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WD 600GB external drive - might be dead

Posted on 2013-11-07
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Last Modified: 2016-06-26
I have a 600GB Western Digital external drive which is probably around 3 or 4 years old. Suddenly the blue light no longer illuminates and Windows doesn't see anything attached. I've unplugged it completely whilst I do some research on the likely issues before attempting to re-connect it and grab my data before it finally keels over (assuming it hasn't already). I tried plugging it back in once and the blue light flashed a few times but not in the normal manner (half brightness and not alternating left/right with the two blue diodes). I have left it unplugged for now.

Has anyone had one of these drives appear like it's about to die like this, but still managed to grab the data off the drive before total failure?
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Question by:guswebb
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by:smckeown777
ID: 39631902
Not that specific drive but yes have had externals appear to die for no reason...

Is it still accessible from Windows? If not(and out of warranty) I'd start by taking the internal drive(which is normally a 3.5" SATA drive) out of the enclosure and connect it to pc using SATA cable...if the USB header has failed then you might be lucky that the drive itself is still working
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by:guswebb
ID: 39631942
I'm waiting before I try to plug it back in until I have a device large enough to copy the contents on to (new build PC incl. mirrored 1TB SSHD drives being done tomorrow). I'll certainly be giving your suggestion a shot if Windows fails to see it whilst in the enclosure.
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by:nobus
ID: 39632781
the WD Passport drives have the usb interface build into the disk logic board, so taking the drive out is not possible.
but i had one bad, and tried several recovery softwares.
After a while (and maybe caused by the softwares) it just started working again.
so don't give up too soon
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by:guswebb
ID: 39632830
Which recovery softwares did you try specifically?
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by:nobus
ID: 39633089
maybe 10 different ones:
WD diag
hddregenerator : http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html      
testdisk http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

and many others
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by:guswebb
ID: 39635145
Slightly puzzled by this one now. I have dismantled the WD drive from the chassis and plugged it directly in to my new PC motherboard via a SATA connector. The BIOS sees it and the RAID config tool sees it. I can set the disk up to be RAID Ready but when booting in to Windows it isn't available in disk management and so I can't read its contents. Given that the drive appears healthy, or is at least visible in BIOS and RAID tools, how can I get it to show up with a drive letter once inside Windows?
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by:smckeown777
ID: 39635343
Open Disk Management(right click Computer, Manage) - Disk Management is in there

You'll probably see the disk(based on size) listed but without drive letter...right click on it and Assign Drive Letter option...

Hopefully that's all you need to get into it

If not show us a screenshot of disk management so we can advise
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by:guswebb
ID: 39635585
I can allocate a drive leter fine but the volume is showing as RAW and I can't explore its contents. Am running TestDisk on it now to see if I can identify and fix any broken partitions.
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nobus earned 500 total points
ID: 39635600
if it is raw usually you need recovery software
i hope test disk helps if not try the usual recovery soft :
http://www.easeus.com/partition-recovery/
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm      pc Inspector -FREE -
      http://www.piriform.com/recuva/download/standard            FREE  -  Recuva
      http://www.stellarinfo.com/                              Stellar
http://www.runtime.org/                              GetDataBack
http://www.ontrack.com/                              Ontrack
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/                              RecoverMyFiles
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by:guswebb
ID: 39648978
GetDataBack did exactly what is says on the tin....I recovered all of my data intact.
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by:nobus
ID: 39650447
tx for feedback
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