My Passport: Corrupt Files. Can They be Recovered?

I bought my daughter a WD My Passsport (500GB) this past Christmas. She downloaded approximately 465 GB of pictures and music onto it for backup storage because she had to format her laptop. This past week she plugged the USB drive in to access it, the WD Unlocker asked for her password, which she provided and it unlocked. But in My Computer the icon shows up as "CD Drive (E:) WD Unlocker (22.7MB). When I open it, it only shows those files associated with the Unlocker program…  Extras, WD Smartware,  autorun, Unlock, WD Quick Formatter.

So I took another route. I right click on My Computer, then manage, and then Disk Management, which brings up all the drives. In the listing (Disk 1) it shows the 465 GB, it’s online, but also says it’s unallocated. It also lists the WD Unlocker under CD-ROM2. I can’t open or access Disk 1. I’ve also gottena message saying that drive must be formatted in order to use. But if I do that I’ll obviously loss the data that’s on there. 

I downloaded Recuva, but when I browse it only find the CD Drive (E:) WD Unlocker and those files listed above. 

I called and talked with a WD support tech, and he said that if you unplug the USB drive, after transferring data, without first selecting the option that allows you to safely disconnect drive you can corrupt it, which he said obviously has occurred.  But since my daughter initially stored the data, she keeps the drive unplugged and in storage, she has plugged it in and accessed it several times since then to view the pictures and even play the music. It wasn’t until this past week that this problem propped up. So am I basically screwed? 

I would deeply appreciate any assistance, if possible, as my daughter has stored almost 3 years of precious college pics that she’d really like to recover.  

Thank you.

Look in Disk Management and see if the drive shows there and if it says anything. Whlie there make sure the drive has a drive letter. Make sure you are not using a cable longer than the one that came with the drive and don’t connect to a hub.


In Disk Management there is a split screen. The upper screen shows four partitions… FAT, FAT32, NTFS, and then the WD Unlocker (E drive) , which is only 23 MB, and contains the files I listed in my first post. Not the 465 GB of files I’m attempting to access.

Now on the bottom screen it goes into greater detail (a breakdown) of the top screen … Disk O (which is the FAT, FAT32, NTFS), then Disk  1 (which lists the 465 GB of files I want to access), CD-ROM 0  (which is my DVD  D drive ),  and CD-ROM 3 (which shows the WD Unlocker (E drive).

While Disk 1 lists the 465 GB that I am attempting to access,  it shows no drive letter. It simply says “unallocated”.