I have a WD external drive (SATA, with a micro USB connection) with data. I have plugged it in and it doesn't work, meaning that no disk is recognised by the OS, and I can't see it with diskpart or any other Windows tool. Likewise, VMware doesn't detect it either to pass it to a VM.

I have removed the case to see the actual drive:


As it can be seen, the drive receives energy, and it can be heard that it is rotating -including some low (reading?) noises.

What can I do, either in Windows or Linux, to access the contents of the drive?

What next "testing" steps should I try?

  • Have you tried swapping out the data cable or testing the data cable on another device? Aug 17, 2020 at 18:12
  • I don't think this is a SATA drive. Can you confirm there is no SATA interface exposed? If there is, the answer would be to bypass the SATA to USB bridge. Are you trying to do data recovery (and decided not to use a recovery company)?
    – davidgo
    Aug 17, 2020 at 20:32
  • Googling some more, I've discovered the probleexposed pins won't help. There is a YouTube video at m.youtube.com/watch?v=xlqgujAj6ok which shows someone replacing the USB interface. It is conceivable this (risky) procedure could help as it seems the outer pins providing power are OK, but maybe one if the inner pins is broken. Definitely try another cable first though! (And I'm fairly sure this is not a SATA drive now)
    – davidgo
    Aug 17, 2020 at 20:44
  • m.youtube.com/watch?v=L_LVrQ20Geg is an annoying video but shows some likely issues - specifically if the USB fix does not work (but it could well - its a commonish problem apparently), if you are expert at soldering you can convert the drive to a SATA drive, but the contents will be encrypted :(
    – davidgo
    Aug 17, 2020 at 20:53
  • Kalamalka Kid - Yes, I tried different cables (some even gave me a Windows message "not enough energy") and the most I got was what I described. I tried in two different computers too Aug 17, 2020 at 23:11


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