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This is a discussion on WD Passport within the Removable Media Drives forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi guys I’m currently struggling to access a WD "My Passport" USB HDD. When you plug it in you can


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Old 03-07-2020, 04:42 AM   #1
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Hi guys


I’m currently struggling to access a WD "My Passport" USB HDD.

When you plug it in you can hear the drive initially spin up and a light comes on to confirm it has power.

After about 3 seconds the drive stops spinning. It will then spin up again for about 3 seconds then stop. The process repeats between 3 or 4 times.

Despite using multiple usb ports on different pc's and even 2 different operating systems the drive refuses to be recognised. 3rd party software also fails to "See" the disk.

Can anyone suggest what’s failed, and what, if anything else, I can try before I take a very heavy hammer to it to vent some anger?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks in advance for any suggestions
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Old 03-07-2020, 04:52 AM   #2
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Sounds like it's "shot". If it's old, you might want the super sized 5TB now available from WD. If you need to get info available only from the faulty one, you'll need a pro.
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Old 03-07-2020, 07:50 AM   #3
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All signs are that the drive has failed.

You've tried it on multiple machines and it is not recognized on any of them, including across OSes.

Under Windows, is the device itself even recognized as existing under Device Manager?
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for the prompt replies guys.


Corday - just what I didn't want to hear (!) but I have to admit I was expecting it . It's not worth the effort or expense to ship it to a pro to recover anything.



britechguy - forgive me ignorance but where exactly should it show under device manager? Disk drives?, System devices or Universal Serial Bus controllers? To be honest nothing is jumping out in any of those listed categories.


Thanks again
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eah_Dunno View Post
britechguy - forgive me ignorance but where exactly should it show under device manager? Disk drives?
It would be showing up under Disk Drives if it were recognized (probably, it might even be there if it's recognized as a legitimate disk drive but not functioning correctly - in which case there will be a small yellow triangle with an exclamation point in it).

One thing you can do to determine whether the system even recognizes the device's existence is to have Device Manager open before plugging it in. You will see the Device Manager window refresh if it's recognized, even if the actual device category under which it should reside does not auto-expand (and in my case for a functioning drive it does not).
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Old 03-07-2020, 11:21 AM   #6
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Thanks again britechguy


Nothing listed when device manager is open and I plug the drive in


Think I'll fighting a losing battle........................
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:26 PM   #7
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I believe the battle is lost.

People think I'm crazy for saying this, but even if your conscientious enough to be doing routine full system image and separate user data backups, having only one leaves you vulnerable, and particularly if you "offload" content from your computer to a backup drive, which means you don't have a backup in reality, there's one copy on the backup drive.

It is best to acquire two backup drives, do backups a minimum of monthly, and alternate the drives between even and odd months. That way if one of them dies, you still have another from which you could recover if necessary.

Also, never maintain a single copy of anything. If you do, regardless of where you store it, you are in the same situation you would be if you only had the sole copy on your computer. The exception to this rule might be if you are using cloud storage for some things. I don't know of a single cloud storage provider that isn't doing multiple backups, like any professional data center does, and they should be able to recover were their primary storage for anything go bad.
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Old 03-08-2020, 04:32 AM   #8
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Ok guys think we're done here


Guess I'll have to accept defeat


On the plus side there was no critical data on it and I do have another backup.


Thanks to all for reading & replying
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:41 AM   #9
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As you have written it off anyway, the most common failure with external drives is the USB controller in the external enclosure. You could pull the drive from the enclosure, and test the drive directly connected to the PC (internally, via a USB adapter, or within another enclosure).
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:45 AM   #10
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Hi there JimE


Thanks for your post.


I hear what you're saying but unfortunately the drive can't be swapped out to another enclosure or pc as the connector is not the usual USB shape.



It's difficult to describe the connector itself but along the bottom of it instead of being flat there is an indent in the shape of an "n" which means you can only use the supplied cable to connect the hhd to a usb slot.


Good idea though
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eah_Dunno View Post
Hi there JimE


Thanks for your post.


I hear what you're saying but unfortunately the drive can't be swapped out to another enclosure or pc as the connector is not the usual USB shape.



It's difficult to describe the connector itself but along the bottom of it instead of being flat there is an indent in the shape of an "n" which means you can only use the supplied cable to connect the hhd to a usb slot.


Good idea though
That's right. The hdd and the SATA-USB bridge are not separable on all WD external drives that I've come across, so it's not possible to attach to another PC via SATA. This is one of the reasons I stopped using WD external drives.
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Old 03-11-2020, 03:33 PM   #12
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Stancestans,
That's interesting. I have never disassembled a Passport drive myself. Are you saying the hdd is not a conventional drive? Are you certain that the drive dosen't have an adapter on it which can be pried off? If not, this is good info and I would avoid using them too. I have used several 2 1/2" drives in enclosures for doing external backups. Every time I upgrade a client's laptop from a mechanical drive to a new fast SSD drive, I keep the old drive if they don't want it, then buy an enclosure for it to use for external backups.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geo791 View Post
Stancestans,
That's interesting. I have never disassembled a Passport drive myself. Are you saying the hdd is not a conventional drive? Are you certain that the drive dosen't have an adapter on it which can be pried off? If not, this is good info and I would avoid using them too. I have used several 2 1/2" drives in enclosures for doing external backups. Every time I upgrade a client's laptop from a mechanical drive to a new fast SSD drive, I keep the old drive if they don't want it, then buy an enclosure for it to use for external backups.
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I have disassembled several, with the hope of attaching them to another USB-SATA bridge/adapter, enclosure or SATA port internally (in a desktop pc) as part of testing if the drive is still functional, but every time the drive lacked a standard SATA interface, and couldn't be separated from a SATA-USB bridge. The USB interface is part of the drive's pcb, fused together as a single unit. See https://superuser.com/questions/5814...hings-i-can-do for a picture that shows what I'm talking about. More pictures and videos are available, just Google WD passport disassembly.
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