I just purchased a Western Digital Essential SE 1TB external hard drive from Best Buy at their recommendation. I then exchanged it for a Toshiba Canvio (I think that was the name).

I have a Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q898. The Canvio locked up my computer and rewrote some kind of OS file, and erased all the restore points as well as the system image backup (according to Best Buy) just by plugging it in for the first time. Never even got to the install part or anything -- plugged it in and fried my computer.

They spent about an hour and a half on my computer and got it back to a somewhat working condition and gave me access to my files. So now they say I have to back it up using my recovery disk and rewriting my OS.

Enter the Essential. Brought it home last night, plugged it in and installed everything. Works perfect, no problems. Backed up everything on it. I unplugged and plugged it twice to make sure that everything was on it. Essential told me it had both the HDD and SSD backed up.

So I reinstalled my OS. Plugged the Essential in and everything loads right up. Went to retrieve my files and the Western Digital has nothing on it. It shows all my music, pics, ETC. as still being on my computer and needing to be backed up, but since there are no files on my computer now. Where is this information coming from and where did my files go? It's about 810GB worth of files I've amassed over several years.

Is there any way to recover data from this? I plan to contact Western Digital and Best Buy, just thought I would check here too. Any advice will be appreciated as a lot of these files are invaluable to me.

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    After the software said it had successfully backed everything up, did you actually check the files on the drive to see if that was correct? Depending on what software you used, there may have been a single huge file containing all your backed up files, or it could have simply copied all the files to the HDD individually. Oct 12, 2011 at 14:42
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    @jmreicha I've rolled it back to my edit because most of the typo/grammatical errors were fixed in that, hope you don't mind :)
    – Jin
    Oct 12, 2011 at 14:59
  • @Jin no worries :P
    – jmreicha
    Oct 12, 2011 at 15:07
  • If you plug in the WD and then use Explorer to access the WD removable drive, what is on it? Ignoring what the backup software says, what is actually on the drive - particularly look for files with dates corresponding to when you backed up.
    – Paul
    Oct 12, 2011 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


Whenever you have backed files up and absolutely know they are there but can't see them, do this:

Open Control Panel, choose Folder Options, click View tab.

  • Check "Show hidden files and folders".

  • Uncheck "Hide empty drives in computer folder"

  • Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types"

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