Passport problems

I bought a new Passport 2TB External Hard drive and have an existing 2TB Passport that is nearly full with a lot of duplicated data: so I wanted to transfer data from the old to the new such that the new does not have duplicated data. The old had about 1.8TB of data used space.

I set passwords on both and set both to auto-unlock on my laptop.

Given I am furloughed, I then spent three weeks transferring the data for the old to the new, painstakingly removing duplicates file by file. The new drive had about 0.8TB of data used space.

I noticed I had a new CD drive as well as my main Passport drive with the new Passport - which I had never had with the old.

One day I plugged in the new Passport and nothing!

It shows up in Disk Management as needing initialising. It shows up under USB storage devices and disk drives in Device Manager: properties in both say it is working properly… It does not show up under IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers in Device Manager (as my original Passport does.

It doesn’t show up in Windows Explorer - though the CD drive does. But clicking that does nothing. In every case it shows up as being empty of data.

In Disk Management, I cannot add a drive letter and because there is no drive letter, recovery programmes like Recuva cannot find it to recover the data. Similarly with chkdisk in Command Prompt run as Administrator. But then the original Passport that is working properly shows up the same in Disk Management as needing to be intialised - but that is showing the data as being there in the small blue box on the left and there is large white box to the right of that box with a record of the data - which isn’t there with the one I am having the problem with. The problem disk is offline and pressing offline to try and bring it online after right clicking does nothing.

It shows up in WD Discovery but again saying it is empty and putting the password in does nothing. It doesn’t show up in WD Security at all. Again I would repeat that it should automatically unlock on this laptop. Trying to run WD Utilities diagnostic says “Smart Status Failed” and does nothing - Quick and Complete Test will not run. In the Drive Erase tab it says “5 incorrect attempts” - which is nonsense considering auto-unlock is enabled. I have also tried to put the password in or remove the password in WD Discovery and all I get is the circle of doom.

I have tried different US Ports both on this laptop and on it on two other older laptops I have and the same happens on all three. I have tried three different wires as I bought 2 Passports when I bought the one I am having a problem with - the second new one was to create a backup of the unduplicated data from the one I am having problems with before I erase the original, such that I could use one on a daily basis rather than use my laptop storage, have a spare with all the data on it and a spare empty for work.

I saw a thread here that said turn off SMART by rebooting and pressing F2 - which I did, but the instructions then say go Advanced etc etc - but I could not see an “Advanced” anywhere on the DOS type Utility that came up on my Laptop when I pressed F2. The post then referred to another (Stellar?) page - but that page was all about checking drives - which wont help me as neither my laptop (nor any recovery software) is recognising my Passport and no utilities type programmes can find it.

So what can I do: I can’t lose the data I spent three weeks getting on to this drive and I am now terrified of plugging in the original drive with all the data on in case the same thing happens: I do not have a copy of that one - the whole idea of buying the new drive was to create that copy!