A strange problem

I am using a 1.5TB MyBook Elite. I’ve had it for about 3 months.

I let a friend transfer some files from my drive to his new external drive (a Seagate 1TB)…he kept the drive for a couple of days and gave it back and there were no problems.

He told me he had some files on his drive that I wanted, so I popped in and let him transfer those files and he returned the drive a short while later. When I plugged the MyBook back in, it took me a while to realize that my PC wasn’t recognizing the drive at all. Upon physical inspection, I noticed that the LED was blinking at a steady clip and that the exterior label showed the drive name, but not the capacity meter. I then noticed that the LED stopped blinking so I pulled up SmartWare and it showed the “No writable SmartWare partition found” message, and that the drive had no files on it, when in fact it was nearly half full!

I called customer service and they put me through the troubleshooting steps which consisted mainly of power cycling the drive 4 or 5 times and checking Device Manager to see if the PC was detecting the drive at all (it wasn’t). After that I was told that we had exhausted the troubleshooting steps (!) and that I had a defective drive.

I am at the end of my rope with trying to figure this out. The only thing I can come up with is that my friends drive is a FAT32 and mine is NTFS. The problem didn’t start until he transferred files from that drive to mine. Could this be the issue? More importantly, have I lost all that data?

Any help would be appreciated.

So I had a friend come over and take a look at my drive and found that the port, the HDD and the power board were ALL REFURBISHED!

Now my question is: Does Western Digital knowingly ship refurbished products to big box retailers without any sort of labeling that would indicate a used/refurbished product or does Best Buy just sell these bricks to unwitting customers?

I am extremely irritated about this. Whether I get the data back or not, WD isn’t getting another penny from me.

First of all, it’s against the law to ship anything refurbished as brand new.  Secondly, how would you know that it’s refurbished? 

Now to the point, if you transfer any data from one drive to another, and then disconnect the drive without safely removing it, you have an extremely high chance of corrupting all the data on the drive that you just disconnected.  This can happen especially right after copying data to the drive.  Also, if he’s using a Mac (FAT 32) and you’re using a PC (NTFS), corruption can happen.  But if he’s using a PC with a FAT 32 formatted drive, then it’s doubtful that happened.

Go into Disk Management.  If your drive shows up in there, then the best thing you can do is look for some data recovery software that can restore the partition if it’s been blown out and retrieve your data. 

I know it was refurbished because all the screws were obvious replacement screws.

There were after production date markings indicating that it was refurbished.

There were marks in the test pads indicating diagnostic tools had been used several times to test the HDD.

My technician friend asked me if I bought it from a website. When I told him I got it off the shelf at Best Buy, his jaw dropped.

I’ve escalated your issue.  This should not be possible.  Someone will be in contact with you.

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