Device is locked...and I didn't set up a password

I have the My Book Essential 1 TB drive. I used it once when I first got it. I copied all files from my laptop and desktop, and everything worked perfectly. I was able to access it a few more times after that, and everything seemed to be working just fine.

Now, when I hook everything it up, it tells me that my device is locked , and that I need to go into SmartWare to unlock the device…and that’s only on the rare occasion that Windows recognizes it.

I never set up a password and when I go into “SmartWare” it even tells me that I don’t have a password set up.

So, have I just lost over 5 yrs worth of pictures and other data because this machine has up and decided to lock itself?

Also, the lights are continously flashing. I do not hear a clicking of any sort. The device has never been dropped…it has been stored in a lock box, safe and sound.

Many thanks to whomever can help me because I am at my wits’ end.