Question

External Harddrive Detection

So i have been using a 2 TB Western Digital Passport as an external hardrive for the last few years. Recently when I plug it into my computer, it does not allow itself to be read. To make it show up on my computer, the window have to be refreshed and it goes through a infinite index search mode. While the harddrive is plugged in, I have freezes in explorer.exe and all internet is down. Ping command from command prompt still works fine. When viewed in task manager, it shows the drive have 0mb formatted. Can someone tell me whats wrong with it?

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Answer
Password Protection and Hardware Encryption

It's possible the chip that performs the above has died. Just to be sure, reload the software it came with to windows and see if that's the problem. If the case and it's board has failed, some of those can have the drive pulled and read directly when hooked to the motherboard with a data and power cable, some can't, don't know about that one.

That comes in an "old" model and a newer one. If the case has failed, you might be able to insert in another Passport case of the same model and get the data off.

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Answer
about encryption
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IN the comments section of above link

msandersen Jan 6, 2014

WD drive encryption

"Which is precisely why a while back when I was looking into what kind of external drives to use for all my photos, I decided against WD. I needed to clear up space on my internal drive, and I was getting more into photography, so did some research. I decided against one common brand used a lot by professionals because there was some quality control issues with their transformers, which made me look into how easy it would be to recover the data if the controller or power brick died. A forum for data recoverers was very enlightening and somewhat frightening in regards to all WD drives, since they all have an encryption chip which encrypts everything whether you set a password or not. In other words, if something goes wrong but the hard drive is ok, your only chance of recovery is to source an identical replacement part and revive the drive, or put the drive into the exact same model case, since an older or newer controller won't be able to read the drive. I was able to confirm this when the controller of a friend's drive died, and ripping the controller from another WD drive of the same name (WD Essentials) didn't work because it had a newer controller and different encryption chip. So I had to buy a controller from eBay with the exact same part number. That worked, and their photos recovered. For all my backups, I use Seagates without any encryption, which means I can put the drive into any dock and read it, and not rely on being able to source a discontinued model drive controller from eBay.Of course these are desk drives, not portable drives which might be lost or stolen, nor do they have sensitive information on them. But it is worth knowing if your only copy of photos or data is on a WD external drive, make sure you backup that drive onto a second drive, because without a specific encryption chip, your data is toast. "

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I'm sure the moderators are nodding here.

"make sure you backup that drive onto a second drive, because without a specific encryption chip, your data is toast."

I'm not a fan of whole disk encryption. In my worlds this has lead to loss and suffering. It's already hard enough to do data recovery, this pretty much means that if you really want to lose it all, encrypt it as well.

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