WDBAAU0020HBK failure


I am troubleshooting the failure of the OS to recognize this drive. Have tried it on multiple computers, none will recognize the drive. Tried new USB cable as well.

I am concerned about the data on this drive, as the system it was connected to crashed, and re-install of Win 7 was necessary.

When these USB drives fail, is the failure usually in the USB interface electronics, or the drive itself?

If the interface, then shouldn’t I be able to cut open the case, remove the HDD, and connect it to the computer’s SATA port to recover the data?

Thanks for your help


You appear to have an Elements model. These external drives do not incorporate AES hardware encryption, so you should be able to access your data via a SATA port on your motherboard.

Many users are reporting problems with the micro-USB connector, so that may be something you could check. If the USB-SATA bridge board is OK, then you should see it in Device Manager.

How does Microsoft’s UVCView utility see the external drive?

If the HDD is faulty, then this may show up in UVCView’s report.

I have a bit more info on this:

When I listen to the drive (putting my ear against the case), It seems to spin up, but then just makes a repeated and regular “click-click” sound. If I compare to a working drive, this is quite different.

In my experience, a drive that sounds the way this one does is dead. Thus I no longer believe I can recover any data, were I to cut open the case.

I did try the Elements drive with another power supply and USB cable, on a different system, all known working components (except the drive).

I also tried WD Lifeguard in Windows, then DOS. The USB drive is not recognized at all.

Does anyone know what model HDD is inside the Elements case? Why would the drive fail so quickly (about 1-1/2 years).

Could it be that due to being locked up in an un-ventillated case, the drive overheats?