Help with WD MyBook failure

Pegi

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
233
My son handed me his old WD My Book external hard drive hoping it would work on any of my computers as it's no longer recognized on his. I tried them on 3 different computers (win98, winXP, win7), and it's not seen on any of mine, either. The drive itself is getting power, is making a whirring sound and lights up. But the drive itself is not seen on the computer.

While I guess it's toast, he apparently has some important information on it. Is there any way I can get that information off?
 

MN Scout

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jan 26, 2003
Messages
4,710
Edit: Does the hard drive show in Computer Management -> Disk Management? If so, it is probably a corrupted file index, and could be fixed - caused by disconnecting the USB cable when writing to the drive.

I'd try 3 things in this order:
  • Different USB cable.
  • Different Power cable if available.
  • Take the hard drive out of the caddy, and plugging it directly into IDE or SATA on your computer motherboard. (Or into a known working USB HD caddy). Taking it out of the case will void your warranty.
 
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Pegi

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
233
No, hard drive doesn't show up in disk management on any of the 3 different computers tried.

I did try a different USB cable with no luck.

I think tomorrow I will attempt to pry the drive open. It's no longer in warranty so no worries there. A bit unsure how to connect it to my motherboard but hopefully it will make sense tomorrow.
 

leeleatherwood

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
1,582
Probably the USB controller is bad, happens all the time and you get these symptoms.

Just take the drive out and hook it up directly to your computer. If it works, you can order a new external enclosure for it.
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
233
I did get the plastic case off. Tomorrow I'll work on getting out all the screws and then get the drive itself out of the enclosure. I'm not a builder, though, so this is all new to me (I'm a granny, actually, who just loves electronics and gadgets). When you say hook up directly to my computer, will I need a particular cable or will it just plug into an existing socket/plug on the motherboard? Or once I get it out, can I connect it directly to USB? I'm not worried about new external enclosures. I just want to get his data recovered, if at all possible.
 

ziggo0

Black Mesa Download Gawd
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Feb 13, 2006
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597
You should be able to hook it up/plug it in just like a regular SATA hard disk.
 

Vengance_01

Supreme [H]ardness
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Dec 23, 2001
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6,437
Does the HDD spin up when powered on? Also do you hear any clicking or other strange noises?
 

MN Scout

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
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Here is a fairly clear video with good explanations on how to install a hard drive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN59W-56p3I

The video includes a clear picture of what a SATA connector is. See if it looks to be the same thing on the back of your hard drive. There may be an extra cable inside your computer case once you open the side and look in. If there isn't you may be able to disconnect the cable from your CD/DVD drive and use it temporarily for taking the data off this hard drive.

Since you are new to this. I'm concerned you may strip the drive down 100%. Take a look at the 4 pictures for this Western Digital drive. Don't unscrew that green circuit board in the last picture. You need to keep that on there and is part of the drive.
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
233
Delete post....Still working on it...might have it
 
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scaarbelly

Supreme [H]ardness
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Dec 11, 2008
Messages
4,462
9 times out of 10, it is just the external case that fails. However, if you did remove the hard drive from the case and plugged it directly into the mobo, then the drive is probably dead.
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
233
I sure do appreciate having this sounding board. Looks like I got into the drive. It is an IDE drive and I had plugged it into an old computer, using the connections from one of the cd drives. It didn't work. When I replugged it into the *other* cd drive's connectors, then it worked. Probably had to do with the jumpers (master/slave), but I wasn't sure how to set them. But I can see the stuff now. All I need will be a hella lot of flash drives to copy everything, but this is good news!
 

Trepidati0n

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
9,194
I sure do appreciate having this sounding board. Looks like I got into the drive. It is an IDE drive and I had plugged it into an old computer, using the connections from one of the cd drives. It didn't work. When I replugged it into the *other* cd drive's connectors, then it worked. Probably had to do with the jumpers (master/slave), but I wasn't sure how to set them. But I can see the stuff now. All I need will be a hella lot of flash drives to copy everything, but this is good news!

To save a bit of cash..you could just get SD cards and a USB adapter if having to move that much data. Otherwise...16GB flash drives are getting pretty effing cheap.
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
233
Think I might just buy a new external portable drive for him, transfer the data, and then hand him the whole kit and kaboodle. I already did the hard stuff. Now I just want to bask in the glory! More thrilled than you can imagine to be able to save the data.

MNScout: Appreciate all the links you sent. I checked them out and they were very helpful. Thanks much.
 
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