WD element disk, the only choice was delete volume.
    I used a product called System Commander 7, and found the partition was hidden.
    I was able to unhide (set active) and retried with windows 7 & XP. It then be recognized and working fine.
    As a result I was able to recover WD element without losing any data (600mb).
    The key is to make the partition active! i,e,, unhide.
    Lee
  9. Hi,

    I have an WD external 1TB for over an year now. It was working perfectly but suddenly stopped showing on My Computer. the drive is still present in device manager. However, in disk management, it is shown as uninitialized and upon initializing, it's throwing an IO error. I tried lot of recovery tools including Total System Commander, but none of them is able to see my WD Elements 1042.
    Over and above, in the WD properties, it is showing the volumes data as unknown or 0. Also, whenever I plug-in WD, it starts giving some beep sound for some time and after that its like a Silent Hill :O
    Can anyone please suggest how I can atleast recover my data ?
  10. ayushmathur said:
    Hi,

    I have an WD external 1TB for over an year now. It was working perfectly but suddenly stopped showing on My Computer. the drive is still present in device manager. However, in disk management, it is shown as uninitialized and upon initializing, it's throwing an IO error. I tried lot of recovery tools including Total System Commander, but none of them is able to see my WD Elements 1042.
    Over and above, in the WD properties, it is showing the volumes data as unknown or 0. Also, whenever I plug-in WD, it starts giving some beep sound for some time and after that its like a Silent Hill :O
    Can anyone please suggest how I can atleast recover my data ?
  11. Hi Asushmathur,

    I am having the same problem, it is shown as uninitialized and upon initializing, it's throwing an IO error. how did you solve it?
  12. Hi molahlegi,

    I am still struggling to find some alternative to retrieve the data back. Seems like the hard disk is gone for sure and before sending to any data recovery center, I'm trying to lookup for some solution online.
  13. Hi
    My win 8 didn't show up wd elements 1tb - so i went computer/manage/disk management and changed driver letter, and ..... it showed up my wd in My Computer, and i was able to get my files.
  14. same issue as reported on windows 7. I hooked it up to an iMac which detected it. backed up all data. connected an old targa 500gb to my pc and it detected that np. seems to be a WD windows driver issue
  15. ayushmathur said:
    Hi,

    I have an WD external 1TB for over an year now. It was working perfectly but suddenly stopped showing on My Computer. the drive is still present in device manager. However, in disk management, it is shown as uninitialized and upon initializing, it's throwing an IO error. I tried lot of recovery tools including Total System Commander, but none of them is able to see my WD Elements 1042.
    Over and above, in the WD properties, it is showing the volumes data as unknown or 0. Also, whenever I plug-in WD, it starts giving some beep sound for some time and after that its like a Silent Hill :O
    Can anyone please suggest how I can atleast recover my data ?


    Hi Ayush,
    I am also facing the same problem. Did you get any solution for this issue. Please help me as I am much worried about my data.

    Thanks,
    Suhas
  16. I had the same problem, and I've solved it :bounce:
    What I had: my "WD elements play" was visible from my laptop (with Windows 7) via USB cable, I could copy files from/to the device, but it couldn't detect the HDD on it's own. I've connected it into another lattop with Windows 7, and drive letter did not appeared in 'My computer'. In the disk manager drive was visible, and it's partition was shown as "recovery partition" (but I know that it should be NTFS partition).
    I booted up my laptop with Linux, and the partition type of this drive was shown as "id 27, Hidden NTFS WinRE". It appears that the partition type was changed opon Windows boot (thanks, MS).
    Then I simply changed the partition type to "id: 7, HPFS/NTFS/exFAT" via fdisk (without reformatting), and now it's successfully detected by WD.
    I hope this info will be helpful for someone who is facing the same problem.
    Cheers!
  17. JordoR said:
    Thanks for the quick answer COLGeek.

    - The drive will only briefly appear in disk management right after I uninstall + reinstall the drive. It shows up as uninitialized, and when I try and initialize the drive I get an error. It does not allow me to partition it or anything else. After awhile it dissapears from the disk management.

    - I will try and enable SMART in BIOS to see what it reports.

    - I do not have access to a linux PC and have never dealt with linux in the past so that option seems like a last resort.

    - And no the disk is not encrypted.

    I won't be reformatting this drive either, I am only interested in the data. After something like this I won't feel safe storing any data on it. I'm planning on taking it to a local computer shop to see if they can do any data recovery on it after work.


    http://www.thewindowsclub.com/disk-error-checking-windows-8
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