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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I bought a WD Elements 1023 USB 1TB external hard drive about two/three weeks ago. I transferred about 300 GB of files onto it and it worked fine until just last night when it no longer showed up on 'My Computer' anymore. It still shows up in the 'Safely Remove Hardware' window (without drive letter), in the 'Devices and Printers' window and in 'Disk Management' as well. However, when I open up 'Disk Management', it says that the disk is not initialized [1st attachment] and I can't initialize it because it's write protected (I'm guessing it's because I have files on it). I've tried plugging it into all three different USB ports on my Windows 7 HP Pavilion laptop and on my Windows 7 Toshiba netbook, but it didn't register on any of them.

I then tried running TestDisk from the "stickied" instructions, but Stage E gives me 'Partition: Read Error' [2nd attachment], and nothing showing up in Stage G and H.

Could anyone offer any advice as to what I can do to get my external hard drive working again without losing all the stuff that I have on there?

Thanks,
wintaer
 

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i have the same problem exactly as yours. i did everything i can to recover my data but i failed. if ever you find a solution, please let me know. Same with me also. thank you.
 

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Several things. First, I wasn't able to find any firmware update or warning about the product on the WD website. Secondly, all other problem people have had like that tends to have the same level of solutions. There is no write protection switch, and the problem can happen as quickly and unexpectedly as you have seen for yourself. Thirdly, good luck. I hope to hear of a practical solution in future. If not, hear that you have been given a replacement.
 

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I have exactly the same problem.

Bought a 1TB WD drive
Reformatted it to FAT32 (using swiss knife) so that my DVD recorder could access it.
Loaded a heaps of movies onto it. - Worked fine.
Added some of my own files onto it, then gave it to my cousin to add more movies.
He completed the transfer of the rest of the movies and took some of the files I had added off it.
So far its worked on two laptops and a desktop.
I got the drive back today
Just plugged it in and can't access any files, same symptoms as the OP

Hope there is a solution, the drive is pretty full, I dont want to have to transfer all those files again!

Cheers
 

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hello guys,

WD website already responded to our concern regarding wd elements external hard drive. All solutions they gave me did not work. What they gave me is link to websites with the same problem and solution as ours. They do not have solid solution.

For now, i would rather have another brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi all,

I ended up contacting WD and since it was still under warranty, got it replaced with another external. Other than that though, no solution. Sorry guys.

--wintaer
 

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I have just got this problem this morning. I am so stressed, all my business files are on this hard drive. It is only 4 months old max.

From everything I have been reading this morning, this is a common problem, so why the heck haven't they recalled the darn thing. :((

I am praying someone comes up with a solution or I am fried.. :((

JJ
 

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There is one thing that is very important to learn here. Keep a second copy of your important data somewhere else. They will not put a warranty on your data. You just get a replacement/repair.

Other good things to do, is to look up reviews, to see if there are any common problems before making the purchase. But if you have already made the purchase, then take it up with them and try to have them provide a replacement either directly or with the help of the retailer.

If anyone wants to sign up to this forum and complain that they are having the exact same problem, then go for it. But anyone seeking a solution to a problem should really begin their own thread, or else it might be done for you (but make your original post look out of context).
 

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Other good things to do, is to look up reviews, to see if there are any common problems before making the purchase.
I did that 4 months ago before I bought my terabyte. From the reviews, I thought I was getting a good product.

Now, I am sick of reading that WD is a good company, no they are not. :( They know there is a problem, but they do nothing to fix it, nor do they offer reasonable support. The best they could offer me, was to go to one of their recommended sites for data removal, at a cost of $1000.00 - $1500.00, which they will not cover, and this process will deem their product warranty void.

This company sucks.
 

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I did that 4 months ago before I bought my terabyte. From the reviews, I thought I was getting a good product.

Now, I am sick of reading that WD is a good company, no they are not. :( They know there is a problem, but they do nothing to fix it, nor do they offer reasonable support. The best they could offer me, was to go to one of their recommended sites for data removal, at a cost of $1000.00 - $1500.00, which they will not cover, and this process will deem their product warranty void.

This company sucks.
Experiences certainly can and do vary, especially depending on what level of problem you are having. I've found that manufacturers handle basic problems quite easily, such as replacements, or troubleshooting with settings. But more complicated things tend to cause frustration for the end user because the representative isn't easily willing to elevate the problem, work outside the box, or have the knowledge to troubleshoot beyond what is probably a script. It must get quite repetitive and unmotivating in the phone support job. If you hate phone support though, I would strongly suggest email support, and make sure you explain the issue you are having quite clearly to them. Failing that.... in my country at least I would hold the retailer legally responsible, and take measures to complain effectively. I'd get somewhere.

Sometimes, when I am investigating reviews of a company or a product, I won't look at just reviews, I will look at all the bad things to judge how bad things can get. So seek out the worst things, to get a more balanced opinion.
 

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I did email the company. Without satisfaction. Sure I can send my unit back through the retailer and get my refund, or replacement, but I will have lost all my files. I need those files, they are my livelihood.

Thanks for your help. I agree looking at the bad as well as the good in the reviews, will give one an overall feel for a product. Guess I just missed the bad this time.

Now I need to buy a new terabyte, and am scared of this happening again. No product is faultless.

PS

What gets me, is that this is a common problem with WD Elements hard drives. One would think they would have a solution by now..
 

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1. Connect your external HDD to the PC
2. Restart your computer, access the BIOS, change the Boot Order to boot from the CD/DVD drive first
3. Place the Linux based LiveCD in the CD Drive and restart your computer
4. The computer should start reading off the disc and start loading the LiveCD
5. Once you arrive at the desktop, try to locate the external hard drive using the various utilities included. As such, you should see the drive listed right on the desktop, wherein you double-click the icon to view its contents.

But first, Select the LiveCD of your choice, download its image (.ISO) file, burn the image onto a disc.

Should this not help in detecting and subsequently accessing your hard drive's content, you will need to opt for hardware level servicing where the technician will attempt to replace various key components to get the drive functioning again.

Hope this helps.
 

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I can offer a few good routes.

1. If the drive hasn't got a partition, but is still being detected, you can take a precaution by using DriveImage XML to take a raw copy of all the sectors off the disk as a backup. This will of course include everything whether it is deleted or not. You may even be able to extract files from that alone.

2. Although a paid for program, GetDataBack for (NTFS or FAT32) is a pretty good program. You can trial it first to check if and what is recoverable, and when you are ready to recover the data you can pay for it.

3. Format (but only quick format) the drive to make it available as a drive letter, and then use Recuva (free) to recover any deleted files off it. Since it was quick formatted, this will include all your previous files. Although in the case of data recovery, it is considered a bad idea to write to a disk that you are trying to recover data from, in case you overwrite any data.

4. Have a professional do it for you. Personally, I hate this idea because the last one that did it for me gave me back corrupted files that I couldn't use. He went ahead and did an expensive recovery which I got a discount for since they had gone that far when I was about to say no. So my faith in just anybody doing it is kind of broken, and they probably don't use a program anywhere near as good as the one I mentioned in point 2.

5. If there is something wrong with the enclosure, then you should pull it apart and use the drive itself using a USB adapter or plug it in directly to your motherboard (depending on if it is a 2.5 or 3.5 inch drive). Quite often the enclosure is the fault. However I read kind of recently someone talking about I think WD drives having a certain hardware micro-USB or something that might make using the drive without the particular enclosure more difficult if not impossible.
 
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