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Files not displayed for WD Passport external drive

Posted on 2014-12-10
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Last Modified: 2014-12-16
When I connect the Passport via USB, the drive runs and light flashes as it initializes - and briefly shows up as the "H" drive and shows the files.  But then the "H" drive does away and no files are visible.  The drive continues running the the light is on steady.  How can I get access to the drive to run a backup?  It has worked OK in the past; have not used it for quite a while.
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Question by:Rodger Reedy
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Author Comment

by:Rodger Reedy
ID: 40492678
With the Passport still connected via the USB, I can insert a 7 GB flash drive, and it shows up as the "H" drive and files are accessible.
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Author Comment

by:Rodger Reedy
ID: 40492706
New data point - the drive behaves the same way with a  Windows 8.1 laptop.  Also while connected to the desktop, it periodically re-initializes and shows up as the "M" drive since the flash drive is now the "H" drive.   Would seem to indicate it's a problem with the Passport.  Wonder if there is any diagnostic or repair software?
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Author Comment

by:Rodger Reedy
ID: 40492732
Now it seems to be working normally - backing up a large folder (69 GB).  Maybe it just needed the cobwebs cleared after sitting for over a year.  If things continue to go well, I'll close out this question.
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Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 167 total points
ID: 40492734
Connec the drive to Desktop. Then right click on My Computer - Manage - Disk Management.
Check if the drive is there. If yes then right click on its partition and select Assign/Delete Drive Letter. Assign one free available letter. Does it show then itself normally?
I recommend you running CHkDSK x:/f on this drive from a command line, where x is a drive letter assigned to a drive.
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 167 total points
ID: 40492762
The diagnostic utilities for the disk can be found on the WD site. Download from there for your product and run. If it run at times but not always, it could be a power issue. Maybe the disk's powersupply doesn't give enough power,or if it is powered solely by the USB port, the PC's USB ports can't supply enough power.
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Author Comment

by:Rodger Reedy
ID: 40492973
It is running more consistently, but still keeps interrupting.  It passes the WD quick test, but the detailed test fails - too many bad sectors.  Formatted it and started a back-up, but it kept stopping.  I started a procedure to write zeros.  It ran for about 15 minutes, then stopped.  I have a powered USB on the back of the computer.  I'll try that to see if that might narrow it to a power issue.  It has worked OK in the past with this computer and USB port.  I've leaning toward it just having a slowly degrading condition.  - - - Just tried the powered USB - the drive won't initialize (light flashing and show in My Computer).  The light is on steady and it slightly vibrates, but it is not reading or writing any data.  Just seems to have gone dormant.  Went back to the front USB - still not working.  Thinks it's time to give up on it.  Just tried it on a laptop - same behavior.  The light will quickly flash a couple of time when first plugged in, then nothing.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 40493288
>>   I have a powered USB on the back of the computer.   <<   never saw that  -what model is it ?
anyway, too low on power can cause erratic behavuiour, and bad sectors as well, so i recommend to use it from a properly powered usb  hub

**if you have usb3 ports, connecting to these can help also

if it shows bad sectors - try running  HDDRegenerator  (not free) - it repaired many bad drives for me http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40493374
If it fails the long test, replace it. If it isn't too old you may even get a warranty replacement.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40493387
The drive is out of warranty, isn't it? If yes then open a USB box and connect the drive to free apC SATA port and scan it there with WD tool. If it fails there - time to let it go.  USB controller can prevent normal HDD test from these tools.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40493450
The diagnostic already showed it to have many bad sectors. That means it is bad and needs to be replaced. You'll get the same results if you remove it from the case and test it again...
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Accepted Solution

by:
Rodger Reedy earned 0 total points
ID: 40495393
The drive is old (5+ yrs) and now it won't even try to initialize.  The light comes on, but there's no other activity.  I don't think it's worth messing with any further.  Thanks for the suggestions - all good - but the drive is beyond help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Rodger Reedy
ID: 40502240
I did not select any of my comments as a solution.  The best solution was by nobus to use a regenerator program or hook it up to a SATA port.  That was not done due to the deteriorating condition of the drive.
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