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Hard Drive Recovery Profile: Western Digital

Hard drive recovery profile: Western Digital. Every now and then we are going to profile products from the major hard drive manufacturers. This is the first in the series of a closer look at Western Digital. I have to throw in a disclaimer that we are not endorsing any hard disk over another. The fact is no matter who you choose to buy a hard drive from, they will all fail. Learn more about “Why Hard Drives Fail”. Keep in mind that it is important to back up your data and avoid hard drive recovery.

While it is true that we offer a discount to Western Digital hard drive customers on WD hard drive repair that is because they authorized our data recovery lab as worthy enough to open their drives without voiding the warranty. You can see our company on the Western Digital Authorized Data Recovery Companies page.

If we take a look at the amount of hard drives that are sent to us for data recovery, no one company has more failures than any other. Companies like Maxtor and Western Digital (Seagate now owns Maxtor) have a similar market share. That being said we get in about an equal amount of both. Cnet lists the most popular drives here:

1

Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 – hard drive – 80 GB – ATA-100

2

Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 500GB External Hard Drive

3

Western Digital Caviar SE SATA 80 MB/s 120 GB Hard Drive

4

Western Digital Caviar Special Edition 250 GB hard drive

As you can see Western Digital has 3 out of the 4 most popular hard drives being sold on cnet’s website right now. The best being the My Book 500GB. This is a great drive all around and is perfect for use as a primary backup device to prevent data recovery services.

Product Features

  • Easy to set up, easy to use — This drive is all about simplicity. Plug it into your computer’s USB 2.0 port and start saving.
  • Intelligent drive management features — The My Book drive turns itself on and off with your computer.
  • Smart design — The elegant case, iconic of a book, takes up less space on your desk, stacks horizontally, and allows two or more drives to stand neatly together like volumes on a shelf.
  • High quality hard drive — Inside the case is an exceptionally fast, ultra quiet, cool-running hard drive from Western Digital.
  • Free Google™ software — Search your drive, manage your photos, and simplify Web searches with included Google software.  Note:Google software is compatible with Windows 2000 and XP only.

These are just some of the features. Here is a link to the 3D Tour of the drive.

It is pretty cool looking as well as being functional and it looks real good next to my husbands X-Box. We just got ours today and so far it works great! I transfered about 300GB of compressed FLAC files over to the drive, then decompressed them.  The drive performed admirably and never slowed down. If you are looking for a solid back up solution, the My Book Essential is a great way to eliminate the high cost of hard drive recovery!

Next on the list is the Essential II which holds 1TB and is less than $600.00!

84 Responses to “Hard Drive Recovery Profile: Western Digital”

  1. Davedata99 February 23, 2007 2:52 pm #

    I have always like Western Digital drives. I guess it is a combination of things. I have found them to be sturdy for the most part. I also have had an excellent experience with the company support staff.

  2. Rob July 3, 2007 10:31 pm #

    I bought the western digital 500GB my book essential and copied 4 drives 80GB each over to it so I could reformat the drives and install fresh copies of Windows on two of my computers. Drive worked fine the first two days I used it. Reformated the drives installed XP on both machines and went to copy my data back over to the machines and the WD my book has failed. Just grinds when turned on and is not recognized by any of the computers I have. So much for Western Digital back up power!

  3. DTI Data Recovery July 4, 2007 10:50 am #

    Rob,

    Sorry to hear about your problems. It is true that ANY hard drive is a roll of the dice. While I have had good luck with My Book’s I have had bad luck with Maxtors. I bought 4 250GB Dimond Max drives a year or so ago, and every one of them failed within 4 months! Other people have not had any problems with them, but have had trouble with Hitachis. We just have to be double careful with our critical data, because every hard drive will fail, its not a matter of if, but when.

    I have 3 My Book’s now and haven’t had any issues, my 500GB is the one that I use in my home studio so it is constantly transferring music files back and forth and is almost always on. I guess I am just lucky so far. It is true that WD drive do have a tendency to grind. When they fail, they fail, but I don’t have statistics that show they fail more than any other drives. Believe me, when I ask our engineers “what drive should I use?” they all give different answers. If we were to look at the volume of hard drives that come in here for recovery, it would seem that Maxtors and Seagates are the worst drive, but that isn’t true, because they are sold more than any other drive. I am fortunate in that we get discounts on hard drives so I have multiple backup solutions in place. I have backups for the backups. My only recommendation is to save as much of your critical data as often as you can!

  4. rawbobb July 9, 2007 10:28 am #

    I bought my drive in February. It just failed. So much for backup. Equipment typically lasts 2 days (as in the case mentioned) or 2 years. It’s pretty unacceptable, frankly.

  5. phil August 28, 2007 11:21 pm #

    I had the WD MyBook 500GB Premium edition for just over one year when all of a sudden it DIED. Started making clicking noises and no longer appears for any computer. From what I’m being told, the drive has truly crashed and its highly unlikely that anything can be salvaged. I did a search for “western digital my book clicking failure” and boy did I find out just how common this is and it always seems to happen just after the warranty expires. I am not happy at all.

  6. Mickey September 4, 2007 10:38 pm #

    I too have just experienced the dreaded clicking failure on my WD MyBook 500GB drive. I have VERY important data backed up onto this (which is why I bought this in the first place). Anybody know what my options are for recoving the data?

  7. Michael October 23, 2007 2:29 pm #

    My WD MyBook 500GB started overheating and failing after 2 months. It is in a well ventilated area. I suspected it was failing from the heat since it would come back after cooling down. I even installed a room air conditioner so it wouldn’t get too hot in my office. It seemed to stop getting the regular: run for 8 hours, fail, unplug and cool down, then plug back in to start working again. But yesterday it failed again and this time it plugs back in, but it says the drive is not formatted. Which means I lost all my data or send it to a hard drive recovery place (like dtidata) to try and get the data back. But I’ve had it for less than a year and I don’t want to have to try and recover something from an unreliable drive. Don’t rely on this drive unless you planning on using it only for short periods of time.

  8. Neil October 29, 2007 2:07 pm #

    My MyBook Essentials failed after just under 17 months. With a one year warranty, and having paid $250 for the drive back then, it’s unacceptable.

  9. Eden November 26, 2007 2:58 pm #

    I got my MyBook 500GB in June – it failed three weeks ago. I paid just under $200 for it and almost $250 to have the data recovered by a service. Luckily when it went down (first Firewire port stopped being recognized and then USB port stopped being recognized) I didn’t try anything and stopped trying to get the drive to be recognized. Most of my data was salvaged – there were 3 other MyBook 500GB’s besides mine in for recovery – luckily my drive and one other were able to have data recovered. I’m no longer using MyBook. I’m now religiously backing up on DVD, as well as two external drives.

  10. klip wright November 28, 2007 3:05 pm #

    I have owned a WD MyBook Premium Edition for about 6 months. It runs pretty quiet and cool. It has about 500GB storage and I managed to fill it up with 200 GB of my video and pictures from my overseas trips, my contract work data and University Thesis including recorded interviews.
    A week ago while using it I noticed that the folder containing 150BG of data was empty. I immediately looked at all the folders and most of them were empty with a couple of exceptions. Even the ones that were not empty did not allow me to open the files.
    I did check and to my surprise the same thing was shown on other machines. All machines are installed with NAV with daily virus signature upgrade and weekly scans. I had absolutely no issues with their hard drives or any other software installed on those machines.
    I can still see the drive and directory structure in explorer and the drive is not noisier than before.
    I downloaded the check disk utility provided by Wester Digital and ran it.
    The first check stopped midway with an error code that does not appear in the list of errorcodes published by Western Digital.
    The second type of check ran for 10 minutes and then displayed a “too many errors” message. It took me about 45 minutes to fill out all the extensive information Western Digital support page is asking for as mandatory to submit an inquiry. During that I discovered that the Western Digital utility that shows the type number was producing a different type number from the one printed on the box. After 3 days of waiting I finally got a stock response saying that Wester Digital does not know the explanation for all the error code produced by the Western Digital utility and a bunch of links for data recovery partners of Western Digital. I emailed back saying that is unacceptable for the support not to talk to the developers of the utility and ask for error code explanation. That was a week ago and I got no further response since.
    It’s important to note that my WD MyBook Premium Edition was not dropped or hit and it was always disconnected using the appropriate Windows utility. Since then I tried several non-intrusive data recovery utilities and none of them were successful so far in reading any data off the disk.
    I guess I’ll have to pay the 1000 $ and ship it to another company.
    The drive is convenient to use as long as it works and you might be inclined (because it’s big) to put all kind of data. That leads to a very dangerous situation where all your data can be lost and the only thing you get is “talk to somebody else” from the manufacturers.
    Beware.

    Good Luck
    Klip

  11. DTI Data Recovery November 29, 2007 2:44 pm #

    Klip,

    Since the drive is recognized there is a good chance that our Free FAT 32 data recovery software can recover your data. You can get the software and read about how to use it here:
    http://www.dtidata.com/usb_external_hard_drive_data_recovery.htm

    Also feel free to call our software support team at 727-345-9665.

    This software is free and is the full version. And yes we do support even our free software!

    If you have any questions you can also call me direct at 727-345-9665.

    Michael Stankard

  12. FEDUP December 7, 2007 4:50 pm #

    I have my book essential. This is my second one and both had the same problem. They run for a short amount of time and then for no reason the usb is not recognized.Never again.

  13. DTI Data Recovery December 18, 2007 3:04 pm #

    Peter,

    Have you tried taking the hard drive out of the case and hooking it up as a slave? There is a tutorial on how to hook up a drive as a slave here:
    http://www.dtidata.com/resourcecenter/2007/04/23/how-to-slave-hard-drive/

    If that doesn’t work then you probably will need data recovery. If the drive is recognized as a slave then we have software that can recover your files.

  14. Peter December 18, 2007 11:38 am #

    I have a WD 250g hard drive and the computer does not recognize the device to even use that program. Is everything completely lost or is there a way to fix it so the hard drive is recognized by the computer?

  15. pierce d crank December 27, 2007 11:17 pm #

    HOW DO WE RESTORE FILES THAT WAS SAVED TO THE WD-HARDDRIVE , BACK TO OUR C: DRIVE???

    WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SET UP A BACKUP SCHEDULE FOR USE ON THE WD-80GB HARD DRIVE….MODEL NO. WD800XMS-00.
    THANKS FOR THE ASSISTANCE.

    PIERCE

  16. Leah December 29, 2007 3:49 am #

    I hear you. My My Book 500GB Essential Edition just failed today. At first my PC recognized it as LocalDisk instead of MyBook, but I could not access it. I surfed around and found chkdsk to be useful — it actually worked and I was able to get some of the files off of my My Book. In the middle of backing up the drive it failed again, this time it buzzed.. then started to click. I’ve only had the HD for 8 months and my Warranty ended in October (how fitting!) I don’t think I’d trust the My Book line again. I’m thankful I got the more important data off of it before it died for good. Garbage.

  17. Francis January 16, 2008 7:34 pm #

    I bought a WD 1TB My Book Essential about 3 days ago at Best Buy. I reformatted the drive to NTSC and have spent two days copying about 200GB of home videos to the drive. Most of this 200GB was copied today. I came into the den a short time ago to see if the latest transfers had been completed. What I found was that the window for the new WD had closed and when I reopened it and clicked on the WD drive to open it I got a message that the drive was not formatted and did I want to format it now!! The drive WAS formatted successfully the day that I purchased the unit — it took several hours to accomplish this. Is there and easy fix to this? I recognize that I can reformat it and go to all the trouble (time) of moving a multitude of files again (I had expected to put about 700-800GB of videos on this drive), but will this problem resurface again? Has anyone run into anything like this? Thanks.
    Francis

  18. G-Man February 12, 2008 12:43 am #

    I got a 500 gig WD My Book for X-mas. 3 days ago I had an MP3 folder with almost 50 gigs of my CDs ripped to it. I plug the drive in today to listen to some and the MP3 folder is apparently empty. The other folders on it that I created are all there and intact, but out of nowhere my main one (which took a long bloody time to create I might add) is supposedly empty?

    Right clicking on the My Book in Explorer shows that almost 50 gigs are being used, but none of my other folders are even close to a gig, so where are my MP3’s?

    Does anyone have a solution to this kind of issue?

  19. Edrocker February 24, 2008 5:30 pm #

    G-Man,

    Same story with me. I can’t find my music in the folder that I saved them under. My videos are okay, but for some reason the music folder says it’s empty and whenever I click on it, it gives me an option to format it. What the hell? Does anyone have any answers on this?

  20. chewy27uk March 7, 2008 2:29 am #

    All my mp3’s a vanished, i cannot believe it. It took me years to collect them. safe to say i won’t be buying WD again… my videos are still there but for how long???

  21. strunk76 March 17, 2008 3:40 pm #

    I also purchased a 250GB MyBook from Best Buy specifically for backing up our digital photos and about 60 gigs of mp3’s. This thing had worked for about a year or so since we bought it. I swapped the drive from our desktop [XP] to our media center PC [XP] and it asked if I wanted to format the drive. I didn’t see the usual autoplay popup that occurs when I first plug into the USB or the Firewire. I tried to open the drive on my work laptop [XP] and on other computers, with no luck. I’m very disappointed and frustrated. Other posts mention heat and clicking sounds, but I’ve never had any of those issues. Definitely going to backup to DVD from now on…

  22. Mr Thomas April 14, 2008 11:33 pm #

    WD must stand for Worst Drive. i bought 3 all 3 failed in less than a week.
    After I loaded them with data believing it was safe. NOT.

    Honestly, I could never again spend a dine on WD Product.

  23. Le Chat April 16, 2008 1:39 pm #

    Same problem, WD drive was working fine for months, then one day it died. Hooked it up to a variety of computers, XP, 2k, Vista, Apple OSX 10.3-10.5 and nothing.
    Going to remove the drive from the enclosure and see if it can be mounted directly.
    It sounds like this product is defective and a complaint should be filed with the BBB

  24. Lauren Clark June 8, 2008 11:29 pm #

    I have been using my My Book for about a week; it seemed to be backing up things just fine. Today I plugged it into the wall socket and then the computer and the icon never popped up. I unplugged it and tried it on another computer; same thing. Now when I just plug it into the wall socket and NOT in the computer yet, it starts like normal for approx. 5 secs and then just dies out.

    I am a total rookie with all this and I need help.

  25. Dave June 16, 2008 10:50 am #

    This could be a variety of faults. Check all the power connections make sure that everything is plugged in and is not lose. Also, listen to the drive and see if you here any clicking. It may not be loud so you may need to get close the drive. If you here clicking you would want to stop powering the drive. Contact dtidata if you need data recovery services.

  26. DTI Data Recovery July 1, 2008 2:27 pm #

    BobK,

    Thanks for the post Bob! This is great information and we are going to put it to the test in our data recovery lab. We will post in here the results.

    Michael

  27. BobK July 1, 2008 1:21 pm #

    My MyBook Essential 160G went belly-up about two weeks ago. Typical clicking death, about . I had my backup software set to “syncronize” so I still had ALL my data on my working internal hard drive. I opened the case and found the drive was a WD160JS SATA drive. I bought an OEM-style SATA replacement (WD1600AAJS, $44.95 USD) and was dissapointed I didn’t notice the original drive had a legacy-style power connection. I modified the case a bit (drilled two 1/4″ holes opposite the case-side screws mounting the drive itself) to extract only the drive and cut an access hole in the bottom of the case to accept a Legacy-to-SATA power adapter cable. Voila’!!!!! I’m back in business. AND…more important….the new drive is QUIET – QUIET – QUIET. The original drive sounded like a small helicopter spooling up on my desk! All functions seem to work as usual. The drive still spools down after 10 minutes of non-use. Hope this one lasts longer than the original!!

  28. DTI Data Recovery July 4, 2008 5:46 pm #

    Terri,

    Clicking usually means that the heads have failed and the hard drive will need to be recovered in a clean room. If you want to try and hook it up you will have to break it out of the case which means you can’t take it back. If you don’t care then you can use a thin screwdriver to pry the case apart right under where the screws would go. I was able to open it without breaking it. There are no screws holding it together.

  29. DTI Data Recovery July 4, 2008 7:16 pm #

    Terri,

    We have a very high success rate on hard drive recovery. In fact the video in the right hand column towards the top of this page is a hard drive that was in a fire, then doused with water while they were putting the fire out! We were able to recover that data so yours shouldn’t be that bad.

    As far as opening the case, you shouldn’t have to tear it up, just use the tip of a thin screwdriver and work it around the lip of the case. If you can set it up as a slave and it is recognized by the BIOS you can run software on it to recover your files. Our software support is open until 10 EST or you can call the emergency number 727-345-9665 for assistance.

  30. Terri Mozingo July 4, 2008 5:14 pm #

    I also have the WD My Book 500 GB. I’ve had it for about 2 years, and it has finally failed. I am getting the infamous clicking sound. It starts to load and then just stops spinning and I have a solid light, but not a sound after that. I wanted to take out the hard drive to see if I can do some data recovery myself, but I can’t figure out how to dismantle the book. I have hundreds and hundreds of pics and music files, not to mention word and excel doc, and many other docs I scanned in for safe keeping. What was I thinking!? Does anyone know how to open the My Book?

  31. Terri Mozingo July 4, 2008 6:15 pm #

    Michael, In your experience, what are the chances of retrieving my data off this hard drive? I am waiting for a quote from dti. I’ll tear it apart if I have to, at this point I am only interested in retreiving my files. Terri

  32. jason marsh July 18, 2008 9:09 am #

    western digital ! a right piece of sh@t had my 320 gb for around 3 months and now it wont open some folders and some folders have precious things to me . if u pull the ubs wire out when its stuck not opening ur folder for a brief moment all the items in the folder show up then disapear as it closes off from the connection brake . so damn anoying and i want to smash the thing to bits !!!! and no matter how much some one says all hard drives fail , you are ment to get good use out of them before they do !! .

  33. Brad October 8, 2008 11:46 pm #

    I too have a non-working WD MyBook 500. I pulled the drive itself out of the housing to see if I could slave and salvage it. Computer would not boot to Windows with it connected, but it will boot to safe mode, after about a 5 minute delay. It shows up in disk manager with the drive letter E: assigned, but does not display in My Computer.

    A friend who also had the same drive fail similarly was able to get the drive working again (without saving any of his data) by performing a full format, not the quick format. Thankfully this drive was not the only copy of my data, so I am 30 minutes into that process and it currently says 2% complete. I’ll let it run overnight, and while I’m at work tomorrow if need be, and we’ll see what happens from there. I am not optimistic.

    All in all, what a horrific product. Everyone I know who has gotten one has had it fail in short order. I understand the failure rate of hard drives is 100% given enough time, but the “Mean Time Between Failure” of this drive seems to be measured in months, not years. The folks at Western Digital should be embarrassed that this product bears their name.

  34. Chris October 19, 2008 11:55 am #

    My MyBook 500 gig, died, with the similar, locking up due to heat. Tried formatting repeatedly but it wouldn’t stay alive long enough. Removed the drive from the book housing, installed it into my pc… and… voila. Vista detected new drive, I formatted it. It seemingly works. Just so everyone knows, the drive is a Caviar. Perhaps this will help some folks, at least salvage the drive itself. Seems to be working so far as normal.

  35. DepressedWDuser October 19, 2008 8:26 pm #

    I had a Mybook 500G with all my precious ireplacables that failed 2 weeks ago with the dreaded clicking sound. But I was smart. I had that backed up on a WD 1TB that failed today before I had a chance to get a replacement for the first. *@(^$!*$^*&&*$^!*&

  36. DTI Data Recovery October 20, 2008 10:38 am #

    DepressedWDuser,

    Your 1TB is one of those green caviars correct? It is possilbe that you can get the data off of it without needing to have the drive opened in our clean room. Have you taken it out of the case yet?

  37. DTI Data Recovery October 20, 2008 10:40 am #

    Chris,

    I wouldn’t take too many chances on the drive. You could clone it or copy all your data off of it, then replace it. If it locked up once, it is likely to happen again.

  38. DTI Data Recovery November 17, 2008 10:56 am #

    Robert F.

    Ok, first thing is step back and take a deep breath. We can absolutely help you get your data back! We have some tools that can recover your data. What operating system are you using? If I understand you correctly, you have 1 hard drive (Western Digital) that had your OS and other partitions on it, and you have how many Maxtors? When you say they just had images on it, what kind of backups are they?

    We want to stay away from chkdisk because it can damage hard drives so don’t let that run again.

    We can get you set up with some partition repair tools as well as data recovery tools based upon the asnwers to your questions. I am also going to bring Jacqui in on this since she is the head of our tech support.

    You can also call us direct at 866-438-6932 as well, but if you could leave your answers in here, our responses might help others out in the future.

  39. Robert F. November 17, 2008 10:19 am #

    After a long 3-6 month period of attempting to find out what was causing blue screens on my computer, I ended up replacing the Abit BE7-RAID mobo with an ASRock PC-PRO and a new Corsair 550W PSU. Everything went well until I started having problems with the ASRock board. Sound would stop working and then some of the supplemental Maxtor HDDs were losing their partitions. They were being used for backup images so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

    But then things got worse quickly. My main Western Digial start chkdsk’ing all the time. I thought it was a bad hard drive driver. It kept dropping into PIO mode 4 which is very slow. Replacing the driver did not fix the problem. Then chkdsk failed with an “unspecified error.”

    I got into the windows recovery console and I was able to chkdsk my way from there. After that the drive would not boot but I could see all of my files. I had another Western Digital of the same model so I used Data Lifeguard to copy the partition to that other hard drive. Then on the main drive I think the partition got lost so I couldn’t see anything.

    I thought the drive went bad so I pulled it and put in the partition copied one and I tried to to a Windows Repair but the whole machine froze on Installing Network. After that it looks like I lost my partition. Now I’m not sure if I’m sunk.

    Now I’m sure it’s the new mobo but did I lose everything? I think the data is still there. The Western Digitals are pulled and I bought an Intel mobo this time. I tried to look at some of my supplemental Maxtors last night but all 3 of them would not show up the BIOSs of 3 different machines!

    Sorry this is so long. I’m just in shock right now.

  40. Dale Bystrom November 18, 2008 10:11 am #

    My WD Backup hard drive is out of space.

    How do I free up space for future incremental back ups?

  41. jen November 25, 2008 2:36 am #

    My Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 500GB External Hard Drive is not turning on…and i have truly essential files there. the unit is still under warranty but they are not recovering files. they do have authorized companies who can recover files but they’re too costly. any more options? i’m quite desperate…

  42. DTI Data Recovery November 25, 2008 11:37 am #

    Jen,

    We are also an authorized Western Digital company and we do give discounts for hard drive recovery if that is what you need. The first thing to do is to see if a computer will recognize the hard drive outside the MyBook case. Unfortunately if you open the case you will void the warranty. We do have a no data no charge on all hard drive recovery services and if we don’t have to open up the hard drive itself, the data recovery will be under $400. You would also retain your warranty because we are authorized to open up the case. You can call us at 866-438-6932 or leave any questions in here.

  43. Scott December 3, 2008 7:21 pm #

    hello all
    i got me a WD 500Gb external hard drive (it is my 3rd, the first 2 died). i was enjoying my new 500Gb hard drive when suddenly it froze my computer when i tried to play a game off it, i thaugh “ok i will restart and try again”. it crashed again. it seamed sus. then, after i restarted the computer my suspicions were confirmed, the drive was named “local disk” when that was not the name i gave it and the icon it normally displays was gone, i tried to access it, and it was not formatted (according to windows). then the computer soon did not recognise it at all! it did not display in My Computer and according to device manager in windows it is recognised as “WD” when it should be recognised as something a bit more descriptive
    this is the 3rd 500 Gb external i have gone through this year and i am loosing my nerve over this.
    is all hope lost? and to what extent could my files be damaged?

  44. Aaron December 5, 2008 1:20 am #

    I have the same problem as scott. except i have a 1Tb WD caviar (green) internal. less than 2 weeks installed. computer sees it but only sees a 32Mb partition instead of the 600G that it should be, wants to format it and no longer has the name that i gave it. only the “local drive”. would the repartition tool fix that? or do i need to do a data recovery? Win XP pro SP3

    Don’t think ill get a WD again though.

  45. ryan laplante December 11, 2008 4:59 pm #

    My 500 gig WD hard drive is clicking and not recognizable – I have 2 years worth of work on this hard drive and some of the projects on this drive I have been working on for like 6 months. I lost everything – DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY THIS DRIVE – If someone gave it to me I would say “you want o see a WD drive in 6 months?” then I would throw it in a toilet and say “thats where all your favorite songs and hard work are gonna go if you buy this drive. IMO..

    i am so pissed right now.

  46. MW December 12, 2008 7:06 pm #

    Just as many others…I have a WD MyBook Premium 500GB drive. It first started to buzz and had data errors. Now it only clicks repeatedly when I turn it on. I have an older WD 250 (pre MyBook) and it’s still going strong (knock on wood).

  47. DTI Data Recovery January 12, 2009 11:59 am #

    Clicking WD My Books are a bad thing. When a drive is clicking, it is not able to read the platters anymore. With MyBooks, that is usually due to heat. The only hope is to try and set the drive up as a slave into your desktop computer and clone it. If you can get the BIOS to see the My Book then it will clone and you can recover your data. If not then you will need to send it to a data recovery company like ours for recovery.

    These type of drives are best used for short period of times, in other words to just back up your data, then shut it off. They are not meant to run for days at a time no matter what the manufacturers say. We see more external hard drives than any other type for hard drive recovery. Every type, not just WD fail due to excessive heat.

  48. mike January 12, 2009 8:12 am #

    I have photos on a WD 500g drive, and it has the clicking sound-my computer will not assign a letter to this drive when I look for it in my computer-it does power up, and I can hear it spinning. What usually happens when it is plugged in is it spins up, then I hear 3 clicks-a short delay, then 3 more-I need to recover what is on this drive if possible, anyone have any ideas? thanks

  49. Robert January 14, 2009 10:20 pm #

    I had a WD 80GB IDE hard disk in my former tower, which ran Win2000 Pro. It had been partitioned into C and E drives. Very long story short, I have a new (used) tower, running Win XP Pro. The old one’s hard disk died, somehow, in the custody of the backyard expert I had engaged to try to get the old tower up and running. He ran some sort of recovery software on the hard disk, which he claimed to have recovered “95%” of the data on Drive E (extremely wrong — try <20%), and virtually none of what was on Drive C (about none of which I care, except for the Thunderbird mail buried in Documents and Settings). He transferred to me the 5 gigs or so of data that he recovered, and I now have the hard disk back, which in a folder called “Deleted” has the same 5 gigs of data he gave me, plus 3 more folders labeled Windows, Documents and Settings, and Program Files. What would you suggest that I do to try to recover more data than he has been able to so far? (I have completely lost faith in the bozo, and now want to give it a try.) I have the drive hooked up to my new tower via USB.

  50. DTI Data Recovery January 16, 2009 3:56 pm #

    Robert,

    You can hook the drive up as a slave and run the demo of either DART XP if the drive doesn’t have sector problems or Recover It All if it does. Both programs will show you what files they can recover before you pay for them. DART XP is the easier one to use and RIA is more powerful. If you use the demo of RIA be sure to save the scan so you don’t have to run the program again.

    Here is a video and tutorial on how to slave a hard drive

    Recover It All Demo

    DART XP Demo

    You can Buy Recover It All Here

    You can buy DART XP Here

    If you need support call 727-345-9665 and choose software support. They answer the phones from 9 AM to 10 PM EST 7 days a week. We also support our free software as well as help people slave their drives.

  51. Robert January 16, 2009 7:12 pm #

    Just a followup question. Is there any inherent reason that I cannot run DART and then, if I am less-than-satisfied with the results, run RIA afterwards? And then, if I prefer the results I got with DART, buy and recover using DART (or, if I prefer the RIA results, buy and recover with RIA?)? Thanks.

    • DTI Data Recovery January 19, 2009 12:33 pm #

      Robert,

      Other than taxing your drive with a bunch of scanning, no you can scan your drive with both programs, just save the scans so you don’t have to do it over again. RIA is best for hard drives that have bad sectors and DART is faster and easier to use. We do offer full support on all software so feel free to give us a call if you have questions 727-345-9665 and either ask for software support or hit the option for software tech support if you call after hours

  52. Jason March 2, 2009 8:14 pm #

    Just wanted to share that my first WD My Book Premium 500gb has failed after 3 years with the “6 clicks of death.” I’ll try to recover the data, but I’m not too worried about it, which brings me to my next point…

    To those people that swear and curse the WD My Books for failing because they had important data “backed up” on them – you’re missing the point of “backing up” your data. I’m not worried about my drive failing because all the data that was on it is replicated, i.e. “backed up,” on two other drives. Putting all your data on one drive is not the same as backing it up.

    If you have what you consider important data, the risk of you losing it decreases exponentially as you replicate it in physically separate locations. With storage prices being what they are (I just picked up a WD 500gb Passport for $100), there’s no reason not to have your important data truly backed up.

  53. Bob March 5, 2009 11:15 pm #

    I was wondering how you can convert pictures that get stored on this product back to your computer. I added .jpg pictures on it and it automatically added a .dmc extension on it. I reformatted my computer HD and now I can’t view the pics off of the external drive with the .dmc extension. How do I fix that?

  54. christie April 2, 2009 12:44 am #

    I have the WD Passport Essential which was working fine until last week. Now my computer will not even recognize the drive. I have tried uninstalling and scanning for hardware updates, plugging it into different USB ports and different computers. The blue light still comes on and the drive spins when plugged in but the computer will not recognize it. Is there any way to recover my files? Unfortunately they are not backed up and I’m nervous to find out how much it would cost to get them recovered.

  55. DTI Data Recovery April 6, 2009 11:20 am #

    Christie,

    Did you take it out of the case and hook it up as a slave? If you are not hearing any clicking or other strange noises, you may be lucky and be able to slave the drive.

    Here is a link to our slave a hard drive tutorial

  56. christie April 6, 2009 11:43 pm #

    Unfortunately we did try that but the computer is still not detecting the drive. It doesn’t make any noises. Any other suggestions?

  57. bruce April 12, 2009 1:48 am #

    I have the My Book 250 GB. Tonight I recieved a “Disk in the F drive is not formatted”. Have I lost all my photos?

  58. dci minitry April 13, 2009 9:10 am #

    i formated my external drive and it is not working fine again. it use to work like A SYNCHRONIZE to the other drives but it is not working fine like that again

  59. lakshman May 22, 2009 12:49 am #

    My WD External hard drive is not opening, When i hook up to my computer it is detecting as local Drive E previously it detected WD…… drive.

    When i used some data recovery tools it gave me error like
    read error encountered at sector 72638 on the disk

    So how to recover the file and fix the sectors.

    • Jacqui Best May 29, 2009 12:06 pm #

      Lakshman,

      This could be an issue of just a few bad sectors in really important area OS the drive.. ie the MBR or Boot Sector. I could get a better idea by remoting in to take a look around. On a side note bad sectors can not be “fixed” you can do a FULL format of the drive and windows will write out the bad sectors but it is highly likely they will continue to grow since there was such a sudden onset of the problem. Also do not format until you get the data off!

  60. CaseyO June 15, 2009 11:25 am #

    I bought a 320GB My Book about a year ago…everything has been working fine with it until today, when I hooked it up to my computer and it was recognized as “Local Disk” rather than by its usual title of “My Book” and when I tried to open the drive, it continued to tell me that the drive had not been formatted and “Did I want to format it now?” I’m pretty sure that reformatting the drive would permanently delete all of the data that I had stored on it, if it hasn’t already been lost, so I’m trying to avoid that. I have been storing ALL of my pictures, videos, music, and word documents on it while I was waiting to get a laptop for college, because my parents computer was far to old to handle it all, so I don’t have much of anything backed-up anywhere else! There is a lot of data on the drive which I absolutely can not lose and I’m really hoping it can be salvaged somehow! I don’t think the drive is under warranty any longer…but either way my main concern is restoring all of my lost data, and I could care less what happens to the actual drive. Like I mentioned before, this is the first and only problem I’ve had with My Book…there’s never been any clicking or anything which is why I wasn’t to concerned with the possibility of the drive crashing. Is there anything I can do to save my data? Is there software that I can download or do I need to send the drive somewhere? Please Help!!!

  61. sher July 29, 2009 3:49 pm #

    hi bought a wd 1tb external hard drive my book essential edition on 26/12/08 from comets which should still under warranty what a piece of crap i have this 100times i put the power lead in than put in the usb lead into the pc port the metal touch the usb port than there a electric short noise now my book wont come on like the powers gone please i just want2retrive my data especially my,my family&friends pics do u think it might be power problem with the unit&the hard drive might be ok?if not is data recovery expensive here in the uk which have association with WD never again will i buy from them after this i think i can return it get a replacement or refund that really doesnt bother me just the stuff in there please help many thx4ur time

  62. Rodder August 10, 2009 4:32 pm #

    i have this WD hard drive which my pc or any pc recognises. when i plug in i hear the motor rotating and it gives clicking noise for12-13 times and it dies down. the pc doesn’t see the hard drive but when i try to disconnect the usb it shows that there is wd hard disk and i can even see it in device manager.

    Any help please

    • DTI Data Recovery August 11, 2009 10:43 am #

      Rodder, a clicking hard drive is bad news. If it is still seen in Windows, then you should clone it as soon as you can before it dies all the way! You can get our cloning tool here: Speed Clone This will make an exact copy of your drive so you can run data recovery software on it and recover your data.

  63. Jenn October 14, 2009 7:11 pm #

    I’ve used my Western Digital MY Essential 500 GB for almost a year. Always had a lot of confidence in WD. Yesterday I noticed that the LED light on the front which is usually stationary was blinking. When I accessed the shortcut for it, got that dreaded generic message that the drive could not be found. I immediately went to MY COMPUTER and it wasn’t there either.

    I’ve spent half the day trying to find a solution and after reading most of the post here I’m thinking WD is now using defaulty hard drives.

    I like so many others am out of warranty. I had all my PSP things tubes, scrap Kits, plug-ins, also classes’s I’ve attended saved there thinking they would be safe. Some of the stuff on there is irreplaceable to me. I lost pictures, my granddaughter’s wedding, family outings. I’m so sad I think I’ll just give up computing for awhile. It looks like it doesn’t make sense to go out and buy another WD External Hard as there are so many of them failing I’d probably get another one and it’d do the same thing.

    Jenn
    Knoxville, TN

  64. Spring October 21, 2009 7:30 am #

    what would I need to do to send my failed hard drive to you Also, once the information is transfered is the failed hard drive junk?

    Also, how would I slave the bad hard drive to a laptop?

  65. M Clark November 6, 2009 2:59 am #

    I have a 500 GB Western Digital External Harddrive. I had it hooked up via USB to a computer running Vista. I deframented the hard drive (internal) to the computer system that this drive was hooked too. Everything seemed to work out with no problems. After turning the computer off and back on I noticed that the WD external drive was not noticed by my computer. So the drive was not physically moved or anything, but now I get the beeps when connecting the drive to both computers, but the drive is not recognized. The drive just boots like normal for about 10 seconds, I get the buzz of rotation from the drive and three clicks as if it’s trying to boot – followed by three more clicks and then the steady blue rounded lights. Any ideas on how to just get the drive to registar on my computer. I have a couple of nice programs that would like to take the whole drive to diner.

    lol
    Can You Help?

  66. EDEEZ November 14, 2009 1:21 pm #

    I stumbled across this website today with the hope that I could resolve a year and half old problem–retrieving the information saved on My Book (500GB) External drive!!! I was, both, alarmed and, ironically, comforted to know that I was NOT alone! regarding the retrieval problems I have with the My Book!
    Simply put, when plugged in for the second time, to retrieve the information saved, the My Book does not power up (NO Blue Light come on!), No Sound, No Nothing!!! I used other power outlets to ensure it was not the power source…the SAME results! NOTHING!!! All I want is to retrieve the information that I had saved on the drive, thereafter, it’s going into the recycle bin!!! ANYTHING advice that has worked to retrieve the information (if at all possible?) is gladly welcomed!!!
    Thanks, in advance!
    EDEEZ

  67. Gary Cauble November 22, 2009 11:09 pm #

    I have 2 western digital 160g hard drives in a raid 1 configuration. It says 1 of them failed but I can see it. How do I erase the data from the raid failure so I can reuse it?

    • Jacqui Best November 24, 2009 1:19 pm #

      Gary,

      Do you need the data from them or?

  68. Building Wire August 7, 2010 12:45 pm #

    I really appreciate the author. I really enjoyed while reading the post… Thank you so much for sharing the post with all…

  69. Adam pendleton August 13, 2010 12:55 am #

    i had a western digital 500gb hard drive that just failed last week and i just put it in the computer about a month ago and all of the sudden when i was using my computer with the 500gb as the master drive my computer froze right when i opened firefox. so i do what i normally do when my computer freezes i shutdown the computer. so when i rebooted the computer my computer said their was no operating system found. so i tried that for the next three times and still no luck. so i opened up my desktop to take out the hard drive. with it still plug into the computer i turned the computer back on to feel the hard drive and i dont here any noise nor vibration on the hard drive. so i checked my bios to see if it can find the hard drive. but the hard drive wasn’t found so i called a local computer store to ask them a few questions about my hard drive. so i told them all of the things that the hard drive was doing to once i was done they told me that it sounds like i have a hard drive lockup. so since i had a few more hard dries in my room i put that one in instead. and it is way smaller than he 500gb one but instead it’s a 20gb hard drive. so i thing i will never buy another western digital hard drive again. and same with a few of my friend their parents hard drive had failed to and all of them were western digital. so NEVER BUY A WESTERN DIGITAL HARD DRIVE THEY WILL FAIL.

  70. Bil September 6, 2010 6:05 pm #

    Agree, I had a few (internal & external) WD drives that failed on me already. It’s rare (to me, at least) that WD drives don’t fail over time. I bought them because they were a little cheaper and now I paid a serious price for it. So everyone stay away from this brand unless you don’t mind losing your work.

    My experience tells me the worst drives you can buy are IBM, WD. Be warned.

    A frustrated WD user.

  71. DJ TonyVito October 20, 2010 8:50 am #

    I’ve used my WD 500 MyBook with absolutely no problem for the better part of 2 years; been backing up all of the household files (6 computers) and of course my mp3 files that I use to DJ with. About 8 months ago the USB cable got stuck in the hard drive casing; I couldn’t get it out, so with the fear of damaging it, I just left it in. Last week, suddenly the drive is not recognized no matter what laptop or desktop I plug it into. the drive would not “wind up” would not hear it spinning at all.

    I took it apart and attached the HD to an external HD adapter casing and sporadically got it to be recognized. The drive is not full, I’ve only used 187 Gigs; I find it ironic that I have to now think about backing up the back-up drive.

    I purchased a WD 1 Terrabyte drive this weekend and will use that going forward.

  72. Anonymous November 3, 2010 1:58 pm #

    I have my book essential. This is my first one and run for 2 month and then for no reason the usb is not recognized.Never again.

  73. Kapple December 29, 2010 5:41 pm #

    I’m having problems as well. MY WD harddrive failed about a week ago. It seems fine — no clicking and the computer does realise it’s there if I go into My Computer and then ‘manage’ — but I can’t get into it to see the data. Tried many ‘recommended’ free scanning data recovery programs, but they haven’t helped in the slightest.

    As a last resort I’ve stuck it in the freezer. Here’s hoping that works, if only for a few minutes, so that I can get all my old photos off.

    Never buying one of these again. Think I’ll stick to memory sticks.

    • Jacqui Best January 10, 2011 3:17 pm #

      Kapple,

      I warn you that the freezer thing can cause more damage to the data. If you live in a humid climate at all it will cause condensation when you take it out. Putting the drive in a bag will not help as your can not get all the air out.

  74. Ronald June 13, 2011 2:22 am #

    Hi,
    I have WD Passport Essential 1TB external hard drive. It was working good until last night and then stopped seeing on my computer when I insert into USB port. I tried all USB ports even my friends WD cable and laptop. But no success.

    Still the LED light is glowing but not blinking on startup.

    & it has some strange noise coming from, before it was operating silently.

    I have 1TB of data on it. can someone pls help me out there to recover my data? I’ll be very helpful.

    Thanks.

    • Irfan December 15, 2011 9:36 am #

      Same happened to me. I just got another casing for it. Lost all my data. Drive converted to unallocated space after a small fall.

      • Jacqui Best February 10, 2012 3:25 pm #

        Irfan,
        Hard drives have moving parts and even just falling over can cause serious damage. I tell my customer to lay them down long way and make sure all cords are out of the way of pets and kids.

  75. Emma September 2, 2011 10:16 am #

    I purched WD 500Gb external hard drive, two months ago. It has been working perfectly and suddenly my laptop cannot recognize it. The light shows and I hear the drive making 3-4 times click when I connect it to my laptop. Some one help me pls.

  76. simone October 10, 2012 8:09 pm #

    hello need help if anyone can help i hope so i have a 1TB hard drive and it came up with configuring the other day and know its not showing up my WD start up is coming up but showing my drive as 0KB i have a mac too so im really stuck
    hope some one can help
    simone

    • David Mohyla October 11, 2012 10:02 am #

      Hi Simone,
      Go to Disk Management and look and see if it recognizes the full size of the drive. If it does not then the hard drive is not responding.

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