WD Elements 1TB cannot be formatted

I recovered several hundred GB data from my WD Elements HDD, and since then its read/write speed is super slow. I thought it was caused by the cracked file system due to the recovery. So I want to format it. I’ve tried using the Window’s own tool (the one in Disk Management) and WD’s formatter. Neither of them works.

Any ideas what the problem could be? Is it possible the disk has some physical problem?

If you format the drive you lose everything there. I suggest you open the external drive and look at what is stored there.

If you used Drag and Drop, you will know where they are.

If you used WD Smartware or WD Backup, select the drive in Windows Explorer. You should see a folder marked either: WD Smartware.swstor or WD Backup.stor. Click on which one and follow down until you reach a folder with History and Volume folders. Select 'Volume". You should find your files there.

The History folder will have similar but modified names for your files.


Thanks, Cliff. I didn’t back up my data, but I’ve already recovered important files using other software. Now it’s safe to format the HDD. However, the issue is that the computer cannot format the HDD. Any suggestions about how I can force the formatting?

Do you have WD Drive Utilities on your computer. If not, you can download it from WD. Run the Qick Drive Test first If that doesn’t help, there is a Drive Erase feature on there. See if that works. If not, try the Internet.

Disk management is not really my specialty.