Wd passport HD failing? - please help!

hi guys,

i’m not really experienced in my knowledge about data storage or HD etc. So i thought this is a good forum to ask for advice / help.

i bought the WD HD approx. around mid 2008 and have been using it since then until recently a few days ago. It is starting to show some symptoms of break down/problems. 

  • A few months ago i noticed when i plugged into my PC, a message box popped up saying “Format Drive before use” with either Format or Cancel button.
    I ignored it a few times and just clicked on Cancel, as i thought Format means to wipe out all the data on the HD, which i don’t want, as i use the HD as back up.


  • When plugged to PC, it is either not recognised or

  • it is recognised and randomly disappears and disconnects from PC

  • The light is still flashing / on when it is plugged to PC, which must mean it is being powered

  • After a while it starts to make faint click-ing noises

  • i have noticed sometimes all the data finished transfer to HD, i try ejecting the HD from computer, it doesn’t let me. One occassion i actually waited a whole hour and it still didnt let me eject it from the computer.

how i use it:
-I Only use it for back up of family photos,videos and documents.

  • Only use it maybe once or twice a month, for short periods of time

  • i always use it with care, and do not drop it or move it at all, only use it at home for back up of photos and videos, docs etc.

  • i have plugged HD at front of Computer and back usb port as well

I have came to a conclusion and is accepting that my HD is failing. 

So how do i make a back up of my important files if its not recoginised by my computer??

Also, is there anything i can use (e.g. software) for me to check regularly that the HD is functioning normally? rather than find out randomly, which is what happened a few days ago, without much warning… or perhaps silly me, didnt realise!

I appreciate your advice and help, thanks, 

At first blush, it sounds like the drive isn’t getting enough power from the USB port.

I think the Passports require 1000mA of USB current, but a USB port only “has” to supply 500mA (although many do provide more than this).

I’d get a power booster cable from WD… it’s basically a Y cable that plugs into 2 USB ports so that the drive can get sufficient power.