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Western Digital Passport not recognized

This is a discussion on Western Digital Passport not recognized within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, Earlier this week I bought the Western Digital My Passport Essential 250 GB. I connected it to my laptop

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Old 08-01-2008, 01:49 AM   #1
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Earlier this week I bought the Western Digital My Passport Essential 250 GB.
I connected it to my laptop and it worked properly.
Today I connected it another PC, which recognized it as an "USB Device" and wasn't able to complete the installation.
I canceled the installation and from that moment the device is unrecognizable on any computer, including my laptop in which it worked on earlier...
I called the lab where I bought it and they said I need to bring the device in...
Is it so? or can you guide me how to fix the problem?
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:49 AM   #2
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if you haven't already, restart your laptop that it worked in. Restarting can solve a lot of problems. If you've restarted already and it didn't work I have some suggestions that may or may help.

First try going here: http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?level1=2&lang=en

Select the drive you have and see if there are any FAQs about this problem or some software you can download to diagnose the problem.

If that doesn't help theres a slim chance this may.

Does it by chance show up under computer management>disk management as a disk? If so you may be able to format it or do something from there.

If not try looking under your device manager for unknown USB devices. Perhaps you can try updating the driver to any unknown USB devices. This probably won't work since I don't think they even make drivers for WD drives since everything is plug and play now.

Good luck

EDIT: I was looking on the site I gave you. The only driver they have if for the silver passport (why the silver and not the black, I don't know) for windows 98SE. Later OS don't have a driver since is is supposed to be plug and play.

Also note the "More Support Options" to the right side of the page. There may be something in the Knowledge Base to help you.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:55 AM   #3
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Thanks for trying to help but i'm afraid it didn't work...
The device doesn't appear as a disk nor as a USB device...

other sugestions?

by the way, during the failed installation there was a box which was ticked which said. if i remember correctly, "Never show device again" or something like that... i realized it was ticked only after i pressed finish on the installation... if that's the problem, is it reversable?

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Old 07-27-2009, 01:13 PM   #4
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I had the same problem. I bought A WD Passport 250gb hard drive a couple weeks ago. It worked fine at first. Then it had issues ranging from cutting out to eventually not being recognized as anything more than a 'USB device'.

The issue, like many others have stated, is most likely a power supply problem. Western Digital will ship you a free Powerboost USB cable. Or you can pick one up from Radioshack. A USB port with it's own power supply or a PCI USB card might help.

I tried the Powerboost cable with no success. I ended up switching the jumper settings on my motherboard from +5v to 5vsb. I am not sure what it did from a technical standpoint. BUT I turned my computer back on and my HD works again. It has performed 100% without issue since for the past week.

Thats your options.. and thats what worked for me. I suggest you only try the last route if you are comfortable with messing with computer innards.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:40 PM   #5
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The problem for me was a faulty USB cable. I have several WD Passport drives, so I used a cable from a different one and it came up and was recognized correctly.

I had gone through a great deal of trouble shooting during an earlier attempt to connect this drive, and had begun to suspect the cable only after I had finally (somehow) succeeded in getting the drive recognized, and was saving data, and I moved the drive a little and got an error message. So I inferred that the cable connection at the Passport was delicate.

A long time later, I wanted to save more data to that same drive. It wouldn't recognize either on XP or Vista (I tried two different machines), giving me an Unknown USB device error, so I wondered whether the cable might be the problem. As described above, I used a different WD cable and it was recognized.

BTW, I use Acronis WD backup, downloadable free if you have a WD USB drive) at


which can generate a boot CD for a cold backup (the best way, in my opinion). There are also instructions on the web at


for creating a cold boot thumb drive or USB hard drive, in case your notebook doesn't have a CD drive but will boot from USB.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:06 PM   #6
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I was having trouble at times with a WD passport and the error "not recognised", but it seemed that adjusting the cable made it work. So I replaced the cable with a spare and haven't had a problem since.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:20 AM   #7
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Not sure if you guys are having this issue still, I just did and fixed it.

I plugged in my 1tb passport and all I would see was the udf patition.

I went into disk management and the drive wasn't showing up. So I went over to device manager and noticed I had a uninstalled driver with an error. I just reinstalled the driver and windows found the correct driver. Then I noticed I had a unknown device, I reinstalled the driver on that and my drive came back online.

However I did need to reformat the little jerk.

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Old 01-17-2012, 05:25 PM   #8
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Experienced the Drive Not Recognised problem on a 250 GB Passport purchased about 2009, first on one computer and eventually on all computers I tried. I tried all sorts of fixes unsucessfully, found that data recovery would cost A$500, then tried wiggling the cable and noticed that this affected whether the light came on, and occasionally the drive would be recognised. I then purchased a new cable to see if this made a difference and the problem disappeared.
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