If it's only a few months old, it's probably still under warranty. The only way to determine if it's the drive or the external case is to remove the drive and put it into a desktop and run WD's diagnostic software. Of course, doing so will void the warranty. I guess you'll have to setermine if the files are worth the cost of the drive.
Have you tried replacing the connecting cable? Always try the easiest and least expensive first.
Two months ago I bought a 500 gig Western Digital My Book Home Edition external hard drive. I had been using it successfully with my Mac PowerBook G4 laptop (running with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard) until this morning. I had unplugged the hard drive from my laptop while I went to school on Friday (I'm a teacher), which I've done many times, but when I plugged the external hard drive back into the laptop this morning my laptop would not recognize the hard drive. I've tried restarting several times with no luck. I think that the external hard drive is getting power - it's making a whirring noise, like it does when it's working normally - but the light on the front of the external hard drive will not light up, and my laptop does not recognize it (not even in disk utility). I've tried the external hard drive with another computer and it also did not recognize it, which makes me think it's a problem with the external hard drive and not the laptop. My fear is that the hard drive is dead, since no computer will recognize it even though it seems to be getting power. Is there any way that I can find out if this is indeed the problem? If this is indeed the problem, is there a way that I can still recover the files from the external hard drive?
Any ideas? Thank you so much for any help!