Data lost? Drive mounts, doesn't show folders

I’ve been using my 500 gig WD Passport for more than a year to back up my MacBook and also to store additional data that doesn’t fit on that machine. It always worked fine until two days ago. I had transfered maybe 10 gigs of new data from old CD-Rs to the drive earlier this week, but there was still about 100 gigs of free space on the drive.

When I connected the drive to the MacBook two days ago, I entered the password like I normally do, but for some reason it wouldn’t take it. I kept trying to do this until it locked me out and gave me the “too many password attempts” message. I assumed I could just disconnect the drive and try again later.

Well, it’s been a good 48 hours now, and every time I’ve connected the drive to the MacBook, the drive mounts, but under the generic name “My Passport,” not under the name I had given the drive. No data shows on the drive–neither the auto backup of the MacBook, nor the additional data I had been storing on there. And when I click “DriveUnlock,” it tells me that the drive is not locked. I verified the drive using Disk Utility, and it told me the disk was fine.

What is going on? Is my data (gulp) gone? What should I do?

Please help. Thank you.

It looks like you might have erase or formatted the drive. If you can not enter the right password it will request for drive erase after a couple of attempts. Since you stated it does not show previously assigned named and does not have files it could have been formatted on the password screen.

Have you check the drive capacity to see if the content  is still there?

Any ideas?

Could it be the USB 2.0 cable? The drive has always been plugged directly into the MacBook, I never use a hub.

Again, the drive consistently mounts, it’s just showing up as empty, without all the data that is backed up and saved on it. Should I try a program like Data Rescue 3 on it?

Can anyone help? There was a lot of really important data on there, some of which is not backed up elsewhere. Thanks very much.

By checking the drive capacity, you mean the amount of free space on the drive, correct? Judging by that, the drive seems to be empty.

Why in the name of god would a drive erase itself after a mere 3 or so incorrect password attempts. And keep in mind I *know* my password and had never had more than 1 incorrect pw attempt in a row before. This all makes no sense.

Might a program like Data Rescue 3 or anything similar work?

Drive will not erase it self, it will request for drive erase or you can continue trying.

Sorry dude, might need to get data recovery done if the drive was erased.

It’s also possible that the data got corrupted during the transfer.  you could check the cable and see if another will work.  just make sure that the cable isn’t any longer than about 18 inches.