02-27-2010 05:14 AM
I had the same problem, drive was not being seen by both my desktop and laptop. I got a new usb cable and that did the trick. Only $10 on the wd website.
03-01-2010 09:48 AM - edited 03-01-2010 09:55 AM
I've had a Western Digital Passport 320gb for about 2 years and have had intermittant connection problems:
1) The first problem is well known and is common with external drives -- not just WD Passport ones. The Passport drive will often not draw enough power from a single USB port with the cable supplied by Western Digital. The solution is easy -- get a USB "Y" cable or "booster" cable. It has an extra USB plug at the end so you can draw more power from a second USB port. I have a few "Y" cables at home and have always had to use one to power my WD Passport. WD sells one in its store here:
But they come standard with most (but not all) 2.5" hard drive enclosures today, and you can get one for about $15-20 shipped from Newegg, Tiger Direct or Amazon. So it's a better deal as you get the enclosure too which can come in very handy to make an extra external drive out of an old laptop drive. If you go this route, buy a SATA enclosure instead of an IDE or ATA enclosure as most laptop drives today have SATA connections. However, if you know you have a spare IDE drive around that you want to utilitze, buy an enclosure with an IDE connection.
It would be nice if WD supplied the Y/booster cable as a standard accessory with all its Passport drives.
2) The second problem I've had I think pertains mainly to the Passport and the model I have. The USB mini jack is a litle too large/loose, resulting in a loose connection with the USB cord that causes the drive to frequently disconnect from my laptop while in use. Even a little movement will cause the disconnects. This has been highly annoying, and this past week almost resulted in a catastrophe. What happened was it disconnected from my laptoip while I was transferring an 8gb folder. Windows immediately threw up error messages about read/write failures. When I re-connected the Passport, Windows would recognize it but not fully and when I tried clicking on the drive in My Computer, I got an error message: "Error performing inpage operation." So I couldn't browse the drive nor perform a chkdsk normally as the right-click menu was not showing up either. A google search thankfully turned up the solution. I had to use a DOS command to run chkdsk on the Passport which fixed the drive.
But to avoid this issue in the future, I knew I had to put the drive in a new enclosure. Thankfully I had a spare SATA enclusure handy and so I put the Passport drive in there. Since doing that, the drive has been running like a champ. NO DISCONNECTS. Zero. What's more, it seems to be more responsive in terms of transfer speed and browsing files on the drive. I should have done this earlier as I knew about the problem for a few months. I can only chalk this problem up to poor quality control.The mini USB port that WD put in this model of the Passport is of poor quality.
Be careful, as I have read that not all WD Passport drives can be extracted from their enclosures .... that some of the newer models have the USB port permanently attached to the drive which prevents you from re-using the drive in a notebook and also from putting it in another external exclosure. But my Passport is R/N: B7B and these can easily be taken out of the plastic enclosure that it comes with. Look on the back label for the R/N number. For instructions on how to take apart thismodel, do a search on YouTube for "Western Digital Passport disassembly" and look at the video by the person called "amerist" ... his instructions are easy to follow.
If you want a recommendation of a HD enclosure, look at the Rosewill model RX81U-AT-25A at Newegg. This is what I have my WD Passport drive in now. It's solid and runs smoothly. No Issues. And I feel better knowing that my data is better protected from dodgy USB connections.
Your data is too important to take chances. So if you have the B7B Passport model and are getting these constant disconnects, I highly recommend trying this solution. If you have another model proceed with caution, because as I said, not all Passport drives can be put in another enclosure.
03-04-2010 11:58 PM
AIUI clicking is symptomatic of weak read heads or media damage. AFAICS, your drive requires professional data recovery. :-(
what should you do if it is clicking? does the warranty cover it or what...?
03-20-2010 03:50 AM
I have a WD3200ME-01 product and two PCs (a notebook and a desktop) both running WinXP SP3.
The HD is working fine when connected to the notebook. But if I try to connect it to the desktop, a new hardware is detected and the process to install the new usb device fails.
So, I can say the HD and USB cable are ok. The problem is a incompatibility between the HD and the desktop windows configuration.
The biggest difference between that system and an ordinary windows installation is the internal HD using two partitions, but I can't believe this is the problem. That system is using C and E as Internal HD partitions and D as the optical device.
The USB ports are working fine and the windows is ok.
I will try to use the WD HD with other systems.
03-20-2010 07:00 AM
03-21-2010 09:07 PM
I was experiencing the same problem. My unit (passport essential) worked once at the time of my original backup
and then never again. Each time I plugged it in on the same or alternate computer
I would consistency get a error message " USB device not recognized" with no apparent fix.
I was mad as heck. Finally, after pressing really hard on the cable input at the drive end
I was able to get my computer to recognize it. I know it sounds crazy, but I was
able to get it to work long enough to restore my files. This unit is a piece of crap
and not up to WD standards. I will seek replacement.
03-23-2010 06:46 PM
03-28-2010 06:19 PM
i have the same problen how can i return this i bought this since last dec. untel now i can't make it work i have 3 pc and same error not recognized
04-02-2010 10:54 PM
I have run into this with several USB external drives of various make and models. So far the answer works for all of them.
The problem seems to be one of power to the drive. When I use a standard USB connection cable (USB mini to USB Standard) the computer indicates reacts in one of the following ways....
1. it cycles through trying to connect then disconnecting.
2. it tells me that the proper driver cannot be found.
3. it merely doesn't recognize the USB device and gives no information.
However, when I have used a unique USB cable then it works with each of my external drives. (so far).
I have a USB cable that connects to the external drive with a USB Mini connector and to the computer with two (2) USB standard connectors. One of the USB stand connectors is labeled 'Data/Power' and the other is labeled 'Power'.
Once I use that cable then the computer recognizes the external drive, doesn't need an additional driver and is ready to use. This works with all 5 of my external drives and all six if my work stations.
Hope that helps!
04-13-2010 03:22 PM
I don't know if you have solved your problem yet or not. (I am still wading through the whole thread.) I had a similar problem with my WD 500 GB portable drive too. I found a great program that has allowed me to restore my data. It is called Zero Assumption Recovery. It costs about US$50 to purchase online and you have to have another driver to save the recovered data to, but it was very easy to use. I used the "recover current data" and it found every single file... as far as I can tell. (I had over 400GB of data.) This was the best $50 I ever spent. The scan does take a very long time (almost 20 hours) but part of that might have been the processor on my labtop!! :-) I hope this helps!! Good Luck!!