WD external hard drive issue

By Nightrageous · 6 replies
Apr 5, 2010
  1. hi guys,

    recently i had to reinstall windows on my girlfriends laptop after it crashed and since then her WD external hard drive is not showing up in my computer or in the disk management area. when plugging in the drive the pop up bubble recognizes it etc and says it is installed and ready to use but when i go into my computer it doesnt show up there. ive gone into the "manage" area after right clicking my computer and it shows up in the "device manager" selection but says it is working correctly...

    when reinstalling windows it created a recovery partition. im guessing that is the issue. do i need to remove that partition? if i do, how can i do it without causing any problems to the rest of the system? or is there another solution? ive been into disk management to try to change to letter of the drive as suggested in other posts but the drive is not there either.

    thanks for any help.
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415


    if the drive isnt showing in disk management there could be a couple of things wrong.

    1) the cable isnt the right type, seems some printer cables and HDD cables look the same but dont work.

    2) the HDD isnt sitting in the enclosure correctly or the enclosure is faulty.

    3) Your USB ports arent working correctly, try removing them in device manager and rebooting windows.

    external HDD's in my opinion (especially some models of the western digi) are flaky at the best of times, especially the 1TB drives.

    Can you try the enclosure on another PC or laptop maybe .?
  3. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    @tipstir: Like other USB disk devices, they all use standard Windows USB Mass Storage and disk device drivers. (there are no specific drivers for WD passports)

    If it appears the device installed correctly and says so in Device Manager yet you don't see the drive letter in Disk Management or My Computer, try:

    Unplug your USB storage devices, see this post for [post=727106]How to use the DriveCleanupTool[/post], then just replug your USB storage back in and they're reinstalled. Do you have same/different results? And do you see it in Device Manager under Disk Devices? (or only under USB devices as USB Mass Storage?)
  5. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    WD SmartWare Utilities (VCD & Firmware) WD SmartWare Software Update

    They software and firmware for these WD external HDD. I know that mine didn't work with 7. Until the software and firmware.


    Windows doesn't always have the drivers or whatever is needed for these to work under the OS.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Interesting... And thanks for that additional link.

    From what i read (and wasn't aware of before), it seems WD is providing "extended" non-standard functionality on their USB drives (What they call "Smartware" which includes their Virtual CD (VCD) Manager). I would guess that's why your drive needed WD's Smartware update before it would work with Win 7.

    "Standard" USB drives all meet USB standard storage driver spec and should work "out-of-the-box" with Windows simply using Windows standard USB storage drivers. So if only to offer the "heads-up" to let you (and others) know why a WD USB drive may not work with Windows or other computers unless it has WD software fixes (and the downside of using vendor specific/dependant USB storage)

    Also, fyi.. appears is possible (tho maybe a hassle to disable/uninstall WD's "extended" functionality). How do I remove a MyBook’s “WD SmartWare” virtual CD from my desktop? Tho as one person in that thread noted
    I think i now have yet another reason why i don't like WD external storage
    /* edit */
    WD has gone against the grain of why the industry created a single, ubiquitous USB storage device interface spec in the first place!
  7. Nightrageous

    Nightrageous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the advice guys. ill be seeing my girlfriend tomorrow and will try all of your suggestions. ill let you know how it all goes.

    thanks again.
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