How To forum


Help retriving files from WD My Book Essential

by Sudsy 1 / February 19, 2012 12:06 PM PST

I have used My Book Essential external Hard Drive for backing up my music files and family photos. It was working fine until it fell from the desk it was on (about 20 inches or so) and now when I try to use it the power light doesn't come on so my computer isn't recognizing it. I have ruled out the power cords and USB port as the problems. I more concerned with getting my music and photos back. Any ideas? Help?

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All Answers

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Most of the Do It Yourself ideas are at
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 19, 2012 12:10 PM PST
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Re: drive
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 19, 2012 7:23 PM PST

If, as you write, you used that drive to backup your music and photos, you lost a backup. So the first thing to do is to buy another drive and make a new backup. The essence of a backup is that you still have the originals.

If the old drive doesn't function in a new enclosure, just throw it away.. Much cheaper than recovery.


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retriving files
by Sudsy 1 / February 20, 2012 6:49 AM PST
In reply to: Re: drive

I have an extra external drive (My Book Essential same as the broken one) How can I transfer from the old to the new. The power isn't coming on and my computer obviously can't recognize the old one. So I need to take the old drive out of the case and hook it up as an internal drive? Then transfer the files, or can I go from one drive to the other? Thanks guys for you help. I certainly appreciate it.

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The suggestion is that you take both drives out
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 20, 2012 8:48 AM PST
In reply to: retriving files

of their enclosures and put the old drive into the new enclosure.

<div>Alternatively, you purchase an external enclosure for the drive.

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Computer Type
by Sudsy 1 / February 21, 2012 4:56 AM PST

I have a Dell XPS/Dimension XPS Gen 5. I do have an extra slot to mount another hard drive. So I should take out the old drive (from it;s enclosure) and install it into the extra computer slot and if all of my files are there I'm good to go. I then could use the new external drive to back every thing up. If after mounting the old drive into my computer and it doesn't recgonize it then I have lost all of my files. I just want to make sure I'm, doing this right. Thanks for the help.

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that's about the long and short of it
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 21, 2012 7:51 AM PST
In reply to: Computer Type

Good Luck

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Mounting the hard drive
by Sudsy 1 / February 22, 2012 2:26 AM PST

One last question before I attempt installing the drive. I went on Dell's website and looked at the manual. Here are the instructions.
Adding a Second Hard Drive
Remove the first hard drive from the upper bay and install it in the lower bay:

Disconnect the power and the hard-drive cables from the back of the first hard drive.

Press in the two rail tabs and pull the first hard drive out of the upper bay.

Gently slide the first hard drive into the lower bay until you hear a click.

Reconnect the power and hard-drive cables to the back of the first hard drive.

Gently slide the new hard drive into the upper bay until you hear a click.

Do I really have to remove the original HD? Why can't I just put it into the lower bay?

I really want to make sure I'm doing this correctly, I have over 8000 songs and all of my digital family photos on the failed drive.

Thanks again for helping this novice out.

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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 22, 2012 8:57 AM PST

Is the drive that is currently in the tower connected via a Blue, narrow, cable or a gray, wide, cable?

Does the drive that is waiting for a new home, have a connector on the back that has about 24 pins in it?

If the answers to the above are, Blue, narrow, cable and Yes, then the old drive will probably not fit into your Dell.

The narrow cable would indicate a SATA drive while the wide cable would indicate an IDE drive. Newer Dells do not have the ability to have both installed at once.

If that is the case, then a new external enclosure would be required


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Hard drive type
by Sudsy 1 / February 22, 2012 2:37 PM PST
In reply to: Hmmm,

The Dell that I have is an XPS Gen 5 purchased in 2005. Here is some info on the HD from the manual

Externally accessible:
one 3.5-inch drive bays
three 5.25-inch drive bays

Available devices
Serial ATA drive, floppy drive, memory devices, CD drive, CD-RW drive, DVD drive, DVD-RW drive, and DVD and CD-RW combo drive

Internally accessible:
three bays for 1-inch high hard drives

I know that the HD is SATA drive but it looks like the CD/DVD combo is an IDE drive (thick blue ribbon). Does this make any sense to you? Again, I appreciate your input, I am anxious to get back my info if possible.

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On the CD/DVD drive,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 22, 2012 8:58 PM PST
In reply to: Hard drive type

is there another connector, other than the one going to the optical drive?

If so, then you may be able to utilize it for the old HD


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computer connections
by Sudsy 1 / February 23, 2012 4:54 AM PST
In reply to: On the CD/DVD drive,

I can see a couple of connectors. There are two (orange, black,red and yellow) Looks like 17 or 18 pin and has HDD1 and the other HDD2 and also a white 5 pin connector(power????)

I'm thinking that the HD I'm trying to save can be connected to these pins, and if the drive isn't damaged it will show up as a new drive in My Computer. Does this sound about right? I do see the extra bays to mount the drive into.

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The Four pin connector will be power
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 23, 2012 7:51 AM PST
In reply to: computer connections

and the HDD1 and HDD2 speak for themselves.

Connect the old drive to the spare connector on the ribbon cable after making sure that you have changed the jumpers on the drive to Cable Select.
Connect the power.
Boot up and go into the BIOS. Press F12 for Boot Options and select setup or Bios or configuration. (words to that effect)
Make sure you can see the just installed drive.

Once booted, the drive "should" appear as a new letter in My Computer.

If it doesn't, take a look at Manage. Right Click My Computer and select it.
Disk Management should show the drive.


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Update on Hard Drive failure
by Sudsy 1 / February 26, 2012 5:41 AM PST

Instead of installing the old hard drive into the computer I borrowed a friends docking station. When I plug it in to the computer it doesn't recognize it as a physical drive. I go into My Computer,Admin Tools,Computer Management then under Storage I went into Disk Management the top portion says the the C drive status is healthy. On the second part of the the screen the C drive shows up as Disk 0. Under Disk 1 the old hard drive out of the My Book Essential shows up as 931.51GB unallocated. If I right click on it it shows under the General Tab as a USB device and that it is working properly.

Could it be that the MBR is missing? Is there still hope for retrieving my lost files?

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Can't reply to Sudsy!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2012 6:26 AM PST

But the MBR is not required to be spot on since we are NOT BOOTING from said media. Well, at least I didn't find that information in the discussion so far.

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Any Suggestions
by Sudsy 1 / February 26, 2012 8:26 AM PST
In reply to: Can't reply to Sudsy!

No, the media was used for extra storage. My computers C Drive is working fine (that's the drive that it boots from.). I just can't access what's on the old external drive which used to show up as a G Drive. Is there anyway to salvage the contents on the old drive? As I mentioned in an earlier post I have a lot of MP3's and family photos that I would hate to lose.

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Sorry but I replied about at the top.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2012 8:42 AM PST
In reply to: Any Suggestions

A quick scan of the discussion does not find where you tried titles from the link given.

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Recap of computer problem
by Sudsy 1 / February 27, 2012 3:22 AM PST

First thanks to all that have taken the time to try and help me getting this problem fixed. A quick recap of what happened what I tried and where I'm at with this "headache"

I purchased a WD My Book Essential 1TB external drive. I "moved" a lot of MP3 files and numerous family photo's and videos to the external drive to clear up space on my C Drive. All was working fine until the external drive was dropped. When I plugged it back in it wouldn't power up. I tried different UBS ports, chords and finally tried it on another computer and it would not power up. I was able to borrow a friends docking station and after extracting the HD from the plastic case popped it into the HDD1 slot of the docking station. You can hear it running (no screeching or abnormal noises) but it didn't seem to read the disk. It doesn't show up as a physical drive under My Computer. I went to Computer Management and under Storage clicked on Disk Management . On the right side of the screen it shows the C Drive and say that it is "healthy" That's the only drive that shows up on the upper part of the screen. On the second half of the screen the old external drive shows up under Disk 1 and show 931.51GB unallocated. Under properties the drive does show up and it says that the device is working properly. That's the long and short of it, it seems like the info is still on the drive but how do I get it back? Any ideas? Thanks again for all the help that has been offered.

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Recap of my rplies.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 27, 2012 3:25 AM PST
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by Sudsy 1 / February 29, 2012 1:18 AM PST
In reply to: Recap of my rplies.

I downloaded and and ran PC Inspector file recovery program and it found 14 JPEGs, I then tried File Scavenger program and it also found 14 JPEGs. even though I did a Deep Scan. None of the mp3 files were found and the sensitive banking info stored on the drive also seem to be missing. I've just about given up hope on this. I really can't afford nor do I want to send the drive out to a company to retrieve the info on the drive. I am not very comfortable in turning over a HD with my banking and backup Tax Returns on it. I have hard copies of my Tax Returns and backup of my personal banking records so that's not the issue. I just don't want that info to be compromised. I am sick that I am losing the precious family photos and the 8000+ mp3 that I have no back up for. Unless there is another option available I may have to chalk this up to a valuable lesson learned about making sure I backup my data more securely and do it every day. I am open to any other suggestions and want to thank P and Bob for being so helpful.

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(NT) Next stop? Drivesavers.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 29, 2012 5:24 AM PST
In reply to: Update
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Drive Savers makes their money and
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 29, 2012 9:09 AM PST
In reply to: Update

stake their reputation on their ability to recover data and to keep that data secure until they hand it back to you.

They are a team of highly respected, trustworthy and professional people who know that one whiff of scandal would end their business in no time.

Their only concern with the contents of your drive is whether they can recover the data.

If your data is so important, and it may well be, then you should have no concerns with using them.


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