My Book Essential shows as unformated drive. What should I do first?

Hi. I am pretty new to this sort of stuff so please bear with me if I don’t seem to understand how to do things that might seem simple & basic to you. I know my way around using Windows computers pretty well but my son Matt always kept them going for me (and most of the rest of the family too). He died last spring and I am working my way through his stuff and figuring out how to do stuff for myself and even some of the rest of the family.

My current problem is trying to figure out what needs to be done so my 80+ year old mother in law can use her My Book Essential. She told me that something went wrong with it and it went to Matt so he could “fix” it. Apparently it had been with Matt for a while and she can’t remember the exact problem.

Today I finally plugged it into my own computer to try it. When I try to open it a message pops up saying that it is not formatted and the Properties say it is 0 bytes used space and 0 bytes free space.

I want to return it to her in as close to new condition as possible. What should I do next?

BTW: I am still running WinXP (for at least a few more weeks) and so is she.


See if the following link helps

Thanks. I haven’t read that through properly yet but it looks like I already know most of it. But even if I don’t learn much from it I’m sure it will be useful for teaching my Mum in law about her My Book.

I should have mentioned that I have a My Book of my own so I am a little familiar with it but mostly it just sits & flashes its light at me and I assume everything is OK with it. I guess I’ll have to learn how to set it up when I get my Win10 computer (in a few weeks). I also have a My Cloud which is my network drive (My Documents on both of my computers).

After I posted I got impatient and decided to try formatting it. 18 hours so far but from what I found online it will probably take more than 24 hours. When it is done formatting can I just copy the software from mine onto hers (mine is a newer model but they both have USB3 plugs) to put it into original ready to set up condition or should I download from the site instead?

Does the drive show up in Disk Management? If so, it’s possible that the cable got pulled when someone finished copying files over to it. It may require data recovery software to restore the partition and get the data off the drive.

  • Is the drive making any kind of noises when you plug it in?
  • have you tried using a different usb cable?

If you don’t need the data on the drive you can just reformat it. However, if you do need the data, you may want to take it to a data recovery company and see if they can restore the data.

It doesn’t make any more noise noise than my own My Book, which is to say that if I hold it up to my ear I can hear the drive running but nothing strange. It never occurred to me to use a different cable, but as far as I can tell the cable is good because it is formatting it via that cable.

As I understand it she had just started putting data on it when it messed up so I made the assumption that she had not put any data on it that isn’t also on her computer. At this point it is about 21 hours into formatting…