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How do I restore a corrupted/deleted driver of a WD My Book Essential External Hard Drive?

Posted on 2009-12-27
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Hello, experts,

I've uninstalled, from my machine's Control Panel, the installation of the "automatic" driver of my Western Digital (WD) My Book Essential installed by my Operating System, Windows XP. This happened because I thought the driver/SmartWare Software installation for the drive was corrupted, and hoped that the drivers and software will be automatically re-installed on my next attempt--but I was gravely mistaken. Since this uninstallation, however, my drive's drivers could not be detected and installed by Windows XP or Windows 7 in other machines; thus, I cannot access my drive at all! I hope there's still a way before trying to get a replacement drive (if it's even possible, since I couldn't even find my receipt already)!

--- Here's the background story and info of all this:

I've recently purchased a Western Digital (WD) My Book Essential, 1 TB, about 2 weeks ago. Since the past, two Saturdays, I was unable to make use of the hard drive on my Windows XP machine in both "Safe Mode With Networking" and normal mode.

First, however, you may want to find out why I even needed "Safe Mode With Networking" in my Windows XP machine by checking my problem-with-Operating-System part of this question: http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_25004836.html?cid=1575

Bottom line, my current Windows XP installation is corrupted, and the awry situations surrounding it have given me a very tough time setting up my external Hard Drive from WD properly.

Thankfully, I've known the (somewhat, virtually useless) "Safe Mode" option, but I found that I'm forced to use my computer in either "Safe Mode" or "Safe Mode with Networking" option in the computer's boot menu screen. Since I'm still able to use my machine in Safe Mode, I figured it's my Windows XP installation that's corrupted, not my machine, and I would like to completely reinstall it--while having a total backup of my data, first!

So, I first tried to access my fresh-out-of-the-box WD drive in Safe Mode, but its SmartWare software can't auto-run  --  it (and the WD's driver), indeed, got detected, installed, and shown in Windows Explorer, however. Then, from what I could recall, when I tried setting up my drive, the software either issued me some kind of an error message, indicating that the driver installation was not possible, or it simply closes by itself (or "crashes") without attempting to help finish setting up my drive.

Then, I'm forced to try running Windows XP in normal mode, in the hope that it will "survive" (see the URL I gave above for details on this, if you haven't) long enough so that I can have time to properly install my drive. It did "survive" long enough--up until I gave up myself. The software auto-run successfully in normal mode and I was even able to set a password for my drive. I was stuck in a screen that gave a summary of my local disks' total content. The "Backup" tab, up top, was disabled, and I had no idea how to proceed to start backing up my files, since I could found no other related links or buttons in the software. Thus, I thought that the driver/software installation was corrupted.

Finally, I disconnected the drive and uninstalled its driver/SmartWare through Control Panel's Add/Remove Program, in the hope that it will run correctly in the next re-installation. (I had no idea that deleting the installed copy of the driver and SmartWare Software in my machine would also corrupt the drivers and SmartWare Software in the External HD!) I then even tried some tips like connect the hard drive directly to an electrical outlet with no extension cords, wait for Windows to fully load the drive and then connect the drive, and so on, but with no sign of luck. The last thing I've keep on seeing, on Windows start-up, after re-installation, was a dialog box by the SmartWare (WDDMStatus.exe) saying something like "WDDM Service not running"--although I did make sure and turn ALL services and start-up items in msconfig.exe to be on--whenever I restart Windows in normal mode, and my computer can no longer re-detect the hard drive, and it only labeled the drive as a plain "USB device," or "Unknown device," or "Uknown USB device" ever since.

Please help me fix this situation as soon as possible, as I'm now unable to backup all of my data!

Thank you very, very much for your time and help!


P.S.: To emphasize and remind, I've tried connecting this drive to my friend's laptop and the laptop can't install a driver for it as well, and it's using the Windows 7 OS; I also tried connecting it to my other friend's desktop computer that also uses Windows XP, and I get the same "Failed to install hardware" and/or "Driver not found" errors. Please help!
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Question by:hsq91
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 600 total points
ID: 26130112
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26130114
if not - you can always contact WD with your problem - same page
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Author Comment

by:hsq91
ID: 26133937
nobus, I did contact WD since 5 days ago. They still have not given me any reply; I think their staff are all on the Christmas & New Year break and won't reply till somewhere in early or mid January! That's why I posted a question here in the first place. Thanks for your response, anyway. Can you or anyone else still help me with this, though?
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:Ravi Agrawal
Ravi Agrawal earned 600 total points
ID: 26136315
I wrote a new Article at - http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Troubleshooting-and-repairing-misbehaving-Peripherals-in-Windows-using-the-Device-Manager.html

Anyways don't go through it- Part relating to you is -

"For Windows XP users - My Computer >> Control Panel >> System >> Advanced Tab >> Click the Environment Variables Button >> New Button under System Variables. Enter the following values in the Dialog Box that opens up-

Variable Name : DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES
Variable Value : 1

Ok out everything and reboot. Again open up Device Manager and select Show Hidden Devices under its View menu. Device Manager will now list those devices which are installed in Windows background. They are easily identified as they appear fainter than the others."


Delete all faint occurences of your USB related items that could be causing the issues.

That should help with the reinstall of drivers.

Ravi.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Ravi Agrawal
ID: 26136334
How about redownloading the software from the WD site http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=120&lang=en and then trying.

I guess you might have tried that but don't find you mentioning it anyware.

Ravi.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26136361
grtraders - is that not the same i posted??
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Ravi Agrawal
ID: 26136365
Ooops, sorry appologies, nobus

Ravi.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26137100
no problem, happens to all of us..
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Author Comment

by:hsq91
ID: 26143843
@qrtraders
First, I have so many "faint occurences of [my] USB related items that could be causing the issues." Then, I'm positive that just deleting "all faint occurences of [my] USB related items that could be causing the issues" will have absolutely no effect. This is so because the problem no longer lies in just my computer not being able to recognize my drive--my drive no longer "hands out" its correct identity, or the like, and, thus, my OS cannot assign the generic driver for it. I know this since all of my friends' computer, both Windows XP and 7, can't even recognize my driver either!

@nobus & qrtraders
I forgot to mention that I did visit that link and downloaded, then re-downloaded, the WD software who knows how many times, right on the day I revved the drive up. All the WD software kept saying something like "could not detect the WD hard drive." Well, duh, if the OS, the "gate," can't detect it, then how is it supposed to be able to detect it?

Anyway, I just got a response today from the WD's support person. He said I need to re-format the drive. I have no idea how to re-format the drive if no computer can detect it! There's not even a reset button on the drive. So, please enlighten me as to how I can re-format my drive.

Once again, thanks a bunch for your ongoing responses! I greatly appreciate them.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Ravi Agrawal
ID: 26143872
Sure, Are you comfortable with downloading & burning ISO images to CDs.

The download this Linux Partition Manager from here
http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php

Boot with this CD & it will detect your Hard Disk even with corrupt partitions. Proceed from there.

It is a Graphical User Interface so don't worry about any geeky stuff. Hit Enter at all prompts to Boot into the default screen.

Ravi.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26144596
is that drive seen in the bios?
did you test it on all usb ports?
do other usb devices (flash stick) work ok ?

**i assume the drive is still good (but then it should give a notification sound on connecting it)
you can also use the live knoppix cd (it supports USB) to rule out the OS :
ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.0.1CD-2009-02-08-EN.iso      
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LVL 3

Accepted Solution

by:
hsq91 earned 0 total points
ID: 26149293
Whoops, solved the problem by re-installing the WD SmartWare Software Update, as suggested by the WD technical support personnel and some of you guys. It's really strange, though, because I did the same exact Update right on the day I turned the drive on and subsequent days that I've been trying to re-install the Software since the Backup tab's been disabled.

I found that while the SmartWare is running, my computer will re-detect my hard drive on the next re-plug-in; consequently, the backup tab is now enabled! Back then, however, I connected my drive, watched its SmartWare running, and stucked when I saw the backup tab disabled. Really weird. That's why I thought the software was corrupted, tried to re-install it, and had this problem ever since. It turns out I had to do the reverse: run the SmartWare software, then connect the drive.

I'll give myself the accepted solution, if you guys would agree, since I mapped out the final, reversed way and combination to finally get my computer to detect my drive! I'll give you all assisted solution since you guys, just like the WD tech personnel, suggested that I take a look at that downloads-page link once again, but you guys didn't suggest the final, critical, reverse step that I did.

Thank you all!

P.S.: should I just backup my important data files and simply re-install my whole OS? Or should I "fight" with my OS first, just as I did with this drive? You're still very welcome to help with fixing my OS, though, as I try to gradually backup my data: http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_25004836.html?cid=1575
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Author Comment

by:hsq91
ID: 26149366
Requesting for you guys to be each (ID: 26130112 & 26136315) awarded 150 points and myself back 200 points, if that's possible.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:hsq91
ID: 26149392
In http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Removable_Backup_Media/Q_25004918.html , please award ID: 26130112 & 26136315 each 150 points (Assisted Solutions) and myself back 200 points (Accepted Solution), if that's possible, due to the experts providing incomplete, yet assisting, solutions, and I, myself, providing the completing solution.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26152289
it's ok with me, though i disagree with your saying "due to the experts providing incomplete, yet assisting, solutions"    

it seems to me my first post was EXACTLY the solution !
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Ravi Agrawal
ID: 26152326
I think the author cannot award points to himself, so see the Close Request Box which states he will get 0 points. It leaves me wondering what will happen to those balance 200 points. They will trashed to the EE dustbin, I suppose.

Ravi.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26152925
or cause IE to crash in another country ?
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:hsq91
ID: 26156374
Well, nobus, as I've mentioned, just giving me the link, like what the tech personnel did, is incomplete to my final solution. This is so because I know of that link since the day I turned my drive on! I'm caught in a loop that's going nowhere since my computer (and others) will never detect my drive, for its first time, if I didn't do the backward process: run the SmartWare Software, then connect the External Hard Drive.
About the points, I have no idea how EE handles them, but I thought that by asking this question I'm using, and giving away, my 500 points, so I would like to get back some since, again, I was the one who discovered the final step.
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Expert Comment

by:Ravi Agrawal
ID: 26156409
@hsq91

Thanks for the input.

I am no moderator here, but as the way Expert Exchange works, if you ask a question, you cannot award the points to yourself. Thats it in short.

Now coming to the longer version of a theory out here.

People can register here without paying fees (or very low fees, I don't know and am not sure of that) so that they can ask questions and get a feel of how the site works and how it is helpful to them.

In that case, they are not premium members nor qualified experts. Could be limited members or some other status. These people are allowed a fixed quota of points that they can use. Once they exhaust their share of points, they have to pay or quit.

Now consider the situation when these limited members start awarding points to themselves just to continue their membership.

Do you get the idea? Hence you are also seeing those 50 125 point questions at times, which may carry a difficulty burden of 500 points to answer.

Premium Members and Qualified Experts can ask unlimited questions and assign unlimited points. Thats it!

Moderators, feel free to correct me where I am wrong.

Ravi.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:hsq91
ID: 26156553
Well, I'm a "Qualified Expert" as you can already see. However, as soon as I got this status for the first time, I asked my first question (about my OS freezing), and I lost my "Qualified Expert" status in my profile page! It reverts back to "Limited Member" in my profile badge on the left of my profile page, although it always said "Status: Qualified Expert" under the "My Account" section up top-right. Soon, I got another Accepted Solution (just one), however, and my profile page said that I'm a "Qualified Expert" again. This leads me to believe that I lost/give away points when I asked a question! If you can explain to me why did this happen, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Ravi Agrawal
ID: 26156843
Dont know about that. A qualified expert status is achieved when you make 10000 points. You need to earn 3000 points per month to keep your status and maintain your free premium services accesss as a qualified expert. When you access to edit your profile you find an experts tab. If you have not clicked on the option asking to start services as a qualified expert then do it now.

I have not come across points being deducted from those once assigned to you. Points once given are given. They cannot be taken away except in special administrative actions by a mod.

Too much explaining from my part. Phew! Look at EE help pages or post a zero point question it the community feedback zone. You will get proper answers there from the mods themselves.

Ravi.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26157367
>>   for its first time, if I didn't do the backward process: run the SmartWare Software, then connect the External Hard Drive   <<     that is how it is done for most usb devices, so i did not mention it, because of the standard procedure...but i agree, to be complete it should have been added

but i said it's fine with me...

no problem hsq91 - and a happy New Year !
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