Monday, 7 December 2015

External Hard Drive

Hey Colleagues,

Compliments of the season;

Have you ever had an issue with Western Digital External HDD being recognized on your PC, but not opening?

One of our clients reported that when she inserted her HDD into the USB port of her computer, it shows the drive letter e.g. (f) but when she clicks the tab, it never opens. She assumed that as an I.T. technician; I would be able to resolve this issue in no time.

I said to her “no problem,” I can help you out. Initially, I thought the device needed Anti-Virus scan or format. I connected the drive to my pc and scanned it for viruses. When I tried to open it again, the same problem occurred.

Next, I “right” clicked on the drive and selected ‘format’. This too did not work. Instead, I received an error message stating that windows, was unable to complete the formatting.

My last option was to format using Microsoft command prompt or dos command and by doing this, you need to follow a few steps:
  • Click on "Start" menu
  • Type "CMD" and run as administrator
  • Dos command opens
  • Type "disk part" and press enter
  • Type "list volume" to select the drive letter you want to format and press "enter"
  • Select volume number that matches the drive letter and press "enter"
  • Type “clean” and press "enter"

After doing all of this it says ‘’diskpart succeeded in cleaning the disk’’. I was assured that the HDD was okay and didn’t bother to open it again and started working on other things.

The next morning I inserted it into my PC and transferred some docs on it for testing it worked well. The External HDD was safely ejected, but when it came time to begin the transfer process, the drive fell right back into its previous status.

I was discouraged, after spending days trying to resolve the issue only to find that my solution had failed. I had all most given up and I shrunk at the thought of informing the owner that the drive was faulty and could not be repaired.

That night, I decided to read the back of it of the external drive, just out of curiosity. There was nothing extra shown on how to go about fixing the problem, however, I did find the company website: and the amount of space on the drive. It was 1TB.

So I explored the website when I got back to my office the next morning. While doing so I discovered that the WD HDD has a firmware which needed to be updated.

I downloaded the firmware software ( installed it on my PC. When I launched the software I immediately received a message stating that the drive was missing.

Finally, I was getting somewhere. Next, I inserted the WD HDD into the USB port of my PC, it was quickly detected and started to perform its task. Within 15 minutes, the firmware software update was complete.

I closed the launcher, reopened the HDD, and everything started to perform normally. If only I had had this idea sooner, I wouldn’t have formatted the drive, losing all of its stored data in the process. In the end it all worked out and it was a great learning experience. A wise man once said: “you never try, you never know”. When it comes to I.T., I know that nothing is impossible. The answer is always out there, it just needs to be found.

I felt relieved and now I am confident in my abilities. The most important lesson I learned from this experience is that the process of learning is based on everyday basics.

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