Question about Western Digital My Book Home 500GB External USB 2.0/FireWire/eSATA Hard Drive

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2 different computers not recoginzing my external hard drive.

My external hard drive has worked fine, but I haven't used it in a few weeks. I just tried to plug it in, it lit up, but the computer did not recognize it. I tried another computer, and the same thing happened. What can I do?

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Hello, Heather.

I would suggest selecting and downloading your drive's software from here:

http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/updates/?family=wdsmartware

Per the instructions on the website:

  1. Click on the Download Software Update button.
  2. Select the Windows version of the installer and download it to your computer.
  3. Locate and unzip the software installer.
  4. Press the Install Now button to launch the Software Installer.

    The WD SmartWare software will automatically be updated on your computer and you do not need to restart your system.
Hope this helps.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009

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I devised these simple steps that tend to remedy quite a few issues with most USB portable / external hard drives and OTHER devices (though not always)

A few things to check but assumes USB and Windows for other interfaces / operating systems (mac/ Linux) similar steps may be adapted to suit.

1. Ensure it is connected directly to the computer to a USB 2.0 port not a USB 1.0 port as this can have effects on performance and reliability

2. Use only the cables that came with it NOT one that fits that may have been lying around or is longer. Not all USB cables are equal even though they should be)

3. Do not connect through an external USB HUB unless that hub is USB 2.0 AND has its own power supply.

4. Use ONLY the power supply that came with it if it has an external power supply Don’t use any other unless you know it has both the same voltage and current rating e.g. 12V 500mA anything rated below that would not work properly.

5. Always use the same port for connecting your devices. Some devices do not like being switched about. If switched they may want to install software / drivers again. This can be especially true if you move a HUB to another port

If you checked and fixed anything there and still have issues then check your hardware from CONTROL PANEL / SYSTEM / HARDWARE.
Any exclamation marks by hardware need fixing before you investigate any further

USB flash drives can fail for no apparent reason.
Sandisk Cruzers are especially bad for this.

USB hard drives should be treated with extreme care.
This is a real hard drive ! and knocks and bumps can quite literally kill them.

It is possible to remove drives from the enclosures in most cases and connect directly inside a PC to fully check it.
You should also do this to cheack the drives connections are not bad inside the enclosure

Note that if you hear a drive clicking or pinging this could be the worst thing you would hear.
Known as "The Click Of Death"

If none of the above steps help look at updating the drivers from the manufacturers web site in the support section.
 
DO NOT PLACE IN A FREEZER !
THIS IS VERY OLD ADVICE FOR VERY OLD TYPES OF HARD DRIVES THAT ARE NO LONGER EVEN MADE. A FREEZER CAN CAUSE MORE DAMAGE.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009

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The drive might be corrupt. Take it to Geek Squad, or your local electronics store. They might be able to recover data from it.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009

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