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When I plug in this external harddisk It is not getting shown in the My Computer. But it gets shown perfectly well in the Device Manager

When I go into the Computer Administrative panel and into the disk manager it asks me to initialize the disk

Now when I try to initialize it, regardless of the method I try it shows me an error "Incorrect Function"

As you can see windows tells me it is working properly.

Is there anyway I can retrieve data from this?/access it? I have googled and it seems to be a frequent problem with WD drives. Anyone has any solutions on how I can get the data back?

EDIT: I did try to access the drive in Ubuntu and what I get there in the disk utility is as you can see below.

Disk Utility Screenshot

AND I can assure you it is a 500GB harddisk, not 2TB as reported by the disk manager :|

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If all else fails remove the hard drive from the enclosure and use another adapter/enclosure to access the data. The enclosure could be bad, but the drive is fine. –  Moab Jun 10 '12 at 14:48
    
@Moab I did try it. You can see it's present state here plus.google.com/photos/111981908320614420482/albums/… Any suggestions on what more can be done? –  Rabimba Karanjai Jun 14 '12 at 4:50
    
Hey, did you find a solution to this? I've got the exact same problem. –  Urban Dec 21 '12 at 17:50
    
Nyah.....No solution found till now....I still have the harddrive with the same problem –  Rabimba Karanjai Dec 24 '12 at 6:22

2 Answers 2

Since there is no size given in the disk management tool and the drive model is missing in the device manager, I guess that only the USB to (S)ATA bridge is detected here. This would also explain why there is no partition table found and you cannot create one (which would be a bad idea if there is data on that disk you want to recover). "The device is working properly." just means there is no driver problem and windows could get a identifying response from the drive.

Fist you should see if the disk spins up correctly. Unplug the drive, listen closely in a silent environment and/or put your hand on it. Now plug it in again. You should hear/feel the platters spinning up followed by continuous nosie/vibration of the spindle motor. If this does not happen or there are continuous spin-up attempts, there might be a problem with the power contacts in the USB jack. I once had a Passport disk with a similar problem, where the voltage drop was not big enough to prevent the spin-up but high enoug to cause read errors. Opening the case, cleaning the contacts and tightening the worn out jack fixed the problem. If you just want to access the data on the disk, you could also simply connect the bare disk directly to your computer.

If the disk spins up correctly, there might be another problem. To narrow it down, try with another, preferably short USB cable and/or on another computer. If it persists, opening the case and attaching the disk directly would be a good option again.

Opening the case was quite tricky in my case. Took me a while to find out that I had to pull the middle of the short edges apart quite far and then slide off the board like u shaped part. I however don't know if there has been only one type of enclosure over the years.

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I already did all those.The disk is spinning all right, and can't notice any abnormal sounds so can't say of the spinning is hit or not. Also I changed the cable with another of my Seagate one but still no luck. Also I have already disassembled the drive (yeah it was tricky). You can see it here plus.google.com/photos/111981908320614420482/albums/… Anymore suggestions on what should be done? –  Rabimba Karanjai Jun 10 '12 at 11:38
    
If the USB jack lost its tightness you should bend the latches towards the inside of the jack. This helped in my case. You also might want to check the resistance of every wire from the USB plug that would go into your computer to the traces on the PCB using a multimeter. There also might be a broken solder joint between jack and PCB. –  Gurken Papst Jun 10 '12 at 12:27
    
You could also try to connect it to a SATA interface using the way from Journeyman Geek's link. I however would use wires as short as possible as at high data rates (and thus frequencies) long wires would require correct impedance matching. –  Gurken Papst Jun 10 '12 at 12:35

You might want to try accessing the drive with a linux livecd - some kinds of NTFS corruption seem to render the windows NTFS driver unable to read the drive, but NTFS3g can read it with no extra effort. You can also try testdisk to try to recover the partition. Just mount, copy out data, reformat, and shove the data back in.

I would also note there's no real usable sata interface in there and you can't use the drive outside its case so that's out.

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Testdisk that what I like now. –  avirk Jun 10 '12 at 10:16
    
At least my Western Digital Passport had a normal SATA HDD inside which is perfectly "usable" on native SATA controllers. I have never seen any disks with a native USB interface and I also doubt there are any. I also doubt TestDisk will be of any use here, since the disk is not detected by the system, not even the capacity is shown and TestDisk requires working hardware. The same goes for a Linux live CD, however it would be interesting if the drive is not detected there also. –  Gurken Papst Jun 10 '12 at 10:34
    
datarecoverytools.co.uk/2010/05/05/… here's an example. The newer models are here. I've actually done recoveries in this very same situation with a linux live cd - usually when i fire up a linux box for the cool toys. –  Journeyman Geek Jun 10 '12 at 10:41
    
@Journeyman Geek I did try to access the drive using linux. see my edit. And what it shows is plain weird. I've just installed the testdisk in the linuxbox. lets see if it can do anything. –  Rabimba Karanjai Jun 10 '12 at 11:34
    
@JourneymanGeek: Thanks for the link, this was new to me. I am still surprised that it must be more economic to build specific PCBs for external drives than to attach a separate small PCB for the bridge to an unified drive PCB. –  Gurken Papst Jun 10 '12 at 12:17

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