WD 500GB hard drive no longer working

For the past six months my small portable hard drive has had an issue where if the it wasn’t in just the right possession it wouldn’t work (with the blue light not coming on). Yesterday, even when the blue light comes on my laptop can no longer detect it. At two points I was able to adjust the position of the hard drive to temporarily gain access and begin transfering some files across to my laptop to back them up, but since then no matter what position the hard drive is in or how straight or curled the cable is I can no longer get it to appear on my computer.

I have so far:

* Rotated it through every USB port on my laptop

* Used another laptop

* swapped out the cable (which has had the effect of the blue power light staying on no matter what position the cable is in, but no change)

* Looked through Device Manager and disk mangement, with the hard drive not appearing at any point.

* Plugged it in and waited for 30 minutes.

* Restarted my laptop

When I listen to the hard drive it is making noise, if that helps.

Most of what I have on the hard drive I can replace, but it contains some of my course work from University and I’d like to keep a copy of it if it can be helped. Any help in fixing it without having to pay someone to take the data off it would be much appreciated.

Did ypu try using a diff cable already? What is the model # of the drive?

Yeah, I got a new one that provides power consistently (the old one wouldn’t if the end going into the hard drive was too high up).

I got it working briefly this morning, but it was very slow and I couldn’t get anything off of it. But I did confirm that everything is still on there and intact.

Just listing off the various things on the bottom:


S/N: [Deleted]


R/N: D2B


Product of Thailand


N35 (what’s left is scratched off, first one is either a 6 or an 8, second one is either a 3 or an 8)


EDIT: I managed to get it working briefly this afternoon and extracted a few files. It lasted about five minutes before it finally stopped copying things across, during that time it started off slow and got slower (for example, while transfering files across the transfer rate started at 5 and a half mbs a second and got slower as time went on. The only thing different I did was put it upside down on the couch.

When it begins to stop working, first it’ll show folders as empty while still listing all of them, then it begins to show subfolders as missing before finally it lists the hard drive as having nothing on it whilst my computer showed that it was about half-full.

Try using a power booster cable.

I’m not sure if that would make any difference since I’ve been using this drive on this computer for years, but I’ll give it a shot.

EDIT: Got it working again for about half an hour tonight, same deal where the light just stayed on constantly with no regonition, but if it got into just the right position the light would start to flash and things would work. I managed to get some files off of it in this time before the light stopped flashing and the problems that came up every other time happened, but so far all files are still confirmed as being on there and being intact.

I am having exactly the same problems with my WD 500 GB, so it seems to be a common problem.  I will keep checking back to see if anyone can help as I have 50 years of scanned photos on mine which would take months to re-scan, so if anyone knows how to fix this issue, please help!   Thanks and best wishes, S

Okay, I’ve bought a hub that is AC powered and plugged the hard drive into that, still no change. Since last posting the hard drive now is even more fussy about the specific angles of the power cord (which again is a different power cord than the one I had sucessfully used two weeks ago).

I’m starting to suspect that this an internal problem with the connector, which is why it can still register that it’s recieving power, but only establish a connection under very specific circumstances.

If moving the cable in the drive has an effect then it might mean the USB port soldered on the circuit board is the problem. Opening the drive voids the warranty. One thing that might work is to remove the circuit board and take it to an electronics repair place and getting port resoldered.