Western Digital My Passport 320 GB,External WD3200ME - No longer working

I have had this portable drive for over a year and it is full of data important to me.

Recently I connected it and nothing happened. Ever since I tried many different laptops and diferent cables always with the same result; it lights up and starts spinning, but the operating system doesn’t detect it.

I have read the guides about cleaning the USB ports, using different cables as well as the power starvation issues but I am sure I tried everything and nothing happens.

I have ended up going from computer to computer plugging it in, in hope that the next computer will somehow recognise it but it doesn’t. At this point I think these portable drives are dangerous data graves that collect data over a year and then lock them in forever.

My question is, assuming the drive is simply never going to operate again becase of low shelf live or whatever other reason, is there still some hope of recovering the data? Does WD help their customers who are in this situation?


All my folders in my Passport 320 External are appearing as shortcuts and therefore cannot access my saved data.  Appreciate your assistance.



Got an update.

I contacted the data recovery partner of WD for a quote which said would be between the range of $300 - $1000.

I then attempted various things. Since the hard drive lights up and spins but is not recognized by any computer, I figured there is sitll hope. So I tried booting my laptop with linux and then attempted to reconnect it.

I discovered that if I held the external drive pointing upwards with a slight 30 degree tilt to the left, it would be recognized by the laptop. However, no other positioning would work and the connection would be immediately lost.

I managed to keep the drive in place long enough to extract all the data out and save them in another external drive, hence saving myself a potential $1000 setback.

I recommend those of you in the same position, to persevere and try various angles and various operating systems.
I later realised that the drive would be read using Windows 7 as well but only in that same position so it’s not the operating system as much as the exact positioning of the drive that makes the difference.

Good luck!