My WD external cannot be detected, opened, or formatted

By datofarid ยท 5 replies
Jul 10, 2012
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  1. few hours ago, my external drive suddenly stopped working. this pop up window keeps popping out "You need to format this drive before you can use it". everytime I plugged the drive in it will pop out many times. I tried opening it but failed. I have this EASEUS file recovery software so I tried fromatting it but failed. my projects and assignments are in the drive. hope you guys can help me out with this.
  2. Doctor John

    Doctor John TS Enthusiast Posts: 204   +15

    If possible, I would suggest trying it on a Linux system (either installed or a Linux live distro on CD). Linux might be able to recognise and hopefully allow you to copy some or all of your data to another drive. There are plenty of live Linux disks available as freebies on Linux mags, if you're stuck (lots promoting Ubuntu 12.04 and fedora 17 at the moment).
    Hope this helps... :)
    DragonMasterJay likes this.
  3. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,477   +126

    Two things you can do..

    Step 1. Freezer way

    A small ziplock bag (freezer type if you have it)
    Insert a folded paper towel
    Insert your WD external into the bag
    And stick it into your freezer for about 3 hrs
    Thaw out at room temp
    Try it again..

    Step 2. Clean-up rouge USB devices..

    If you're on Windows download a app called USBDVIEW
    Runs as the Admin
    Make sure no other USB devices except for keyboard and mouse are connected
    Now if you see any disconnected devices remove them (only these devices should you remove)
    Do not remove connected if you do they won't function while your on the PC. This would cause you to reboot.

    You might want to do both methods above..

    Try not format those drives too much as it can get corrupted. I use to have your issue and step 1 works if it gets to the point that step 1 doesn't then do step 2.
  4. Doctor John

    Doctor John TS Enthusiast Posts: 204   +15

    Or you could try a Linux live disk, without any further risk to your hardware (if it was my drive, I would certainly check this out before sticking it in the freezer!) ;)
  5. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +50

    First off, if this was my problem and I had assignments and important data on the hard drive, my first option, or even second option wouldn't be to try and format the drive what so ever! My first priority would be to try and recover the drive, not format it!

    Next, I've heard of the freezer option, for some people I know it worked, well it worked long enough for most of them to back up the data on their drives, before the drive went south on vacation, permanently!

    Now this the option of using the Linux Live Disk might be something that you want to look into. This process would probably be the most safest way, with pretty much zero risk to your system. I'd say give it a try, it just might work!
    Doctor John likes this.
  6. datofarid

    datofarid TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    okay guys, thanks alot.. I'll try it once I gt back home and I'll anything.. I'll post it here..

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