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Western Digital My Book Problem Question and Answer

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Below are some more fun Q&A about hard drive recovery. I have given what I think is the best solution to these problems. As always please leave a comment if you have a question or contact me directly at 727-345-9665 ext 236.


I have a 1TB Western Digital My book Hard drive. When I plug it in to either the USB or FireWire ports the computer detects and the instillation wizard pops up.
I follow the wizard steps and it says “successfully installed” but I cannot find my hard drive.
-My USB drives all work and I have other hard drives on the computer
-It says “you may safely remove hardware” in the task bar
-I’ve tried it on a different computer and had the same result


So this gets a little tricky because just because “My Computer” isn’t seeing the drive it does not mean the computer is not seeing the drive. You would need to go to disk management and then see if it is reporting as a mass storage device in the machine. If it is then it is likely that the drives problem is a MBR (master boot record/partition record) problem that can easily be fixed with something like a remote recovery. The other option is to run data recovery software on it and you should be able to tree the hard drive, move the files off, repartition/reformat, and move the data back. If it is not being seen in disk management then it is likely a communication problem with the USB enclosure (box holding the hard drive) and the computer. Usually popping the enclosure open and then slaving it or putting it in a new enclosure fixes that problem.


I bought a Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 1TB External Hard Drive in July ’09. I moved ALL my music, photos and personal files onto this hard drive. My CD-ROM drives quit working right before I got this….so I had not gotten around to “backing them up” on discs. STUPID-I KNOW!!!!
2 weeks ago it just quit working. I used it in the morning and in the afternoon, it wouldn’t work. It appears that it isn’t getting any (sufficient) power. It does not show up as an available drive when it’s plugged in.
Is there ANY POSSIBLE way for me to get my files off of this thing? I plan on sending it in to get it warranted-but I want to recover my files first.


Ok, so like the above user he eludes to the face that it just isn’t showing up. it really could be all of the above fixes. My guess would be that if he wanted to get permission from Western Digital to pop open the enclosure he would be able to rule out the insufficient power problem. My guess would again be that the chassis has gone bad since this a very common problem. I always say that a My Book is a good product but only if you are going to plug it in just to back up and then leave it off most times. If you want an external device you can run all the time the best course of action would be to buy a high end USB enclosure and a hard drive in the size you want and build your own. This will give you the option to install fans in it as well as be sure it has good power to the hard drive. Heat is one of the major causes of hard drive recovery.


101 Responses to “Western Digital My Book Problem Question and Answer”

  1. SJo December 4, 2009 8:12 am #

    Like the earlier question… I have a 1TB Western Digital My book Hard drive and when I plug it in to the USB port the computer detects and the instillation wizard pops up saying that it has been “successfully installed” but I cannot find my hard drive. However when going into disk management it is still not being seen there. I also pulled the drive out and put it into a new external enclosure however it is doing the same thing.. Any suggestions?

  2. mko December 8, 2009 12:20 pm #

    I have a LaCie 1TB extreme w/triple interface less than 2 years old. It was working fine the last time I used it (several months ago). Now I can not see an icon with either of my two computers (powerbook and macbook). Neither Disk Warrior or Disk Utilities see it either. I ordered a new power cord from LaCie which did not help. I have tried accessing it using USB and Firewire. Neither work. The light comes on, it never goes to solid — just flickers) and I hear spinning but no scary noises. Any suggestions? I’m feeling desperate!

  3. Luca Cogoni December 11, 2009 8:10 am #

    Hi, I’m Mr. Luca from Italy. I have a WD MyBookWE 1Tb. The unit suddenly stopped working. I opended it and I realized the disk is a 2199Mb unallocated disk. Do you think it is possible to recover my files? I runned TestDisk for ten days, quick and deep scan, no partition was found… Thanks a lot, Luca!

  4. Michelle Chilton January 3, 2010 5:33 pm #

    Hello, I first want to say that this is a great site. Im sure y’all help out a lot of people. Great Job!!! I also want to ask a question. Okay I hope I can explain this right….. I turned off my computer last night and I try to start it up today. Well as soon as it starts to boot Windows XP PROFESSIONAL will not load. I get a prompt that say:windowssystem32configsystem missing or corrupt . I try to get it going in safe mode but it gives me the same prompt. Now i understand that its missing a file so it cant go further but What I I dotn know is how did i lose this file. Most importantly I need to get the data off my C DRIVE. I stupidly didnt back up my data and now I m loosing my mind. Can you please tell me how I can get windows up and runing and more importantly how can i retrieve my data. PLEASE HELP!!! Thanks for ur time-michelle

  5. Roy January 11, 2010 10:14 am #

    Hi! Similar to the first two questions I have 2 WD My Book USB external hard drives, a 500 GB and a 1 TB. When I plug them in the Driver Softward Installation runs and tells me it successfully installed the software drivers, but it installs USB Mass Storage Device and “WD”. It used to install USB Mass Storage Device and something like My Book with some numbers. My Computer doesn’t “see” the drive, Disk Manager tells me the drive needs to be initialized but when I try to initialize I get the error message “Incorrect Function”. I don’t have any data on the drives I can not afford to loose. WD tells me the “drive interface” has failed on both drives, at the same time!
    Is the “drive interface” something that can be replaced or repaired by putting the drives in a new box with a new USB connector, or are my drives toast?

  6. M Padilla January 17, 2010 10:53 am #

    I have a WD MyBookWE 1Tb. The unit suddenly stopped working. this happen only if i’m transfering large files. any idia

    • Shubhendu Das February 1, 2011 10:17 pm #

      I had similar issue..
      Try turning DMA on for the drive and use a software such as Tera copy…
      Hope it works

  7. Tim McMahon January 18, 2010 8:56 pm #

    Here’s another drive that won’t show up. WD told me that it was insufficient power and will send me a new power plug. The tech lady also told me that i SHOULD (yes) plug my hard drive power directly into the wall outlet in the future and not use any surge protectors or backup supply. I thought I was being pranked or something.
    I bought a new case and dropped it in. It says that it installed new software, but won’t let me install any drivers because it doesn’t see the drive. Has anyone had any luck with finding a solution?

  8. S Edwards January 21, 2010 11:51 pm #

    I bought a WD 1Tb My Book and it worked fine until I upgrader my computer to win7 64bit. The drive slows the system down until it lieratly stops. Used 100% of processor and I have to unplug the drive and hard boot my machine to get it going again. I’ve tried WD tech support – it was uner warrenty after all, but they are useless, actually less than useless.

    Any ideas?

    • Shubhendu Das February 1, 2011 10:14 pm #

      Try to use the drive without installing the software Smartware or somthing..
      See how it goes..

      If you have installed it disable it from msconfig.exe

    • Billybob October 19, 2011 9:19 pm #

      I was so confused about what to buy, but this makes it udnsetrandable.

  9. EDEEZ January 30, 2010 8:08 pm #

    I’m unable to retrieve the information I saved on to my WD My Book Essential Edition (WD5000P032) 500GB several months ago! When plugged in, it doesn’t power up at all! No blue (power) light! No sound! NOTHING! I plugged it in to various other outlets to ensure that it wasn’t the power source, but the same results! Nothing comes on, at all! All I want is to retrieve the information I saved on it…pictures, documents! Thereafter, it can be recycled!…Ironically, I’ve always heard that it’s important to have a “backup” (External drive) of all important files, etc. When steps were taken to do exactly that,…now the External Drive “acts ups”!…The most I’ve done in terms of “recovery attempts” has been plugging the cord into various outlets only to get the same result…NOTHING!!!
    ANY assistance you can provide me to help me retrieve my information is greatly appreciated, in advance!

    Sincerely, EDEEZ

    • Sun August 4, 2011 6:18 pm #

      Open and remove the harddrives. If you are comfortable you my open your desktop and directly connect the harddrive, or buy ‘SATA IDE USB Converter ‘ device and then connec the harddrive to your computer through USB. you can access all your files

      • Brutuss100 December 27, 2012 8:05 pm #

        Connecting the drive via USB or directly to the MB won’t work for MB Essential; the drive is encoded with a data key through the USB control board. unless you get the chip [u2] from the original board and swap it to the new donor board, you’ll never gain access to your data. You willbe able to recover many of the files from the drive using software like Wondershare, made specifically for WD drives, but it only pulls data from the drive, it doesn’t decrypt it of repair it; you will still need a decoder for many of the more complex files [program files – as opposed to those that are merely pictures, or graphics, etc.].

    • Charles February 15, 2013 4:26 am #

      I have 2 Western Digital Usb drives 1tb. They both failed thet same day within minutes of each other. They were dead. After doing some research I learned that there is a diode that commonly fails. It is 06bo3a. can’t find out if it is a Protection diode or a zener. This diode is on the pc board on the drive. When I disassembled the drive (using a plastic wedge to separate the housing). I removed then USB interface. When I plugged in the 12v dc supply and the usb cable to the computer the led light came on as usual when I plugged the interface(bridge board) back on the drive connector the light goes outt. This indicated to me the board on the drive was shorted. After removing the four screws holding it down to the drive connectors, I turn it over and tested the diode on the edge of the board near the connector. It was shorted. I removed the diode. The drive now works. Only issue is there is no protection for the drive without this diode. there are two of these diodes on the board. I think one is for the 12v and the other is for 5v input power. This makes me believe that they are not zeners (regulation diodes). Most likely protection diode. I will use the other diode on one board to make one good board. Then use that board on each drive to back up the data to new drives. Hope this helps.

  10. Joyce June 23, 2010 10:55 am #

    worked fine, 3 months old, formatted my PC and hooked it back on, ran the setup “WD SmartWare”rnthis works, my pc shows Drive L, but can not read it. (AT all)
    Tried to format it in : My comp. > Manage > Disk Management
    Here it shows as RAW (all the other drives as NTFS) tried to format but it won’t. Tried quick format, but it won’t. Tried it in Partition Magic to format, but it won’t. Tried it in My computer, click L drive and it asks for format, but it won’t.

    What has happened to my drive, I am a Professional photographer and it has ALL!!!! my photos on it of the last 3 months. (Yes I do have a copy of these on my internal HDD and one more I just want my files back before sending it off to warrantee)
    (made back up to this disk, before formatting HDD)

    Please help

    • DTI Data Recovery June 23, 2010 11:16 am #

      Joyce, Let’s thank the heavens you were not able to format the drive! Your data is still there, but the partition (or boot record) has been shot. We have software called Recover It All that can recover your files. The trick is going to be in getting the software to see the drive. You may have to take it out of the case and hook it up directly. Here is a link to Recover It All

      Here is how to slave a hard drive

      You can call me as well +1-727-345-9665 or email me michael @

      We can do this remotely as well.

    • Jim April 6, 2013 12:38 pm #

      I had this problem also and could not find an answer for a fix.

      BUT,,,,,, I did an update from WD and that fixed the problem!!

      I have read that a lot of people are having this problem so give it a try

  11. nadeem August 21, 2010 4:45 am #

    I had a1 tb my book essential which i bought from a store it worked fine the day i bought it and then i move my data into it and then i turned it off, after a few days i tried to start it again with no luck the drive wont just boot up .well i got a replacement for the drive after waiting for 2 months but today as i received the new hard drive i was shocked to see that the new hard drive wont boot up too , i checked the adapter too and everything is fine …. im really pissed and don’t know what to do will they provide me a replacement again

    • Shubhendu Das February 1, 2011 10:05 pm #

      Boot Up?

      Could you there is no Lights at all…
      WD must be connected to power and USB at same time to get it powered

  12. Shubhendu Das February 1, 2011 10:04 pm #

    I had a WD external My BOOK 1 TB now the SATA USB controller on that had gone bad so I opened it and installed the drive directly to my Computer.

    Problem is I had a large 930 GB partion of FAT 32 on that which was accessible through USB interface but when I am connecting it to SATA the drive shows in Device Manager but not in my COmputer.

    In disk mangement it shows as Unallocated space, I know formating it will show the drive but I want to save the precious data on drive.

    So How ??
    Any solution.
    Quick thought, If i connect it through a casing that are available in market of Sata to USb will it work? as it will be same interface again

  13. adam March 30, 2011 6:19 pm #

    hi, i have a 1 TB external usb data storage, before i had gateway lap top with win vista and it was working very good with that computer . around three months ago i bought dell laptop with win 7 , and the data storage was working good at first month but after that the data storage start to stop working alot and everytime it gives me the messag ” format disk ” and now everytime i plug in the data storage to my computer always gives the same message and i cannot open it at all. so please help me if you can to get my data of that drive because i have important data on it .

    thank you

    • Jacqui Best April 27, 2011 4:02 pm #


      This is a common problem with external hard drives. All I can tell you to try is maybe take it out of the enclosure and try putting in a new one. If this does not work maybe try running recovery software on it.

  14. someone April 9, 2011 3:29 am #

    I bought a 1tb Western Digital external hard drive almost a year ago (July I think). I put a password on it that only I would know.
    In february the usb port broke, then I recently purchased an enclosure case as well as SATA/IDE adapter, hoping that would solver my problem. However my hard drive showed up as unallocated data. I went to Best Buy where the genius there initialized my hard drive.

    Two questions: 1) Is there any way I can get into my hard drive like decrypting the password I have on it?
    2) Would there be any software that I could get full versions of for free to recover the data on my hard drive? Please let me know cause I’d really love to have my hard drive back. Thanks.

    • Jacqui Best April 27, 2011 2:21 pm #


      We do have the technology here to get that hard drive decrypted. It is not a feat easily accomplished. There is not “software” option for this because that would defeat the purpose of the encryption.

  15. Eva May 24, 2011 6:17 am #


    I have a WD 1TB My Book and it suddently stopped working after having for over a year. I can see it in my computer and I can’t see it in the disk management area. I have taken the enclosure off and still nothing. How do I run recovery software on it if I can’t see it? I have all my photos and documents on it. Can someone help please.

    Thanks Eva

    • Eva May 24, 2011 6:18 am #

      Sorry – I cannot see it in my computer.

  16. Levi June 17, 2011 2:59 am #

    I bought my WD My Book for Mac a little over a month ago. It’s been working great, but for some reason today it stopped working. I had the hard drive completely unplugged and when I plugged everything in like I always do the device did not show up on my computer. Usually it shows immediately on my screen, but I can’t find it anywhere, even if I specifically look on Disk Utility. When I initially plug everything in I can hear it configuring and working, but eventually it goes silent. The power/activity light blinks rapidly, faster than each second. So… I don’t understand why it isn’t showing up. It must have something to do with the USB, but I’m not sure what to do. Any ideas/solutions? Please and thank you.
    P.S. What is the warranty on it? Can I send it to the manufacturer and get it replaced for free? What do I need to do?

  17. Wyatt August 3, 2011 7:04 pm #

    I have a WD 500 GB external drive and am haveing many of the same problems as others. I finally managed to get my computer to recognize the drive by switching the firewire port I plug into and then bought a new external drive to switch everything over to. My problem now is that when i try to transfer data off the drive it starts the transfer then stalls and just sits there with windows saying its still transfering but really nothing is happening ie no change in how much data has been transfered after an hour. Any suggestions?

    • Jacqui Best August 16, 2011 2:55 pm #

      It sounds like you may have a “degrading” head. I would try doing smaller amounts of data on the transfers. Another thing you might want to try is taking the hard drive out of the enclosure to help deal with any heat issues you may be having.

  18. Big K September 6, 2011 10:01 pm #

    I have a WD 1Tb MyBook Essential External Harddrive, recently I mistakenly swapped my laptop charger for the WD power jack but only for a few seconds before swapping them back, now whenever I plug up the harddrive and click the power button it will simply flash and go off, if I hold it it will keep flashing untill I let it go and then it will flash VERY dimly constanly, I tried plugging it into my computer in this state but nothing happens, Help?

  19. Lin October 22, 2011 2:29 am #

    I have a WD My Book Essential Edition (WD5000P032) 500GB, which I’ve owned for at least 3 years now and never had any problems with it until now because it was dropped on the carpet (about 16 inches) today. I have only used about half of the storage space.

    My main problem is that none of my 3 laptops are reading/recognizing it. When I click on My Computer, the external drive is no longer detected by the computers. The blue light is still on, and when I initially plug it in through USB, I hear it working (no unusual sounds/clicks). The external drive is plugged in to the wall outlet and to my laptop via a USB (sorry I’m not a computer geek as evidenced here).

    What are my options? I have precious pictures and videos of my children, which I cannot lose. However, I am not currently in the position to spend thousands of dollars by taking it to a data recovery specialist. Are there other cheaper alternatives of recovering my data? I would greatly APPRECIATE any advice!!!!

  20. IT OPS October 23, 2011 10:17 am #

    This has has happened to me a few time with about 4 of these drives.
    It appears that the connections on the internal board to the drive oxidize
    a bit and all you have to do is to open up and clean all the connections.
    I have one doing this right now.

  21. Gabe November 8, 2011 8:26 pm #

    Hi – I bought a 1TB my book about 2 years ago and filled it up to around half way and it kept saying it was full at about 480 gig and wouldn`t let me copy more data on, I thought it might be a back up file issue although I couldn`t see where the back up data was so i copied everything onto another hard drive and formatted it.
    It said 931 gig free and i thought everything was ok except now I`m back up to around half way and it says it`s full again? There`s none of the original wd software on it, any help on how to fix it would be much appreciated.

    – Gabe

    • Jacqui Best February 13, 2012 10:58 am #

      I would go in to your file properties and make sure you can see hidden and system files. Usually when the occurs on an external device it is malware. I would guess that after you try that you may see more data on the drive.

  22. Shane December 1, 2011 3:10 am #

    I have a question regarding my WD 1TB my book device. Before we get started I want to mention that my laptop is running Windows 7 Pro. My laptop just recently got infected with the stupid Win 7 Security 2012 Virus and my Western Digital happened to be plugged in at the same time. Whenever I go to my computer and look at the icon for the WD 1TB device it shows that it still has everything on it but when I open it, there is nothing inside! What can I do to get those files back?

    • Jacqui Best February 10, 2012 3:43 pm #


      Try changing all the folder and file options so that you can see system and hidden folder options. Also you will need to run a command prompt command for removing the hidden attribute from everything. Doing a search in Google for the virus should explain how to do this.

  23. tim gerber December 5, 2011 12:03 pm #

    I have a 1.8 tera my book essential. I’ve never encountered any issues until now. I usually transfer photos using an HP laptop but my wife went to access the hd using her asus laptop and now a bunch of the photo files arent showing up? I always double and triple check that the file transfer takes, but every photo file from my iPhone dump shows 0kb in the file details. What can I do to recover these files? I tried accessing the files from my HP laptop but nothing. Thanks in advance!

    • Jacqui Best February 10, 2012 3:31 pm #


      I have seen this before on a bunch of different occasions. In ever instance it was a virus. I would recommend making sure you have the rights to see hidden and system files. Once you are sure of that you should see your files again and realize those other files you are seeing are actually .lnk’s

  24. Woodrow December 8, 2011 10:40 pm #

    WD My Book Essential. New, worked for a couple weeks and quit. Plug power in – power light flashes on and goes off. This happens with USB plugged in or without USB plugged in. I’ve been reading allot of cases with same or similar problems. Is there something wrong with these drives? Is it a firmware/software problem or a hardware problem? If it is replaced by WD, I am reluctant to send it in with mt data on it. Is there anything I can do to get this thing up and running again? Is there a reset somewere or some procedure I can perform? All of the internal drives I purchased and installed were WD. This is giving me pause about WD reliability.

    • Jacqui Best February 10, 2012 3:28 pm #


      WD makes a great drive, but like all HDD’s they have moving parts and when that is the case there is always the chance for failure. I would ask if you have tried taking the drive from the enclosure? If not that would be the first thing I would try.

      • DaveW February 19, 2012 12:33 pm #

        How *do* you get the Wd MyBook Essential plastic case open??? There don’t appear to be any screws, not even under the rubber feet and prying on the case leads to scary cracking sounds…


        • Jacqui Best February 20, 2012 11:42 am #


          It is all snaps no screws. There are a ton of videos on youtube on how to get the enclosure open, it is highly unlikely you will get it open with out snapping off a few of them.

  25. Art January 8, 2012 6:12 pm #

    So I have a Mybook 1TB (one of the earlier ones) . . . although it seems to spin up, it’s wasn’t recognized by Win7 or OSX. So, I dismantled the unit (it’s 2 500gb drives, of course) and plugged the drives in to the SATA slots left on my desktop. DiskManagement now sees them but how do I (software) duplicate whatever arrangement that originally made these “look” like a single 1TB drive?

    Here’s the reading I get off Disk Management

    Disk 1: 200mb Healthy (EFI System Partition), 931.2 GB Healthy (primary partition)
    Disk 2: 465.76GB Unallocated

    • Jacqui Best January 24, 2012 5:03 pm #


      It is a RAID 0 configuration. You will need to know the stripe size and off set in order to rebuild the array.

      • Jean February 14, 2012 4:36 pm #

        Jacqui – I’m running into the same issue. How would I find the stripe size and off set? And how do you rebuild an array? Any help or links is appreciated!

        Thank you!

        • Jacqui Best February 20, 2012 11:45 am #


          In the world of arrays no 2 are the same. I would advise calling the office and speaking to Richard. He can point you in the right direction and is extremely helpful. 727.345.9665

  26. James January 15, 2012 3:05 am #

    Stupid WD Mybook essential 1 TB it is now the second time the unit has all of a sudden when it is connected to the PC it can not be seen by the Pc’s USB port. When you pull the drive apart and connect it to Via Sata connector you will find the Master boot record has been corrupted and the drive is seen as unalicated. I have had to use file recovery program (GetDataBack for NTFS) to recover my data . I suspect and hope it is the Sata to USB connector causing the issue as it also seem to have software on the unit. Contact WD and their are useless tried to redirect me to 3rd party recovery companies and hundred of $ to pay for a fix

    • Jacqui Best January 24, 2012 5:00 pm #


      Are you always “safely disconnecting” the essential before you unplug it?

  27. cliff January 27, 2012 2:38 pm #

    same problem – can’t see it and not in ‘manage’ disks.

    I am not wasting my life on a piece of rubbish – its going straight back – think I had a lucky escape looking at all the problems above – lacie for me now!!!

  28. Katlynn February 7, 2012 1:06 am #

    I have the same problem as most of the people above, bought a WD 1TB Ext HD about 2 years ago, have it almost filled with irreplaceable data – and now the computer does not see it. It powers up, shows that it’s being installed (on my new computer) and shows in the device manager – it shows in the disk management area too but as unallocated and empty. It was working fine until I moved about a month ago and now nothing. Can the data really be missing? I would love to run a program on this to retrieve my data but not sure how. As I said, it’s full of important files ( I dumped everything off old computers onto this for the move). I get the same response using other computers and other versions of windows (xp, vista, and 7). There is also no drive letter associated with it in the disk management. I’m not a computer novice, but this is one headache I have not been able to solve.

    • Katlynn February 7, 2012 1:09 am #

      Oh I forgot to mention that I was told by a tech guy at Best Buy that removing it from the case would destroy it, the harddrive will not work in another case.

      • Jacqui Best February 10, 2012 12:48 pm #


        1. I have no idea why it destroy it. It is true there is some different kind of weird stuff going on with some of the newer Seagate and WD externals but nothing that removing them from the casing would prove fatal.
        2. If the drive is showing up un-allocated but at least showing up I would just try data recovery software on it like Recover It All.

        • Katlynn July 12, 2012 3:32 pm #

          Well, I did have a tech guy remove it from the case and try it in another case, and still nothing. So I took it to geek squad and they did a level one and two on it (supposedly – don’t really know what that means?) and wanted to do a level 3 (clean room) recovery on it for $1600! The catch there is if they recover even 1 file, it’s considered a success and you end up paying $1600 for a file. I am so devastated I don’t know what to do. They said they used recovery software (level 2) and could not recover anything. Should I just give up – it’s 10 years of data on there, I was transferring from my back up hd and my computer to this one because my computer was dying…and now this one is dead too?. I am not computer savvy to this degree….does anyone have any other suggestions? I’ve read a lot of blogs about people who were unimpressed with Geek Squad and went home and recovered their own data, but I’m not sure I’m techy enough to do that. Please….all my photos (including ones from parents/grandparents) are on there – someone give me some hope.

          • David Mohyla July 13, 2012 10:51 am

            Katlynn, no one should charge if they recover 1 file. Unless, you only need one file. It is impossible to say what is wrong with your hard drive. If you have data that is very important to you I don’t recommend trying to perform any type of recovery if the drive is mechanically or physically damaged. Software is meant for file system failure ie.. lost partitions, deleted files, quick format or even a few bad sectors. If you would like give us a call and we will see if we can help you.

  29. JJ February 13, 2012 3:46 am #

    I have a 2TB “My Book Essential” USB 3.0 drive. This drive was bought to backup a failing Internal HDD on a Win7x64 desktop. First I formatted the My Book as NTFS using a different laptop with Win XP on it. All useful data was backed up by booting the desktop with Knoppix (bootable Linux). The My Book still works perfectly fine when connected to the Win XP laptop, shows all contents, pictures viewable and such. After recieving the RMA replacement internal HDD for the desktop, and re-installing Win 7×64, I connected the WD My Book and it mounts on My Computer as “Local Disk” (different than the custom name I gave it when formatted) and is not accessible. Device manager shows no issues and reports it as “WD My Book 1140 USB Device.” Disk Management shows the File System as “Raw” and Healthy (Primary Partition). Without moving any wires, I reboot the Desktop into Knoppix, and the WD My Book drive works perfectly. Reboot into Win 7 x64, and it is still not working. Move it to XP laptop, it also works flawlessly there.
    Long story short, is there a way to get this drive to work in Win 7 x64?

    • Jacqui Best February 13, 2012 10:48 am #


      Try going into Disk Manager and right click on the RAW drive and choose “Change drive letters and paths…” then try changing it to one that is not currently in use. Let me know if it works.

      • JJ February 13, 2012 4:42 pm #

        The drive was previously assigned (F:), I just changed it to (P:), behavior does not change. Still shows up named as “Local Disk”, when the partition should have the distinct name I gave it. At first, after changing drive letter, windows wanted to format the drive, I refused that. Now selecting to browse the drive gives a dialog box with the following text: “Location is not available”, “P: is not accessible” and “The parameter is not correct.” This is the same dialog box it gave when it was (F:).

        • Jacqui Best February 20, 2012 11:43 am #


          Is your windows fully up to date?

          • JJ February 20, 2012 1:20 pm

            Just ran a “Check for updates”, only one important for Visual Studio 2010 – SP1.

          • Jacqui Best February 20, 2012 3:59 pm


            Did you use windows XP to make the partition or a 3rd party piece of software?

  30. JJ February 20, 2012 5:31 pm #

    The first thing I did was I formatted the My Book as NTFS using a laptop with Win XP on it.

    Also, everything is USB2.0, I have no devices with USB3.0 ports, though this drive is USB3.0. Right now, I will probably back everything up from the MyBook to the 1TB internal drive (using knoppix to transfer the files). Once I build a new computer that has a USB3.0 port, I will try this drive on that with Win7x64. If it is still not recognized, I will format the ‘raw’ partition that shows up in Win7 and test to see if it is then recognizable in knoppix and WinXP. Hopefully this fixes it.

    • Jacqui Best February 21, 2012 10:02 am #


      I was thinking maybe if you had used some kind of 3rd party partitioning software ie Partition Magic then maybe that was causing the issue.

      The only thing I can think of at this point is I could remote in and look at it. It could be a simple problem or at the very least I could let you know why I think it is doing it.

      • JJ June 23, 2012 7:10 pm #

        FYI, I got it to work by backing up all the data from within knoppix (bootable dvd linux) onto the 1tb drive, then booting back into win7x64. From there I deleted the raw partition and re-created one large partition, then formatted. All using windows build in disk management (right click my computer – manage). I then ran the long surface check. I restored all the data back on to the HDD. All this was done with only USB2.0 ports. The drive has been working just fine ever since.
        Also, I have since built a new computer with USB3.0 ports, and this drive works great with >60mb/s sustained at all times, sometimes a steady >100mb/s. The new computer only has a tiny SSD and this 2TB “My Book Essential” USB 3.0 drive, so I installed Steam onto this USB drive, along with the many games, and it works as if it was installed on the system drive. The drawback to this is that I can never ‘safely remove’ it, so I have to shutdown the computer to be certain it’s safe to remove. This is not a big deal since the SSD provides speedy boot/shutdown.

  31. FLASH April 8, 2012 12:59 pm #

    I have a WD MyBook World 1TB “blue rings”. The main board is absolutely definitely positively bad. The HDD is fine in another unit. Where can I get it replaced or repaired. I see hundreds of users with the same problem. Trying to get support from WD is futile.


  32. jenish May 31, 2012 12:08 am #

    Hello! my external hard disk wd wont show up in MyComputer or Disk management. But shows a safely remove icon in the taskbar. i have all the datas in my hard disk. what to do to repair it. Any help will be greatly appreciated. and thanks in advance.

    • David Mohyla May 31, 2012 8:55 am #

      Hi Jenish,
      If your computer does not show your drive in ‘Disk Management’ then the hard drive in the enclosure is not working. What you see in Windows to “Safely Remove” is just the enclosure the hard drive is in. So, you may want to listen and see if the drive is spinning up or if it is making any strange noises.

  33. ed klenovich June 17, 2012 10:31 pm #

    I have a wd my book home 1tb drive for about two years. I back up my files every week. My hard drive (c) has about 320 GB of data. I just got a message that there is not enough room available on the WD drive to back up my data. Only 4 GB remains. Can I reformat the WD drive and start all over? Are there program files that have to be reloaded on the WD drive in order to do the backups?
    Thank you.

    • David Mohyla June 19, 2012 9:44 am #

      Yes, there are files (folders) that are on the WD drive that are used by the Back Up program. I would refer to WD’s online help for complete details.

    • Jacqui Best March 7, 2014 12:38 pm #

      If you are using the WD backup software then yes you would have to reload it I would recommend going into that software and removing older backups. If you are not using the software that came with it how are you backing up the files?

  34. Pepito trinidad August 25, 2012 7:54 pm #

    HI everyone, got same problem, i buy a WD Mybook essential 1TB USB3.0 and i used it for a months. the first problem i got is when i open the folder inside WDmybook the folder is empty but when i restart everything it will back to normal. then after following days when i open my PC, mybook cant be open, “drive F:” appeared instead of mybook drive. when i click the drive it cant be open ” Application not found”. what shoul i do. all my important files are stored there. please help me. heres my email “”

    • David Mohyla August 29, 2012 3:14 pm #

      Try scanning your drive with Recover It all. If you are running Vista or 7 then you will need to right mouse click on the Recover It All executable and run as an Administrator.

  35. Tom Gifford October 17, 2012 8:47 pm #

    I have a 1TB WD My Book. It reads the drive and I can access everything, but it occasionally, while plugged in, spontaneously disconnects and reconnects, sometimes giving me a “You need to format this disk message.” Its been disconnecting on and off now for a year and its driving me crazy. I don’t know if I can afford recovering the data and my internal doesn’t have enough room (laptop).

    I THINK it might be the USB to mini cord, but I do not know. What do I do? Will replacing the USB-to-mini cord fix things? Please let me know right away!

    • David Mohyla October 18, 2012 12:02 pm #

      Tom, it is possible that it could be the cord. However, if could also be that your hard drive is failing. If you can access any important data and copy it to your laptop I would do so. Another option is to purchase another external and start pulling the data off of that drive as soon as possible.

  36. phil November 16, 2012 8:24 pm #

    I am trying to access a 2Tb MylifeBook, I am able to see the ‘shared drive’ and files, and I can download small files (like an mp3), but large video files (700M) seem to freeze up the system. I’ve tried it over and over, on Windows XP and Windows 7 machines, I’ve turned off firewall (Zonealarm) and virus protect (MS Security Essentials), but still no download completion after 2 hrs and lockup of remote computer. Host IP is 25M upload, my IP is 7M download, and I have downloaded a 175M avi file before in about 3 to 5 minutes, so speed at either end is not a problem. Whats more another user on an apple computer downloads movie files remotely without problems.

    Any suggestions, and thanks for your help,

  37. Bill W February 9, 2013 1:46 pm #

    I have aWD My Book, when plugged in the light, stays fully lit, does not scan like it use to. I can not access it from any computer. Any ideas?

    • David Mohyla February 11, 2013 5:23 pm #

      Well, very hard to say without more details. But the first step would be to go into “Disk Management” and see if the drive is being detected at all.
      Good luck.

  38. Peter K March 23, 2013 6:57 am #

    Guys, as above I have a WD MyBook 2TB. After 1 year of working with it, it just stopped displaying any files. I tried various “partition recovery”applications, but none of them showed anything….Reconnecting, taking in and out from power, nothing worked. Drive light just stays lit and drive is un-discoverable in any utility.

    What I did was to:

    Case A’
    1. open the case
    2. remove the harddrive
    3. unscrew and unplug the mini USB3 controller from the SATA connector
    4. plug the disk on an empty Lacinema(this is what I did) or USB harddisk dock
    5. ALL files are still there.

    Case B’
    Another problem is that these drives must be dealing with some heating issue. After drive was put back on its case, all contents also showed ok. My fault on this case was that I put it above another external drive which was getting too hot. All the heat went thru MYbook and caused it being un-discoverable.
    After I put it alone on a desk surface, 10 minutes later, Windows scanned the drive and showed me its contents. To say the truth, all problems started when I put it on top of another external drive that was making hot the standing surface for MyBook. All the previous year I had it standing on the desk alone, I never had any problems of not seeing the drive’s contents.

    So to conclude: LEAVE ENOUGH AIR for the drive to GET COOL and you will be ok. However if this doesn’t work, put it on another USB2SATA case or inside your PC. Your data is NOT LOST. Don’t waste time with partition recovery apps and DON’T FORMAT the drive!

    Hope I helped,

  39. Rocio April 8, 2013 4:25 pm #

    Great site
    I hope you can help me.
    I have the World Book 500 Gig in my office, normally we don’t have problems but today we saw that the “Blue rings” is off, I mean literally the blue light is off, we tried to fix it nothing. We cannot have access to the network.
    Please I don’t know what to to 🙁


  40. karen April 16, 2013 8:14 pm #

    i retrieved all files but dont know where to find them on my macbook.

    • Jacqui Best November 11, 2013 10:50 am #

      I am confused what did you use to recover the data?


  41. Joe Fernando April 20, 2013 8:13 am #

    i have a WD 500 GB HDD … while encrypting using bit locker my whole process got hooked due to loss of electricity and now i cant open my book HDD … it says enter your recovery key or get the key from flash drive … i cant find any keys in my desktop and now im in a worse situation …. please help me solve this problem …. 🙁 how to get it unlocked and get back to normal condition please help me … i need those data’s back without bit locket encryption please tell me the solution for decryption

    • Jacqui Best November 11, 2013 10:41 am #


      Without Encryption KEY recovery would be impossible. They key should have been the first thing generated and asked to be saved.


  42. chris love April 29, 2013 4:32 am #

    I just got a western digital 1.0TB external harddrive and wen I plug it to my computer it will bring it up as removable disk so and so. But wen I try to save to it or open it it says please insert disk into drive. I’ve tried on several computers please someone help me please. What do I do?

    • David Mohyla April 29, 2013 12:44 pm #

      Look in Disk Management a see if the full capacity of the drive is being detected. If so, try running a demo of any piece of data recovery software. If the drive does not show in Disk Management and you need to recover the data then call.

  43. Dominicus July 19, 2013 11:47 pm #

    I have WD My Book 1130 USB Device, I use for more than 3 years, the years is okey until today it stop response. My computer cannot recognize my WD, it appears as Local Disk in my Computer. When I try to open the disk, it need to format. Anybody has the same problem, or anybody can solve my problem? Thanks

    • Jacqui Best October 29, 2013 12:00 pm #

      3 years is about the shelf life on a hard drive. I usually advise that our customers replace the hard drives after this point. I would bet the drive has started to get bad sectors at this point. You cay be able to run recovery software on the volume in order to get the data recovered.


  44. Glad August 8, 2013 12:19 pm #

    Hi guys! I have disassembled the HDD from my WD My Book Essentials 2TB. After this, I put the HDD inside a SATA enclosure and connected on my notebook (MacBook Pro) but the osx showed that the HDD was not able to be read and asked me if I want to format it… I tried on windows 7 without success either… 🙁

    Please, how can I read my data (1.2TB) from this WD HDD? What should I do after connect using a SATA enclosure? Is it possible that my data have been encrypted by My Book Essential?

    I don’t know what’s happening on my HDD. Please, could anyone help me?

    Thanks in advance,

    • David Mohyla August 8, 2013 1:37 pm #

      Yes, your hard drive may well be encrypted. You can access your drive using Win Hex. There may be a small non encrypted partition at the front of the drive, ignore it if it does exist.
      Look at the contents of your hard drive and look for text. If you do not see any text at all then the drive probably is encrypted. You will need to use the enclosure the drive came out of.

  45. ronald yu February 17, 2014 8:58 am #

    hi good day i have a problem for my WD My PASSPORT 1.5 TB whwn i inserted to my computer it is dectected but the problem is is slow read by my pc and my movie files are not transfering from the pc either going to the pc. i hope ican find solution here.

    thank yu

    • Jacqui Best February 24, 2014 1:53 pm #

      Slow reads usually means the drive is going. Either there is bad sectors or a slow read from one or many of the internal heads. I would say to use sector cloning software and clone the data off to another drive.

  46. Rune Jensen Gru March 15, 2014 5:17 pm #

    Hello. I have a WD My book 1 TB with some problems. When I plug it in the computer it will not start. You can hear it powers up, but nothing happends. My curiosity leads me to the printed circuit on one of the disk. Found some burned components on the prited circuit… My question is it possible to by a new printed circuit for my disks? If yes, where from? The disk: WD5000AAJS WD Caviar SE S/N WCAS80099786


    • Jacqui Best March 20, 2014 12:29 pm #

      It is possible to buy another PCB the and try this fix. It would need to be exactly the same revision as the current PCB there is also other concerns in that the board keeps track of faults with the drive so it is likely it will not work without the intervention of a clean room technician. I would advise call us @ 727-345-9665 and speak with a technician.

  47. Claire February 11, 2015 7:39 pm #

    Hi Jacqui,
    I have a 500 GB Passport Drive. The WD SmartWare panel says I have 79GB left, yet can’t update because I get a message saying disk is full. I’ve deleted back ups and emptied trash. I have the latest software, firmware, drivers. Thanks!

    • Jacqui Best February 13, 2015 2:12 am #

      So you have an external drive plugged into your computer, but you’re trying to do a windows update and its saying you do not have enough space?

  48. Reesie July 19, 2015 7:52 pm #

    I had a problem with my 3tb WD external drive not powering on. I’d plugin the power cord in and the power light would briefly flash but not stay on. I was ready to trash it with a heavy heart because it contained so many files. I finally decided to plug it into to a different port on the computer and it roared back to life. I’d been thinking it was the power port but it wasn’t, it was the USB port I was using.

  49. John McCormick January 9, 2016 11:13 pm #

    I recently received a 4 TB WD My book. I have spent the last few weeks placing a huge number of moves and PC games on it to save it safely. I recently restarted my windows 7 64 bit computer. Now only the light flashes for a while and it makes noises like the hard drive is reading the platter. nope. .. it will show on my E drive and that’s it. There are no files I can access or anything. I have about 2TB of files I really need. I know that opening the case will kill the warranty and usually bricks a WD. They are encrypted and will not work hooking them up. I need help. HELP

    • secureadmin February 9, 2016 1:19 pm #

      It’s smart not to open the drive, as you are correct it will void the warranty. I would call and speak with a technician since this seems to fall into a physical failure of the hard drive. We are a Western Digital authorized clean room so any work we would need to do would not void your warranty.

  50. Meredith January 20, 2016 8:52 pm #

    Hi there, I am not all that tech savvy, so I apologize in advance…
    I have an older WD my book… I’m not exactly sure what model. It’s all black and has a vertical light in the front that lights up blue.
    I am a photographer and have TONS of photos stored on this thing, amongst other files. A week or so ago, it started disconnecting itself, and then would pop up saying that I needed to unmount first, blah blah blah. Well shortly thereafter, when I’d unplug and reconnect it, there would be a popup saying that it had failed or was corrupt, I can’t remember the exact wording… but it said I’d be able to access my files, but would not longer be able to save anything to it. Well, I just bought a replacement external hard drive in preparation to move my files from the my book over, but of course, now it won’t show up at all when I connect it. The light goes on and it sounds like it’s working, but it does not show up in finder on my mac. I’ve tried connecting it to my laptop with no luck either. I also tried another USB cord with no success.
    It’s making me super anxious that I may have lost all of my images. PLEASE tell me there’s a way to retrieve them.

    Thanks for any help!

    • secureadmin February 9, 2016 1:16 pm #

      It sounds like the drive was going, and has now failed. I would call into the office and see if a technician can help with the problem. COntinuing to run the drive can cause further damage.

  51. Flow March 26, 2016 7:15 pm #

    Hi There.
    Im using the Western Digital My Book 3 To since 4 months. I recently installed windows 10 on my system HDD( an SSD). Now everytime i copy a big file from My Book to other Hdd the transfert speed drop signficantly ( from 90Mb/s to 100 or 0 Kb/s). That usually make the disque unusable and i have to unplug it or restart the computer. I hope i will find some help here.

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