Western Digital External Hard Drive Broke

My brand new western digital external hard drive is no longer recognized by Windows on my computer. It simply does NOT work.  How do I recover all the data I saved on there? Do you have any recommendations for data recovery services?  Know any good ones who are also affordable?  I will never use another external hard drive... I was so excited when I bought the external--portable hard drive and saved all my data on there-- and now --- it simply does not work!  Please let me know if you know of any way that I can get it to work again...
manijhakAsked:
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jderaCommented:
Before you go to that extreme, which may cost you $1000, do you have access to another PC, can you try and use the USB drive from another PC?
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paul-adamCommented:
not a WD Passport drive by any chance....that happened to me....I had backed up my whole PC to it - then went and re-installed my PC - then external drive died after starting to copy data back!!! - Lost pretty much everything.

Unfortunately hard disk data recovery is NOT cheap - even for home users - I was quoted figures of £900 for a 120GB drive by Ontrack and similar from another company (that I cant recall the name of just now).
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PUNKYCommented:
Getdataback is great program to recovery data in such case, but you can try now to attach the drive directly to system see if it detected OK. You will have to get the drive out of enclosure then.
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DifladermausCommented:
Is the usb device recognized as a drive letter, but just not accessable? or just doesn't work at all?
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manijhakAuthor Commented:
Oh my God-- $1000-- are you serious?  I tried it on another PC -- it still didn't work. I tried different USB cables too.. it didn't work.  It is isa WD Passport!

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PUNKYCommented:
Try my suggestion above.
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manijhakAuthor Commented:
How do I attach the drive directly to system?  Can you please give me step by step instructions?
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paul-adamCommented:
I agree with punky getdataback will get something back if the drive is still picked up (ontrack have a software based solution like that as well...

And bad news - that was £900 GBP I quoted - near enough $2000!
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DifladermausCommented:
I agree with Punky. If you can get the device detected you have a chance with some apps and/or imaging software. I have been able to image several disks that I could get to detect in bios even if they wouldn't boot or could not be read through an os. Trying on different systems is important, sometimes other hardware will detect the disk.

Find out if the disk can be removed from the carrier it came in. This may help the detection process.

Dif
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paul-adamCommented:
what kind of drive is it? (as in which model)

depends what kind of interface it has inside the case - you may need an interface converter (i.e. standard IDE to the smaller ide interface)

Either way to attach it directly you will need to open the case of the drive (bye bye warranty though)
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DifladermausCommented:
I used Acronis to image even disks with back sectors. Sometimes you have to get a sector image and data can still restored.

Look to the manufacturers info to see if the disk can be removed from its case. I may just be a standard IDE or SATA connection that can be connected internally in your desktop.

Remember, an external drive is still a single point of failure. This is no different than any other disk failure. If you need the data have it backed up.

Dif
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paul-adamCommented:
I know its a bit late now - But after I had my disk failure I invested in a "QNAP" TS-210 (or 201 I cant remember)

Networked NAS box with 2 x drive bays that you can put your own SATA drives in and create a RAID1 (mirrored) disk array

At least then your covered against disk failure in the future

Of course if the whole box blows up your still up the creek without a paddle - so backups are always the best plan.

Sorry...I know thats not much help!
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jderaCommented:
dumb question here, but is the power supply working correctly?
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manijhakAuthor Commented:
power supply is working. I dont understand all the other stuff that people said.  Can I download a "driver" for it somewhere?

Western DIgital Passport--- black cherry cover portable hard drive--160 gb
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PUNKYCommented:
It is snap-on so you can disassemble it with tiny flat screwdriver. Then, attach it (depend on what connector type - sata or ide), you attach the drive on working system as slave or standalone. If system detects the drive correctly, then try to access it, if it work ... copy your data off.

Getdataback is good tool, you could try demo version as well.
http://www.getdataback.com 
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paul-adamCommented:
Ah - they are sealed disks - not sure what the interface is internally - But we were suggesting you crack open the disk cover (only the pretty cosmetic cover dont open the actual disk itself!)

But Im getting the feeling this might be a little too technical.

If windows doesnt even see it when you plug it in - do you hear the disk spin up? - if so do you hear a repetitive clicking noise over and over?

If you do then the disk has possibly died my friend.

If you really need the data your only option may be a third party recovery specialist - but like I said before - its MEGA bucks for your average schmo (like me when my passport 120gb disk died)

And some of them will charge you to just look at the drive (although I think ontrack will do a diagnostic for a nominal fee and give you a list of whats recoverable from the disk and a quote to recover the files) - if you decide not to recover the files then the disk will be sent back to you

Ontrack are a recovery partner with Western Digital - so WD will honour your warranty if its gone to them and been opened. - If you open it you will loose your warranty on the disk though (Although I get the feeling you wont be buying another external disk)

By the way I dont work for ontrack - Ive just used them in the past!
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PUNKYCommented:
I did many times :o) so far.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Assuming this is the drive you have [http://www.wdc.com/global/products/imageviewer.asp?model=wdfPassport_Portable_2&filter=1047604¤timage=frnt&lang=en ] ... then note the following:

"... power supply is working ..." => Are you using an external power adapter with this drive?    WD does not include one with the drive; and although they note an "optional" adapter is available, it's very hard to find.   Was there an order form for it included with the drive?

... in MANY cases problems with USB-powered drives will "go away" with an external power adapter.   These drives draw the maximum power allowed by the USB specification; and can easily exceed the capabilities of your USB controller.   I wouldn't tear open the drive yet => get an external power adapter and see if that helps.
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Computer101Commented:
Forced accept.

Computer101
EE Admin
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