WD Hard disk shown as Unknown device in Device Manager

I have been using a WD External Hard disk (My Passport Essential SE USB 3) for quite some time now, but recently something very unexpected has happened. My WD disk is shown as an Unknown Device  in the Device Manager with the  USB Device not Recognized error in the Taskbar.

I work on an XP based laptop (Sony Vaio VGN C190G), which never had any issues with the WD disk. A few days back, while working at a friend’s place, I connected my WD disk to his PC (a Windows Seven based desktop), which somehow didn’t read it. The status light kept flashing while I could hear the disk running inside the casing but nothing came up on the screen.

After a few (failed) attempts I gave up and connected it to another PC - this time an XP based desktop - which displayed the  USB Device not Recognized  error on the Taskbar. The XP machine was sensing it but as an  Unknown Device  (Device Manager). 

I came back and tested it on my own laptop, which (to my dismay) showed me the USB Device not Recognized  error again. Fortunately, one of my other laptops (an XP based HP Pavilion) still connects and reads from the disk!

Now, the scene is: I have two laptops at home. Both run XP; one can read from the disk while the other cant. So, what could be the possible solution? 

Are you using on USB 3 or 2.0?

Is the other computer a laptop?

It could be a power issue… If not a laptop connect the USB in the back of the PC

Check if the Passport is recognized on the disk management window. If you can see it there, then is provable that the information inside it is corrupted, to recover it you can use a data recovery program. If you can not see it there, then the Passport is faulty.


drive is not healthy thats for sure. Do you hear it spinning when plugged in? any abnormal sounds?