problem with my external hard drive

frank smeragliuolo
frank smeragliuolo used Ask the Experts™
I have a WD MY BOOK ESSENTIAL EDITION S/N WCANU1915597  external hard drive it not reading when I plug it in my computer I using windows 7 what could be wrong  I also plug it in all the other ports it does the same thing doesn't work. Tell me what to do thank you frank
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WakeupSpecialist 1
Hey Frank,

Can you give us a little more detail on the My Book?  Any lights on the unit turn on when plugged in or powered up?  Any potential sounds of the unit or drive?  If it is not powering up, it could potentially be a bad cable or power supply.  If the unit is lighting up, but no response from any system you attempt to plug the drive into, could be a bad data cable (depending on how you plug it in, USB Assumed) try replacing the USB Cable.

When attempting to connect it to the computer, do you get any error messages with the computer?  does it look like the computer is trying to access or detect the unit?

It is potentially possible the drive/unit has failed.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional
Hi Frank,

I took out your email address because all question must be answered via comments.

So it sound to me like the hard drive is probably dead. You said you tried different ports, but I'm assuming that's all on the same computer. Does it work if you plug it into another computer? If not, then either the case is broken or the drive itself is dead. The only way to know is if you take the drive out of the case and somehow hook it up a different way.
IT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Does it fail to get red on this machine only? In other words does it work on other machines?
The drive should get enough power - so if the drive is not powered from a wallset then make sure that you connect it via powered USB hub.
It also must rotate, so if you connect it - see if any sound or click comes. The drive is not necessarily dead, often it is the enclosure which causes the problems. If the drive is not under warranty - you can open the enclosure and connect it directly to any free SATA port.
But first try the drive on any other PC.
This actually occurred to me, but not to say that this is the same for you. It ended up being the internal connection inside the casing. I opened my unit and removed the hard drive. I then purchased a connector and was able to connect the hard drive itself to the computer. The drive was recognized and i was able to retrieve my data to another external drive.

I placed it back in the unit and again it wound not be recognized. I just ended up buying another external enclosure and put my drive in and it's been ok since. I discarded the WD enclosure.
Top Expert 2013
i would follow noxcho's guide, and test it on other systems, and with a powered USB hub
WakeupSpecialist 1

No response from Asker.  Question clean up.

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