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WD "My Passport" Hard Drive huge issue.

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March 2, 2013 11:22:25 PM

I own a WD "My Passport" hard drive 1tb. I recently went to go use it when I plugged it in and started to hear a scratching sound. I disconnected the hard drive then plugged it back in and the sound stopped. But now it does not view the hard drive on my computer as it once did before. It was viewed with my personal name for the hard drive and now it is connected as a local disk, local disk F to be correct. Now I cannot open or view anything I have on the hard drive and it was asking me to troubleshoot the problem. I did that and then updated the device drivers and it showed up fine. But still only gets picked up on my computer as a local disk. It has asked me to reformat a few times, but I do not want to reformat without getting some of the files off of my hard drive first, but it wont let me open it. I was wondering if anyone could either help me repair the issue, and if not, then help me find a way to get my files off of the hard drive then onto my computer for safe keeping while I get another drive. I have never had any issues with it before and its never been dropped, it just suddenly has decided to stop working and I have tried uninstalling the device from my computer from my device manager in control panel but after I do the uninstall (removing the drivers and device) I reinstall and it still does not work. Please help.
a b G Storage
April 16, 2013 2:52:38 AM

1) almost all WD External Drives have an encryption. to recover your files do not remove it from the case.
2) i suggest you recover the files. try http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-1644496/lost-data-...
3) after that(2) try to format the drive. then run a diagnostic to see if the drive is all right.
4) if the diagnostic found errors or the format cannot be completed remove the hard drive from the external case and plug it in the motherboard an internal drive then repeat the format and/or run diagnostics.


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a c 348 G Storage
April 18, 2013 10:29:12 AM

Seatools is a good diagnostic package from Seagate customized for THEIR HDD's. Since you have a WD unit, go to their website and get the free WD diagnostic package, Data Lifeguard. Use that to diagnose your unit.
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January 25, 2014 6:00:29 PM

I just found a working solution to this problem... It's all about power. I had the external drive plugged into an external hub. I didn't have that much else on the hub - but that doesn't seem to matter.

An external hard drive that draws its power through the USB consumes more than most hubs can handle. Before trying anything drastic, simply unplug the USB from the hub, and plug it directly into the chassis.

As I understand it, most computers have built-in hubs... Perhaps one for the rear USB ports, and another for the front USB ports. You want to ensure that the USB port you use for this drive is NOT sharing its power with anything else. If your webcam/USB key/phone charger is plugged into the same internal hub, then unplug them while you're copying the files. The internal hub should be dedicated to the external drive.
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a c 348 G Storage
January 25, 2014 9:23:59 PM

Neal, that probably would not have solved OP's original problem - his / her symptoms strongly appear to be hardware failure. BUT it could be a power problem, I will admit.

FYI, here's the info on power for external drives via USB.
The USB2 spec provides for power to the attached device supplied by the USB2 port up to a max of 500 mA (0.5 A) per USB2 port. ANY USB2 port is supposed to be able to deliver that power, but not more. The dilemma for external HDD users is that virtually ALL external drive units that use (internally) the common 3½" desktop HDD style unit will use MORE that 500 mA, so the USB2 port cannot supply enough. Such units normally require their own power supply and draw none from the USB2 port. However, many "portable" external HDD units use inside them the smaller 2½" size HDD used normally inside a laptop, and most of those manage to work on 500 mA or less. So, those units CAN be powered from one USB2 port.

Now, SOME "portable" drives actually need a little more. So they come with a special cable that has TWO USB2 connectors on the end, and you must plug in BOTH to separate ports to get all the power the HDD unit needs.

The USB2 ports in a desktop (or laptop) machine should conform to that power spec. Although they don't function quite like a hub does, each port gets power from the mobo's power system. Any external stand-alone hub also SHOULD conform to that power spec. (Of course, non-powered USB2 hubs will not.) But it is possible that a poorly-designed hub could fail to provide the full 500 mA on all its ports at the same time, even if it is supposed to by the USB2 spocs system.
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June 8, 2014 10:54:16 PM

Hi; I came looking here for an answer when my WD passport started showing symptoms identical to the OP's description. I am not really versed in computers but I did try Neal Miller's solution and it worked for me! I had my iphone 5 charging on my desktop computer, alongside my wd passport. As soon as I un-plugged the iphone and plugged in the Passport, the wd drive came to life. All the while, I was starting to worry about how I was going to get the data off of the drive. Thanks, Neal, for sharing your solution. You saved this guy a lot of worry.

Neal Miller said:
I just found a working solution to this problem... It's all about power. I had the external drive plugged into an external hub. I didn't have that much else on the hub - but that doesn't seem to matter.

An external hard drive that draws its power through the USB consumes more than most hubs can handle. Before trying anything drastic, simply unplug the USB from the hub, and plug it directly into the chassis.

As I understand it, most computers have built-in hubs... Perhaps one for the rear USB ports, and another for the front USB ports. You want to ensure that the USB port you use for this drive is NOT sharing its power with anything else. If your webcam/USB key/phone charger is plugged into the same internal hub, then unplug them while you're copying the files. The internal hub should be dedicated to the external drive.


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