Western Digital Elements external hard drive is inaccessible?!

By robertblack11 ·
I have a problem and am wondering if anyone could give me some advice or suggestions. I recently bought a new Western Digital Elements external hard drive for more storage space and it has worked brilliantly. However, yesterday it became quite hot (so I unplugged it as it doesn't have a power on/off switch) and now upon reconnecting it I am unable to access my files. I run Windows XP and it notifies me that I connected a new device, and identifies it as a WD hard drive. However when I look in My Computer or Computer Management it is nowhere to be seen!
Is this just a driver problem (hopefully) or is it something more drastic (corrupt/damaged hard drive)?
Does anyone have any advice or suggestions?

Many thanks

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All Answers

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If you didn't use the Safely Remove Option

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Western Digital Elements ...

It's likely that the HDD has been corrupted. You can look in Computer Management to see if the WD Drive is listed there. That is My Computer right click, then Proprieties Hardware, Device Manager and then Disc Drives.

If it's there you will need some form of Data Recovery Software to Rebuild your Partition Table on this HDD.

Spin Rite is probably the most useful and is available here


while there are others I'm not sure how the majority of them work but a full list of the more popular ones is here















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Not listed in Computer Management :S

by robertblack11 In reply to If you didn't use the Saf ...

Thanks for replying to my post Col. Unfortunately it is not appearing in my Computer Management disc drives list. Strangely enough though it does appear in my device manager under disk drives. I'm inclined to believe that it is pretty much wrecked...but the mystery of it still being detected eludes me. I will look into the data recovery software you suggested (again thanks) and see if that can provide some answers; would you have any other suggestions?

Many thanks,

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OK the Drive is OK but the Partition Information has been trashed

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Not listed in Computer Ma ...

Depending if you need to recover the data you could just format and use or you will need something to rebuild the Partition Information with. I would recommend the On Track Product as it's brilliant but it's also the most expensive however the Spin Rite will do a similar thing and while I personally haven't used it many others here have & swear by it.

I hope that is of some help.


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Thanks that sounds like good news

by robertblack11 In reply to OK the Drive is OK but th ...

But how do I go about reformatting something which I can't locate on my computer? Is there another way to format a drive apart from right clicking and selecting the format option in My Computer?

Once again thanks for all of your help.


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RE Formatting a HDD

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Thanks that sounds like g ...

Open Computer Management by opening Control Panel then Administrative Tools then Computer Management, then Drive Management. Right Click on the drive there and chose the format option.


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Thanks but what if...

by robertblack11 In reply to RE Formatting a HDD

I can't see my external hard drive on the disk management tab but only on the device manager tab under 'disks'?

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Elements hard drive problem

by LogueLand In reply to Western Digital Elements ...

I have the same problem, it got hot now I can't retreive anything from drive, for a split second it sounds like it is trying to connect then nothing.I have stored stuff on the hard drive I need to retreive or it's lost for good. Have you solved it? (Or have any idea who to contact?)

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Drive Collision?

by Kenone In reply to Western Digital Elements ...

Do you have mapped drives?
What is the first available drive letter?
If you have mapped drives try unmapping the first mapped drive (lowest letter). If your drive magically appears it's a collision problem. You have to e-mail MS for the fix.

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the same happen to me

by al2728mj In reply to Western Digital Elements ...

The same happened to me... i just transfer some of my files from elements and then when i safely remove.. when i returned the hard drive cant be seen already...

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WD Elements external HD won't work with me either

by Sunflowers159 In reply to Western Digital Elements ...

I bought a 1 terabyte WD Elements external HD three weeks ago but I've been too busy with other things to use it till now. Today I connected it up, found the files I wanted to copy over from my PC and started the copying process. I got a popup message saying "started copying" - then nothing. Nada, zilch, nuffink. Just a popup message saying "Error: Cannot copy file". I can't even get as far as the other posters here. At least most of you got SOMETHING copied over before your drives locked up. I can't even examine the few files which are already on the drive because another popup message says "access denied". Help me - please!

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