Question about Western Digital My Book Essential Edition (WDG1U5000N) 500 GB Hard Drive

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Unable to access external WD 500 Gb drive: "You need to format the disk"

500 Gb external Western Digital drive won't show any files on it. Purchased in Feb 2007. This happened several months ago. Could not get it to read any files on the drive. We reformatted it in NFTS file format. Ran fine until recently. Have tried other computers and file retrieval programs. Windows says "you need to format the disk in drive J: before you can use it." Properties shows 0 bytes used; 0 bytes free. Windows check says "the disk check could not be performed because Windows could not access the disk". Says the format is RAW. Device is working properly. I'm using Vista on my computer. Any hope for this drive or the files on it? Since it crashed twice, is the drive itself bad? Connie

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  • connielusa Sep 23, 2008

    I was using USB connector. It wasn't recognized on Vista or XP. I tried both. I think the drive was just shot for some reason. It started the death click so I sent it in for replacement since it is still under warranty. Hopefully they exchange it for one that won't cause trouble again. Thanks for the suggestions though. Connie

  • Jackblade Nov 21, 2008

    The same problam, i don't have power to write the prob. again...

  • Jackblade Nov 21, 2008

    Sorry for the doubling but I want to sy another thing: I don't want to format it because all my life is in this and i don't wanna lose my life...

    Jack

  • Anonymous Dec 26, 2008

    Same thing, it's a Vista vs. XP problem.

    Sorry to say I don't know a fix...


  • Anonymous Apr 29, 2009

    see the hd ,but shows at raw filesystem... not able to open.... ;,,(

  • Richard Schabler Nov 04, 2012

    Question: Have you been able to access the files on this drive, using the computer and operating system that's failing to access it now?

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Have you formatted that 500GB external hard disk yet? Have you checked whether there is something different? Dose it show RAW in Disk Management? Honestly, about two weeks ago, my Seagate external hard disk keeps asking me to format and cannot be accessed. However, when trying to test it with CHKDSK, it just says the CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives. Hence, in order not to make things worse, I do have searched such external hard disk RAW file system issues and find RAW drive data recovery software is possible to take everything side back. So, I do not give up and try some of these tools found online. Luckily, I finally rescue most of my original drive files back.
Hence, if you are also interested, get one to take chances.

Posted on Nov 05, 2015

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Another factor in this issue is the USB version too. There are two standard ones, and a USB3 in development. USB1 was the earliest and has minimum capabilities, USB2 can do more (including things the USB1 cannot recognize), and USB3 is more capable, and faster.

If you get a message, (I'm assuming Vista does the same as XP), when you plug the drive in saying, "This device can perform faster if you plug it into a high speed USB terminal. Click here to see available high speed USB ports", then you may have the option to use a USB port on your computer that is more capable.
I'd reccommend trying different USB ports on your computer, some are less capable than others, the ones closest to where the Keyboard usually plugs in, are the best.

One other thing I often find is that the USB ports on the front of the computer are often broken from things plugged in there getting banged with feet, or chairs. The 0 Bytes used, 0 Bytes available sign is often caused by an incomplete usb connection, the power is there, but the signals are not, simply try the plug on another USB port.

Hope that help find some solution.

Posted on Nov 04, 2012

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I have battled this for a few days. Your mentioning USB leads me to a possible solution.

I had a 500GB drive and put it in the USB enclosure and could only see 128GB one time, 138GB another. I found that external drive enclosures have their own IDE controller chips with older ones limiting the size of the drive they are able to "see".

The best test is to internally mount the drive (perverts will read this differently than intended and risk injury due to shock!) to make sure it can be seen. If so then the next best step is to spring for a new drive enclosure, one that supports the higher capacity drive. It worked for me! My old external enclosure's IDE controller could not handle the higher capacity drive and the new one was perfectly happy with it. Good luck! - Andy C

Posted on Apr 09, 2009

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It seems vista is the problem. On older operating systems the disk's work fine. My dis was formatted with vista and as a result showed exactly the same message when plugging it into a xp system. Back on the vista it works fine. The ntfs is native to win NT/xp there might have been changes in vista. Also do not use the firewire cabling, i had numerious problems until i reverted back to the usb.

Posted on Sep 23, 2008

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