My wife has a Western Digital My Passport Essentials USB 3.0 HDD (P/N: WDBACY5000ABL - 00) which has started to behave quite flaky lately. Particularly, it's registering as unformatted despite currently having (to my knowledge, but not showing in the OS) 40+ GB stored on it.
I've tried using a forensic data recovery tool to pull data from the drive, but very few files were actually found and none seem to have been recovered intact. I'm wondering if there might be some sort of hardware failure involved here.
I know that there are tools to perform hardware tests on SATA/IDE drives, but I'm also aware that many USB drives are hard-wired to the USB controller in their enclosure. Are there any utilities that can do diagnostics on these sorts of drives? I've tried checking WD's website, and haven't found any - though it's always possible I just haven't looked in the right places yet.