Question about Western Digital My Book Home Edition 500 GB USB Hard Drive

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My WD external HDD is not registering.

Hi, my WD is not registering on the computer. Do they have a lock mechanism?

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One or more of the hints below will probably sort out most USB problems 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


6. For FLASH DRIVES you should ensure that the device is set for "quick removal" using the drive control panel properties or use the
USB "Safely Remove Hardware" option. If you don’t do this there is a very strong chance that any files you transfer may not be there when you plug into another computer.

7. 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 check the drives connections are not bad inside the enclosure.


8. If none of the above steps help look at updating the drivers from the manufacturers web site in the support section.

9. 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

10. Ensure that you have set removable drives for "quick removal" or that you use the "Safely Remove Hardware" option often shown on the lower toolbar. It is possible that files my not be fully written to external devices before they are removed. This corrupts the file itself and even on occasion the drive.
SPECIAL NOTES
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.

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"


On rare occasions it is possible that the PSU for the drive can also fail.

This is quite rare on the better quality drives but is still a possibility.

if this does happen it may be possible that the PSU supplies enough power to light the LED on the drive but not enough for the drive itself to operate..

In those instances any commonly available replacement with BOTH the same voltage and current rating will work
eg. 5V 700mA as may be written on a drive or the instruction / specification sheet that came with it.
NEVER use less than the req voltage and never use less than the req current although you can use a larger rated current. eg. 5V 1000mA would be fine and last longer than the original PSU.

If the drive does not show up in your hardware lists then using software of any description to try recover files is a total waste of time.

If the drive is still under warranty or you don't mind opening it up it is not uncommon for the connection between the interface board and drive to have worked loose esp. if the drive has been moved a lot.
In those circumstances opening the drive enclosure and removing the connection and then re-connection can also fix quite a few issues.


Hope this gives you the information you need

Posted on May 01, 2010

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  • Project NOMAD
    Project NOMAD May 07, 2010

    Did this help at all ?

  • Project NOMAD
    Project NOMAD Nov 03, 2011

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  • The answers by Project Nomad / bob_computer are to be considered copyright 2011 and property of

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