My Book Essential/Elements not working

So after a few years of use, I come in and my WD My Book light is off…nothing, computer not seeing it or anything. I read the controller board was most likely bad. I opened it up took HD out and took controller board off, looked up the numbers and bought one. Put it in, light comes on, can feel and hear it spin up. It shows in Device manager and says this device is working properly, Computer does not see it,… I can see it in Disk Management but says Unallocated… what can I do to get this working, I have many music files I need on it. I can run a recovery software on it, but if I can get it working, that would be best. Also, I never installed any smartware apps, no password or anything,… just plugged in external HD and started using it.

Whenever there is “disk unknown not initialized” issue occurs, your hard drive may show unallocated space in Disk Management, and the data on which will be inaccessible or else there is another situation: there is no disk space shown in Disk Management.

Below are the 2 different methods to resolve the issue:

Method 1. Use Disk Management to fix not initialized error on an external hard drive

  1. Connect the uninitialized external hard drive to your PC.
  2. Press Win + R keys, type: diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
  3. Find the uninitialized, unknown external hard drive with I/O device error > Right-click on it and select Initialize Disk.
  4. Then set the disk to initialize and set the disk as MBR or GPT.

After this, you may reboot your PC and keep all changes. Now, your external hard drive will be recognized and read by Windows again.

Method 2. Run CMD to repair I/O device error on not initialized external hard drive

This CMD command would erase all data on the uninitialized hard drive, which you can later restore after repairing the external hard drive not initialized, with the help of any data recovery or partition recovery software:

  1. Press Win+R > Type: diskpart and hit Enter.
  2. Type: list disk and hit Enter.
  3. Type: select disk F and hit Enter; (replace F with the drive letter of an uninitialized external hard drive) .
  4. Type: clean and hit Enter.
  5. Type: convert gpt or convert mbr and hit Enter.
  6. Type: create partition primary and hit Enter.
  7. Type: format quick fs=ntfs and hit Enter.
  8. Type: assign and hit Enter.
  9. Type: exit and hit Enter.

Hope it helps!

.I tried Method 1 first and didnt get it to work, it didnt give me option to Initialize it., so did move to Method 2 as I cringed my teeth knowinig it was going to erase/format disk.
I dont know why in the beginning it was showing the 2 TB drive having 2 partitions…I never did that.

I can see drive in win explorer and is accessable,…what recovery software is the best to try to recover my files now. I have a Bad feeling about this, I’m pretty sure this was a mistake to do. I am not concerned with every file that was on it…mainly my music files and programs, I had many recording sessions and projects on there.

For recovery, here I will suggest you to try Stellar Data Recovery software. You can first try the free edition of the software that will scan your drive & show you the results in which you can preview your recoverable files. The free edition of the software also allows you to recover up to 1 GB data, however to recover more you need to upgrade the software. To know more about the tool, you can check the below link:

Hope it helps!

I have run this software (and is still running day 2)…it is saving “RAW Data” to a different hard drive…but I am unable to read anything., with different file extensions, PPM, FLC and so on. Some zipped stuff that says it cant be opened, not an archive. I dont know what Raw Data is or how to use it to get files back like they were.

Yikes. Data Recovery 101. NEVER write data (including format) a drive from which you are trying to recover. The OP’s data recovery issues are now worse than when he started.


wow, am I now learnng this was the WORST move I could have made with this hard drive. This couldnt be further from what I should have done. Hope the bill is affordable from the professional data recovery dudes Im having to send this drive to…maybe they can bill you for the worst thing you could have advised to do Jose…

This is amazingly bad advice. It is obvious from OP he needs his data recovered. First rule then is to change NOTHING on patient drive.


First you tell the guy to erase his data, poorly troubleshoot his issues and then use it as an opportunity to spam with the worst data recovery software out there? And, no, it didn’t help.


For anyone else having recovery problems with their WD HDD and what have you, instead of taking wrong advice from this guy Jose who obviously gave me HACK advice, which I found is an exact copy/pasted canned response found in numerous places on the internet, of course pointing you to a worthless recovery software that is more than likely not going to work…, I do highly suggest to contact a professional like the guys at to be given trusted professional advice, repairs or recovery if necessary.

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