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-Sys
tem 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!