Question External HDD with multiple personality disorder

marvindash

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Hi all. I have a Western Digital MyPassport, which suddenly thinks it's a CD drive on my PC. I've found some advice online, but none of it quite fits because the people with the problem say their external HDD gets recognised as a CD on all PCs/laptops, whereas mine is fine on my laptop. So I'm thinking it must be something about my PC. Any ideas?

EDIT: I happen to have an identical Western Digital MyPassport as a backup for the backup, so to speak, and it's exactly the same with that one: recognised as CD on my PC but absolutely fine on my laptop.
 
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Ralston18

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Update your post to include full PC system hardware specs and OS information.

Disk drive(s): make, model, capacity, how full?

Any recent software or OS updates?

Open the Disk Management screen, increase/size window to see all listed drives. Take a screen shot and post here via imgur (www.imgur.com).

Do so for both the PC and the laptop - look for differences.
 

marvindash

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PC:

Device name DESKTOP-C63KGH1
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-8400 CPU @ 2.80GHz 2.81 GHz
Installed RAM 8.00 GB
Device ID B6BE5942-4B13-46D4-9097-00A979078908
Product ID 00330-51686-58392-AAOEM
System type 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
Pen and touch No pen or touch input is available for this display

Edition Windows 10 Pro
Version 21H1
Installed on ‎09/‎08/‎2020
OS build 19043.1348
Experience Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.3920.0

Internal HDDs:
PH6-CE240-L1
TOSHIBA HDWD110

Not sure which of these is C and which is D, but C's capacity is 222.76 GB (91.19 GB of which is still free) and D's capacity is 931.51 GB (99.27 GB free).

External HDDs both:
Western Digital My Passport 4 TB Portable Hard Drive (1.07 TB free of 3.63 TB)

View: https://i.imgur.com/GvnjFd9.png


Most recent updates (all on 11 November and I've had no issues until this evening):
KB5007186
Servicing stack 10.0.19041.1310
KB5006365

Will post info for laptop from my laptop (which will take a few minutes)...
 

marvindash

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Laptop:

Device name LAPTOP-L0GGC540
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-8250U CPU @ 1.60GHz 1.80 GHz
Installed RAM 8.00 GB (7.84 GB usable)
Device ID 94423291-D563-4ABC-AFA2-E6A28412C0FE
Product ID 00325-96479-53651-AAOEM
System type 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
Pen and touch Touch support with 10 touch points

Edition Windows 10 Home
Version 21H1
Installed on ‎15/‎09/‎2020
OS build 19043.1348
Experience Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.3920.0

Internal HDD:
Samsung MZVLB256HAHQ-000H1 (capacity 221.48 GB of which 85.28 GB still free)

View: https://i.imgur.com/APCdyfj.png
 

marvindash

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I've been doing some research (am not a techie) and it looks like I need to get the drives initialised again on my PC. That's probably immediately obvious to many of you from the above screenshots. However, it sounds like that will wipe the data, which I don't want to do as the disks work fine on other computers. That said, I need to be able to back up data on my PC. Any ideas? Or should I just get new external hard drives?
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
So the issue is that you have two WD MyPassport drives that now believe (or perhaps Windows believes) that they are CD-ROM's.

Specifically CD-ROM 0 and CD-ROM 1 - correct?

Both drives have a WD Unlocker Partition being shown.

Did you install WD Unlocker on the drives? Are you getting any prompts to enter a security password?

In other words some password request no matter where the MyPassport drive(s) happen to be installed; either on the PC and/or the laptop?
 

marvindash

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So the issue is that you have two WD MyPassport drives that now believe (or perhaps Windows believes) that they are CD-ROM's. Specifically CD-ROM 0 and CD-ROM 1 - correct?
Yes. I suspect it's Windows that believes they're CD-ROM drives, as if it were the drives themselves, then the same problem would occur on my laptop.

Both drives have a WD Unlocker Partition being shown. Did you install WD Unlocker on the drives?
It's a few years since I bought them, so I can't quite remember, but I think it was preinstalled. In any case, I have passwords on both drives and unlock them each time using WD Unlocker.

Are you getting any prompts to enter a security password?
Not now that they're showing as CD-ROMs. On my laptop, by contrast, I can unlock them as usual with WD Unlocker.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
I will suggest another approach.

The objective being to learn more about the drives overall and the drives in question.

Open Powershell as admin.

Run the following three cmdlets:

Get-Disk

Get-Physical Disk

Get-Volume

Post the results.

Reference (FYI):

https://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/167934-how-to-get-a-pc-hard-drive-information-using-powershell

Hopefully the cmdlets will provide some additional information to help discover why the WD MyPassports appear as CD drives.

Compare PC results to laptop results.
 

marvindash

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Here are the results for the PC. NB This is with one of the MyPassports plugged in.


PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Get-Disk

Number Friendly Name Serial Number HealthStatus OperationalStatus Total Size Partition
Style
------ ------------- ------------- ------------ ----------------- ---------- ----------
0 PH6-CE240-L1 511180911232004429 Healthy Online 223.57 GB GPT
1 TOSHIBA HD... 68MWYTNNS Healthy Online 931.51 GB GPT


PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Get-PhysicalDisk

Number FriendlyName SerialNumber MediaType CanPool OperationalStatus HealthStatus Usage Size
------ ------------ ------------ --------- ------- ----------------- ------------ ----- ----
0 PH6-CE240-L1 511180911232004429 SSD False OK Healthy Auto-Select 223.57 GB
1 TOSHIBA HDWD110 68MWYTNNS HDD False OK Healthy Auto-Select 931.51 GB


PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Get-Volume

DriveLetter FriendlyName FileSystemType DriveType HealthStatus OperationalStatus SizeRemaining Size
----------- ------------ -------------- --------- ------------ ----------------- ------------- ----
E Unknown CD-ROM Healthy Unknown 0 B 0 B
F Unknown CD-ROM Healthy Unknown 0 B 0 B
NTFS Fixed Healthy OK 73.43 MB 517 MB
SYSTEM FAT32 Fixed Healthy OK 269.21 MB 296 MB
D DATA NTFS Fixed Healthy OK 98.99 GB 931.51 GB
C WINDOWS NTFS Fixed Healthy OK 88.22 GB 222.76 GB


PS C:\WINDOWS\system32>
 
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marvindash

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And here are the results for the laptop. I didn't type in the password for the MyPassport prior to running powershell. Is that OK?

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Get-Disk

Number Friendly Name Serial Number HealthStatus OperationalStatus Total Size Partition
Style
------ ------------- ------------- ------------ ----------------- ---------- ----------
0 SAMSUNG MZ... 0025_3889_8104_5CD2. Healthy Online 238.47 GB GPT


PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Get-PhysicalDisk

Number FriendlyName SerialNumber MediaType CanPool OperationalStatus HealthStatus Usage Siz
e
------ ------------ ------------ --------- ------- ----------------- ------------ ----- ---
1 WD My Passport 25E2 WXK1E98DPKCN HDD False OK Healthy Auto-Select TB
0 SAMSUNG MZVLB256HAHQ-000H1 0025_3889_8104_5CD2. SSD False OK Healthy Auto-Select GB


PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Get-Volume

DriveLetter FriendlyName FileSystemType DriveType HealthStatus OperationalStatus SizeRemaining Size
----------- ------------ -------------- --------- ------------ ----------------- ------------- ----
Windows RE tools NTFS Fixed Healthy OK 270.67 MB 980 MB
FAT32 Fixed Healthy OK 202.18 MB 256 MB
G WD Unlocker Unknown CD-ROM Healthy OK 0 B 8.07 MB
C Windows NTFS Fixed Healthy OK 85.82 GB 221.48 GB
D RECOVERY NTFS Fixed Healthy OK 1.88 GB 15.76 GB


PS C:\WINDOWS\system32>
 

marvindash

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Does anyone else have any thoughts? I'm in a bit of a bind here (can't back up my work) and am considering forking out for two new external HDDs during Black Friday deals.
 

marvindash

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Does anyone else have any thoughts? I'm in a bit of a bind here (can't back up my work) and am considering forking out for two new external HDDs during Black Friday deals.
 

robert600

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If I'm reading this correctly ... you have 2 external hds which have the same data on them? If so ... why are you reluctent to reformat one of them on the laptop and then see if your pc can 'see' it properly?
 

marvindash

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If I'm reading this correctly ... you have 2 external hds which have the same data on them? If so ... why are you reluctent to reformat one of them on the laptop and then see if your pc can 'see' it properly?
I had considered doing that, but given that they both work perfectly well on the laptop, I figure that it's more likely a software issue (with the WD Unlocker or Windows itself).
 

robert600

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I had considered doing that, but given that they both work perfectly well on the laptop, I figure that it's more likely a software issue (with the WD Unlocker or Windows itself).
That may well be true. I guess what I don't quite get is ... why do you think a newly purchased external HD will be 'seen' any better than your current (reformated) one would? I mean it might who knows? ... At least trying the reformat thing wouldn't cost you anything. If it worked ... great! If it didn't ... you could copy the data (using the laptop from the external to the newly formatted one and be no worse off .... you'd only be without backed up data for an hour so.
 

marvindash

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That may well be true. I guess what I don't quite get is ... why do you think a newly purchased external HD will be 'seen' any better than your current (reformated) one would? I mean it might who knows? ... At least trying the reformat thing wouldn't cost you anything. If it worked ... great! If it didn't ... you could copy the data (using the laptop from the external to the newly formatted one and be no worse off .... you'd only be without backed up data for an hour so.
It has been on my list as a last resort. As I mentioned above, I'm no techie. My understanding is that formatting the drive wipes it completely, partitions and all, which would presumably mean that I would have to set up partitions again. In other words, I had envisaged that it would be more complicated than wiping the first drive's contents and then copy-pasting the contents of the second drive. Given the expected complexity, I was hoping that the problem might be well known and have some tried-and-tested solution.
 

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