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The Western Digital My Passport Ultra is a USB 3.0 portable storage device with a 2 TB capacity.

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WD my passport ultra 2TB is not showing up on explorer.

Hi, everyone. My WD Passport Ultra 2TB external hard drive is not showing up in explorer when I plug it into the USB port in a "normal way". I have to connect it through a "bizarre way" to make it show up in explorer. I realizes there were threads related to the same issue, but it's not what I am looking for.

Let me explain the "normal way":

I have another 1TB WD (same model as my 2TB WD) which behaves in a "normal way". Just plug and play. Nothing weird! Once I connect it, the LED blinks for a few times for successful connection. Done. I can find it in explorer

Let me explain the "bizarre way:

The 2TB WD behaves in a "bizarre way". If I connect it in the "normal way", it will not show up in explorer, Diskpart, or Disk management no matter how long I wait. In order to make the 2TB WD to show, I have to process the following steps every time I connect this 2TB external hard drive: First, plug in the USB cable halfway through any one of my desktop computer's USB ports. Then, wait for the drive to show up in explorer. Finally, I can push the USB completely into the USB port. The difference is that the successful connection of the 2TB WD happens when the USB cable is half way into the USB port.

Troubleshoots:

————— USB Port Test —————

That particular 2TB WD behaves in the "bizarre way" on all usb ports of my Win 8.1 desktop and my Win 10 Surface Pro 3.

—————— Cable Test ——————

Since my 1TB WD is working properly, I try to switch the USB cables between them. The 2TB WD still behaves in the "bizarre way". Thus, I can tell it's not a USB cable issue.

———— Partition Table Test ————

Also, I have tried to reformat the 2TB WD based on GPT or MBR partition tables. It still acts in the "bizarre way”.

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Last edited: 08-06-2020

Temporary Solution: Halfway-in-USB trick

For Windows machines, first push USB half way through a USB port just tight enough for successful connection (you’ll hear the classic Windows sound effect), then push it down completely. The solution may not work for you depending on your situations (For example, different Operating Systems). As some visitors commented it worked, you are welcome to try. If this “Halfway-in-USB“ trick is for you, backup your data after you have access to the hard drive. I am not sure how long the method will last.

For future visitors: Looks like the post had helped some people having the same issue. I just leave it at that. Please read other comments as well because you may find the surprised solution just for you. Thanks everybody for participating in discussion.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Hi, I assume that you do not have access to another WD 2TB HDD to compare to prove whether the problem is with the drive or with your PC? Have you tried connecting it to a powered hub to see if your PC is not supplying enough power to it?

Have you also tried this to test your HDD?

https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?l...

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Hi, Found this link where the guy was having similar problem to you. There are two solutions offered which solved the same problem in different ways.

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2...

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I'll give it a try. Thanks for the link. Just to clarify. That 2TB drive was OK before. It became to act strangely just about 2 weeks ago. I just worried that would be a sign of complete breakdowns coming.

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Hi,

Suggest then if possible back up everything that you can when you do have access just in case. After that try using the 12V adapter power connector to see if it stabilizes as per connection/appearance in Explorer.

It still may be a compatibility issue between your PC and it due to perhaps component variations due to age (slightly less voltage supplied etc - all this is guessing of course as you say it is OK with other computers)

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I had success with BOTH of my 2 TB Ultras - thank you. I tried all the driver methods and multiple computers. This saved all my files and footage that I backed up over last 3 years!!

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12 Answers

Chosen Solution

One potential explanation:

The USB 2.0 pins in the connector are upfront, and the USB 3.0 ones are at the back of the connector.

When you push it it all the way the device should be recognized as a USB 3.0 one. I have the same issue and I believe the portable hard drive has the USB 3.0 circuit either blown up or not working. I have tried three different computers and three different cables, and always the same result: if you push the connector all the way into the socket the drive won’t be recognized. In my case when plugged half way, the drive is being recognized as 2.10 (see below), which means the 2.0 connectors are the ones making contact. If I push the connector all the way the drive gets disconnected.

Hope it helps.

dell-work ~ # lsusb -D /dev/bus/usb/001/029

Device: ID 1058:25e2 Western Digital Technologies, Inc. My Passport (WD40NMZW)

Device Descriptor:

bLength 18

bDescriptorType 1

bcdUSB 2.10

bDeviceClass 0

bDeviceSubClass 0

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Thanks for troubleshooting. I have no clue on USB circuitry, but this seems to be the most proficient and logical diagnostics. USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0. Probably its physical design aspects of what you are describing is what cause the issue. Nice to know USB 2.0 pins are upfront. Thank you.

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Most Helpful Answer

The most easiest way I discovered when encountered same kind of problem with my passport. in Control Panel go to Devices and Printers. That would be the only place you can see your passport visible. open its properties and then open drivers, simply uninstall it, come out unplug your passport drive. Restart your computer and insert/plugin your passport again into PC. It will automatically start installing drivers and here you can start using your passport drive comfortably.

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This did not work for me.

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(For people still visiting my thread): First, thanks Aslam Tareen. I've tried to reinstall drivers under Device Manager. WD connection issue persists, so it's not a driver issue.

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I am trying the same method But when i open the device and printer (as the WB HDD is connected every thing freezes) after 10-15 mins the device and printer opens and it shows 1 unspecified device when i click on that the control panleel freezes and i have it close it using TaskManager

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I was having the same problem. This worked perfectly for me! Fixed my issue! Thank you!

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This worked for me. THANK YOU!!!

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just go to start menu , win 7 , computer right click , manage , then storage , find hard drive , right click over size of hard drive and assign a letter. thats it. should just work . if not unplug and try somthing else.... warning , do not format , do not change anything, I am assuming that you have data on the hard drive you do not want to loose...

good luck.

win 7 ultra64 , WD 2TB , my passport ultra , purchased in 2014, USB 3, with DV6-6119wm (HP) laptop , 16gb ram , 1 TB SSD.

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(For people still visiting my thread): First, thanks PS. When my WD fails to show up in Explorer, it fails to show under Disk Management as well, so it's not a driver letter issue. For people who cannot find their WD device under explorer but it is visible under Disk Management. Please try PS's recommendation.

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It would appear that the best method to fix this problem would be to break your passport by throwing it at a wall.

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Did not fix the problem, sorry.

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@Joshua Jackychan

The real problem with all these name-brand external drives is that the USB to SATA converter is all on one circuit board with the drive's circuit board. You can't replace it or connect it internal in a PC to test or repair.

If any part of the circuit dies you are lost.

The better solution, in the first place, is to buy a standard laptop SATA HD drive or SSD and a separate case with only SATA to USB converted. If the case circuit dies drive can easily be rescued. If the drive dies replace it with a new one.

The seperate component ones cost less, are upgradable and are much easier to repair. . . .so why do people insist on buying the name brand all-in-one ones ????

I have about 10 of them in use and have never had a serious problem. One is IDE even, not SATA, and still works, well as a museum piece.

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1. Try new cable

2. buy similar HDD WD and remove the new controller board and install on bad one.

Hope it fixes it, I am at the same place. All other nice recovery programs freeze when the HDD is connected!

Good luck

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(For people still visiting my thread): First, thanks Denis. I've tried new cable. WD connection issue persists, so it's not cable issue. I've not tried Denis 2nd method. Others are welcome to try.

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It seems that pc in general keep a tally of unsuccessful connections in the registry....this can also happen to cd/DVD drives....Try using the rear USB ports as these connect directly to motherboard.....

The partial power on trick seems to relate to 5 volt rail spin up before the computer tryies to read the existence of the device....for some reason putting the device USB in all the way means the computer has finished reading for connected devices BEFORE the drive has reached optimal spin speed in order to allow the drivers to read the device as working..This could be due to poorly defragged drive...or the computer psu already in using its full resources on other peripherals....which means the external drive takes longer to spin up than it should.So e external drives have their own power supplies for this reason.

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(For people still visiting my thread): First, thanks John's detailed explanation. I've not experimented on John's answer. However, I've tried to connect via the motherboard usb port. Problem persists.

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Hmm. just had the same problem after an unexpected power outage. I removed it from my switch, and plugged it directly into a PC. Device mngr saw it, but not disk manager, or explorer. This worked for me as far as local usb was concerned:

-Device Manager > Disk Drives > Properties > Volumes > Populate. (not sure if this is necessary, just noting my steps, but it did show under Disk Explorer after this)

-Disk Explorer > Change Drive Letter and Paths.

For what it's worth, I'm going to steer clear of WD. I have a NAS that is giving me no end of headaches.

Hope this helps

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I have exactly this same problem, it started yesterday with a drive which I have been using for more than a year. When plugged into the usb port of my Surface Pro, the drive failed to show up. However, when plugged into a desktop, the drive was working perfectly. I tried pushing the usb plug half way into the usb port on the Surface Pro and bingo, it works. I have no idea what is causing the problem, when I have time I may raise it with Western Digital.

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Was there ever a fix to this? My WD Passsport (pn: WDBYFT0020BBL- OA) has been doing the same thing. I read this post and the “bizarre” way is the only way it works now.

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Sorry, I don't have a fix to this problem. Also, if you are confident enough to take apart the drive, you can try. Some answers above actually recommended so. I will not do it unless the drive dies completely. But I want to let you know that now it is 2019, this particular drive of mine is still acting like that and I am still using it with that "half-way-in" trick to make it show up. It survives 3 years! Huhuh.

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How do I get a software for my passport

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If you are looking for WD Utilities, they are available at WD's official download page: https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?l...

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I have the same problem… Perhaps you might already find a fix or any information that may help the situation ? For example, does your harddisk still works normally or does it eventually died out ?

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I am sorry that I haven't find a solution for this question. Harddisk is still working. All file operations are not affected by this issue (Formating, copying, etc). Perhaps the only way is to take it apart to dissect the issue; I am not gonna do that for now because it's such risky technical jobs for regular folks like me. And honestly, I have no idea when it will die out.

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Ah... I see, Glad to hear that it still working. Thanks for the information, it shed some light in this problem... at least for me.

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@xkasenobaso

The real problem with all these name-brand external drives is that the USB to SATA converter is all on one circuit board with the drive's circuit board. You can't replace it or connect it internally in a PC to test or repair.

If any part of the circuit dies you are lost.

The better solution, in the first place, is to buy a standard laptop SATA HD drive or SSD and a separate case with only SATA to USB converted. If the case circuit dies drive can easily be rescued. If the drive dies replace it with a new one.

The seperate component ones cost less, are upgradable and are much easier to repair. . . .so why do people insist on buying the name brand "all-in-one" ones ????

I have about 10 of them in use and have never had a serious problem. One is IDE even, not SATA, and still works, well as a museum piece.

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pls try updating the driver for HDD using Window Updates. It worked for me and my WD Passport ultra Hard drive started appearing in explorer amd working fine as earlier

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I have just learned about the official software named “WD Drive Utilities” which can fix the bad sectors issue in the Drive. It is available on https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?p...

File Size: 15.7 MBVersion: 2.0.0.76Release Date: 08/24/2020

This utility is offered by the manufacturer Western Digital for free download.

Description

This installer - WD Drive Utilities and WD Security, are contained within the WD Drive Utilities and the WD Security zip files and installs custom Western Digital software for WD USB and FireWire enabled external hard drives under Macintosh computers.

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Find it in control panel under devices and printers. Right click and uninstall. Unplug the USB and plug it back in and it showed up for me.

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xKase will be eternally grateful.
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