My Book Essential not seen by computer

The top post has been seen over 150,000 times, WD.  This should cause you considerable worry.

I will relate the steps I’ve taken to troubleshoot, and request advice for next steps.

Problem: My WD My Book Essential (1TB) is about 3 years old, has USB 3.0 connection, and is not recognized or seen on any Windows computers.
The LED light works when powered on.
The hard drive can be heard spinning.
As soon as I connect the USB cable to a computer, the HDD makes a tiny sound (like it’s thinking).
HDD does not appear as a drive in My Computer
HDD does not appear under Device Manager anywhere, including as a USB device.
HDD does not appear in Disk Management.
I haven’t password encrypted the files on any software.
Computer does not even for a second pause to consider a new USB device or process anything when I plug the HDD in.
Except for normal sounds, HDD does not make any loud whirling or anything like that.
HDD has never smelled burnt or severe overheated.
I don’t remember when the problem started, I would just plug the HD periodically in.  One day, it was no longer showing up on the computer.
I’ve never dropped this drive.  At worse, it’s gotten a bit of dust.

Steps I’ve taken:
Connected HDD directly to wall.
Connected HDD to other laptops with older and newer Windows.
Connected HDD to powered USB hubs.
Connected HDD to other devices (tablet, TV)
Tried all the different USB hubs on different computers, including SS and older (all functioning) hubs.
Bought another USB 3.0 Cable
Connected while the computer is fully on.
Connected before starting up the computer, and booted computer with the HDD on.

Steps suggested by forums, and other sources, and my concerns:
Take apart HDD and connect directly to a desktop with a free "3.5 SATA bay.
     - But many say that’s not possible because of physical data encryption by WD.
     - It’s outside Warranty, but opening it will likely never get me ANY help from WD?
     - I don’t have a desktop.  :P  (Is it possible to connect it to a laptop with a 2.5 bay?  just so I can pull data out?)
Use some sort of 3rd party software for data retrieval
     - Viruses.
     - I doubt these software work.
Use a data retrieval company WD suggests
     - Really??  Hundreds and even thousands of dollars vs. years of photos and over 100 ripped music CDs.  I’d rather not.
     - I don’t live in the US, these data retrieval companies are much less accessible.

Any other suggestions, guys?  Why is it that the drive sounds and acts normally, but just doesn’t show up?  Why do so many people have this problem? 


Based on the information you have provided and the troubleshooting steps you have described. I believe the drive is defective and the only way to recover the data would be trough a data recovery company. You should contact technical support to see how they might be able to assist you on this.

General Phone Support

WD Data Recovery Partners

Thank you WD staff for your reply.  Could you please provide further information on the encryption of the drive?