[SOLVED] WD My Passport Ultra not recognized by any computer

ZeroByter

Reputable
Apr 17, 2015
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The drive was working fine up until I copied some files to it, finished copying the files and accidentally dropped the drive from the top of my computer tower (the drive remained fully connected throughout the fall).

I then properly ejected the drive and tried connecting it to another computer.

While the drive is connected:
  • The drive's light turns on steadily without blinking at all (I'm guessing this means it's getting power, but failing to initialize)
  • It does not show up in explorer or Computer.
  • It does not show up in Disk Management either (at all, not even as a partition of any sort)
  • Trying to either shut down or startup any computer while the drive is connected causes the computer to hang forever.
I tried using Recuva as suggested in a pinned thread, but this doesn't work because I can't select the drive to recover from.

I also tried updating the drive's firmware with WD's Frimware Updater, but this doesn't work either because the program doesn't recognize that the drive is connected.
 

Fix_that_Glitch

Prominent
Mar 31, 2019
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Since it was connected during the fall have you checked the connection pins where the cable was? Also when you turn the drive upside down can you hear any pieces moving around? IF you really really need the data you will probably have to send it to a recovery center. If not you probably damaged something inside and will need to buy another.
 
Last edited:
dropped the drive from the top of my computer tower
Mechanical hard drives easily get damaged if dropped, especially if they are spinning when dropped. If the hdd inside is damaged, you will be looking at sending the drive in for professional data recovery, which is costly.
If lucky, it is possible (but unlikely) that the hdd isnt damaged but some other part of the backup drive (usb to sata internal board) is damaged.

Do you hear the drive spinning when plugged in? Make sure the cables are plugged in securely.
One way to tell if the disk is damaged is to try taking apart the drive and plugging the hard drive inside directly into a desktop via sata.
 

ZeroByter

Reputable
Apr 17, 2015
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Since it was connected during the fall have you checked the connection pins where the cable was? Also when you turn the drive upside down can you hear any pieces moving around? IF you really really need the data you will probably have to send it to a recovery center. If not you probably damaged something inside and will need to buy another.
Connection pins all look fine, also there is no problem when plugging in or out the cable.
I also don't hear any pieces moving around, which is kind of strange. I am tempted to open the hard drive and inspect it to see if there is something obviously broken.
 

ZeroByter

Reputable
Apr 17, 2015
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Mechanical hard drives easily get damaged if dropped, especially if they are spinning when dropped. If the hdd inside is damaged, you will be looking at sending the drive in for professional data recovery, which is costly.
If lucky, it is possible (but unlikely) that the hdd isnt damaged but some other part of the backup drive (usb to sata internal board) is damaged.

Do you hear the drive spinning when plugged in? Make sure the cables are plugged in securely.
One way to tell if the disk is damaged is to try taking apart the drive and plugging the hard drive inside directly into a desktop via sata.
I didn't even realize it's a mechanical hard drive since it's pretty small. When I connect it I do feel the driver vibrating a little, so I guess that's a yes to your question.

I'll trying opening it and see what I can do.
 

DSzymborski

Illustrious
Moderator
If you're opening up a hard drive, you're typically making the hard drive dead for good and significantly reducing the chances that anything can ever be recovered. Only do it if it's just for reasons of curiosity, not to repair it or recover the data. There's a reason that data recovery firms use clean rooms with highly specialized equipment.
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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If the drive was plugged-in and spun-up when it hit the table, the heads are trashed, and it's very likely that the platter(s) are damaged as well.

Pitch it and take it as a lesson on why hard drives should never be subjected to impacts.
 

ZeroByter

Reputable
Apr 17, 2015
15
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If you're opening up a hard drive, you're typically making the hard drive dead for good and significantly reducing the chances that anything can ever be recovered. Only do it if it's just for reasons of curiosity, not to repair it or recover the data. There's a reason that data recovery firms use clean rooms with highly specialized equipment.
No, I never would have thought of actually opening the hard drive itself.

I did end up opening the plastic casing of the HDD and I tried connecting the exposed pins on it with a SATA cable but that didn't work. Eventually I tried to connect the drive again with the regular cable and I shaked it a bit. Somehow, I managed to get the drive to appear on my computer and I checked that the data inside is actually there.

For the moment the drive appears to be working, but very slowly. It's definitely time to get a new replacement anyways since this drive is like 3-4 years old. Thanks for all the help everyone! I promise to never accidentally let a drive fall off a computer tower while copying files onto it :p
 
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