Question External Hard Drive, Seen in Device Manager, Not Recognized as Drive


Jun 6, 2017
I have a 4 TB WD Passport drive that I use to store my itunes library, songs, movies and a ton of pictures on. It had been working fine as of late but today I plugged it in and it's not being recognized as a drive in windows 10. I checked the device manager and it's list under WD Drive Management Devices and under Disk Drives.

Things I've tried:
Uninstalling the drive and reinstalling in Device Manager
Tried to update drivers and it updated once, now saying the best drivers are installed. Also saying all is working properly in device manager.
In the Devices and Printers Menu it's listed under Devices and connected to 3.0 USB.
I've tried two different USB cables
Tried to access on separate computer and didn't show there either
I've tried using WD Drive Utilities but it's saying the Drive is Locked and that I've had 5 incorrect password attempts (I never locked this drive and I certainly didn't try to enter a password for it).
Disk Management is asking me to format the drive.

I'd run a disk check but I can't assign a drive letter. I really do not want to wipe this drive clean as I have a ton of files that I cannot afford to lose. Does anyone have any ideas on what can be done? Or am I just screwed?


Mar 16, 2013
While not a comment you were looking for, the above IS helpful. If not for you, possibly for someone else.
The time to safeguard your data is before the BadThing happens.

If backing up a 4TB drive was a "several day process", it was already failing.

Multiple tools, multiple PC's, no luck.....not looking good.

Take the external enclosure apart, and see if there is a standard SATA drive in there. It should expose normal SATA data and power connections.
Connect it to a desktop via regular SATA cables.
Of course, being a "WD Passport", it may be encrypted via the enclosure. Which means that taking it out of the enclosure won't work.