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So I got this external drive about 4 months ago and it's been working fine for me up until recently when it just randomly stopped working. It will turn on but my computer won't recognize it. How do I get it to work again?

asked Feb 12 '11 at 13:54

chadt4's gravatar image


Sounds like the file system on the hard drive is damaged. The easiest way for you to get it to work again is to reformat the hard drive but you will lose all you're data. Have you backed this hard drive up? Recovering data of the hard drive isn't something I would recommend unless you know what you are doing.

answered Feb 12 '11 at 14:14

Ozy360's gravatar image


It's a backup drive anyway so I'm not losing anything that I don't already have. But I can't format it because Windows won't recognise it

(Feb 12 '11 at 15:34) chadt4 chadt4's gravatar image

OMG! I had the same problem with an older 500GB WD Book. It won't recognize it. First try to contact Western Digital Second if your warranty is out already remove the hard drive from inside. Basically opening up the case and removing the internal hard drive. I did that to my 500GB one and it worked perfectly in another computer. Still works after like 3 years. The issue is the board that transfers the hard drive to the USB damaged it is bad. But the hard disk drive is still good. Hope I help!

answered Feb 12 '11 at 14:31

Jameel%20Alayyan's gravatar image

Jameel Alayyan

I'd try opening it up and seeing if you can attach it to your computer with an adapter cable. See this:


If it sees the drive it may be the controller card of the external gone bad. Or the hard drive itself may be corrupted. Copy your data to another drive on your computer then reformat the external drive while it's still being recognized out of the case. I just had a MyBook 750GB go wonky and moving the data then reformatting seems to have fixed things.

answered Feb 12 '11 at 14:36

The%20Kingfish's gravatar image

The Kingfish

That would be voiding the warranty, wouldn't it?

(Oct 05 '11 at 05:38) Hugo Hugo's gravatar image

Wow. Your first mistake was buying a WD drive! Cant stand em.

answered Feb 12 '11 at 14:54

Duodave's gravatar image



Really. I've never had a problem. I have 4 computer in my office currently running with WD drives. I guess it is all luck.

(Feb 12 '11 at 15:46) TheTechDude TheTechDude's gravatar image

Had a similar problem basically. Got a refurbed 500gb WD Book external I think it was. It was reading and writing but then it after a few minutes, of being on, it would shut off(or stop reading and writing). After a while of this it wouldn't even read. I concluded its the powersupply/controller board thats in it is bad because I took it out and put it in my computer. Its now my primary drive for my new PC I just built. Works fine in there. If you are getting a solid strip for the light, I would just take it out and go buy an enclosure.

Also, those hard drives WD gives you are HEAVY! It has to be a pound(maybe 2) heavier than my other drives.

answered Feb 12 '11 at 16:17

TechGeek101's gravatar image


It appears that WD HDD's need to be shut down using the safely remove facility, I have a WD 1tb HDD that started playing up in all sorts of ways and would not show the files that were on the drive even though they were there, my problem was that I had two power shut downs in my house due to a kettle tripping out the main RCD and from then on my HDD is kaput, I did manage to load win xp on it but then that also went haywire, now it will not do anything it should do, when I connect to any of my PC's it either hangs or turns off the PC, what a bag of shite it is, I will never buy another WD HDD.

answered Oct 05 '11 at 05:08

sadgit's gravatar image


edited Oct 05 '11 at 05:09

BTW I forgot to mention that it was an external WD Mybook.

answered Oct 05 '11 at 05:11

sadgit's gravatar image


This happened to my old WD External 500GB Hard Drive, it fell off a table while still in use, after that it couldn't be recognised. What had happened was the reading pins had scratched the disks surface so nothing could be read off it.

Have you dropped it? If you have, I doubt that there's much you can do about it unless you have warranty for it.

answered Oct 05 '11 at 05:40

Hugo's gravatar image


What external HDD is the Longest lasting for you guys? I was just planning to buy a WD, and cancelled my plan after reading this. what would you suggest?

I think something with a "Drive guard?"

my laptop has a drive guard in it's HDD. here's the short story: I packed it inside my backpack, while I was shopping for a gift. another gift was inside the bag, which happened to be hard and round.

my bag suddenly fell off the table. thanks for that hard round thing, it served as a blunt object for my laptop. guess what, I never had a single problem until today. and am answering your question using the laptop that fell of from 4feet above the floor.

so, back to the point, I think it's the drive guard thingy that helped me a lot. what external HDD has that? I think the HDD of my laptop is intel? not sure.

answered Oct 05 '11 at 07:50

xedric14's gravatar image


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Asked: Feb 12 '11 at 13:54

Seen: 37,265 times

Last updated: Oct 05 '11 at 07:50