My Book Essential 1TB - Changed disk name and went empty

Hello all, I am looking for and would be grateful for any assistance with correcting an issue with a External hard drive that has changed for reasons unknown to me.
On a Dell 8400 Desk Top (OS = WIN XP Pro) I have been using:

Three individual external Western Digital 1TB USB hard drives. (all are WD My Book Essentials # WDH1U10000N)  All have been working fine for almost a year. They were working as:
MaxStore_#1 (I:)
MaxStore_#2 (G:)
MaxStore_#3 (H:)

#1 & #2 are still working fine. #3 now shows as Local Disk (H:) and is not accessible. The same happens if I move the drive to a laptop.
After clicking on the drive using Windows Explorer, it takes a few moments and then a window appears - The disk in drive H is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?
In Computer management the drive shows:
Volume = (H:)
Layout = Partition
Type = Basic
File System = blank (It was formatted as NTFS when put into service)
Status = Healthy
Capacity = 931.51 GB
Free Space = 931.51 GB
% Free - 100%
Fault Tolerance = No
Overhead = 0%

Note: Saving the drive is of secondary importance. Saving what is on the drive is Paramount. It is 90% full of data that I would hate to loose.:cry:

  Many Wonderful Thanks for any assistance.

            CrummBumm (a.k.a. Sonny)

Greetings from Sarasota, Florida

Sounds like someting got corrupt some have had luck with Test Disk  see post 6. You just found out it’s not a good idea to trust important data to just one drive internal or external no matter who makes it.


Good morning Joe,

    I took a look at the thread (#6) and I am excited about giving Testdisk a try. However, that can only happen later today as I must wait till I get home from work. But it sounds promising. A donation to CG Security is definitley in order if  things work out.  I’ll let you (& others) know just as soon as I learn the results.

   Many Thanks,


(a.k.a. CrummBumm)

So Joe, Everything that was on my hard drive was totally replaceable, it would have just taken an extremely long time. So I treaded lightly in my attempts. I spent a few days  over on reading about the use of  testdisk. Once I felt secure in what I needed to perform I pushed forward. I was able to recover every bit of 921gb of my precious files.  The copy process from one external to another was time consuming but worth every moment. I followed the steps found under    Documentation - Using Testdisk - Recover Deletd Files From NTFS Partition.

I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to read my post and then suggest that I try TestDisk. My next step is to jump back over to and make a donation. I would have spent a great deal of money to save that data. So a donation for the use of TestDisk will be one of the best Bargins I have every purchased.  -Many A Great Thanks- CrummBumm (a.k.a. Sonny)

Glad it worked for you.