Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My WD Elements Desktop External is no longer recognized on my main computer.

It has worked fine in the past, but now all of a sudden is not detected. It does not prompt when plugged in, nor does it show up in the disc management interface or the device manager. It appears to be aware that it is plugged in however as the light on the external blinks rapidly for a short while after being plugged in.

The strangest thing however is that it works fine on other computers, including my family computers and my laptop.

I have attempted to troubleshoot the issue by trying various USB devices in multiple ports on each system to see if there is any correlation with the issue, but have come up with nothing that gives me an idea of what is going on.

I have also attempted to format the external using my laptop, but that has not helped either.

share|improve this question

Check if it is detected in bios. If yes, then go to device manager right click on entry corresponding to your external and uninstall. After that reboot and see if it is getting listed.

share|improve this answer
Under what area would I be looking for the external? My bios doesn't seem to have a section for individual USB drives. – Aelexe Jul 4 '12 at 6:09
It will be under either boot device priority or hard disk drives. There is another shortcut method, bring in the boot device selection menu. Most probably f11 f10 or f12. In it all devices will be listed. – ichathan Jul 4 '12 at 6:14
Boot device selection offers my internal harddrive, CD drive and removable drive as options. I believe removable drive is always displayed regardless of having one plugged in though, and it does not offer more information – Aelexe Jul 4 '12 at 6:17
Ok. In some Motherboards, Device is also shown, That is why i asked. Any way try deleting external HD from device manager and reboot. – ichathan Jul 4 '12 at 6:27
On my laptop the external is displayed under disc drives as WD Ext HDD 1021 USB Device, with USB Mass Storage Device appearing under USB Controllers. Neither of these two appear when plugged into my computer, so I am unable to delete it. – Aelexe Jul 4 '12 at 6:34

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.