Forum Thread

Wd passport external hard drive not working

gigantic 40 21 May 9, 2011 at 10:13 PM
General: Hard drive stopped working. This is an external 2.5" drive but the internal harddrive has the usb port built onto it (no sata connection... has some pins though but not sure what they're for).

Problem: When you plug the hard drive in it is not recognized by Windows (XP/Vista/7) on multiple computers and with different usb cords (6", 10", 4ft). It powers up and you can hear the hard drive spin without any clicking. after about a minute you can hear a loud click noise, i think the drive powers down because it's not transferring any data, and then spins back up. The data light continuously blinks then and the hard drive just keeps spinnin g. (5% of the time windows may recognize the drive but when you try to access it via explorer or windows mgmt explorer just hangs until you unplug the drive.

Questions: Is this a major hardware problem? like likely boned? I'm thinking the issue lies with the mainboard but i've never experienced a mainboard problem so unsure what signs to look for. Below are the specs to this drive... Cash reward to the person who helps me fix this or fixes it themself. If you have this specific hard drive and can part with the mainboard for few days i'd pay for that too.

WD 500 GB Passport Essentials (USB 2.0)
HARD DRIVE: WD5000BMVV-11GNWS0
Drive Parameters: LBA 976773168 500GB
Seriala ATA Hard Drive
R/N: 771675
DATE: 17 APR 2010
DCM: HHBVJAN
DCX: LG09NSTW3
5VDC/0.55A


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21 Comments

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#2
If it's not being recognized then your hard drive may have one or two problems.
1. Software issue:
From what you describe it sound sounds like it could be some sort of parition table. MBR, or formatting problem. Maybe you were writing something to the drive and were unlucky enough that someone yanked out the usb cord while it was writing some metadata?

2. Hardware fried. I think you already know what this means. (Note: This might be likely if the drive doesn't show up at all when you plug it into a windows computer...)

To test if its really fried or not, run some partition software (google is your friend here). Personally I'd suggest you get your self a linux live CD and see if the partition manager recognizes the disk.

What was it formatted to before it went down?
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#3
Quote from ridv34 View Post :
Personally I'd suggest you get your self a linux live CD and see if the partition manager recognizes the disk.
I would definitely do this.
First though, if the BIOS supports it, I would boot the machine with the external connected and check in the BIOS to see if it's listed. If yes, you're definitely in business with a Linux disc.

Quote from gigantic View Post :
Problem: When you plug the hard drive in it is not recognized by Windows (XP/Vista/7)
Does Windows acknowledge the device but it says it doesn't recognize it? Or you plug in the device and nothing happens?

Quote from gigantic View Post :
... the internal harddrive has the usb port built onto it (no sata connection... has some pins though but not sure what they're for).
I found some information that may be helpful. Link. [hddguru.com]

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Last edited by In_Like_Tim May 10, 2011 at 12:24 AM
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#4
Try it in a different enclosure, or as a primary HD with a Linux boot CD. It DOES have a standard SATA connection, but might have a proprietarty connecter over the SATA pins, which should pop right off.

Keep your fingers crossed that it's a bad enclosure - as described it doesn't sound good.

However, if you can get it to the point where Windows or Linux recognizes it, it shouldn't be too difficult to get at least some of the data off.
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#5
Quote from Jeffbx View Post :
Try it in a different enclosure, or as a primary HD with a Linux boot CD. It DOES have a standard SATA connection, but might have a proprietarty connecter over the SATA pins, which should pop right off.

Keep your fingers crossed that it's a bad enclosure - as described it doesn't sound good.

However, if you can get it to the point where Windows or Linux recognizes it, it shouldn't be too difficult to get at least some of the data off.
I agree - I recently had 2 enclosures go bad on me, but the drive and my data ended up being fine.
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#6
Quote from Jeffbx View Post :
However, if you can get it to the point where Windows or Linux recognizes it, it shouldn't be too difficult to get at least some of the data off.
In linux, I recommend ntfsclone (assuming the drive is formatted with ntfs). If you only have 10mb of your 500gb in use, the ntfsclone image will be 10mb.

If it is a hardware problem you want to minimize the amount of times you try to access it
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#7
1. the drive does not show up at all when you plug it into a windows computer. (not "unrecognized device" but as if it's not there). it does not show up in windows computer management which will shows drives even if not formatted properly, etc.

the mainboard shown on the link provided (http://forum.hddguru.com/wd5000bm...16203.html) is the mainboard that i have. no sata connection possible, the usb is soldiered to the mainboard. (so can't change enclosures, damn you western digital).

i will check with the bios boot later to see if it recognizes it. (not at home now.)

thanks for all your help. keep them coming! Smilie
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#8
Are you 100% sure the USB is soldered to the drive? Granted, I haven't opened every type, but I've never seen a permanent connection in an enclosure before - worst case is generally an odd looking adapter that's over the SATA connection (but still easily removed). It's a lot of effort to solder a part that can be plugged into something...
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#9
can you switch the cable? if it's 2.5" drive, I think the cable would have to be the type where one end has power and data connections and the other end plugs into the drive.
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#10
Quote from Jeffbx View Post :
Are you 100% sure the USB is soldered to the drive? Granted, I haven't opened every type, but I've never seen a permanent connection in an enclosure before - worst case is generally an odd looking adapter that's over the SATA connection (but still easily removed). It's a lot of effort to solder a part that can be plugged into something...
I agree -- I haven't seen an enclosure yet that did not contain a regular drive that could not be removed from the enclosure and installed in another enclosure or installed as an internal drive in a computer.
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#11
WD makes some diagnostic software. You might want to give it a try.
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#12
Quote from Jeffbx View Post :
Are you 100% sure the USB is soldered to the drive?
Whistling I found this when I Googled the model number: http://forum.hddguru.com/wd5000bm...16203.html

Man that's going to be a PITA to fix.

Quote from callpocket View Post :
I agree -- I haven't seen an enclosure yet that did not contain a regular drive that could not be removed from the enclosure and installed in another enclosure or installed as an internal drive in a computer.
Check the link above. This is a straaaaange enclosure.
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Last edited by redmaxx May 11, 2011 at 11:11 PM
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#13
OMG that's terrible! Kill it with fire!

You might just be f'd on that one, OP
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#14
If it's older than three years (or whatever WD's warranty is these days for that drive or device) then most likely the HD is bad. I personally have never had a WD drive last very long.
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#15
Quote from Jeffbx View Post :
OMG that's terrible! Kill it with fire!

You might just be f'd on that one, OP
Shocking
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