My Passport Ultra Fails Drive Utilities, But Why?

My out-of-warranty 2TB My Passport Ultra passes the SMART test in WD Drive Utilities, but fails both the Quick and Complete drive tests almost immediately (within roughly 30 seconds). It passes a complete checkdisk (Windows 10 Home Edition), and appears to be functional: I can open files that are on the drive without any apparent problems.

As best I can tell, Drive Utilities doesn’t generate any error log that would give me a clue as to why the drive failed the tests, particularly so quickly. Are there any ways to find out why the tests were failed?


I ran into the same problem with the same portable drive this evening. I had not used it for about 6 weeks and I was doing a backup when I received multiple errors saying certain files did not back up (they appeared to be some kind of system file, not files I had saved). After this I ran the utilities with the same outcome as you - SMART test passed but drive tests failed immediately. Unfortunately my drive is non-functioning as I cannot access it at all. From FIle Explorer I get “D:/ is not accessible”. Has anyone seen this and been able to recover from it?

Tech support didn’t bother to tell me this, but there is additional drive-checking software, Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostics [Software and Firmware Downloads | WD Support]. I’m running it on my drive right now. It passed both the SMART and quick checks. There are several hours left on the extended test, but at least it didn’t fail immediately. Unlike you, I have been able to access the drive through Windows Explorer, so our root problems may be different. You might want to try Data Lifeguard on yours. As best I can tell, a log file is generated, which didn’t appear to be the case with Drive Utilities. If there is anything to add once the extended test is complete, I’ll update this message.


Thanks Terry, I found the same tool last night and downloaded and ran it. It failed the quick test but I went ahead and ran the complete test hoping it would be more telling. It ran for 7 hrs then stopped with the error message “Too many bad sectors”. How does a 1 year old harddrive that is used about once a month for backup and kept in a dark, dry place go bad like that? Very frustrating. I’ll be contacting support. I hope you have better success with yours since it sounds like it’s not a goner like mine.

With Data Lifeguard, my drive passed the Quick Check, but failed the Extended Check with an unspecified number of Bad Sector errors, which the program was unable to fix. So I downloaded and ran the free version of EaseUs Partition Master 14.5 [Free Partition Manager Software for Winodws 11/10|EaseUS® Partition Master Free]. The surface scan took about 8 hours and located a whopping one bad sector. Sadly, the program doesn’t have a utility to repair the bad sector, but its graphic display showed me where the bad sector was. Next, I tried to repair it with Windows checkdisk (using parameters /f/r/x) overnight. The computer shut down at some point during the night, so I didn’t get to review the results. I ran Partition Manager again, and a bad sector showed up in the same location, so obviously it wasn’t repaired.

The long and the short of it is, I apparently only have one bad sector, and the disk does seem functional. Your situation sounds much worse. If it’s out of warranty, you may have no choice but to replace it. Good luck.


Terry_L…I’ve not used chkdsk so I’m always curious when users do and their success/failures. Obviously the user has determined that something is bad with sectors/partitions and willing to run a Fix because one could not retrieve files or the device gets an error msg thus making the drive unusable. In your case, you have one bad sector…but disk is functional…I would try and remove all the good stuff somewhere before running the /f or /r…in-case something goes bad with chkdsk or any other Fix.

  • as to PC shutting down…that’s too bad after all that time…try changing the sleep to Never and re-run you Fix utilities…I believe the PC sleeps, unless you keyboard/mouse activate, and not the fact that a background program is running or say if you are download videos that take a long time. You can always reset if you leave your PC on all day, so it does go to sleep. This PC sleep also kills any scheduled backups done in the background when user not active.

That’s the most annoying thing about all this: I had set it not to go to sleep when plugged, just for the screen to turn off. In the morning, I couldn’t get the screen to turn back on and had to restart Windows. Hence, I couldn’t view whatever result checkdisk reported.

As I mentioned, this was one bad sector out of several hundred thousand. I had a pictorial representation of where it was located, but no clue as to where it actually was on the drive or what file was stored there; hence, I don’t know what to relocate. All this was because I was running WD Drive Utilities on all my external drives, having had problems with one of them, and DU failed the 2TB drive on two tests within seconds, without explanation. Everything that unsued was driven by the unhelpfulness of the test software, rather than a specific problem with a file on the 2TB drive.

So now I’m googling " how to isolate bad sectors," which apparently checkdisk can’t do. The problem with all of this is that, whatever problem you identify, almost everyone has software they hope to sell you, so it’s hard to know who to trust. Do you have any recommendations for how to identify and isolate a specific bad sector?


Strange that disabling the PC/laptop sleep mode, with it plugged in (not battery), that you could not wake up the monitors screen saver by moving keyboard or mouse. This is no good.

  • I’m not into bad sectors or issues with drives…sorry. Wow, looking for specific software is very tough with everyone touting their product.
  • if I read on chkdsk, the /r locates and recovers…now I’m not sure what recover actually means.
    chkdsk | Microsoft Learn

Thanks, HowAbout.

To the point about not waking up, yes, it is annoying. Don’t know whether the problem is w,ith Windows or an aging laptop.

In fairness to the purveyors of software, most of them do offer free versions, but at 7-8 hours per attempt, it would be nice to get recommendations from people not connected to the company who have used the software successfully. I may try running checkdisk during the day, so I can monitor its progress in real time.


Terry…laptops may have different Sleep rules than my Desktop and Sleep on it may eventually become a shutdown of monitor and (maybe) the PC…I’ve had to change my desktop sleep to Never, especially when I had to do a Win7 to Win10 conversion that took overnite. I’ve been having a side discussion with WD support about the Sleep function of the Passport itself. There is some misinformation about this function that I don’t understand. I don’t know how you tell when it is sleeping…maybe lcd lites…

The chkdsk does do a straight scan (I believe you already did that since there was an indicator of a bad sector). What you are trying to do is Fix/override this sector and retain all the rest using the /r or something like that. You then would be hardpressed to find the files affected by this repair, short of coming across a bad file when opening…wish you the best…