Western Digital, My Book, WD50000D32, Firewire Fails to Start

Posted on 2007-11-17
Last Modified: 2016-06-26
On power up, drive clicks several times at 1 1/2 second interval then stops trying to start up.
When I came in this morning it was quietly ticking away.  Task manager showed a process with 48 GB disk read bytes probably from defrag software I run. This was over a five hour span.
This drive holds my full system (mutiple drives) backups.
My system was in the process of recovery from a corrupted ID.  Microsoft said the corruption occurred because IE7 had too many tool bars.
What can I do to reactivate this drive?
Question by:humbill
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LVL 32

Accepted Solution

r-k earned 500 total points
ID: 20304795
It doesn't sound good. That clicking sound means the r/w heads are not able to load correctly, i.e. hardware failure.

You can try turning the power on/off a few more times, just in case you get lucky.

Also, if possible, remove the drive from the enclosure, attach to your PC directly via an IDE connector, turon on the power and see if you can feel the drive spinning at all.

As this is your backup drive, perhaps you have that data elsewhere, and replacing the drive with a new one may be easiest. Next time I recommend a Seagate drive rather than WD.

If file recovery is important enough, contact Gillware ( They have a $400 special price and you don't pay if they don't recover.

Good luck.

Author Comment

ID: 20305540
Thank you, r-k.

I contacted the company to talk to a technician but no call back has been received.

This is the second unit like this to fail.  Both didn't last long.

From research I conclude that these external drives are unreliable.  I intend to put together a back up computer.  Tape is wonderful but too expensive.  I've used tape at work. It would be my first choice.

I have removed it from the enclusure.  It is SATA.  I will wait to see if I actually have to get at the data before going further with it.  New backups are running.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 20305603
Thanks. Sorry to hear your ongoing problems. I had terrible luck with WD drives over the years, and avoid them when possible. Seagate has been better, and at least you get a five-year warranty. Some new Seagate drives are actually Maxtor drives since they merged - avoid those. I also use disk-to-disk backup and agree it is better than tape for many cases.

In a few cases, if you can feel the drive is not spinning, you can get it to spin up with a rapid shake, a sharp tap with a screwdriver handle, or just turning it off/on a few times. I did have success with this a few times.

Some people have reported success with freezing the drive in a plastic bag for a couple hours, then trying quickly, long enough to get data off. I've never had this work personally.

For important data, also backup to CD or DVD and store in a physically separate location.

Good luck!

Author Comment

ID: 20345640
Thank you for checking back on me.

I've recovered most of data from drive C: The other five drives are doing fine. On boot a black screen would appear. Ctrl Alt Del would get the Task Manager.  From there I ran explorer and copied files.

Over night I've been rebuilding the PC. One bad thing to happen keeps me from accessing e-mail which is where serial numbers, registration keys and so on reside.  Norton Ghost is therefore useless except in CD Recovery Mode.  I knew I was getting careless so the hand whack is due.

When Staples opens at 10 AM I will buy software to fix that.

So far twenty-nine applications are installed.  About fifteen are left including Adobe CS3 Professional Extended, a very long one. Some lack keys because I can't access e-mail or Word Documents.  Some lack information from D&S area.

6 AM approaches so I'll take a break and go out to breakfast.

Author Comment

ID: 20345694
By the way, powering on a drive that has been clicking greatly reduces the chance of date recovery, I was told.

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