4TB WD Elements Drive Visible but Inaccessible

I’ve had this drive for about two months and a few days ago it just abruptly stopped working while I was in the middle of using it. While the drive does show up with other storage devices in “This PC” when plugged in (Windows 10), the amount of space available and space remaining isn’t being displayed and attempting to access the drive in away always appears to result in Windows Explorer freezing and/or trying to load (unsuccessfully) the contents of the drive. Device Manager and Disk Management, which were recommended by troubleshooting pages, ran into the same issues as Windows Explorer. The drive is plugged directly into my laptop (no USB HUB), and I tried to access it with my Windows 7 desktop computer, but it still didn’t work. The only real issue I have had with this drive prior to this happened precisely a day before it stopped working. Much like the issue I’m currently having, the drive suddently became inaccessible. However, unplugging it and replugging it instantly fixed the issue and since it was the first time I had the issue, I didn’t pay it much mind.
I’d also preferably like to be able to keep the data on the drive, as well. I didn’t expect to run into issues this soon, so I had neglected to backup much of the data contained on it.
Lastly, I’d like to apologize if this isn’t the right place to ask about this. If it isn’t, I’d appreciate if you could redirect me to the proper place.

If your hard disk drive becomes unresponsive then there are chances that your drive may become RAW or inaccessible. There are various reasons for this issue such as BIOS settings, USB data line, USB interface voltage variability, drive hidden issue or compatibility issue, etc.

Whatever be the reason, the end result is data inaccessibility or data loss.

You can try the below options as a solution for this issue:

  1. Establish a connection between another system and the USB Data Line to verify whether it is broken or not.

  2. Make sure the system and motherboard are compatible with each other.

  3. Verify whether the USB interface voltage is up to the mark or not.

  4. Use Disk Management to unhide the drive.

  5. Ensure USB is enabled in the Operating System as well as in BIOS.

If you wish to recover data from a faulty or unreadable hard disk drive, then you can do that with the help of data recovery software. Here, I recommend you to use Stellar Data Recovery Professional Software, it enables the user to recover their lost or deleted data from corrupted, unresponsive, or accidentally formatted drive and even recover lost partitions of the drive.

You can also check out the below link, hope it will help you out:
What is RAW Recovery and How to Recover Data from Raw Drive?

  1. If you mean the wire, I have no way to test it with any other device. It is, as far as I can tell, proprietary, and I do not own any other WD Element hard drive I could use it with.
  2. As I previously said, the hard drive worked just fine before on this computer, so it should be perfectly compatible.
  3. Once again, it worked with no issue for two months and now suddently just doesn’t work at all.
  4. I have already said that the drive isn’t hidden and that Disk Management isn’t working (the software outright refuses to load if the hard drive is plugged in, and if the hard drive is plugged in after Disk Management is loaded, it won’t appear).
  5. The USB port I am using works fine with other USB devices.

I have attempted using Stellar Data Recovery Software as per your recommendation, but it too is unable to access the drive, in a similar manner to the Disk Management software. I will attempt getting another wire, since this seems to be the only avenue that I haven’t yet explored.

As you attempted using Stellar Data Recovery software but that too unable to access the drive, then I suggest you to try another option in the same.

While using Stellar Data Recovery software there is an option as “Can’t Find Drive” select that option and see if the software scans the unlisted drive.

I already tried that and it made the program freeze. Unplugging the hard drive fixed it, but obviously I can’t access the hard drive if it’s not plugged in.

Have you been able to solve the error? I have the same problem

Your external hard drive encountered an abrupt failure, leading to Windows Explorer freezing when attempting to access it. This issue persisted across multiple systems, indicating a potential problem with the drive itself. It’s worth noting that a day before the complete failure, a similar access issue occurred but was temporarily resolved by unplugging and reconnecting the drive.

To troubleshoot, first, ensure the physical connections are secure by trying a different USB cable and port. Listen for any unusual sounds from the drive, such as clicking or grinding, as these could indicate physical damage. If the drive is recognized but inaccessible, consider using data recovery software like to retrieve your files, even if the file system is corrupted.

Additionally, running disk check and repair utilities specific to your operating system, such as chkdsk on Windows or First Aid on Mac, might help resolve file system issues. Check for any driver or firmware updates from the drive manufacturer’s website to ensure the drive is running with the latest software.

Testing the drive in Safe Mode can help rule out software conflicts that might be causing the freezing issue. If all else fails, and your data is critically important, you may need to explore professional data recovery services, although they can be costly.

To prevent future data loss, establish a regular backup routine for important data, utilizing multiple storage locations like cloud storage, another external drive, or network-attached storage. This approach will safeguard your files and prevent similar data loss incidents in the future.

It’s 2024 and I have the same issue. My WD Elements 2T USB external drive is the second WD external hard drive solution that I am very unhappy with. I am moving away from the brand altogether.