WD Essentials 3tb drive problem!

I’ve had my WD drive for about a year and a half now and it is only mildly used (definitely no reason the drive should be “worn out”). 

The drive freezes up any computer it connects to now except for one. As soon as the drive is disconnected the freezing INSTANTLY stops. The computer without the freezing now shows the drive in my computer along with the correct amount of used space but the drive shows up as empty with only the $recycle.bin folder coming up. Any attempt to use any utilities to repair the disk results in read errors (trying to create folders on the drive results in a write error). Additionally the firmware update tool doesn’t work and gives an error.

From the hours I have wasted online researching this problem it seems that the usb/sata controller is most likely the culprit. However being an advanced format drive this chip also apparently sits as a go-between so that regular windows computers can see the full drive as plugging it right in the drive would not be supported. 

The internet also indicates that WD isn’t very helpful with these drives (which apparently suffer from these issues frequently) so at this point I am less concerned with any warranty and more concerned with getting my data back. I want to try pulling the drive out of the case and putting it directly into a computer but I’ve heard of two issues that might present a problem: 

  1. the encryption - I never used smartware or encrypted the drive but it seems that the drive might encrypt the data by default meaning I need the stupid faulty usb/sata chip to read it

  2. the advanced format 4k issue - the chip apparently “middle man’s” this so if I plug the drive into a vista machine (even with updated intel drivers so it will appear as a 3tb drive and not a 750 gig one) there could be issues with the data being offset or whatnot.

has anyone come up with a utility that can either repair the problem long enough to get my data off the enclosure or failing that a program to enable me to plug the drive directly into a computer which will compensate for whatever that usb/sata chip does so I can pull the data off that way?

worst case assuming I can quick-format the drive (apparently many people have issues doing this with WD drives too) has anyone had any luck doing that to “rebuild” a partition and then using file recovery software to pull the data off?

I have tried testdisk and it gives a read error when trying to find the partition (like all the other read errors I have been getting).

this is extremely frustrating and given that I was using this disk to back up another failed disk so I could replace it this is driving me nuts. Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!!

Hi, you can also try using recuva to recover your files. If that doesn’t work, I would try calling tech support for help.