We don't install or learn Linux as I noted long ago at http://tips.oncomputers.info/archives2004/0401/2004-Jan-11.htm
I use that as Windows may not understand the old file system.
Did you see if the device showed in Device Manager?
If this is a desktop PC, did you use the rear USB ports?
Does the WD drive sound like it spins up and keeps spinning?
I have an old (2006?) WD My Book essential edition 500 GB with a USB 2.0 that I want to hook up to my PC (desktop with XP) as a backup. It has not been used as far as I know. When I hooked up the cable to my PC USB slot, it was not recognized at all. Both of the power lights are lit on the My Book and I plugged it directly into a wall outlet used multiple cables to be certain I had a good one. The WD website was not helpful. Their diagnostic software would not tell me anything. Too many lawyers I guess.
Is there a reliable tool I can use to determine if it is good?