My computer cannot detect or recognized my Book

Hi, I have a My book essential, and when I plug into the usb, it would not detect my hard drive. I cannot find it  in device and disk manangement. The hard drive seem to be working fine, with stable light. 

Try a different computer and USB cable

different computer would not work. I am going try buy a new usb cable

How I fixed a drive that the system wouldn’t recognize.

This drive, what else, is a Western Digital external MyBook Essential 1TB.

The symptoms were seemingly 80% of the time, it would not connect up to the computer. Though the initial insertion/connection of the usb cable did something. There wasn’t a problem with the drive mechanics or motors or stuff like that. Everything sounded good. Smooth power up and everything. And when I could get the drive to work, the noises sounded just about right for a working disk.

So this lead me to believe it was a bridgeboard problem or some stuff like that. I tested the bare drive with another bridgeboard and my usb to sata/pata cable adapter thing. Pretty much the same results. So that eliminated the bridgeboard. I reflowed the solder on several of the parts anyways, for good measure. What with the cheapness of materials used and everything I wanted to eliminate connectors as a possibility. I again checked and rechecked all the other cables and stuff, A-ok.

Then I got to inspecting the drive itself. It seemed to be an ordinary 1TB WD green drive. I had heard these are notorious for failing. Whatever, but, here it sits. Refusing to connect to the computer.

But sometimes it would, and I discovered that depending on how you hold the sata data cable it would either work or not work.

I looked at the data cable connection and found the connector goes right through some tiny coupling capacitors and straight to a controller chip. I reflowed the solder on these 4 capacitors and then tested the drive. It now works and connects 100% of the time.

These 4 capacitors are coupling the LVDS lines coming into the drive. They carry all the i/o data. And inside the controller chip there are TDR pulsers. So, yeh, it’s important to have good solder connections on these things.

The design problem is is that the capacitors are too close to a flexing connector and any board movement is likely to break the solder joints. This, along with the cheapness and spartan-ness of materials (aside from the HDA) will cause reliability problems to no end!

Thanks Keith!!,…we could have here an answer that will solve lot of similar post that I havefound here and other forums.,…and specially will save my a$$ tho’…

Coiuld you please upload a pic/link to a pic somewhere else to check:

"I looked at the data cable connection and found the connector goes right through some tiny coupling capacitors and straight to a controller chip. I reflowed the solder on these 4 capacitors and then tested the drive. It now works and connects 100% of the time.

These 4 capacitors are coupling the LVDS lines coming into the drive. They carry all the i/o data. And inside the controller chip there are TDR pulsers. So, yeh, it’s important to have good solder connections on these things."

Couple of them pointing thouse connectros will be very usefull for us the “non-hardware-tech” users… will check and update how it goes with mine as soon as I can…

Cheers,…and again,…thanks---- please need pics just in case, and not mess up on soldering if need it :wink:

When I fixed my drive, I took a few average-just-ok pics. I’ll post them next message.

Meantime, these are simply 4 capacitors going directly from the smaller sata data connector right into the controller chip. In some models they may have eliminated the capacitors entirely.

Glad you sorted it out. I hope you can posts to help othe people.

Joe

okay i am new here, i had to reply because i didnt see a thing to start a new thread. i have a my book. i moved the backed up data on to my pc, so i could make a cd of some old pictures. now my c drive is almost full. i do not know how to move the data back on to the smart book and free up my c drive. can anyone help me with this.

thanks

To post a new message click on a group like My Book then look toward the top on the left side.

Joe

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This is a picture of the sata data lines on the controller of a MYBOOK-1TB (WD10EACS green) drive. This drive had intermittently (mostly) refused to connect via USB to the host computer. The most glaring symptom would be erratic spin-up of the disk when connected via USB. It would either do so, or not. And some of the times it did spin up, nothing else happened aside from the calibration clicks and whirring motor. Windows just wouldn’t see the disk. Simple as that.

I found that sometimes bashing it upside the head would make it connect more or less, sometimes. This stunk the room up with the smell of a bad connection someplace. The mechanical noises (when the drive was working) sounded just fine. So that meant (to me) the problem was somehow electrical and intermittent-connection related.

To begin - I reflowed and cleaned some “important looking” parts & connectors on the SATA to USB bridgeboard. That didn’t help much. I also tested the drive with my trusty USB-to-IDE & SATA adapter I got at the dollar store. I was getting the same intermittent no connect behavior. That pretty much eliminated the MYBOOK housing, bridgeboard, WD suplied power supply, and WD supplied USB cable. I tested the same USB port with a KEYDRIVE and my Elements drive. The computer & USB port worked just fine. I even tested the nice spiffy carrying case and its shipping box, just to be sure! Nope not the problem. So I put all the **bleep** aside and focused on the bare metal drive itself now.

I then took off the disk’s controller card and looked around there. I noted that C2,C3,C5,C7 were pretty close to the edge of the PCB, close to a big and major connector block. These really tiny capacitors are in series with the TDR (time-domain-reflectometer) pulsers in the Marvel controller I.C. These capacitors are coupling caps in the LVDS (low-voltage-differential-signaling) lines.

Most any “of-this-vintage” drives will have two pairs of data lines running parallel like so. One pair sends, the other receives. The capacitors, connector, and lines are right in the middle of the picture.

Basically in layman’s terms, the data comes in off the red SATA cable we all know and love and into the drive and makes its way to the controller I.C. From there on after, a lot of magic happens and your data is saved to disk.

So these little capacitors are coupling capacitors, a crude form of signal conditioning if you will. They are right in the middle of the road going from the SATA connector to the Controller. If you take them out, then it would have the exact same effect as disconnecting the SATA data cable.

As you can see, these parts are pretty close to the SATA connector block. And the stress of being in a portable device with a rigid bridgeboard connector had probably weakened the connections, somehow. So I got out a small 20 watt soldering iron with a 1/25 inch tip and reflowed them. Be careful, you don’t need extra solder, just some flux. And be quick, because if you get these parts hot, they’ll just float right off the board and get buried in the blob of solder sitting on your soldering iron’s tip! Then you gonned and dund it but good!

Nice and slow, one side at a time, with plenty of flux.

I took this pic, quickly, right after testing my very hasty proof-of-concept repair - I was so elated that that was indeed the problem! I went back and reflowed it “correctly” and smoothly and cleaned up the flux for a nice professional touch. I also re-doed the 7 pins on the SATA data connector itself for good measure. I was thinking maybe it would speed up my drive and make it spin faster or something, but, alas, that was not the case. I figured if that didn’t do anything, then probably resoldering other randomly chosen parts and the power section of the SATA cable wouldn’t do anything more either!

So, I reassembled everything and tested the drive s’more. It connects 100% of the time and doesn’t “drop out of Windows” anymore. Testament to the error checking and correction protocol used in the SATA interface, there was no corrupt data. The drive either saved the data or it didn’t. It either read the data, or it didn’t. :smiley:

Here is some reference material if you want to smarten yourself up:

http://hddscan.com/doc/HDD_from_inside.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SATA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LVDS

http://www.instructables.com/id/Disassembling-a-Western-Digital-My-Book/

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