Password for My Passport Essential external drive

I have had this drive for several years and it never asked for a password nor was a password ever assigned. In November I decided to put all my image/photos on this drive. All those files were on 7 different jump drives. 2 weeks ago I added two more folders to the library. The screen disappeared when the file transfer was finished. I doubleclicked on the drive in the left window pane and the screen came up asking for a password to access the drive. I must emphasize that a password was never assigned so the password was not forgotten. Why did this drive ask for a passwowrd when it never did previously? I never assigned a password to access this drive. All my photos are on this drive and I want access to get them off the drive. I know about fraud and how prevalent it is but this is MY drive and NO PASSWORD was ever assigned to it. Any REAL help to get these files will be greatly apprecdiated.

The Essentials version doesn’t have encryption and password locking, at least as far as I can recall. That’s part of what makes it the cheaper Essentials rather than the full version.

So I would wonder if you’ve been hit by a ransomware virus or something like that? Is it only this drive that is affected, and is your AV software running and up to date?

According to WD Marketing/Advertising … they do

(you’re mistaking them for the Elements range, which don’t)

@JoeySmyth Oops, yes you’re correct. I was thinking of the Elements indeed.

Apologies for that.

Unfortunately I don’t think there is a way around this, as there’s no way to unlock/recover data without a password, and if something has happened to the drive to make it think it has one (or has a random one somehow) then there’s no solution iirc.