My Book Essential (HFS+ formatted) stopped working, not recognised on Mac or Windows


I bought a WD My Book 3TB 3 months ago. One month ago I switched to Mac for my personal use, so I reformatted the HDD from NTFS to HFS+.

Yesterday I was using transferring files onto the HDD when I got a notification stating that in future I should safely remove external USB devices so that I do not lose data. It then started making 3 subsequent sounds. The first is a buzzing sound, then some sort of shorter, higher pitched sound I associate with something being reset, then some sort of warning sound (??). The entire cycle of three sounds takes about 6 seconds. It makes these sounds for about 1-2 minutes then it’s quiet. It stops on the short, higher pitched sound. This occurs ever time I disconnect the power from the HDD, but not when I plug the HDD into another computer (while keeping the power connected). 

I can see a light switching on and off rapidly inside the HDD for several minutes (even after the it stopeed making noise). Then the light’s on/off frequency becomes less (1 second on, 1 second off). 

On my Mac the HDD does not show up in Disk Utility. When I connect it to a Windows PC (USB 2 only, do no have access to a USB3.0 Windows PC), it shows up in device manager, but not in my computer. The first time I plugged it into the Windows PC it showed an “Attention required” yellow triangle with an exclamation mark in it. It said that a driver could not be found. 

Steps taken:

  1. I have used another USB 3 cable to connect it to my USB 3.0 port. No change in behaviour.

  2. I have connected it to 2 different wall sockets with 3 different adaptors on each socket. No change in behaviour.

  3. I have downloaded the Firmware updater for Mac. The installer could not find my harddrive. 

  4. I downloaded the Firmware updater for Windows. The HDD was found, but the updater couldn’t update because there are other applications open. So I started Task Manager and closed all the non-critical processes I could close. Same error. 


Transporter1315s-MacBook-Pro:~ transporter1315$ system_profiler SPUSBDataType

USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Bus:

Host Controller Location: Built-in USB
Host Controller Driver: AppleUSBXHCI
PCI Device ID: 0x1e31 
PCI Revision ID: 0x0004 
PCI Vendor ID: 0x8086 
Bus Number: 0x14

My Book 1140:

Product ID: 0x1140
Vendor ID: 0x1058 (Western Digital Technologies, Inc.)
Version: 10,16
Serial Number: 574D43315430363936393238
Speed: Up to 5 Gb/sec
Manufacturer: Western Digital
Location ID: 0x14a00000 / 2
Current Available (mA): 900
Current Required (mA): 2

So it picks up my HDD on the terminal only. I could not find another suitable power cable. 

Is this a problem with the Harddrive itself or the enclosure? 

I am running OS X 10.8.2 (2.6 GHz Core i7, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, 256GB SSD) on a 15.4" MacBook Pro Retina.

A speedy reply would be much appreciated. 




This could be a corrupted partition. You might want to check if the drive is spinning or if it stops after the sound goes away.

You can also try to run chkdsk on windows and see if it will detect the drive and fix the partition.


that didn’t work either. here is a youtube vid of the symptom. Hope this is useful.