"Failure to Initialize"

Does this mean my ‘My Book 6tb drive’ is totally no good and I need to look at ‘Data recovery’?

Hi @PeteZig,

Have you opened a Support Case? If not opened, for more information, please contact the WD Technical Support team for the best assistance and troubleshooting:

I am having a major problem with my ‘My Book 6tb’ hard drive PLUS I can’t seem to be able to sign into my acct. Do I need to set up different sign in accts for ALL your departments? I’m 72 and your site/sites sign ins confuse me.
My hard drive tell me “Failure to initialize” and “fatal error” can this be fixed? If not, can my data be ‘recovered’?

The Disk unknown not initialized issue usually occurs unexpectedly in all the Windows versions, including Windows 10, 8, and 7, and it annoys users.
When the issue occurs, your external hard drive may show “unallocated space” or nothing about the disk capacity in Disk Management as shown in the image below so you cannot open and access the data on this disk.

5 solutions to the “unable to initialize disk” issue

Now that we know some of the possible causes of the error, we can use some of the below measures to fix the issue.

Solution 1: Run professional anti-virus software

If you have connected your hard drive to a compromised computer and it now shows up as disk unknown and can’t be initialized in Disk Management, then it may have been infected with a virus. In this case, we recommend that you run anti-virus software such as Windows Defender to scan your hard drive and protect your computer against viruses. After you have scanned your drive and removed the viruses, you should be able to initialize it.

Solution 2: Switch the connection cable

When you try to initialize hard drive via Disk Management and receive error message such as “This request cannot be completed because of an I/O device error” or “The device is not ready”, the usual cause is that there is something wrong with the hard drives connection cable. You should adjust the drives connection cable and try to initialize it again. Where possible, we recommend connecting the hard drive to another computer to see whether it is able to be detected and initialized.

Solution 3: Change the CMOS Settings

If the hard drive still won’t initialize after switching the drives connection cables, then open the CMOS settings by pressing F2 or Del key when booting the PC and enter BIOS FEATURES SETUP to check the VIRUS WARNING status. If it shows as “Enabled”, set it to “Disabled” and then, try to initialize the hard drive once again.