Why has my friend’s 3TB Western Digital drive stopped working?

Morné V August 2, 2013

My friend have a 3TB WD harddrive. According to her it just suddenly stopped working. I plugged it into my laptop and installed the necessary drivers. It shows up in my devices but not in my computer. If i go to disk manager it says something about it can’t be initialized.

  1. Oron J
    August 3, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Try the links provided by Hovsep as they are an excellent starting point. The other things to try are:
    - Try the same drive on a different computer, on various ports. Does it work? If it does, the problem is probably with the PC or power. If not, it's with the drive.

    PC or Power:
    On USB-powered drives (i.e. ones that don't have a separate power adapter), a common problem is that they require just a little too much power for the USB socket (and yes, this can change over time, so can occur on a working system). This can be a problem at the drive end (high power consumption) or on the PC (USB port is underpowered). Either way, you can usually get around it by a) using a different USB socket or b) using an external power supply or a "Y lead" which will draw power from 2 USB ports (easy to get these on eBay).

    Faulty drive:
    Sometimes, the problem is simply a loose connection within the enclosure. Open the hard drive and re-seat all the cables, and try again!
    It's also possible that the hard disc has suffered minor damage (either a bad sector in a critical place or, say, damage to the filing system caused by software). In this case, you may be able to repartition it and reformat it.
    Finally, it's possible that the hardware of the drive itself is damaged, in which case there's nothing you can do to fix it. If there's valuable data on the disc, you may be able to get it recovered through a data-recovery service, but this is a _very_ expensive operation. Let's hope this is not the case!

  2. Justin Pot
    August 3, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Sometimes drives simply die, and this sounds like what happened here. A 3TB drive is likely to die quickly. Is there any data that needs recovery? Because if you can't see the drive, this might be a job for exports.