New My Book Essential 500 GB Unidentifiable

Brand new out of the box My Book USB 2.0.  On Windows, 8.1, Vista and Windows 7, it is unidentifiable.  Only Vista knows when it’s plugged in and looks for driver.  At first, it showed up as a CD. I ran the software and it “failed”.  It downloaded firmware which also “failed”.  Different cables and computers. All the same.  

It is replacing an identical My Book that “disappeared”. I had to use recovery software to get the files from it. 

Any ideas?

Welcome to the Community.

That hard drive model is no longer produced as 500GB. What drivers and software are you installing? If you mean the SES Drivers and WD SmartWare, you should be able to install them even with the hard drive disconnected. I’d recommend downloading the latest versions for that particular model:

SES Driver

WD SmartWare

Latest Firmware for 500GB Unit (The drive must be connected)

If the hard drive is showing as a CD, then it must be the VCD from that drive’s generation. An “Unlocker” application should be inside. Does it ask for a password if you run it?