WD Elements Portable 2TB not detected

I have WD Elements Portable 2TB drive (bought in 2017) which has been working OK until today. It is not detected by Windows 10 (updated to 20H2). It did not have any read or or write errors. CrystalDiskInfo has shown it is healthy.

When I connect it to my laptop, connecting sound is heard and it is shown in Device Manager, but only as “WD Elements 0000 USB Device”. Disk Management shows it as “Unknown Not initialized”.

There is almost 1 TB photos and other important data so I do not want to try to reformat it.

Could it be that the controller board is broken? If I order similar new drive and replace the controller board, should it work?


Whenever there is “disk unknown not initialized” issue occurs, your hard drive may show unallocated space in Disk Management, and the data on which will be inaccessible or else there is another situation: there is no disk space shown in Disk Management.

There are a few possible reasons behind hard disk not initialized listed below. You can find out the real cause based on your own situation.

  1. File system corruption.
  2. Virus infection.
  3. Bad blocks and sectors.
  4. MBR damage.
  5. Connection problem.

You can give a try to below mentioned 2 different methods to resolve the issue:

Method 1. Use Disk Management to fix not initialized error on an external hard drive

  1. Connect the uninitialized external hard drive to your PC.
  2. Press Win + R keys, type: diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
  3. Find the uninitialized, unknown external hard drive with I/O device error > Right-click on it and select Initialize Disk.
  4. Then set the disk to initialize and set the disk as MBR or GPT.

After this, you may reboot your PC and keep all changes. Now, your external hard drive will be recognized and read by Windows again.

Method 2. Run CMD to repair I/O device error on not initialized external hard drive

This CMD command would erase all data on the uninitialized hard drive, which you can later restore after repairing the external hard drive not initialized, with the help of any data recovery or partition recovery software:

  1. Press Win+R > Type: diskpart and hit Enter.
  2. Type: list disk and hit Enter.
  3. Type: select disk F and hit Enter; (replace F with the drive letter of an uninitialized external hard drive) .
  4. Type: clean and hit Enter.
  5. Type: convert gpt or convert mbr and hit Enter.
  6. Type: create partition primary and hit Enter.
  7. Type: format quick fs=ntfs and hit Enter.
  8. Type: assign and hit Enter.
  9. Type: exit and hit Enter.

Hope it will help you.