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    Can not open external hard drive

    I have a Western Digital My Book external hard drive that I use for backing up my computers. Today, I tried to do a restore of one computer and somehow during the restore I lost the hard drive. Now I can not open the drive or see it in My Computer. It does show up under "Safely Remove Hardware", but I can not use it. What can I do?

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    You can try viewing it in Computer Manager (Start > Run > compmgmt.msc). This will show you what Windows thinks you have connected. If you post a screen grab of the disk listing we may be able to suggest a few things.

    cheers, Paul

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    Do you have a Flash drive you could plug in to see if that is recognized or another computer that you could plug the external HDD into ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    You can try viewing it in Computer Manager (Start > Run > compmgmt.msc). This will show you what Windows thinks you have connected. If you post a screen grab of the disk listing we may be able to suggest a few things.

    cheers, Paul
    I tried Computer Manager and got the follow results:

    under Device Manager - it shows the drive and that the drive is working properly.
    under Disk Management - it shows the drive as Disk 7, basic without a drive letter.

    Even with all this, Windows explorer does not show the drive.

    I tried a another external drive in the same USB area and it shows the drive fine.

    ????????

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    Does its icon show up in Devices and Printers where you can right click on it and select Troubleshoot ?

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    It shows up in Devices and Printers, but troubleshooting does not find any help. It also has: eject, create shortcut and properties after I right click. Properties shows that the drive is working ok, but does not show anyway to format, add drive letter, etc.

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sob1939 View Post
    I tried Computer Manager and got the follow results:

    under Device Manager - it shows the drive and that the drive is working properly.
    under Disk Management - it shows the drive as Disk 7, basic without a drive letter.

    Even with all this, Windows explorer does not show the drive.

    I tried a another external drive in the same USB area and it shows the drive fine.

    ????????
    Try assigning a drive letter. In Disk Management, right click on the drive and click on change drive letter.

    Jerry

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    I found a solution to my problem on the Western Digital website.
    1. Click on Start and right click on Computer
    2. Click on Manage
    3. Click on Disk Manager
    4. Find the disk you are trying to repair.
    5. Right click n the black bar on the disk.
    6. Left click on New Simple Volume
    7. Run New Simple Volume. Click on next all the way thru.
    8. Click on Finish and it will format the disk
    9. Everything is now working.

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    Glad you found a solution, but did you want the disk formatting ?

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    This is NOT a good solution if there is data on the external hard drive that you needed, which it sounds like you did given that you were trying to do a restore from a backup.

    Once you have formatted the drive there is a certainty that some of the data is now destroyed, although some other data might be able to be recovered, however once the data is written over it is gone. If you have not done anymore writing to that disk then there is a decent chance of recovering some of the data, however depending on what kind of backup is on there, it may be corrupted now.

    In these situations you must first find out why the drive is not able to be accessed by the computer, before taking any measures to remedy it. UNLESS of course the data is not important.

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    The first thing that should be noted is that WD external drives don't use user-serviceable drives in their enclosures - you can't open the enclosure, remove the drive and fit it into a Desktop to recover data - the drives are non-standard SATA, it won't work.

    Depending on exactly which model WD it is, data stored on the drive could be encrypted and compressed - unrecoverable by normal methods should anything go wrong.

    Bottom line is, they're not suitable for backup or archival purposes unless you have a significant cash reserve.
    Quote Originally Posted by sertdata View Post
    Once you have formatted the drive there is a certainty that some of the data is now destroyed, although some other data might be able to be recovered, however once the data is written over it is gone. If you have not done anymore writing to that disk then there is a decent chance of recovering some of the data, however depending on what kind of backup is on there, it may be corrupted now.
    Generalising like that is tantamount to deception, especially when coming from someone in the data recovery business.

    "some of the data"? as in how much, really? I've recovered, using a Freeware tool, close to 100% of data from a drive that had been formatted, had Windows reinstalled and Office installed on it and was in use for months.

    On other 'failed' drives, after formatting, I've recovered so much data from a few of them that it wouldn't all fit back on the drive - and yes, that data was almost all good, intact and useable.

    Quote Originally Posted by sertdata View Post
    In these situations you must first find out why the drive is not able to be accessed by the computer, before taking any measures to remedy it. UNLESS of course the data is not important.
    Yes, diagnose first, using non destructive methods, wherever possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    The first thing that should be noted is that WD external drives don't use user-serviceable drives in their enclosures - you can't open the enclosure, remove the drive and fit it into a Desktop to recover data - the drives are non-standard SATA, it won't work.
    What is non-standard sata? Never heard of that. However, perhaps you are thinking of the passport with the USB PCB board instead of sata connector? Mybooks are basically normal sata drives with potentially an adapter with encryption (as you did notate hereepending on exactly which model WD it is, data stored on the drive could be encrypted and compressed - unrecoverable by normal methods should anything go wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    Bottom line is, they're not suitable for backup or archival purposes unless you have a significant cash reserve.
    This seems a lot like "Generalising like that"

    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    Generalising like that is tantamount to deception, especially when coming from someone in the data recovery business.

    "some of the data"? as in how much, really? I've recovered, using a Freeware tool, close to 100% of data from a drive that had been formatted, had Windows reinstalled and Office installed on it and was in use for months.
    I think deception would be more in the frame of "Sure you can recover your data" - without even having looked at the drive or performing tests/scans. I will adjust my statement that "there is a certainty that some of the data is now destroyed", replacing the word certainly with probably. This is our experience after more than a few cases with this outcome.

    As far as "how much" how can anyone determine that without doing a scan? No one can tell you how much based upon an individuals description of what happened. That would be careless, and total lie!

    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    On other 'failed' drives, after formatting, I've recovered so much data from a few of them that it wouldn't all fit back on the drive - and yes, that data was almost all good, intact and useable.
    "I've recovered so much data from a few of them" : this statement implies nothing different than my original reply. However if you want to examine it, you entire position certainly suggests that data SHOULD be recovered in EVERY case of a formatted drive, and 100% at that, when in fact that is just not true, as well as every data recovery case is extremely unique.

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