[SOLVED] Motherboard won't "recognize" old WD 4TB HDD, how can I fix it?

Nov 3, 2021
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Hello,

I have 2 of these WD 4TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive.
I purchased both of them a long time ago and they are working fine.

I connected them using the regular USB 3.0 cable that comes with it without any issues.
But now I'm trying to connect them directly to my motherboard instead since my case has 2 3.5 HDD slots available.
I took the HDD out the that hard case, unplugged the power and USB connector, and then install it on my motherboard.

You can see my PC Parts List here.

Anyway, I plugged the SATA 6 Gb/s cable that came with the motherboard to the HDD and to one of the slots I had available.
So the problem is that as soon as I plugged the PSU again and turn on my PC, I got an error message and was sent directly to the BIOS because there was an issue with the HDD.
And in windows explorer, I can see the drive but can't access it, only have the option to format it.

Please help me solve this, I don't want to format the drives because they both are almost full (1 full and the other one at 50%). So wouldn't know how and where to move 500 Gb momentarily just to format them.
I'm kinda new to this so hope you guys can help me.
I posted some pictures of how I connected them.


Thank you in advance.
 
Please help me solve this, I don't want to format the drives because they both are almost full (1 full and the other one at 50%). So wouldn't know how and where to move 500 Gb momentarily just to format them.
I'm afraid, you'll have to format them, if you wish to use them in your pc internally.

Problem is, external enclosure usb to sata electronics use non-standard partitioning.
Drive formatted in this enclosure can be used in enclosure only. To use it in pc internally, drive has to be reformatted.
 
Please help me solve this, I don't want to format the drives because they both are almost full (1 full and the other one at 50%). So wouldn't know how and where to move 500 Gb momentarily just to format them.
I'm afraid, you'll have to format them, if you wish to use them in your pc internally.

Problem is, external enclosure usb to sata electronics use non-standard partitioning.
Drive formatted in this enclosure can be used in enclosure only. To use it in pc internally, drive has to be reformatted.
 
Nov 3, 2021
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I'm afraid, you'll have to format them, if you wish to use them in your pc internally.

Problem is, external enclosure usb to sata electronics use non-standard partitioning.
Drive formatted in this enclosure can be used in enclosure only. To use it in pc internally, drive has to be reformatted.
Ugh. I guess I'm gonna have to make space in my other external hard drives at least until I manage to back them up.
I'll try with the drive that is not full first.
Thank you.
 

dwd999

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Feb 24, 2016
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This is difficult to answer without knowing precisely what format the drive currently has. It is possible that the drive is formatted using a version of linux, which is what is used in most external storage devices. What I personally would do is leave the drive connected to the pc and try one of the windows programs that reads linux files.


If you can read the files, that would make copying them onto other hdds much quicker.

Alternately you could boot a usb containing a linux live distro, and use the gparted app to examine the hdds to verify precisely what format they are in. Then continue on using the linux file manager to transfer the files to other hdds which would also the much faster.
 
Nov 3, 2021
6
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This is difficult to answer without knowing precisely what format the drive currently has. It is possible that the drive is formatted using a version of linux, which is what is used in most external storage devices. What I personally would do is leave the drive connected to the pc and try one of the windows programs that reads linux files.


If you can read the files, that would make copying them onto other hdds much quicker.

Alternately you could boot a usb containing a linux live distro, and use the gparted app to examine the hdds to verify precisely what format they are in. Then continue on using the linux file manager to transfer the files to other hdds which would also the much faster.
Well, I have one of the drives connected through USB right now so I can check.
Actually, not sure how to check.
This is what Disk Management shows when connected through the USB 3.0

Not sure how to check if it has a Linux formatted version, but if you can tell me how to check I can do it right now.

Also, for now I'm upload almost 1TB to dropbox since I run out of space on my other drives, lol
Will take me the whole day to finish, but as soon as it's done then I can empty one of the drives I have and start moving my files around.
 
It is possible that the drive is formatted using a version of linux, which is what is used in most external storage devices.
It has nothing to do with linux.
It is external drive connected to windows pc. In enclosure it is readable. Connected internally - not readable.
If it was linux file system, it wouldn't be readable on windows pc in enclosure too.

The difference is, how drive is partitioned/formatted. In one situation sector size 4K is used, in other - sector size 512B.
 

dwd999

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Feb 24, 2016
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Looking at the my book manual, page 3 says "Your My Book drive is formatted as a single exFAT partition for compatibility with all updated Windows and Mac operating systems." That's a problem since windows prefers drives with GPT partitions for internally connected drives.

It would be better to see what gparted says when a drive is directly connected to the motherboard. The WD hardware and software make be performing some sort of translation to make the drive simply look like a standards windows drive when its connected to windows via usb. As for Disk Management, you could right click where is says Disk 4, select Properties and then Volumes, and it would show what type of partition table the drive has. If its not GPT that would be the first cause of windows wanting to reformat. It would also normally say Basic Data Partition after Healthy, which yours does not say. That could be another problem causing windows to want to reformat the drive.

Anyway it looks like you're going to have to manually move all of the files and do what windows tells you to do as far as reformatting goes.
 

Krotow

Estimable
Actual file system in external drive depends from enclosure electronics. Some prefer exFAT, some Ext4. When repaired fried 8 TB WD MyBook drive, discovered that it use Ext4 and embedded Linux in controller internally.
 
Nov 3, 2021
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Looking at the my book manual, page 3 says "Your My Book drive is formatted as a single exFAT partition for compatibility with all updated Windows and Mac operating systems." That's a problem since windows prefers drives with GPT partitions for internally connected drives.

It would be better to see what gparted says when a drive is directly connected to the motherboard. The WD hardware and software make be performing some sort of translation to make the drive simply look like a standards windows drive when its connected to windows via usb. As for Disk Management, you could right click where is says Disk 4, select Properties and then Volumes, and it would show what type of partition table the drive has. If its not GPT that would be the first cause of windows wanting to reformat. It would also normally say Basic Data Partition after Healthy, which yours does not say. That could be another problem causing windows to want to reformat the drive.

Anyway it looks like you're going to have to manually move all of the files and do what windows tells you to do as far as reformatting goes.
This is what it shows for the HDD connected through the regular USB:

And this is how it looks for the other drive connected directly to the motherboard:


Well at least from what I understood I can still make it work as long as I format the whole drive right?
I'm already doing a backup of my files in order to format the drive.
And if I managed to backup would the best option would be to format the drives into a single GPT partition with NTFS format?
 
Nov 3, 2021
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Yes.
If you partitioned it in MBR, then only 2TB would be available.
Ok cool, thanks!
I still have 6+ hours to finish uploading 1TB into dropbox and then finally be able to format one of the drives which had only 2TB inside. Then I'll format that one and move the info from the other drive into it and finally format the last one.
That should work.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Ugh. I guess I'm gonna have to make space in my other external hard drives at least until I manage to back them up.
I'll try with the drive that is not full first.
Thank you.
This speaks to another problem.

It would seem that the data on these drives is the ONLY copy of that.
This is a bad thing.

You should ALWAYS have a backup of any data, on any and all drives.
Data that resides in only one place is very very easy to lose.
 
Nov 3, 2021
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This speaks to another problem.

It would seem that the data on these drives is the ONLY copy of that.
This is a bad thing.

You should ALWAYS have a backup of any data, on any and all drives.
Data that resides in only one place is very very easy to lose.
Yup you're right on that, although it's not that important data. Pretty much stuff I can download but would take a loooong time to do it again
I did back up my documents in google drive and dropbox a couple of months ago, luckily just before my motherboard died.
Was also checking a few moments ago cloud storage is over 6TB and it's really expensive, at least in dropbox and google drive. Gonna keep looking for other cheaper products.
 

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