Storage forum: Please help! I cannot access my external drive.

by: Lee Koo (ADMIN) February 4, 2011 1:26 PM PST

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Please help! I cannot access my external drive.

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) ModeratorCNET staff - 2/4/11 1:26 PM

Question:

Please help! I cannot access my external drive.


Hi, I really need help with this problem! 18 months ago I bought a Western Digial external hard drive to run with my desktop computer and laptop, both run XP. At first both machines recognized the drive as soon as I would plug the USB in, although with a warning that it would run at lower performance because my USB ports were not 2.0 ports but that was okay. I wanted it to put all my music, photos, data files etc on, to save storage on my computers, so I would plug it in and when it would ask me what I wanted to do I just select 'view files and folders' (after I had saved all my music, photos, documents etc to it) or otherwise would transfer things onto it.

The past few months when I have plugged it in, my computers go through reading that there is a device, trying to open it, and I see the grey rectangular box with those green squares going left to right with words flying by on top of that, that are obviously the names of files on it being read, when it finishes doing that, the box asking me what I want to do comes up for only a second then collapses before I get to see it and select what I want to do then starts all over again.

But the worst problem is the past couple of weeks when it is attached it does an appearing then disappearing 'dance' from 'My Computer' where all the drives are listed, and when it appears, instead of showing me my files etc, it comes up with a message like 'disk is not formatted, do you want to format it now?'. The first time it asked me that I clicked on Yes but then it warned me that if I continued it would wipe all the data off the drive and did I want to continue, so of course I clicked NO! and when I click on No that box disappears but there is a smaller box directly underneath it that appears and says that the drive is not available or cannot be read. Every photo I have, all my music (not just CDs that I can reinstall but music from other people and the internet etc) as well as university assignments, documents, old emails and chats are on this WD external drive so any help to figure out how to get it to operate properly and let me access my stuff would be greatly and urgently appreciated. Also since Christmas I have bought a new Lenovo laptop running Windows 7 and when I plugged the external drive into it the computer recognised that there was a new device but again only came up with something saying it wasn't formatted and asked me if I wanted to format it, so again I said No. Please Help.

--Submitted by Virginia T.

Here are some member answers to get you started, but
please read all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this question.

Western Digital interface problem --Submitted by High Desert Charlie
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-7588_102-5076512.html

Here is what you need to do --Submitted by yasinghMD
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-7588_102-5076749.html

Recovering data from your hard drive --Submitted by snldavis
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-7588_102-5076468.html

Make sure you check the drive with another computer --Submitted by dsmeryage
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-7588_102-5076581.html

Thank you to all who contributed!

If any of you have any additional suggestion or advice for Virginia, please click on the reply link and submit away. Please be as detailed as possible when providing a solution. Thanks!

Note: This post was edited by forum moderator on 02/11/2011 on 3:24 PM PT

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