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Western Digital MyBook 160gb External USB Hard Drive

by Concrete1943 / June 15, 2006 11:32 AM PDT

I recently purchased the MyBook 160gb hard drive about a month and a half ago. A week ago, it stopped turning on. The button doesn't work, and I've tried all different kinds of USB/power combos, but still no luck. The weird thing is the way the hard drive died: it stopped working, but I left it unplugged for a bit and plugged it back in and it started. It then died about ten minutes after that, so I'm assuming it is a power connection problem or a loose connection of some kind somewhere.

I've contacted WD and they've given up and just told me to get a new one (replaced by them of course). I really don't want to do this as the data that is saved on the hard drive would be a real pain to find again.

My idea is to void the warranty, break open the case, and plug the hard drive into a PC internally. But before I go breaking into my now defunct hard drive, I wanted to find out if this is even possible. Any advice?

Thanks in advance,


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Two options
by VAPCMD / June 15, 2006 12:03 PM PDT

If you're not concerned about the warranty, pull the drive and attach it 'power only' to your PC. If it spins up...

1. You can jumper it and connect is as a secondary internal drive. This ensures the drive is OK before you go to option 2.

2. If the drive spins up, you could purchase and install the drive in another external USB HDD enclosure. No point in doing this if the HDD doesn't even spin up.

Good Luck


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More Questions
by Concrete1943 / June 15, 2006 12:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Two options

Thanks for the advice. So you're saying that there is an IDE connector on the hard drive inside the enclosure? I don't really know a lot about external hard drives; do they have IDE to USB adapters and a standard power supply input inside the case?

Also, if it doesn't spin up, am I correct in assuming that I'm SOL with both the warranty and my data?


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Yes it is just a standard IDE harddrive in there.
by Art / June 15, 2006 4:28 PM PDT
In reply to: More Questions

Have you talk with the WD people to see if you can take the harddrive out of the case to determine if the problem is in the case or the harddrive without voiding the warranty?

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99% chance it's a standard IDE hard drive in the enclosure.
by VAPCMD / June 16, 2006 2:19 PM PDT
In reply to: More Questions

and if it's not spinning ... you're SOL unless you want to pay MEGABUCKS for someone to get the data off.

But by all means ...check with the drive mfg to see if they'll honor the warranty if you pull the hard drive out of the enclosure. If they do and the drive's working ...maybe you can get the data off and the drive replaced.

Here's hoping!


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No Luck

Well I checked on the WD site and unfortunately, opening the case and removing the hard drive is grounds for voiding the warranty. I guess I have a pretty tough decision to make.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

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To Void or Not To Void
by ericwolf / June 15, 2006 9:35 PM PDT

The first thing i did with my MyBook was to void the warranty and open it up.
The drive is a normal WD IDE drive in a cute USB case. It's really difficult to get to the drive with the metal screen inner case. If you believe the data is worth chucking the warranty, go for it and remove the small screw under the black sticker on the side. There are a pair of locking tabs that have to be pressed through the vents in the ''pages'' of the book to slide the outer case off the inner case.
From there on it is just a matter of needing inhumanly small hands and elvish tools to get the drive out. The default format is FAT32 and will work as a internal drive easly. Of course the drive will fit into other USB cases. After all that you might find that the drive is shot and you have just blown the chance of getting WD to buy you another one.

Have you tried a different power supply to make sure that it isn't a bad transformer?

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Different Power Supply
by Concrete1943 / June 15, 2006 10:03 PM PDT
In reply to: To Void or Not To Void

First off, thanks for the detailed instructions.

When it first started going haywire, I thought it was a power problem because it would start up and then die. So I purchased a new power cord/supply from WD, but it still didn't work.

I just wish I knew if it was a power connection problem or if the hard drive just died.

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No way of knowing?
by Concrete1943 / June 16, 2006 10:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Different Power Supply

Sorry to keep bringing this up, but I just want to know for sure all of my options before I go and possibly blow $100.

There is no way of knowing if it is a loose connection or if the hard drive itself is shot, right? The way that the drive started up and then stopped itself after a few minutes kind of makes me think the drive itself is dying (and now is dead), but I'm not positive.

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