My Book Premium Editon II Not Recognized

First indication of a problem was that accessing folders on the Drive - Folders were “empty”. Rebooted Windows VISTA ULTIMATE HP Machine seemed to solve the problem. Proceeded until attempt to open 1 folder gave an I O error. Did some back & forth trying other folders all seemed to work, but could not get access to this one folder. Rbooted again - now Drive is not recognized at all. One attempt was to attach it to a XP Home Laptop, which “Found New Hardware” & launched install Wizard which seemed to complete Successfuly. But Drive was not recognized there either. Any Solutions? I See there is a Reset Button the back, but online search seems indicate to me that this would reset to Factory setting LOSING ALL DATA! - A Major Catastrophe!! This was my BackUp - am in the process of trying to cleanup space and have a 2nd BackUp - but was not ready for this! Have downloaded “WD_MB_Prem_II_108a_1_02.exe” but it Mandadtes a number of Pre-Steps the assume Access to the Drive - not to mention what sounds like a High Probability of Data Loss! Still looking for other help. One of my issues is trying to locate which USB device in the Device Mgr is the one referring to the MyBook? - Perhaps a Driver Update? Other On Line search seem to think it is a Registry error? Any Suggestions on this? Thanks, Wayne

You can always try to access the disk in Linux, and if you succeed you can make a complete image and use it recover your data to another drive. Linux can read and write to Windows file systems (FAT and NTFS). In my experience there are times when Windows can’t find hardware and Linux can.

I have never used Linux - only recognize the name. Is this something that I would have access to, or do I have to buy a program? I can stumble into the old DOS CMD window and do a very few steps. Would any of this knowledge help me?

If I try to explain what Linux really is, someone will probably shoot me, so I will try to simplify:

There are numerous OS’s under the name Linux. These are called distributions. Most distributions are completely free, though some charge money for support etc. The “world” in which these live is called OpenSource which means that the source code is freely available and the applications are free (there is proprietary software in the Linux world too, but not much).

What I think you should do is to download a linux distribution (for example Ubuntu), put it on a USB drive (or CD/DVD) and boot from it.

You then need a disk on which you can store the disk image of your MyBook. To create the image you could use a program called GNU ddrescue.

Familiarity woth DOS could come in handy when using certain programs.

To elucidate: you won’t have to pay any money. All you need is freely available (if this works).