I bought this my passport ultra last September during a trip to the US. Only got around to installing it in December. So far I have only used it to save copies of some important files - manually creating a new set once a month. So far, there hasn’t been any need to access these copies.
This morning, when I switched on my PC, I got the message “You need to format this drive before you can use it.” Against the drive letter (K) assigned to this external HD. The drive itself is listed under MyComputer, but no information about its size and available space is given.
I installed the WD Data LifeGuard Diagnostics and ran it as Administrator. The drive shows up with a capacity of 0 MB and the SMART Status says “Not Available”. When I tried to ran the Quick Test I got the result of FAIL with the error code “08-Too many bad sectors detected.” (I tried to repeat the test as I’m typing this entry, and got a test result of PASS, but the SMART Status continues as “Not Available”.
I have noticed that the WD Drive Utilities offer the option “Erase Drive,” which, I suppose, restores the drive to its original status, and I may then have to (re)format the disk and (re)instal the software. I have not tried this, and am not sure if there would be any problems with this option, seeing that other options are unable to access the disk.
I can live with losing what I put on that HD so far, but I can’t live with an HD that becomes unreliable after a few months. (I only bought this one to replace a 5-year old Seagate drive that started to go flakey. I was told that WD drives, on the whole, are more reliable.)
I’m looking for suggestions of what I can do to get this passport back to work, preferably without data loss.
In case that is relevant, something about my PC: Processor Intel Core i5-3470 @ 3.20GHz; Installed memory: 8 GB, 64-bit Operating System. Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate, Service Pack 1
Also: The HD sits on a shelf just below my desk. It has not been moved ever since I installed it. It is protected against direct sunlight, rain and any other liquids.
Thanks in advance for your help.