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

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Computer does not recognize my book 160 gig

I've had this my book for a while and was previously hooked up to my pc and it workeed fine. I disconnected it last year and stored it. I lost my ac adaptor and had to get a new one..I hooked it up again, it's running and everything but my computer is not even uploading or reading that it's hooked up.........I've followed all add hardware steps on the control panel but it still does not work.........what can I do...

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I am making some assumptions:
1) You've got the correct power adaptor and the MyBook has not been physically damaged (they are pretty rugged).
2) You are trying to connect it to a PC running XP or Vista.

So it's time to see what your PC sees: It may be that the PC knows there's 'something' connected via USB but it hasn't been mounted. One simple way to check this is to go to the lower right portion of your MenuBar and left click on the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon. In XP it looks like a small gray thing with a small green arrow. In Vista it looks like a little plug. If it shows that something is connected to your PC via a USB or firewire port, when you left click on the icon there is a small description along with a LETTER, i.e. your main hard drive is almost always C:, this will not show up when you click on the icon I'm talking about because your C: drive is always there, a part of your desktop, likewise your onboard CD or DVD drives, but when youplug in a thumb drive or an external hard drive like your My Book, it gets assigned its own letter E:, F:, etcetera. It might be that the desktop has used that drive in the past and gave it a letter identification, but in the time you didn't use it you used other drives, and they were given the same letter. Now that you've 'returned' the new external drive to the desktop, it is a bit confused. So, back to that little "Safely Remove Hardware" icon. If is 'sees' your hard drive and it is mounted, it will show up as a small line saying something like "USB mounted drive F:" If it 'sees' your hard drive and it is NOT mounted it will say "USB mounted drive" with NO letter. Now you should go onto your desktop and select in sequence:
Control Panel
Administrative Tools
Computer Management
Disk Management

When you get to Disk Management there should be a vertical array of horizontal bars, showing all your computer recognized memory.

WARNING: You can screw up your computer if you are careless, so pay attention to the messages the computer is giving you. You want to find your external drive. The computer should be able to see it as a connected 'something' but if there is confusion as to the identification of the drive, it will not have it allocated by letter. So look to see if your My Book shows up as 160GB of something. If it is not there, check your physical connections, power down the My Book, plug it into a different USB port, change out the USB cord (sometimes a USB 1.0 cord is accidentally used in a USB 2.0 port and it might be a problem). If the computer does see the MyBook as a drive but it doesn't have a letter, you can click on it and SELECT a letter. This might solve the problem right away, just make sure you pick a letter not being used by anything else. Resist any invitations to FORMAT. This will lose you all your data on the drive.

Posted on Dec 27, 2008

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