Repair guides and support for external portable storage by Western Digital including the My Book series, My Passport and others.

134 Questions View all

Hard drive is not showing up on my computer

My Western Digital 1 TB external hard drive is not showing in my computer.

The drive light is on & I can hear the drive. But its not showing up on my desktop. Can anyone help me to backup the data from my hard drive. I have some very important data on it.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 12


What happened just before you lost access? Did you disconnect it without dismounting the volume or when the system was powered off? Did the power supply get disconnected while it was writing a file (or the AC power go out)? What is your system PC or MAC?



Disconnect it without dismounting. M used with my laptop. I can see it in device manager but not showing in my computer. is it possible to backup the data?? plz help


Raj you'll need to help me here a little. What is M and did you disconnect the drive without dismounting? I still need to know what OS Windows or Mac OS-X and what version.


Sorry Dan its typo mistake. I am using Windows Vista home premium. I didn't disconnect the drive without dismounting.


OK, good start. Can you explain what happened to the drive did you bang or drop it while it was running or when it was off? The more detail will help.


Show 34 more comments

Add a comment

4 Answers

Chosen Solution

So This is what we know:

You were using your drive (PC running Windows Vista) and while it was running you banged it (was on the edge and then it fell onto the flat side). At that point you unplugged the USB cable and then reconnected (failing to dismount the drive). Now you can't access the drive, but the device driver and the USB interface internally of the drive is responsive (drives power light is lighting). So the drive was spinning when you knocked it. And, you failed to dismount the drive correctly.

We don't know if the system was still in the process of writing to the drive (where you in the process of reading or writing a file off of the external drive?) If not then the cache write back is only effected which is a minor issue. Otherwise the file you were accessing is likely damaged.

The big issue here is what was the drive doing, was the disk head arm parked or engaged? From the sounds of it it appears the arm was engaged so it was somewhere on the plater/s. So the heads likely dug into the platter ripping one or more off and damaging a part of the magnetic surface of the plater (heads crashed). It doesn't take much for this to happen.

OK now what - If the data is that important you'll need to send your drive in to a data recovery service so they can disassemble the drive in a clean room to try repair the drive long enough to pull your data off (replacing the damaged heads).

If you have also encrypted your data you will need to give them the application and the encryption keys so the they can decrypt the data. It also turns out the HD it's self is hardware encrypted so it will only work with the logic board it is mounted to, so you can't send them just the hard drive internally alone either (need to ship the complete drive with the power adapter).

The cost will be expensive and there is still a chance they can't recover the data. Attempting to fix this via software won't work and if you are able to get it to respond the process could make things worse. Here's a PC Mag article on what happens in a clean room Don't forget to try out their drive simulator to see what happened to your drive.

Sorry for the bad news ;-{

Was this answer helpful?

Score 3


This makes me sad, noooooo!!!! :'C


Dan is it possible to help answer a question or two??


Its best to create your own question so it doesn't distract from what was asked here unless its related.


Add a comment

I have a 4 t western external hard drive, after connecting it to a wii u nintendo system it stoped working on my pc and smart tv? Please help with infp....

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1


I accidentally clean my hard disk and now it's really not showing in my computer.I've tried already the CMD Promt and etc. to assigned the designated drives but still it doesn't read my 1TB hard disk? please help


Add a comment

As i am reading I see alot of the same issues and seems like no one knows how to answer a question without going in circles, and repeating the same issue:

here we go:

updated against my will to windows 10

1T ext HDD WD1300 drivers and firmware upsated

worked fine, until a few days agao within hours!

HDD in a protected space on my desk, always "ejected media" correctly

i do notice the cable is kinked (leading to a data cable issue)

makes the DING noise to recognize device also asks to safley remove HDD when i dismount

shows only in Device manager does not show in my PC

in Disc management it shows a RED X and drive not initialized

have tried to initialize as i am upset and just want to fix this thing. dont work!

today attemp 7/30/2016

i do not hear the dive spinning... now what?

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

RE: Purpleghost980 and others

Here is how the system works (in general)

1) Plugging in a USB device will trigger the auto-configuration on the PC to detect the device type and ther information. In order for this part to work, the USB interface on the device must work.

2) Once the device is detected, additional information is requested about the device. Kind, size, etc.

3) If the device is a disk, then the controller card attached to the device is queried to get device specific information. Realize that by this time, the device has already begun and potentially completed its self test.

4) Assuming the controller card works as expected, the device information is sent along to the PC and the device appears to the user with its information (device type and size for example).

5) When you attempt to access the disk, the controller will then attempt to read the appropriate information from the disk. If the disk can be read, great. If not, then an error will appear much like what has been reported here.

The bottom line is that there are many possibilities that can cause the symptom of “not appearing” to the user. In regards to not hearing the device spin: The device CAN appear on the Windows machine even without spinning since the controller will acknowledge its existence to the computer. This is step 2 above and does not involve accessing the actual drive itself.

Hope this helps,


Was this answer helpful?

Score 0


My hard drive is transcend 2T rugged type. it fell but not so hard, there is no funny sound when i plug it. I also ran a troubleshoot and the message is that the device IS working properly but I can't seem to access it at all. Please, what can I do?


Add a comment

Add your answer

Raj will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 117

Past 7 Days: 976

Past 30 Days: 5,227

All Time: 186,659