View Full Version : WD 500gb External HDD failed

17th November 2013, 03:16 PM
Is there anything I can do or try here? When I plug it into my macbook pro the light comes on
the HDD but get a message on the computer saying the disk is unreadable. The repair and
verify disk buttons are blanked out so cant do anything there. The disk is about 2 years old
and up until now been fine.

Is there anything I can try (knock it about, pull cover off) or a disk repair application I may be able to use.
I tried disk repair and it says doesn't recognise or find any files

17th November 2013, 06:52 PM
How important is the information on the drive?

If it's genuinely important, DO NOTHING MORE.

Every time you try and work with a failed drive you stand a real chance of just making the situation worse and the data that much less recoverable.

In a case where the data is really important, get a professional to at least assess it - most good pro data recovery companies will do obligation free (or low cost) quotes on recovering your data. But be aware that these guys can charge like wounded bulls - I've seen quotes in the thousands for data recovery from failed drives.

The problem with what to try next is that it depends on why the drive has failed. If it's an electrical failure then there's probably not much you'll be able to do unless you're keen to try and buy an exact match hard drive and swap the controller circuitry (not necessarily a simple task). If it's mechanically dead then freezing or knocking the drive MIGHT help - but it might also just make the problem worse.

It's difficult to offer much more in the way of specific advice though.


17th November 2013, 08:15 PM
I have had several WD external hard drives that have failed. I do not use them any more. Interestingly the failed ones were the 'My Book' ones not the solid 'Elements' ones.

18th November 2013, 07:55 AM
I have a "my book" which I was using as a 2nd time machine backup.
On Saturday it became "unresponsive", & was the cause of slow shutdown.
I downloaded tools from the WD site, reformatted & updated firmware (the disk didn't show up in Disk Utility). Now it is going OK, but i don't know the cause of the problem, it is connected via USB3, the other time machine drive is Firewire.
Of course if you proceed as I did you will lose your data :(
Also see the following (not a factor in my case)
Western Digital Warns External Hard Drive Customers Over Mavericks Data Loss - Mac Rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/10/31/western-digital-warns-external-hard-drive-customers-over-mavericks-data-loss/)

Mac Aid
21st November 2013, 04:54 PM
If it's a hardware failure, it will either be a drive mechanism problem, which means data recovery if the data matters to you, or a case (bridge) problem. If that's the case, removing it from the case and putting it in a new case or mechanism will give you access to the data.

Any competent Mac service company will be able to tell you pretty quickly.

22nd November 2013, 07:26 AM
The issue with it being a WD 500GB is that as of a few years ago they changed them to have integrated USB controllers meaning if the controller dies you can't simply swap them to a new case like you used to be able to.