WD External Hard Drive Problem

  imzy 16:17 04 Aug 2008

HI there.

I am having a problem with my WD external hard drive. I have had it for over a year and has worked fine but now when I attach it to my computer it says "USB device not recognised. One or more USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and windows does not recognise it". I am running windoow Vista. I tried it on my home computer as well but I get the same message.

Can the drive be fixed and if not can I get the data off the drive somehow.

Any help greatly appreciated.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:20 04 Aug 2008

Refresh USB Ports
Use Drive clean up to remove USB device drive info from the registry
click here
In device manager Uninstall EVERYTHING under the heading USB,
reboot the PC let XP find and install new hardware.
Your equipment should now be recognised.

  crosstrainer 16:36 04 Aug 2008

If Fruit Bat /\0/\'s solution won't work, then it's likely that the drive itself may be ok, but the electronics required for the USB connection have failed.

It's also possible that the power supply has failed. Try a new PSU for it first (borrow if you can)

If the PSU won't bring it to life, all is still not lost. The drive can be removed from it's existing caddy, and installed in your pc, or into a replacement caddy.

  imzy 16:37 04 Aug 2008


  imzy 17:36 04 Aug 2008

Thanks for your suggestion Friut Bat but i'm afraid id didn't work.

I will now try your suggestion, crosstrainer, which is obviously a bit more involved but I will try anything to save this data.


  woodchip 18:43 04 Aug 2008

If none of the above work, take the drive out of the caddy and fit it as Slave in your computer to run Disc Checker on the drive and see if you can get to your files

  imzy 14:46 14 Aug 2008

I'm afraid none of the software related solutions worked so it looks like I'm going to have to open the thing up.

I am not very technical minded so can anyone explain step by step, or direct me to an article, how I can get the data off my malfunctioning external hard drive.

Thank you.

  Ditch999 15:06 14 Aug 2008

Does the drive show up in Disk Management (through Computer Management)? Plug it in and switch it on, then start the PC it is attached to.

  imzy 15:49 14 Aug 2008

No Ditch999, it doesn't show up in Computer Management

  crosstrainer 16:09 14 Aug 2008

In order to proceed, you first need to remove the Hard Drive from it's existing "Box"


1) If your drive has "feet" Little rubber legs that sit on your desk. Remove them.

2) Underneath you should find the screws that hold the casing together.

3) Earth yourself by touching a metal appliance such as a cooker or other earthed metal appliance.

4) Remove the screws (these may be in a different location, as it varies by model)

5) Seperate the casing to reveal the drive inside.

6) Depending on model, there will be 4-8 screws, and 2 cables you need to separate from the drive to remove it.

7) Remove all cables attached to the drive.

8) Remove all screws until the drive is free from it's case.

9) Lift the drive clear, and then have a coffee.

Post back, and we can guide you through installing it into a caddy or PC.

  imzy 16:21 14 Aug 2008

Thanks Crosstrainer for the advice so far but I am afraid I am leaving work soon so I will need to leave it until tomorrow.

Thanks again and hopefully talk to you tomorrow.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

See iconic duo Smith and Foulkes' epic animation for the BBC's Winter Olympics coverage

iMac Pro review

Idées cadeaux pour geeks et tech addicts