I'm facing a autopsy with a blunted knife

I have a My Book 1TB unit that has gone toes up.  On it a gigs of famiy pictures, hence my dire situation!

Using Win 8.1, the drive comes up and Windows bing to acknowledge it, but it cannot be seen or accessed.

Using the drive diagnostics, I can see the drive, WD USB but not get at the data.

I did run the WD utiltis on this site and it passes the quick test, fails the extended and write "0"s test with report of bad sectors.

Is there any way to force the firware updater to write to this drive because it also fails.

Hello, have you tried using a data recovery program to scan the drive? With the help of Google you can find several options. If you are trying to recover your files don’t run the write ceros option, since this will delete all your files. 

From references I have seen thus far, try to avoid running any programs on the drive which might alter data until AFTER saving the drive data with an appropriate program.  Probably the Acronis software, which can be downloaded through Western Digital, might be the safest bet.  (But honestly I have the same issues, and I am new at this.  That is as much as I think that I might know.)