It sounds like hard drive data may be corrupted. This could be due to a number of things. A power failure, hardware failure etc.. If the drive will not even let you access it you'll probably have to just format it im afraid.
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To restore the Western Digital icon to the drive letter for the external drive in "My Computer".
Please go to the Western Digital Download Library and download the WD Logo Icon which has a file name of External Icon.zip when you download it.
Save the file to your desktop and use a file compression software like Winzip to extract the files inside the .zip file to your desktop. When it's unzipped, it will create a folder named "ExternalIcon" on your desktop.
Double-click on the ExternalIcon folder. It will open a Windows Explorer showing a folder named, Autorun, and a file named, Autorun.inf.Double-click on My Computer and it will open.
Double-click on the driver letter that represents the Western Digital drive you want the icon on and it will open.
Highlight the Autorun folder and the Autorun.inf file. Right-click on them, and left-click on Cut when the Menu appears.
Right-click in the open space of the drive that you opened in the new Explorer window, and then left-click on Paste.
Close both Explorer windows, safely remove the external hard drive by using the Safely Remove icon in the system tray, shut down the computer, and unplug the external drive from the computer.
After you reboot into Windows, reconnect the external drive to the computer again, and the Western Digital Icon should now be displayed with the drive letter in My Computer.
If these steps do not correct the problem, you will need to re-format your External Hard Drive ***WARNING*** FORMATTING A HARD DRIVE WILL ERASE, YOU WILL LOSE, ALL DATA
To access the files off the hard drive another way - remove the hard drive from the case and connect it to an USB hard drive adapter and then plug it into a working computer's USB port. If the computer see the hard drive as an external hard drive/storage device and you can open the folders and files then backup your data. This also indicated the hard drive is OK and the Western Digital case/electronics is faulty.
To use this as an external USB hard drive, put the hard drive in an USB adapter case.
Every time windows tells you to format the drive, copy your data to your computer then format it. when windows detect problems on the drive, it will launch ckdsk, well i dont know hoy to fix it, try plugging it in then reboot.
If this is a new drive, you likely just need to format it. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313348 There is a link to the Microsoft page on formatting in XP. If you have a different version of windows, just search google for format hard drive.
First attempt to format it. If that doesn't works, restart your computer and acces the BIOS SETUP menu, and check if the drive is well read by the BIOS. If that doesn't work, then you may have to call the warranty.
I have a Western External Hard Drive 320 and when I plug it in the computer will recognize it and allow me to access my files but after a short while if I go to click on a file t open it the WD 320 will click off for a minute and then reappear in the auto run mode.
1. Connect your 500gig drive as the slave of your smaller boot drive. 2. Go to http://freewareapp.com/western-digital-data-lifeguard-tools_download/ and get the Western Digital Lifeguard tools. 3. Run the executable to install WD tools. 4. Run that application.
You'll notice there is a Drive to Drive Copy utility. This will clone your new 500gig drive from the smaller drive. When the utility finishes copying the drive, shut down. Remove the smaller drive, and set your 500 gig drive as master/single. Reboot, and you should be running off the new drive.
It is possible that your old drive was an IDE drive and your new one is SATA. If so, you may need to enter Setup on the reboot, go to the Boot menu, and set the boot device to the new drive type.