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

12 Answers

Western Digital 500GB My Book Essential won't start up

Hello,
Please, please help me with this:
I have had this My Book Essential 500GB external HDD running very smoothly.
But suddenly it has stopped starting. When I start my PC (to which it is connected) or power-up the HDD, the following happens:
1. the HDD spins up, followed by 3 'click' sounds.
2. the HDD spins down
3. the HDD spins up again, followed by another 3 'click' sounds.
Hereafter the HDD becomes silent.
The 'click' sound above is the same sound the HDD used to make when it shuts down (when computer shuts down).
The HDD is detected as a new hardware on the computer and it says that its installed and ready to run.
It is also listed in Device Manager as "WD External USB Device" not what it used to be earlier: "WD5000 ...".
It is neither seen in My Computer nor listed in Disk Management.
It seems to me that the hard drive inside is still fine.
Can you please let me know what to do? I have very very important data on this HDD.

At least I would like to open the external case to take out the hard drive. But I couldn't open the external case. The My Book enclosure is extremely hard to open. Can you please let me know how to do that?

Any help will be highly highly appreciated.

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  • 25 more comments 
  • Anonymous Jan 30, 2008

    ive got the same problem!! When i start windows (XP Pro) my WD500 wont detect in my computer or windows explorer, i have to physicaly unplug it and re connect it while windows is running, then it works, however every time i reboot or shut down the same thing happens!!!

  • Anonymous Mar 31, 2008

    We had exactly the same problem as pritalus with the same WD. We also have very important data to recover! We have tried almost everything except the freezing trick, which we will try as the last option. We need help and we will appreciate any comment or advice.

    esquis family

  • esquis Mar 31, 2008

    We have exactly the same problem as pritalus with the same WD so we
    clearly understand what he is going through. We also have very
    important data to recover! We have tried almost everything except the
    freezing trick, which we will try as the last option. We need help and
    we will appreciate any comment or advice.

  • Anonymous Apr 06, 2008

    I guess i was lucky then most I had my wd 500 book for 2 years and never had a problem. till yesterday..when it seemed like it was draging so i rebooted my computer thinking maybe I need to do that because i have not shut down my computer in days.

    when computer booted back up it did not recognize my book any more which kinda pissed me off I have a lot of info on my book that has to be recovered and going crazy just thinking about it...However I been reading threads on here for several hours and trying to fin d the solution to the problem I might have tro end up taking it apart.. my book clicks 3 times then runs clicks 3 more time then shuts down and goes silent i tried several things from this site and nothing seems to work so far light stays on in center but can't seem to figurre things out yet i will post again if i have any success...

  • thesteve Apr 08, 2008

    I have the same exact problem, 3 clicks and all. This drive was working fine a few days ago on a different computer. When I plug it in, it is detected and installed in the device manager, but it won't appear in My Computer or Disk Management. I have tried using different USB cables and ports with no success.

  • pulguita Apr 10, 2008

    I have the same exact symptons as pritalus described, three clicks (twice) then it dies. Drive is seen as new hardware but no drive letter is assigned. Was working good until Tuesday this week (4/8/08). I have a lot of photos which don't want to loose, HELP!



    All I've done is open the drive case, nothing else.


  • Manny H Apr 15, 2008

    Identical problem, 3 clicks nothing... 3 clicks nothing. I recognize the click as the single click it use to make when the drive spun up. Shortcuts to stuff on the drive are dead ends. Drive does not appear in 'my computer.' There were no hardware or software (that I know about) between the time it was working and now. Tried different usb ports, nothing. Tried erasing the driver, but they reinstall automatically after reconnecting.

  • Many H Apr 15, 2008

    A bit more.


    1. I meant to say there were no hardware or software changes between the times it worked and now that it does not.

    2. The drive was at capacity.

    3. The only evidence it exists is when i click on 'safely remove hardware' where it IS listed as a device.

  • usp45 Apr 26, 2008

    3 clicks, then 3 clicks.  Plugged it into another machine and Windows recognized it as a USB Western Digital device; however that's about it.  The only thing I have to add to this thread is that I've had weekly backups running (this drive had *all* our digital pictures) so haven't really lost anything important, as long as I backup my backups now in case that gets lost too...


    So if this is out of warranty I guess it's just a paper-weight now.

  • kjonespdx May 24, 2008

    I have the exact same problem. I tried uninstalling the WD driver, then installing the updated version, and reconnecting the drive. Same symptoms -- 3 clicks, silence, 3 clicks, silence. The drive is not recognized by the PC but is listed under Hard Drives. I also tried connecting the WD MyBook to another computer, with the same results. I've had the drive about a year and a half now, not very good for longterm storage.

  • king-of-hall Jul 19, 2008

    my hard drive will start up but only for a few moments. i hear the hard-drive spin but then it just stops.


    so im assuming it has something to do with the power. i have opened it up but i cant seem to find anything that looks out of the ordinary.



    so **** my life?


  • byfayth Aug 18, 2008

    I am havinsame problem with my WD external USB device. It spins, then making a clicking noise three time and then does the same thing a moment later and falls silent. When I attempt to "safely remove the hardware" it recognizes that a WD is plugged in. But I can't open it and it isn't recognized any other time.

    What can I do to resolve this???

  • Anonymous Sep 10, 2008

    Same problem with 250 GB model

  • Anonymous Nov 27, 2008

    how to help hard drive like this big problem. 500 Gb data hixhix, i will appreciate guys who help

  • Anonymous Dec 21, 2008

    the drive just spins and spins

  • Anonymous Dec 26, 2008

    I found the same click problem today, my mybook which has been working perfectly for the past year or so began clicking. I plugged in my 500g MyBook and the clicks began, and then the mybook went dead, like the light on the front just went out also.
    I tried this on 2 computers and a laptop, to the same result. From the above thread im assuming it might be dead, but IF anyone does find a way to fix it id be incredibly grateful, like everyone else, its alot of work to lose... !

  • KZ123 Jan 02, 2009

    I've got the same issue. About 20 month old WD 500 GB. Glad to see its not just me. At the same time, while there are advice posts - I haven't seen any replies to say anything has worked. Has anyone had any luck?!?

  • ravenatmore Jan 05, 2009

    The following WD issue was originally posted by pritalus and now the same exact same thing has happened to me.



    Western Digital says the hard drive has failed and acts like it is no longer their problem and without a care directs me to the data recovery section of their website. After reading all of these similar post the "three clicks of death" is a known issue and the worst possible scenario that could ever happen with any hard drive. It's like having a safe with all your goodies inside and bam one day your safe blows up. How many safes need to blow up before there is some trouble at the safe company? How many WD?



    pritalus post...



    I have had this My Book Essential 500GB external HDD running very smoothly.
    But suddenly it has stopped starting. When I start my PC (to which it is connected) or power-up the HDD, the following happens:
    1. the HDD spins up, followed by 3 'click' sounds.
    2. the HDD spins down
    3. the HDD spins up again, followed by another 3 'click' sounds.
    Hereafter the HDD becomes silent.
    The 'click' sound above is the same sound the HDD used to make when it shuts down (when computer shuts down).
    The HDD is detected as a new hardware on the computer and it says that it’s installed and ready to run.
    It is also listed in Device Manager as "WD External USB Device" not what it used to be earlier: "WD5000 ...”
    It is neither seen in My Computer nor listed in Disk Management.
    It seems to me that the hard drive inside is still fine.




    End of post.



    Would like to know if anyone has had any success with retrieving their data? How much it cost and what company they used.



    Also I plan on elevating this to a legal issue with WD so please email me as I would like to compile a list of "victims."



    Thank you



    scott.preston@juno.com

  • tombudapest Jan 18, 2009

    Exactly the same problem happened with the identical WD 500GB HDD.

    It's extremely frustrating - I purchased this HDD because I had good faith in the company, and thought I would be buying a robust and reliable HDD. In my frustration today, I took it to bits, but still no luck......

  • jfjtrj Jan 30, 2009

    I just noticed that the blue lights were no longer lit up on my Western digital 500 GB hard drive. I have another identical Western digital HD and tried plugging it into the other one and it does the same thing. It lights up for a second and sounds like it is starting up and dies out. I have everything on that drive!

  • Anonymous Jan 31, 2009

    same as all the others, but no solution yet. can someone help?

  • Anonymous Jan 31, 2009

    Hello,
    Please, please help me with this:
    I have had this My Book Essential 500GB external HDD running very smoothly.
    But suddenly it has stopped starting. When I start my PC (to which it is connected) or power-up the HDD, the following happens:
    1. the HDD spins up, followed by 3 'click' sounds.
    2. the HDD spins down
    3. the HDD spins up again, followed by another 3 'click' sounds.
    Hereafter the HDD becomes silent.
    The 'click' sound above is the same sound the HDD used to make when it shuts down (when computer shuts down).
    The HDD is detected as a new hardware on the computer and it says that its installed and ready to run.
    It is also listed in Device Manager as "WD External USB Device" not what it used to be earlier: "WD5000 ...".
    It is neither seen in My Computer nor listed in Disk Management.
    It seems to me that the hard drive inside is still fine.
    Can you please let me know what to do? I have very very important data on this HDD.

    At least I would like to open the external case to take out the hard drive. But I couldn't open the external case. The My Book enclosure is extremely hard to open. Can you please let me know how to do that?

    Any help will be highly highly appreciated.

  • rodneyjohn Feb 19, 2009

    Sorry to say it guys, but I've looked all over the Internet and read reviews on this drive. This is almost always the case. They last about a year and a half and then die. I've tried everything, even removed it from the case and installed it in my PC. Same problem. WD uses cheap electronics, and conveniently has a link on their main page for "Data Recovery Services". 500 gigs of music, photos, school documents, and videos, gone. It took about four days to finally die. First day, it showed up with a drive letter, but Windows couldn't read the drive. I was able to view the files with some recovery software, but had nowhere to move them to. In retrospect, I should have at least saved my photos. Next day, no drive letter, but it still had a drive number, so I tried Disk Doctor. Halfway through the procedure the drive stopped and now not even a drive number. I've tried at least ten different software programs and nothing will see it. Six clicks and it's dead. I have had numerous hard drives over the years and have never seen one go south as quickly as these do. Most of the time I just outgrow the drives and buy new ones. It comes down to we all bought this because it was a cheap drive, and that's what we got. Personally, I will never purchase anything from WD again.

  • jfjtrj Feb 20, 2009

    I had this problem, but, for some reason when I hooked it another computer, it woked. If you have another computer in the house try and hook it up to it. I am going to buy another hard drive and drag everything to it from the other computer

  • Anonymous Feb 26, 2009

    I have the same problem. Every time I hear those click I just wanna hit something. I had a lot of things on that drive. I really hope it isn't all lost.

  • Anonymous Apr 21, 2009

    Damn 500gb WD are cheap for the stability, 3 clicks 2 reps and shuts down its DEAD unless you have tons of money to get it apart and reread by some cryto guy

    anyways i have lost mostly personally stuff this time, so im done buy WD for ever NEVER EVER. Stupid large hds

  • alexander787
    alexander787 Jul 04, 2013

    I got the same problem -_-

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12 Answers

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To save your data from a bad Wd Ebook you need to download UBUNTU and burn it to a cd. Boot from the cd. Do not install Ubuntu just click try it out. When it loads turn on your Ebook and iit should appear on the desktop. If not click the places tab on top and find it there. Right click the EBook and mount it. Now you have access to all the data on the ebook. Iy yoou have enugh space n your cpu hard drive save it there, if not you will need another surce large enought to copy the data to.. I have used this method to save many hard drives, flash drive and other unreadable media. if the drive is totally toast you are out of luck but this method works moost of the time. Any questions drop me an email.

Shayne

Posted on May 01, 2009

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Sorry to say it guys, but I've looked all over the Internet and read reviews on this drive. This is almost always the case. They last about a year and a half and then die. I've tried everything, even removed it from the case and installed it in my PC. Same problem. WD uses cheap electronics, and conveniently has a link on their main page for "Data Recovery Services". 500 gigs of music, photos, school documents, and videos, gone. It took about four days to finally die. First day, it showed up with a drive letter, but Windows couldn't read the drive. I was able to view the files with some recovery software, but had nowhere to move them to. In retrospect, I should have at least saved my photos. Next day, no drive letter, but it still had a drive number, so I tried Disk Doctor. Halfway through the procedure the drive stopped and now not even a drive number. I've tried at least ten different software programs and nothing will see it. Six clicks and it's dead. I have had numerous hard drives over the years and have never seen one go south as quickly as these do. Most of the time I just outgrow the drives and buy new ones. It comes down to we all bought this because it was a cheap drive, and that's what we got. Personally, I will never purchase anything from WD again.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009

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First, uninstall the drivers (Right click My Computer -> Hardware tab -> Device Manager -> Right click the WD External USB Device and click uninstall). Now, ignore the add hardware wizard that pops up and disconnecting the power and USB cables so the drive is completely off. Leave it for 30 minutes, then hook it up again, have windows install the drivers and see if it's recognized again.

If that doesn't work, you should open it up, but it would seem to me like the problem could be with the IDE\SATA cable (not sure what they use) but it's much more likely that it's with the hard drive itself. Once you get the drive out, try putting it in a PC (I assume you know how to do this).

Here are directions that show how to open up the My Book.

Posted on Jan 09, 2008

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I would appreciate any help i can get on my WD5000. I have mine hooked up to my laptop and it starts automatically every time i start up. It has worked flawlessly until recently when i get this error come up that says "USB device not recognised" shortly after starting my laptop. After cliking the box to find out more details it lists my USB Root Hubs for which one comes up as "Unknown Device". On clicking thru furher it says that there are no drivers installed for this device. I have tried several drivers (i could be installing the wrong ones) but this has not fixed the problem. Any suggestions?

Posted on Jun 04, 2008

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I know what you mean. I had a hard drive that did the same thing except it was internal and held a lot of stuff on it. Anyways, I think what you need to do is create an account with Western Digital, Register your drive for a warranty (Which you can lie on if you want to.), and call technical support. If you can, you may also connect it to another computer that you know works and it m ay get recognized. If it does for a little while, back up all of the data. after backing it up, send your drive in. It should be free. Then restore the drive contents. In my opinion, use Symantec Ghost. This has happened with many drives because your computer is like a pipe. Say the pipe can only hold 150 psi. The hard drive is the pressure and the computer is the pipe. If you are to put 200 psi in the 150 psi pipe, it may break or the pressure may leak out, or in your case destroy the heads (Holders of the data on the drive.)The Computer (USB Port) will not burn out, but the drive will. Tech Support will send you a new drive in 1-2 Business Days.

Posted on Jan 05, 2009

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I have heared from a computer expert that the MyBook WD500 uses a cheap electronics which might go defective. He has undone the drive and mounted it with a USB to SATA converter to a LINUX machine. Since the MyBook doesn't use any known FAT/NTFS filesystem but uses a X-style LVM (logical volume manager) format he defined a LG (logical volume) and added the WD500 HD to it and was able to just read in all the files as if nothing had happen.  I've the same problem with my MyBook but so far I was unlucky with mounting it under Xandros. I will now try to mount it under Vista but don't have much hope.

Posted on Sep 13, 2008

I just started getting the "three clicks" noise today on my 20 month old 500G MyBook Essential external hard drive. Unpluged the USB and rebooted it, and still get the clicks. WD website says that means it's a hard drive issue, not a USB issue, so I suspect cracking it open and slaving it to my PC won't help. Even checked the driver and it's not that. From what I'm reading on these posts I think this drive is hosed... that stinks bigtime.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008

I have the very same problem, and I've tried pretty much everything.
Have removed the drive from the case and slaved it in as a secondary drive. Still get the 3 clicks though. The BIOS sees the drive as having a 0Gb capacity.
Stuck the drive in the freezer for 2 days. Still the same.

I strongly suspect that the electronics on the drive itself are shot and have resigned myself that the drive is dead. Have read too that replacing the on-board PCB doesn't make any difference either.

If anyone has any joy with this damned drive, please do post it here! 500Gb of data is a fair bit to lose.

Posted on Sep 09, 2008

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I've got the same issue with the clicking. Not to under-mine other ideas, but if we're hearing clicking in the hardrive and it's not recognized, why would it be a driver issue? It's definitely a HD issue in my mind.

Anyways, to test your theory I've also tried it on another PC and it failed just the same. I'm looking into my warranty to get it replaced, but it still sucks cause I got a lot of data on it and don't want to take it apart to void the warranty.. Good luck!

Posted on May 23, 2008

Don't break your mybook apart just yet, the problem is caused by a driver reinstall (often after you have insatlled updated drivers via Microsoft Update for example), it doesnt' have to have anything to do with the Mybook, in fact it's more likely to be a COMMS driver.

Anyway long story short, just delete all the drivers and reinstall where possible from the ones on the mybook itself. If the hardware was bust you generally wouldn't be getting the three clicks.

Trust me, I am a geek.

Posted on May 09, 2008

Erm, if your disk is 'clicking,' this is not a good sign, and can imply physical damage to the unit. If I were you I'd use a program like SpinRite to determine if the drive is readable and look at recovery options from there. Once drives go bad, it's a race against time to save your data - which, on a My Book, could be quite a load.

Posted on Mar 03, 2008

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Try Reinstalling or Rolling back all of the drivers for it, other wise, it seems like it could be a hardware issue on the drive Ergo: break out the hacksaw and crowbar.  

Posted on Jan 09, 2008

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bronk50
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SOURCE: In management ,I can show

click start control panel administrive tools ,computer management ,device manager look through all of your devices if you see a yellow question mark?or exclamation mark ! or red x
right click to reinstall drivers or
if you can see your usb but its not working
ports(com&lpt)right click update driver
make sure the lead/s that attach to this drive have a secure seating and are not bad/faulty the light on only tells that its getting power it might not be getting enough power you might test the lead/s or
just replace the cable of the hard disk, when you plugged the external disk drive you got that windows could recognize the USB device change the cable everything should work fine again, sometimes the wires inside the cable will be damaged due to bending or stretching or placing heavy equipment upon the cable,
check the USB leads that attach to the motherboard usually red-white-green-black make sure they are securely seated and have no dust build up on them dust will cause static and a lot of unforeseen problems
hope this helps

Posted on May 08, 2011

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