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

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XP doesn't recognize my external 500 GB WD My book essential edition hard drive

I tried to plug in my brand new Western Digital My Book 500 GB external hard drive today and when I did I received an error message stating that the USB device has malfunctioned and XP is unable to recognize it. Am I doing something wrong or is this a bad unit? Someone told me that I might need to install drivers but there were no discs with the unit, and it says on the box it is plug and play. I am confused and would appreciate any help I can get. Thank you

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  • avalosjav Nov 06, 2007

    I have the same problem. I have XP and usb 2.0 ports. My external hard drive is a SimpleTech one (500 gb). I tried to plug it in another pc in the same conditions and it works great. What it could be?

  • Anonymous Nov 17, 2007

    I have the same problem with my MyBook Essential.

    I was watching Curb Your Enthusiasm off of it when the video closed out completely. I don't remember the exact error because I didn't think it was a big deal at first but I do remember part of the error saying "$MFT".

    Now when the USB cable is connected, the light stays on until I actually unplug it.

    It gives the exact same error as the first person posted each time I plug it in...even in a new USB port. arg.

  • sam dasari Nov 26, 2007

    when i connect my external hard disk, windows xp says can not recognise the Volume, can some body help

  • Anonymous Nov 27, 2007

    my xp will not hook up to my xp&do anything???????????

  • 2911 Dec 03, 2007

    My WD My Book Premium Edition 500 GB Hard Drive will not show the drive under my computer. Under disk management it shows that it is there and says it is connected and working properly. But I still have no way to access it.

  • Weggy Jan 18, 2008

    My new WD 500 GB external drive is not usable. The device manager says "unknown device" and that is as far as I can get. It came without a disc-booklet, or apparently software in the unit. The fact that it might be FATS formatted not NTSF was never listed in the advertisement, but it did say it was suppose to come with the other items. I have tried WD's info. but it can't get past the "unknown device"!!!!

  • airbornebash Apr 03, 2008

    yeah i plug the i book in and it dont work, what a waste of money !!!!!!

  • fdweik May 06, 2008

    My WD My Book 500 GB Hard Drive does not show the drive under my computer. Under disk management it shows that it is connected and working properly. But no way to access it.

  • lizleorico May 13, 2008


  • AlisonAndie May 23, 2008

    My 320 gb My Book was also not recognized by my laptop. I have it half full of pictures, movies, music, etc. It did not show in device manager and there were no drivers found. I unplugged and plugged it back in, uninstalled recently installed programs and nothing. Then I unplugged the power cord and left it off for a few minutes. When I plugged it back in it had reset and it was then recognized and worked fine. I think I will be burning my pictures to DVD now.

  • xxyyxx Jul 15, 2008

    yeah I have the same problem!!! :((((((((((((((((((((((

  • mouse33815 Oct 25, 2008

    Sometimes my XP and/or Vista machine sees it and other times cannot see it.

  • Anonymous Oct 28, 2008

    worked before now won;t show up in my computer

  • Anonymous Nov 09, 2008

    the same as above

  • Anonymous Nov 30, 2008

    i hav a pocket media drive. (hp) iget unable to recognise usb device.

  • smoke39288 Dec 01, 2008

    I have a 160 gb western digital external hard drive and I just bought a power adapter for it but my light comes on and when I connect the usb to xp is says found new hardware but after searching for awhile it says can't find drivers can anyone help me please.

  • Anonymous Dec 03, 2008

    after instalation sp3 my pc won't recognize wd my book usb 500 gb. it says "unknown device"

  • Anonymous Jan 31, 2009

    I tried on 2 computers its still not working shall i try my Mac?

  • Anonymous Feb 03, 2009

    was working fine one min and after leaving it on downloading over night, its now not

  • Anonymous Feb 25, 2009

    Mybook Essentials 250G - Was working one day, next you could see and feel it starting up when Computor turned on, but the drive doesn't show under My computor with the other drives.  Opened up Device manager and the Drive was listed there.

    Deleted the device and driver and rebooted.  Still didn't show up, but it was listed again in the device manager???

    Went to Western Digital to research and found that there was an update for those that have installed Vista SP1.  Though the sent me to a link, there was nothing there?....

    Still lost....  think I will try it on another computor to see if that starts it running right again as some suggested.




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I had the same problem some have posted about. I had a lot of data on my drive and then one day it didn't show up in "My Computer" anymore. I had to assign a separate drive letter to the external drive.

Plug in the drive.
Right click on "My Computer"
Click on "Manage
Click on "Disk Management"
On the bottom half of the right side you should find "My Book" assigned to a disk number.
Right click on "My Book"
Click "Change Drive Letter and Paths"
Click Change
Select a new drive letter and hit OK

Hope this helps some people out.

Posted on Nov 06, 2008

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Before panicking, look at the box: if it says *preformatted for Mac* then the solution is simple, and it's not a faulty drive: as the drive is formatted using the Mac filesystem, XP just cannot use it. You will need to format the drive, and to do this, right click on My Computer, choose Manage, and then among the various options on the left column, select Disk Management. Now, look at the right bottom part: here are the drives recognized by your system. You will see there is a new drive with a stop sign, or with a black partition. That's the WD drive you need to format. Right click on the black partition and choose to create a new partition. From there, choose primary partition, choose NFTS, pick up a letter for your drive if you want (and, to make things quick, select the quick formatting option).
Confirm, wait few seconds, and there you go, your new drive is ready to go!

I hope this helps all the people that had troubles with this nasty issue.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009

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This may or may not help, but it worked for me! After about 4 hours of trying everything (Device Manager/Uninstall, Disk Management, etc..) nothing at all would work. The USB external hard drive would power up but when you plug it in, the New Found Hardware will pop up and search unsuccessfully for drivers for a PLUG AND PLAY external drive!?!?!

In any event, I simply plugged another USB drive into my laptop (and desktop) and viola! The new hard drive was recognized and installed immediately as 'plug and play' should do. I then unplugged the new drive and tried plugging in the one that was recognized and all of the sudden....IT WORKS AGAIN!!!!

This fix might not help anyone who doesn't have a second USB external drive, but you could try plugging another USB device in and get it to load and then unplug it and try your drive. It worked for me on my laptop and then I did the same thing to my desktop (which also wouldn't recognize it) and it worked on the desktop too! Problem solved for me, thank GOD!

Hopefully, this bypass can save you a few hours of google time and unwanted anguish. Like I said, you may not have another USB drive but try plugging in any other USB device until it loads and then unplug it and then plug in your USB drive that wasn't working. It worked perfectly for me.

Hope it helps!!!!


Posted on Feb 17, 2009

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As I posted above, I had the same problem as the ones listed here.

I simply just hooked my external HD up to a different computer and it worked fine. I brought it back to my room computer and it decided to work again. I don't know what was up with it but that worked for me so perhaps it could work for others.

Posted on Dec 30, 2007

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What operating system? What speed of computer and usb?
I'll assume WinXP and USB 2.0
- Always, always restart 1st!
- Then try another USB port on your computer.
- Be sure both ends of the cable are seating firmly.
- Try another USB cable
- Check for updates
- Check your motherboad manufacturer's site for bios updates
- Try the drive on another XP system and if it wont work there, take it back to where you bought it

Posted on Oct 16, 2007

  • Anonymous Oct 16, 2007

    Rated at not helpful?
    How many suggestions do you need??
    Did you try ANY of them?


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I bought a USB cable and an external WD hard drive to download from Dish netwrok DVR. Now I am trying to download from the WD external drive onto my laptop running Windows XP. My computer does not recognize the drive though you can hear the bell ding acknowledging that it is plugged into your computer. what am I to do ?

Posted on Nov 08, 2008

Take the Western Digital Hard Drive back for a refund - POORLY DESIGNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Posted on May 22, 2008

I got mine to work again by:
-clicking where the little speech bubble points (a small usb symbol in the system tray)
-clicking on the "unknown device"
-clicking on the "drivers" tab
-uninstalling the driver
-clicking 'ok' in the text box
even though there did not appear to to be a driver installed, it deleted the fictional driver and the my book was recognized next time i plugged it in.

Posted on Dec 30, 2007

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Same problem. Connected via firewire but it fails to recognize the drive. Help!

Posted on Oct 24, 2008

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This is so simple, but be sure the back of the cable is securely attached. I spent an hour trying to fix this same issue and searched all over the internet for a solution. Be careful. It will seem to be attached, but it needs to be pushed in further.

Posted on May 26, 2008

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How can i let WD 500 gega work with pc

Posted on Oct 23, 2008

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


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SOURCE: My Computer does not show: Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 500 GB external USB hard drive

Try freezing it. It sounds crazy, but hear me out... When I got the advice to freeze it, they said freezing also works when a drop causes premature crashing due to hardware failure. I'm a novice, but know enough to be dangerous, so I scrounged the internet trying to find a fix when this happened to me two weeks ago. Mine didn't fall, but started clicking due to hardware malfunction. I was devastated because of course I was too dumb (and cheap) to buy a second hard drive to back up the data on my first one. Lesson learned. Anyway, data recovery was 3 grand or more and I can't afford that so I took the advice of a bunch of people and tried the crazy idea of putting the dumb thing in the freezer. I took the case off using instructions I found on the web and then wrapped it in a white flour sack cloth to absorb moisture and put it in a ziplock in the freezer. After 24 hours freezing I tried again, nothing but obnoxious clicking. Going into Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Device Manager I could see the drive but it said there were no partitions. Windows Explorer wouldn't assign a drive letter. I threw it back in the freezer for 10 days and on a whim last night tried again. The USB 2.0 port on my XP computer is broken and everyone told me not to use Vista if I could help it. So I took a USB hub and plugged it into my USB 1.1 port and then plugged the new hard drive in first and let it boot up. Then I took the frozen hard drive and plugged it in too and I was SHOCKED when Autoplay started running. Maybe the drivers and software from the good drive allowed the bad one to boot up. I don't know. I just know that it didn't work plugged in directly to the USB but it did via the hub good drive first.... Anyway, I have cords running out of the freezer into my laptop which is perched on a chair outside the freezer. I got all my pictures and priceless data off this drive overnight. It did stop a few times (says it can't find the file and the drive stops spinning) and I was able to unplug it, plug it back in and get it going again. It is SLOWER THAN MOLASSES and I would strongly suggest prioritizing your stuff so you get the most important data first because you don't know how long it will run, but I am thrilled beyond belief I got my pictures and home movies back. People told me I was crazy and stupid for freezing a hard drive, but it worked for me so I'm not going to question it. My data is on the new hard drive which I am immediately going to back up onto a second and I will live happily ever after because I didn't need to spend thousands to get my data back. Good luck!

Posted on Aug 13, 2008


  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: XP doesn't recognize my external 500 GB WD My book essential edition hard drive

I had a similar problem with a WDelements 250gig.
I found that if i plugged it directly into the computer USB and NOT through the USB i had attached to the computer it rectified the problem..
not sure if this will apply to you, but i thought id share.

Posted on Dec 14, 2008

Shayne Schecht

  • 146 Answers


Yes. The case doesn't care what size the drive is. The computer is just asking for the USB driver for the case. Check the WD site for the driver for the model of MyBook that you have. That should cover it.

Posted on Dec 27, 2008


  • 108 Answers

SOURCE: My Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 500

Is the power light on, if not replace the power supply.
I f you have light then your hard drive is shot or the circuit inside the box is fried.
If it is out of warranty and you have another Western Digital Sata drive handy you can swap it with the one inside to see if the drive is bad.
Good luck.

Posted on Dec 21, 2009


  • 60 Answers

SOURCE: i haveProblems with Western Digital My Book

You would more than likely have to send it in and get it serviced. Or if you can find out if it is just the USB 2.0 cable, then just replace the cable.

Posted on Jan 27, 2010

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Dear karroll.

Im having same as you're problem. but there is solution that might help you, but didnt work for me for some reason..

enter device manager by type devmgmt.msc, select universal serial bus (USB), you can see what problem at USB, right click to conflict port delete the port who's conflict.
restart your computer.

trying to connect your ext. Harddisk again

Best regards

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