Frequent Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-20-2012

Hard Drive Not Recognized Anymore

I've been having trouble accessing my WD 500gb My Book Essential external hard drive. It has been working perfectly for as long as I could remember (never dropped it or physically damaged either) but one day it just stopped being recognized by my computer (my OS is Windows 7). It doesn't show up in "My Computer" and I've tried a bunch of things to get it working again:

-I've tried replugging in both power adapter and usb cable which didn't work

-I've tried plugging it in a laptop that used Windows XP and it didn't show up

-I've tried using a known working usb cable

-I've tried using a different usb port

-Sometimes when I plug it in it turns on/off constantly

-I've tried uninstalling the usb device under "Device Manager" which didn't work


Some other strange things to note from my experience:

-Sometimes when I replug the drive while the computer is booting it shows up in my computer and I can access the data just fine though an error message telling me to scan and fix comes up. If I close then window then I lose access to the drive and it'll disappear from my computer again

-I've tried going into disk management and it says I need to initalize the drive before I can use it, I've read that this reformats the drive so I avoid doing so

-I've tried copying the data out while I could access it however it froze halfway through so I had to restart and now sometimes the drive shows up in my computer with a blank look (by which I mean the normal look under my computer shows a bar with gb used vs gb free and now it just says 'Hard Drive H' with nothing there). When I click on it an error pops up saying the parameter is incorrect

-I've tried doing a chkdsk on the drive and it tells me can't read because its RAW format or something along those lines


Not sure what's going on since it seems like the files are still there I just can't read them. I want to do everything I can not to reformat the drive as I want the files on the hard drive. Is there anything I can do to recover the files at this point? 


Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any help.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,501
Registered: ‎08-04-2010

Re: Hard Drive Not Recognized Anymore

Look in Disk Mamagement does it show the disk as Raw there? It sounds like some type of corruption. Download and burn a Linux Live CD and boot from that and see if you can access you data. You can try this EaseUS Data Recovery Wizzard  . It will recover 1 gig free if it works you can buy it. TestDisk Is free and a lot of people have good luck using it to fix a damaged partition


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Frequent Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-20-2012

Re: Hard Drive Not Recognized Anymore

Thanks for the reply Joe.


When I go to Disk Management its shown as unknown sometimes and other times it doesn't show up at all.


It looked like it started working again after I left it powered off for awhile but once I copied a few files it started acting up again. I'll try testing out your suggestions and see how it works out.

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