WD Elements SE Unrecognized Win 10

Device: 2x 1 TB WD Elements SE External HDD
OS: Win 10
PC: 1x Acer Spin Laptop, 1x HP Laptop and 1x Intel desktop
Related: New Computer / Cannot Unlock Drive / Maximum Number of Attempts - WD External Drives / External Drives for PC - WD Community

I have attempted to use my WD HDD on multiple laptops and I receive the same issue on each device. Other HDDs and USBs work on both laptops just fine.

Both HDDs are brand new, I bought the first one about 3 months ago to store some backups, I formatted it using recommended/default settings in win 10 on my desktop, I then encrypted it using bitlocker (I store the password in keepass). After transferring everything I wanted to backup onto it and encrypting it, I put it into my cupboard for safe storage and let it sit.

Since my old seagate HDD finally karked it, I bought a second WD one, exactly the same as the one above, about 2 weeks ago so I could use it for a work trip to store things on, since my personal laptop I use just for such occasions only has a small SSD. Again, I encrypted it with bitlocker and stored the password in Keepass.

The couple of days before my trip and the first couple days on the trip, I was able to access the HDD on all 3 PCs, multiple times, without issue.
Then suddenly it stopped working, my laptop (acer) was no longer recognizing it and would not show up in Explorer as an available drive.
The light on the HDD is on and it heats up as if I’m reading data from it, Disk Part and Disk Management show the device but fail to initialize or interact with it.
If I go to device hardware and properties, it shows that the device “is working properly”.
First thing I did was test it on my work laptop (HP) - same thing, no longer showing up in explorer.
I then went and updated and/or reinstalled all my drivers and even went as far as to update my chipset drivers just in case - nothing.
Attempting to format the drive also results in an error.
I installed the WD Drive Utilities program and attempted a “Drive Status Check” which immediately came back with “SMART Status Failed”, attempting to run the other two checks results in nothing happening.
On the “Drive Erase” tab of the utilities program, it has “5 incorrect password attempts - you have reached the maximum number of password attempts” which is odd because since I was never able to access the drive, I was never prompted for a password.
I am currently still away from home and am unable to test if the cable is the issue, once I get home I will attempt to use the cable from my other HDD and will post results.

I do not have access to a non-win 10 device and therefore am unable to determine if it’s a windows compatibility issue or not, however, it is a moot point when it is advertised as windows 10 compatible.

For a brand new product to have so many issues within the first week of purchase is not a good look. This is what I get for buying cheap HDDs, suffice to say I will not be buying WD products again and will be advising other people to stay away from them.

I am creating this post in the hopes that I might get some useful advice or suggestions on how to fix this problem (or try something I haven’t done yet) but also as feedback.

If your hard drive is giving any of the below indications or warning signs then there are chances that your drive might be failing:

  1. Drive is undetectable or unrecognized.
  2. System fails to boot.
  3. Drive begins to make a strange noise.
  4. System gets heated soon.
  5. BIOS unable to detect the drive.
  6. Files or folders become invisible or corrupt.
  7. Slowing down of the system.

Further, I suggest you to check out the below blog that explains all the measures to check the health of any hard disk:


Hope it will help!!

try removing the disk and see if the bare disk works in a desktop