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Suggest you remove the harddrive inside the case of the WD Passport, and install it in an inexpensive external enclosure.
However if the harddrive was on, and in use when dropped, you need not bother.
Inside that plastic case of the WD Passport, is a regular harddrive. There is also a small circuit board. Interface Board. The harddrive connects to the small circuit board directly, or there are cables (Wires) that come from the circuit board, and connect to the harddrive.
Why do I state forget about repairing if the WD Passport was on when dropped? The resulting internal damage.
Bear with me, I'll try to make this short;
A) Inside the case of a harddrive as used in the WD Passport, are Platters. These resemble a CD or DVD disk. Usually made of metal, or glass.
The top surface, and bottom surface is coated with a magnetic medium. (Ferrous substance) There are usually 3 to 6 Platters.
B) There is a Read/Write Head for the Top, and Bottom of every Platter inside the harddrive. One on top, one on bottom.
The names imply just what the portion of the Read/Write Head does. The Read portion reads whats on the Platter. The Write portion writes to the Platter (When writing the magnetic medium is arranged. Arranged in 0's and 1's. 1 being ON, 0 being OFF. This is changed into computer language)
C) There is an Actuator Arm for every Platter. Holds the top Read/Write Head, and the bottom Read/Write Head.
The Actuator Arms are moved back, and forth across the Platters. The Actuator Motor moves them. (When the harddrive is operating, the arms can move back, and forth across the Platters, at Hundreds of Times a Second)
D) There is a Spindle Motor that spins a Spindle. The Spindle goes up through the center of the Platters.
The Read/Write Heads are parked away from the Platters when the harddrive is not activated. When activated the Read/Write Heads have a VERY close proximity to the surface of the Platters.
If memory serves it's around .0003 Three ten-thousandths of an inch. An average human hair is .003 Three thousandths of an inch.
With the close proximity of the Read/Write Heads to the Platters, and the extremely fast movement, the Read/Write Heads actually float on a cushion of air.
If dropped while activated, the Read/Write Heads will crash into the Platters. Retrieving information, would require a professional data retrieval shop to remove each Platter, and install them one at a time in a harddrive setup they have.
As much information is retrieved as possible. Once a harddrive is opened up, it is doomed. A harddrive is built in a Clean Room. A room that is 99.9 percent dust free. The tech's wear a suit, and have to walk through a corridor with air jets, before they can enter the Clean Room.
For additional questions please post in a Comment.
There is a WD utility that controls the drive setup. One thing it controls is the sleep time. This sounds like what you are seeing. I know the default sleep or hibernate time is annoyingly short. All you need to do is run the utility look for the sleep time and change it to a much longer period. I don't think it can actually be disabled but you can set it to an hour or so.
Could you confirm if the problem with the drive not being recognized is a problem with the USB cable? I have a 250GB passport and it worked fine with my XP. Once I decided to reformat it to NTFS and tried to do so by plugging into my new windows7 laptop the problems started.
You have said that d:\ has the xp you can still install windows 98 in c:\ doesnt matter but the file system must be fat32 if you install 98 in c:\ you must manually edit boot.ini in c:\ to get acess to xp of the d:\ iwill tell you how to if you are interested
In computer terms, formatting a hardrive is the process of preparing/setting the different areas (for read/write) of the harddrive and keeping a list of the addresses. This way the computer would know what data went with what and to where in the HD.
Most if not all new HDs are not formatted (prepared) for computer use but are detectable by the PC. Formatting not only makes the HD recognizable, it is now usable.
By formatting, the PC also erases any and all references to the existing data on the HD. After being erased and prepared, it also checked for any possible errors.
Hope this be of some idea/help. Good luck and kind regards.