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How come my WD (Wester Digital) My Book Essential External USB drive is no longer recognized by XP

Posted on 2010-03-23
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Last Modified: 2016-06-26
I have a 250 GB Western Digital My Book Essential External Disk Drive that connects via USB.

I have had no problems until a few days ago.

When I plug the USB cable into my computer, it says
WD Drive
Your hardware is ready for use

However, when I look in My Computer, the drive is not listed there.

When I click on My Computer, Manage, Disk Management, the drive is not there.

When I click on the Safely Remove Hardware green arrow in the system tray, it displays
USB Mass Storage Device
WD

When I click the properties of WD, it says the device is functioning properly.  However, no drive letter is assigned.

Thanks for your help!
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Question by:WeThePeople
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Assisted Solution

by:alienvoice
alienvoice earned 400 total points
ID: 28388460
Well if it's not showing up in the disk manager then a drive will not be assigned.

Have you plugged the drive into another computer? Can that computer read it?

You could try taking out the drive and plugging it directly into the computer and see if it can see it then. You might have issues with the drive or perhaps the caddy.
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Expert Comment

by:CPetrich12
ID: 28388669
RIght click on my computer, click manage, select Disk Management (Under Storage), right click on your WD hard drive and select "Change Driver Letter and Paths".

Assign it a new drive letter. Odds are, you've got a card reader or some other drive using the same drive letter as the WD hard drive.

Hope this helps.
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by:WeThePeople
ID: 28388690
Yes, I have tried connecting to the usb port on other computers.  I get the same results.  

I don't see any place to unscrew to remove the drive.
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by:CPetrich12
CPetrich12 earned 400 total points
ID: 28388800
Sorry, I hadn't read the part about the disk not showing up in computer manager. It may also be a bad usb cable. It could be getting power, but no data connection or vice versa. I have had the cables go bad on me before. Try swapping it with another cable and giving it a try.
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by:alienvoice
ID: 28388806
I'm afraid in that case. You have an issue with either the drive or the caddy housing the drive. If you cannot find a way to remove the drive, it might be sealed. Can you return it to your place of purchase?
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by:WeThePeople
ID: 28389027
I have used the drive for the last several months without any problems.  I will try a different cable.
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by:CPetrich12
ID: 28389254
I had a Canon camera for a year. I used the USB cable that came with it all the time. One day it just stopped working. I got a new cable and I'm still using the same camera 6 months later.  I hope that this ends up being the cause (for your wallet's sake).
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by:alienvoice
ID: 28389310
With any electronic product, it can work one day and not the next,  comes with the territory. I'd hope it was the cable as well. Least you don't lose data with a faulty cable. ;)
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by:nobus
ID: 28427102
you can always try to open it, see here :  http://rebootdaily.blogspot.com/2007/03/how-to-open-western-digital-my-book.html
then test the drive alone on a pc - you probably need a sata cable + pwr connector.
that will show if it is the drive or the caddy !
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by:WeThePeople
ID: 28453321
The problem is not the cable.  I have removed the drive from its case and purchased something called DriveWire.  I will use that to see if I can read the drive.
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by:WeThePeople
ID: 28456092
I would think that when I plug in the drive, I should feel some vibration of it spinning, but I do not.

The label on the drive has:  Green Power Hard Drive by WD
The model is WD Caviar - WD3200AAVS

It appears that the drive is not powering up.
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by:
nobus earned 1200 total points
ID: 28458878
then the only thing you can try to start it, is replace the disk logic board with the one of the same model and firmware level. IF you need the data
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Expert Comment

by:alienvoice
ID: 28486541
Just becareful with anything you might change as it may affect your warranty or void it. I'd recommend returning it.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 28526020
i think that's voided by opening the case...
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by:WeThePeople
ID: 28718990
I opened the case to my desktop computer.

I removed the cable connections to my c: drive.

I connected the cables to the WD drive.

When I rebooted the computer displayed the hard drive as a WD

It said ACHI BIOS is disabled.

But I did not get an error message such as:  No operating system found ....

I then reconnected the cables to my C Drive

I disconnected the cables from by D (DVD sata drive)

I connected the cables to the WD drive and rebooted.  The computer just hung ... it did not even boot from my C drive.

I reconnected everything back to the way it was.  Computer boots fine.  So I think the WD drive is not getting power.  (i.e., it does not have any vibration at all).
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by:nobus
ID: 28753693
i would like to point out something : you should NOT disconnect your C: drive to test this one - just boot fromit, and connect the other drive with another cable (sata) to another port - and of course the Power cable
verify if it is seen in the bios - then in disk management
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Author Comment

by:WeThePeople
ID: 29350823
After all my attempts to solve the problem (with the help of you guys), I took the drive to a data recovery center.  They tested it and discovered (what I already knew), that the drive was not powering up.  They will charge me about $700 to recover the data from the drive.

Thanks for all your help.  It is greatly appreciated!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 29357772
a disk logic board is around 40$ -another  disk 100  maybe?
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