Question about Western Digital 320GB MyBook External USB 2.0 Hard Drive

1 Answer

External USB Drives No Longer Detected

I am running Windows XP Home SP3 and I have two WD External USB drives connected to my desktop. I am using USB 2.0 cables (the light up kind) and the hard drives have their own power. They are both connected to a PCI USB 2.0 card with four slots total.
Everything worked fine until I disconnected the drives from the USB slots to move the computer and remove a stick of RAM I needed for another PC.
When I reconnected the drives and powered on the computer the drives were no longer detected. They don't show up in my computer, or when I use disk management. They both work fine on my laptop. They are seemingly connected properly, because the USB cables light up when they are connected, and the USB card is seated correctly becasue it detects my flash drives.
There are no problems showing in device manager like question marks or exclamation marks. I tried uninstalling the USB entries in the device manager, rebooting and letting it detect the drives again, with no success. It recreates entries for the USB controllers but still the drives aren't detected. I have a separate USB slot on the front of the computer, but neither drive is detected there either. I've tried connecting the drives separately, one at a time, with no other devices connected, and powering them up after the PC is on, before it's on, etc, etc, to no avail.
The only other thing that was changed was that I had 1 Gig of Ram and now am only using 768.
My PC is a Pentium 4 2.4 Gig. with a 750 watt power supply. Besides the two external drives, I also have 4 internal drives. 2 IDE and 2 SATA. Again everything ran fine before I disconnected the drives from their USB ports.
Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by on

  • jwal97 May 04, 2009

    There are TWO drives that were just unplugged from the USB slots when everything was off, then plugged back in. They weren't "dropped" .The drives work fine. Everything else works fine plugged into the USB slots.



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There are two possibilities:

The Mybook USB/ATA controller board is faulty.
In this case you can simply take apart the enclosure and mount the disk into a new enclosure. WD Mybooks are SATA, but double check the hard disk connector to ensure.

The hard disk inside is faulty.
In this case repair may be expensive. You need to locate a data recovery facility with a 'clean room' , the cost is usually more than $800.

If this happened after a power surge, then the problem is most likely a faulty controller board.

If instead you have dropped the hard disk it is possible an hard drive failure, in that case repair will be expensive.

A replacement enclosure will stfrom art about $20 on Ebay or Amazon, and must not necessarily be WD .
Check if your disk is Sata or PATA (IDE) before buying the enclosure.

Posted on May 04, 2009

  • 2 more comments 
  • Ginko
    Ginko May 04, 2009

    If the drive are not being detected, they may be damaged, as I told you, you need to test them on a different computer.

    If the drives are fine, then the problem is on the computer, test different USB devices, and leave computer unplugged for ten minutes.

    You say any help is welcome, you received help from a professional guy, then rated inappropriate, what is the meaning of this?

    I will be grateful if you can change the inappropriate rating inaappropriately given for the free advice.

    Many thanks.

  • Ginko
    Ginko May 04, 2009

    I read back your problem. You ar telling that the USB hard drives are fine on your laptop, therefore the problem is the computer.

    A common problem is accumulation of electrostatic charges on usb controller caps, this will prevent USB from detecting certain devices, to rule out this you unplug computer power cord for about ten minutes.

    If that does not work, then test the computer booting from a different system, this can be easily done using a boot disk. This will esclude possible system problems (no matter if you reinstalled USB and there is no yellow sign, this can still be a system problem).

    If you are using an USB hub or an USB PCI card, than that can be the problem , you need to test on computer USB or replace PCI card.

    Additionally if computer is Windows 2000 or earlier it may need additional drivers to use the external disk.

    The above is more or less what we would do at a repair shop.

    Let me now your opinion.


  • Ginko
    Ginko May 04, 2009

    Well my solution kept going, and even if my first post was not precise, it was not inappropriate. Moreover I added more to the solution, are you one of our Fixya experts by chance?

    Thanks and goodbye.

  • Ginko
    Ginko May 04, 2009

    Well , capitals and the rest are not nice, no problem, I understand now, just sorry.

    When you spend your time helping others for free is is sad to face this kind of situation, but I got used to it.

    Sorry to bother you with my answer, nevermind.

    Goodbye and have a nice day.




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