Why won’t my laptop detect my hard drive after I used it at work?

shameer ahmed November 15, 2012
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I used a Western Digital hard drive for the past year and a half. Its perfectly working, I used this HDD in my office’s common PC. From that day on my HDD has not been detected on my laptop or PC. I checked using another USB data cable which is also not working.

The light remains static, and doesn’t blink as if to indicate activity. While inserting the HDD into a PC or laptop the HDD vibration happens and then after 15 seconds it comes to peace with no vibration but the light will remain on. I dont know what the problem is, there is a lot of data on the HDD so i need to resolve this.

I checked my laptop has the WD driver installed and I’ve checked I’m updated to USB 3.0 – everything done on my side. While inserting HDD into laptop sound also not even coming. If anyone has any idea please share with me, I’m using a Dell XPS laptop.

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  1. Harry Barnes
    November 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    possibly the laptop isn't providing enough power for it anymore, so you should use the usb boost power cable that came in the box with it, and that will fix the problem(hopefully!)

    • shameer ahmed
      November 18, 2012 at 7:24 am

      My HDD type is Plug and play Only one usb cable No separate power cable.
      My passport model in WD brand.

      Thanks

  2. Drew Butler
    November 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

    ^ awesome and thorough advice guys. I need to get on here more often so everyone doesn't beat me to it LOL.. JK

  3. ha14
    November 15, 2012 at 10:10 am

    see if windows detect you hard drive
    Start > Run "cmd" launch with administrative rights
    type--> diskpart
    type--> list volume

    • shameer ahmed
      November 18, 2012 at 7:23 am

      Its does't detected any i checked its does;t showed ha14..!

      • ha14
        November 18, 2012 at 11:20 am

        if Bios do not detect hard drive then it is severe problem, perhaps mechanical.

        try on linux or mac to see any difference.

  4. Jan Fritsch
    November 15, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Did you properly "eject" the disk on the computer before that happened or did you just plug it out when the computer was running/shutdown?

    Some controllers allow the drive to go into a sleep mode and if they are not properly ejected the drive will remain in sleep state while the controller assumes it is "awake".

    One option I know of is to have the (actual) hard disk connected to power and then re-plug the data cable or vise versa. However, if this is a sealed enclosure this might not be possible.

    Although it's not the healthiest option [for the hard disk] you could try to plug and unplug the drive a few times in a short period.

    All under the assumption that there is no mechanical or logical defect of the drive or controller.

    • shameer ahmed
      November 18, 2012 at 7:22 am

      thanks Jan Fritsch..
      yes, I properly Ejected. any way i dould't do your techniq because my HDD type is WD My passport 1TB . no seprate Power cable available. its only one usb cable plug and play Method.
      Can u share me anoter idea Jan.
      Thanks in Advance ..

  5. Anonymous
    November 15, 2012 at 8:26 am

    After you plug the drive into the computer, does it show up in Device Manager? Is it displayed in an offline state? If so, just right-click on the block with the offline indication and select 'Online' from the context menu. If the disk wasn't put offline before it was removed (or the machine was not shutdown first), on-disk data structures may have been corrupted as all of the buffers may not have been flushed to disk. If that is the case, you may need to attempt data recovery procedures.

    • shameer ahmed
      November 18, 2012 at 7:19 am

      First Thanks for your Response Bruce Eppar..!
      I insert my HDD and checked into the device manger nothing detected.nothing happen not even a sound.

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