My Passport 2017 Drive 100% busy in Task Manager, not responding bug. Cannot open my backed up important files. Please help

So I have this My Passport 1TB Blue, P/N: WDBYNN0010BBL-0B bought in 2017.

It worked flawless as backup in last 2 years, I used to manually copy/paste all my data every time I need to reinstall the latest version of Windows 10 on my laptop every 6 months. After the fresh install, I would copy back all the data. I refrained from using any automated backup software out of fear of losing my data if something went wrong.

This time however, before I reinstalled Windows I got familiar with WD’s software tools, since I was fed up of manual hassle. I downloaded and installed the latest WD Discovery and other tools like WD Utilities and WD Backup from WD Downloads page. It showed some update post installation in the upper Notifications (not sure if it said ‘Utilities’, something along those lines inside WD Discovery) and I allowed the installation to complete so it gets out of my way, as I wanted to understand backup and stuff.

I didn’t find anything odd even after that update. My Passport was working fine as usual. I didn’t get enough time to try WD Backup so I went back to my old manual method, copied all data to the drive, reinstalled Windows.

Since that day, and after fresh Windows install, the drive is incrementally degrading in performance. At first, it started taking seconds to respond, opening folders and files would send the disk to 100% busy for seconds before it restores to 0%, and resumes normal operations. However, with time (over a month) this issue has degraded to a point where it wouldn’t respond even if I leave it connected to my laptop for over an hour.

Disk would show 100% busy all the time, while it won’t move a single file. Data transfer rate shows in 4-8KB/s. Now, it turns 100% as soon as I connect to my laptop, and it even won’t show the sizes in File Explorer as before.

It just shows
’Local Disk H:’ with NO size information below,
instead of
’My Passport H:’ 180GB free of 931GB
which it used to show before.

Clicking on it is more messy, and hangs the File Explorer into ‘not responding’ state, which doesn’t solve unless the drive is unplugged from the laptop.

I checked the Universal Firmware Updater and it shows the model number, serial number and Firmware version 1.019 as ‘already Up-to-Date’. Although, this seems strange as I never updated the Drive’s firmware in the last 2 years. Or is it that this was the only firmware they ever shipped? Or what I suspect, the WD Discovery updated its firmware when I checked them last month, without telling me they were doing it, and without my consent. I am not sure if this is what happened though.

I have important data on this drive. Please help me! Can I revert back its Firmware (if an older version existed) please help me.