Problems with WD MyBook

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Problems with WD MyBook

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 11:40 pm

Device is a WB MyBook Essential, 1TB with USB 3.0. Lately it has had issues with detection and I've had to go into Windows 7's Disk Management and assign a drive letter, or do so in Paragon Partition Manager, when connecting the drive. Once or twice, Partition Manager would fail to recognize the drive's partition properly but the problem would stop after reconnecting the drive.

I have lots of uncompressed video on that drive which I just edited and finished today. I rendered the video once yesterday and once today, and then rebooted when I was done. The drive was no longer being recognized at all; Windows 7 kept asking to format it, and Partition Manager took a long time to detect the device, only to be unable to recognize the partition on the disk. Leaving the disk connected, I get notifications from Windows to format it every few minutes. (Accompanied by the "this device can perform faster" note if I connect to USB 2.0 instead of 3.) I did try formatting it from Windows, but it was unable to do so and I don't want to go farther and actually format it since the video is still on there and I need to continue editing it.

Not sure where the problem was caused. Possiblities:
- Heat (seems unlikely)
- I/O screwup on editing program or Windows causing corruption
- Wearout or damage

Problems could be:
- Enclosure's controller
- The HDD itself
- Both

Options:
- Gut the drive out and put it in the computer. It's very well possible that the enclosure controller messed up but the disk is okay. If I can do this, then perfect, since I can resume editing the video without having to relocate the video clips to the compressed copies I have.
- RMA it with WD. Still has a year of warranty.

I'm still looking through the options and thinking about it, but loosing the uncompressed source footage and having to redirect the sources is less than idea, particularly if there's some way I can just get the disk working again. Unfortunately, I can't use CHKDSK since the volume/partition is not being recognized properly.

I get similar problems when using other computers and operating systems.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Re: Problems with WD MyBook

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 10:43 am

It's now all up to how much you want to bet:

- The money of a new drive (option 1) - $110
- The value of your uncompressed video (option 2) -- ???

Obviously, with option 1, if the drive truly is borked, then you're out $110 *and* your video. If you can hear the drive spinning up fine, I think the problem is more likely in the enclosure itself, but it's just a guess and as good as any other.
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Re: Problems with WD MyBook

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 11:14 am

Tried a different cable? Sounds like the drive has had it though...

Hopefully you'll still get your data back but remember this day whenever you see a hard drive behaving oddly and make sure you've got a good backup ASAP!

As morphine says, what you do now depends on how valuable the data is. If you can't risk loosing it then you need to find a data recovery expert who will charge you lots of money otherwise pull it to bits and have a go yourself.
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Re: Problems with WD MyBook

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 1:02 pm

Most of the HDD data are just backups. That said, I'd still rather look at the data and know for sure I didn't loose anything that's difficult to get back. However, money (including having the drive itself in the first place) is more important than any of the data since it can be re-copied (or at least 90% of it).

The drive spins up just fine. I don't here any unusual sounds, but the pattern itself seems a bit unusual. It repeats through a cycle of spinning up, moving/reading (or whatever that rapid quiet "click" sound is) and then slows down and stops, and after 30 seconds to a minute, it repeats. I can't find anything wrong with the cable either; it's never been abused/bent but if it's worth it, I'll pick up a USB 3.0 cable off Monoprice just in case. Unfortunately, I don't have a way of testing the cable, but from my experience, cables are seldom a problem when decently built and handled carefully.

I will make sure of this: I/O or read/write errors are unlikely to cause behavior to this degree, correct?

In any case, I will either RMA it or move it into the computer and connect with SATA directly. (Or so I'm pretty sure it uses SATA internally.) Unfortunately, I can't do both since WD doesn't honor the warranty if the drive's been opened, or so I believe. I may also look around the net for some software that's able to check up for these errors and maybe recover it. I won't be looking at data recovery services since it's not worth it for me.

Thanks for the thoughts.
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Re: Problems with WD MyBook

Postposted on Sat May 26, 2012 7:43 am

C-A_99 wrote:I will make sure of this: I/O or read/write errors are unlikely to cause behavior to this degree, correct?

Unlikely, yes, but not impossible. Nevertheless, it really does sound like it's some sort of controller issue. In my experience, a good or bad drive just spins up or doesn't. Haven't really found anything in between. I don't think that software will help you, since software needs a minimally steady drive before it can inspect anything in it for damage. With the drive not "being there"... no go.

Having said that, if the data really isn't that important, just RMA the thing. WD will send you a new one and that'll be the end of it.
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Re: Problems with WD MyBook

Postposted on Mon May 28, 2012 9:37 pm

morphine wrote:In my experience, a good or bad drive just spins up or doesn't. Haven't really found anything in between.


I have an old laptop HDD sitting around that spins up fine, but has had some bad problems and is failing according to SMART; 2047 sectors reallocated. It's in a "sort of working" state; Windows couldn't boot on it, but I did manage to read/write files when connected to another system.
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Re: Problems with WD MyBook

Postposted on Mon May 28, 2012 9:59 pm

C-A_99 wrote:
morphine wrote:In my experience, a good or bad drive just spins up or doesn't. Haven't really found anything in between.


I have an old laptop HDD sitting around that spins up fine, but has had some bad problems and is failing according to SMART; 2047 sectors reallocated. It's in a "sort of working" state; Windows couldn't boot on it, but I did manage to read/write files when connected to another system.


I have a laptop drive that once, only once, gave a SMART end-to-end error (data read/written from/to disk did not match the data when it came back out of the cache). It now fails SMART check and won't run quietly in most decent laptops. I put in an enclosure and it's shuffled files happily for a year+ since. That said, I'd not put anything on it that I couldn't risk losing. SMART does what it does for a reason.
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Re: Problems with WD MyBook

Postposted on Tue May 29, 2012 8:47 am

C-A_99 wrote:
morphine wrote:In my experience, a good or bad drive just spins up or doesn't. Haven't really found anything in between.


I have an old laptop HDD sitting around that spins up fine, but has had some bad problems and is failing according to SMART; 2047 sectors reallocated. It's in a "sort of working" state; Windows couldn't boot on it, but I did manage to read/write files when connected to another system.

I phrased that poorly. I meant that in this context: if the drive has problems spinning up (as is the OP's case), then it either always spins up or it never does.
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