Issues with my WD MyBook 1170 USB HDD

The system :

  • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Plextor 128GB SSD (boot, internal)
  • WD Blue 640GB HDD (storage, internal)
  • AMD R9 280X Graphics
  • Windows 8.1 Pro x64, UEFI Boot
  • ASROCK 970 Pro3 R2.0 Mainboard
  • WD MyBook 1170 2TB Connected via USB3.0 / USB2.0 - issue independent of USB version

Additional Info :

  • My OneDrive, Steam and Pictures library directions all point to the MyBook HDD
  • (Thus, it would be unfortunate if the hard drive content was to be lost, however I would only use a couple of gigs of RAW photos, and sadly a few dozen vacational videos, most other critical personal data is stored in the cloud)
  • I am not running any of the additional WD tools, drivers are Plug’n’Play Windows ones

The issues :

  • I once wanted to access a directory in OneDrive, upon double clicking the folder icon the Explorer froze and shortly thereafter the PC crashed (i.e. rebooted without further errors)
  • After this crashes increased, and I first thought of it to be a configurational problem - ignoring it as most of the time everything was working fine.
  • When the crashes became more frequent (5 minute intervals), I saw myself forced to troubleshoot the issues : the result was that the system was running stable when the MyBook was unplugged.
  • Shortly thereafter I wanted to boot the Computer after another crash, however I found that the system would hang pre-POST when the MyBook was plugged in.
  • This confuses me, as a USB device shouldn’t be able to interrupt POST (?!)
  • Now, the MyBook is not recognized by Windows, even though the PC is running fine with it plugged in - it is not “mounted” though - I can only find it in Storage management, and there is no drive letter assigned to it.

Finally, the questions :

  • Is there any way to restore functionality through a firmware update/driver swap?
  • If not, do I need to file a warranty claim with Amazon (where I bough it) or with WD?
  • Also, can anyone qualitatively better external drives than the MyBook series? I have trusted WD for many years, and a single faulty product will not disrupt that, however I want to know my files are (relatively) secure and I do not want to spend the time to switch drives and suffer from data loss again. Is it advisable to get a couple of WD Reds for a NAS instead of another USB HDD?

You may want to consider posting this on the English community if you don’t get any answers here :

Thank you, did that!