Question WD My Passport External Hard Drive Stopped during Copy, Now Stuck, Freezing Computer and can't Access!!! HELP

Ransome

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I have a 1 TB WD My Passport HD. It had some important videos, images and content.
I was going to use to to transfer around 100 GB of video data (gameplay capture 4K 60fps 55mbps) - after around 30% it said "can't open file - can't read" or something like that. The the desktop went black, was frozen for a while, and finally the whole process crashes back to desktop.

Now I can't access my external HD at all. It is stuck, slowing down the PC and file explorer - and undetectable. The white light on the drive is blinking- but nothing happens.
Even ejecting the drive via the taskbar gets forzen.
If I open Disk Management it will open a frozen white window and will be stuck forever, not responding and slowing the PC.
If I open file explorer (this computer) - I see the drive as "local drive e:" - not as "my Passport" (which was its original name). If I click on it it will freeze up, not respond (load forever) and might say "drive is inaccessible" after a long time.
I can't access the drive no matter what. Tried 2 different cables, and 2 computers.
Tried Western Digital Data Lifeguard and it doesn't show up the HD up in the list, only on the lower one.
Tried chkdsk /f /r and SFC - but both fail to even start - again STUCK.Nothing happens. Failing to reach the HD probably. No process begins in CMD.

I'm sure there's a solution to this. This external HD was used maybe 5 times and was sitting in storage for years. It's practically brand new. I really need to recover the data and get the drive up and running again! Please help.

EDIT: I did manage to detect it for 5 minutes using WD software - I ran a Quick Test and it passed without issues- then it disappeared.
 
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Ransome

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Ransome

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did you try another sata cable and on another computer since those are in a closed case with a software protection .
Tried both my PC and then my laptop. And it's a USB cable. This is the model I use:
https://www.amazon.com/White-Passport-Portable-External-Drive/dp/B01LQQHI74
Although mine is a few years old but good as new since I only used it a few times.

It's like that EASEUS software thinks the HD is empty and unformatted. It should have a few hundred GB in there. There's no way 1 broken copy-paste process will delete and ruin a freaking external USB HD...
 
Oct 27, 2019
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I have the same problem with my drive. Was coping files over as it's my backup drive. Stop half way through and since then can't access. All the same problems as you listed. It's like it's blocked from all actions. Can't formart. Can't wipe. Freezes whenever you want top open it or any program that needs to access it. This is a 4TB drive with clients back ups. Any solutions to get it to work would be GREATLY appreciated. Chkdsk and Disk part does not pick it up, neither does WD Diagnostic tool. At my wits end with this drive :(
 

Ransome

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I have the same problem with my drive. Was coping files over as it's my backup drive. Stop half way through and since then can't access. All the same problems as you listed. It's like it's blocked from all actions. Can't formart. Can't wipe. Freezes whenever you want top open it or any program that needs to access it. This is a 4TB drive with clients back ups. Any solutions to get it to work would be GREATLY appreciated. Chkdsk and Disk part does not pick it up, neither does WD Diagnostic tool. At my wits end with this drive :(
Glad to know I'm not the only one, at least. Seems 2-3 more users had the same problem lately (within the last 2 days?) here on Tom's. I wonder...

Yup. This is exactly what I'm having. Really crazy behavior. Drive is basically unreachable by anything, and also freezes or slows anything that can potentially see or access it. Even commands and system tools.

What was really weird is that WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic -detected it once for like 2 minutes, and then gone, it was random, and never happened since.
I'm also going crazy at this drive issue "at my wits end" is a perfect way to describe it. I refuse to believe a simple failed write process will clean-wipe and ruin the entire drive. Especially one that was hardly in use and well kept.
Wasted so many hours and nerves on this with zero progress.
So yeah, any solutions will be deeply appreciated, I really need to get this drive running again!

I'm going to keep tab on this post, because I'm desperate for a solution, so if anyone finds anything - please inform us!
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
This is indicative of a hardware failure in the device. it could be the enclosure or the drive inside it.
Many times the drive inside is just a normal Sata drive with a USB interface board attached that can be installed into another enclosure or right into a desktop for recovery operations. Opening an enclosure voids your warranty.

If you don't feel the drive spinning, it clicks alot*, or there are no clicks at all are signs of a failure of the actual drive inside and repair may or may not be possible by the consumer.

*some Seagate drives are known to click exactly 7 times when they cannot read and then give up and stop, others will click continually trying to read.
 
Oct 27, 2019
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Glad to know I'm not the only one, at least. Seems 2-3 more users had the same problem lately (within the last 2 days?) here on Tom's. I wonder...

Yup. This is exactly what I'm having. Really crazy behavior. Drive is basically unreachable by anything, and also freezes or slows anything that can potentially see or access it. Even commands and system tools.

What was really weird is that WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic -detected it once for like 2 minutes, and then gone, it was random, and never happened since.
I'm also going crazy at this drive issue "at my wits end" is a perfect way to describe it. I refuse to believe a simple failed write process will clean-wipe and ruin the entire drive. Especially one that was hardly in use and well kept.
Wasted so many hours and nerves on this with zero progress.
So yeah, any solutions will be deeply appreciated, I really need to get this drive running again!

I'm going to keep tab on this post, because I'm desperate for a solution, so if anyone finds anything - please inform us!
Same here. Drive was hardly used. Kept in a cover within a box in the cupboard. Did backups every now and then. Mine also doesn't want to work with command promps or any other program. If it wasn't a 4TB I would seriously throw it against the wall. But it's too much money to just waste. Crossing fingers somewhere someone has a fix for this :)
 
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Ransome

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This is indicative of a hardware failure in the device. it could be the enclosure or the drive inside it.
Many times the drive inside is just a normal Sata drive with a USB interface board attached that can be installed into another enclosure or right into a desktop for recovery operations. Opening an enclosure voids your warranty.

If you don't feel the drive spinning, it clicks alot*, or there are no clicks at all are signs of a failure of the actual drive inside and repair may or may not be possible by the consumer.

*some Seagate drives are known to click exactly 7 times when they cannot read and then give up and stop, others will click continually trying to read.
It's not a big enclosure, it's a simple, smaller size WD My Passport external HD. There's no clicking or any strange noise as far as I can tell. The white light is flickering forever - but nothing is working - as explained above. And Exactly the same as ChantelléV reports.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
The smaller externals that are based on a laptop sized HDD may have a Sata drive within the enclosure or it may be purely USB.
If you google for the model# of the drive + disassembly or shucking then you might be able to see what you have without opening it up.

Not even 1 click or vibrating could mean it's blown the protection circuits, often TVS Diodes are used, and can be replaced or worked around. Or perhaps the power circuitry on the USB board, if it has one, has an issue and the drive itself is fine...
 

Ransome

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The smaller externals that are based on a laptop sized HDD may have a Sata drive within the enclosure or it may be purely USB.
If you google for the model# of the drive + disassembly or shucking then you might be able to see what you have without opening it up.

Not even 1 click or vibrating could mean it's blown the protection circuits, often TVS Diodes are used, and can be replaced or worked around. Or perhaps the power circuitry on the USB board, if it has one, has an issue and the drive itself is fine...
It never clicked before either when it was working properly.
Right now the white led is blinking rapidly forever. The drive is slightly vibrating but only noticeable if you hold it, and humming/purring gently.
This is the exact model I have:
https://www.amazon.com/White-Passport-Portable-External-Drive/dp/B07FK5T8SL/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=white+my+passport+1tb&qid=1572330671&s=electronics&sr=1-1

Only mine was bought 2+ years ago maybe. But was used very few times since.
 

Ransome

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Same here. Drive was hardly used. Kept in a cover within a box in the cupboard. Did backups every now and then. Mine also doesn't want to work with command promps or any other program. If it wasn't a 4TB I would seriously throw it against the wall. But it's too much money to just waste. Crossing fingers somewhere someone has a fix for this :)
Did you find any fix ? Or at least managed to access your data, perform any actions on it or get it running again?
I was hoping leaving it for a couple of days might miraculously help, but nope.
 
Oct 26, 2019
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Hey there!

I come from another thread where I am having the same issue.

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/wd-my-passport-ultra-stopped-working.3538793/#post-21382554

I can't say that I found a solution but I think i'm getting somewhere.

I left the drive plugged in overnight with chkdsk running. And I woke up to it recognised by the PC although still inaccessible, and chkdsk got stuck at stage 2. Also I got a message saying I need to format the drive befire I can use it.

I tried to take advantage of the drive being recognised and listed.
I used a software called Victoria to assess the S.M.A.R.T. status of the drive. And it appears that i have about 3008 pending sectors and a bunch of bad ones which I assume are causing the issue. (Btw, it's a 5 years old mechanical drive, not sure if age affects performance)

I then scanned the drive using Easeus data recovery. To my surprise my files are still there and the folder structure is in place too. However the scan also got stuck at some point. I left it running for about 5h and it didn't move a bit.

I tried recovering some of the data that it found and based on the graphs in task manager, it is transferring at around 30 kbps and maybe less! It took 9h to recover 300 mbs.

It would take a lifetime to recover everything!
It's such a piss off to know that my files are there but it's practically impossible to get them!

I think I'll be sending the drive to a recovery company to see if they can do anything that I can't!
 

Ransome

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Hey there!

I come from another thread where I am having the same issue.

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/wd-my-passport-ultra-stopped-working.3538793/#post-21382554

I can't say that I found a solution but I think i'm getting somewhere.

I left the drive plugged in overnight with chkdsk running. And I woke up to it recognised by the PC although still inaccessible, and chkdsk got stuck at stage 2. Also I got a message saying I need to format the drive befire I can use it.

I tried to take advantage of the drive being recognised and listed.
I used a software called Victoria to assess the S.M.A.R.T. status of the drive. And it appears that i have about 3008 pending sectors and a bunch of bad ones which I assume are causing the issue. (Btw, it's a 5 years old mechanical drive, not sure if age affects performance)

I then scanned the drive using Easeus data recovery. To my surprise my files are still there and the folder structure is in place too. However the scan also got stuck at some point. I left it running for about 5h and it didn't move a bit.

I tried recovering some of the data that it found and based on the graphs in task manager, it is transferring at around 30 kbps and maybe less! It took 9h to recover 300 mbs.

It would take a lifetime to recover everything!
It's such a piss off to know that my files are there but it's practically impossible to get them!

I think I'll be sending the drive to a recovery company to see if they can do anything that I can't!
I also got the message now that "you need to format the drive before you can use it" - but I cancelled it. Few days ago the drive got discovered by WD Life Guard software as "My Passport" and even passed the tests - but after a few minutes disappeared again. Couldn't recreate it since.
I wanted to add an image for others for reference - here's is what happens if I try to open Disk Management and File Explorer to see and access the drive normally:

The message E:\ is not accessible arrives after 5 or 10 minutes. The green bar goes on forever - slowing my system to a crawl if I try to use File Explorer (normal PC navigation). Disk Management remains blank. I can't run chkdsk or SFC commands - they won't even START to process - seemingly stuck at accepting the command. I can't even do: "e:" on CMD - it will think forever - and CMD gets stuck like this:
 
Reactions: J_akoury

Ransome

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Somehow managed to detect the drive in the ever-freezing/crashing WD Data Life Guard Diagnostic, ran an extended test, failed after around 15 minutes saying "Too many bad sectors detected":


Ran a Quick Test later and it passed after several minute.

Tried to run chkdsk on CMD and got after many minutes of waiting:
C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk e: /f /r
The type of the file system is RAW.
CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.
 
Reactions: J_akoury
Oct 26, 2019
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I'm not sure how to help with what you've described above but please keep us updated on what you do.

In my case all I've been doing is wait for the super extra slow recovery. And i think it got stuck now because there is no data transfer happening according to task manager.

I'll be sending the drive to a professional first thing tomorrow to see what they say
 

DSzymborski

Glorious
Moderator
Generally speaking, it's software solution like EaseUS or Recuva or a professional recovery service.

You can never eliminate these problems, which is why it's important to have backups. And a backup means multiple copies, not just a single copy stuffed on an external hard drive. The 321 rule is a good basic rule for the minimum protections to have for important data: at least 3 copies of everything important, on at least 2 different mediums, and at least off-site.
 

DSzymborski

Glorious
Moderator
Generally speaking, it's software solution like EaseUS or Recuva or a professional recovery service.

You can never eliminate these problems, which is why it's important to have backups. And a backup means multiple copies, not just a single copy stuffed on an external hard drive. The 321 rule is a good basic rule for the minimum protections to have for important data: at least 3 copies of everything important, on at least 2 different mediums, and at least 1 off-site.
 

Ransome

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I'm not sure how to help with what you've described above but please keep us updated on what you do.

In my case all I've been doing is wait for the super extra slow recovery. And i think it got stuck now because there is no data transfer happening according to task manager.

I'll be sending the drive to a professional first thing tomorrow to see what they say
Did you have any luck? What did they say happened to the drive? And have you found a way to recover data and/or fix the drive?


Same here. Drive was hardly used. Kept in a cover within a box in the cupboard. Did backups every now and then. Mine also doesn't want to work with command promps or any other program. If it wasn't a 4TB I would seriously throw it against the wall. But it's too much money to just waste. Crossing fingers somewhere someone has a fix for this :)
Hey, didn't hear from you for a while. Since you had the exact same issue as myself. Did you ever managed to recover the data ? And/or Fix the drive?
Any luck finding an alternative solution?
(I added some screenshot since then, check them out).
------------


I contacted WD and they basically replied me an email saying:
Please note that our warranty policy is limited only to the hardware and not the actual data stored on the drive. Thus, WD does not offer, nor cover the costs of any data recovery services.
Then they offered me some 3rd party recovery softwares:
Alternate 3rd Party Data Recovery Options
https://support-en.wd.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/18754

And some recovery companies (irrelevant since I'm not from the US):
Data Recovery Partners:
https://support.wdc.com/warranty/datarecovery.aspx?lang=en

And finally said I can contact Amazon and ask for replacement (or one of their official distributors -probably won't work for me since I bought from Amazon overseas).
I'll probably try to ask for a refund or something from Amazon.
 

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