Western Digital Rant

Started Jan 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
jba6 Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: Western Digital Rant

chkproductions wrote:

Thank you AltLens. I agree that there is something in manufacturing going on with the WD external drives. In brief - I have 3WD externals - 2 USB3, and an old USB2. For no reason and without being able to replicate, the 2 USB3s just stop and do not show up in Windows Explorer. I have to unplug the power, reboot the computer and and then they show up. Surprisingly, I have not had a problem with the USB2. USB3s were connected to a dedicated powered USB card. At first I thought it was outdated drivers, bad card, etc. I updated the firmware for the drives from WDs site according to their instructions, one drive connected at a time. Then for work reasons I decided to update my computer and bought a brand new Dell XPS8500 which have USB3 in it already. Same thing - the 2 USB3 drives would intermittently not show up in Windows Explorer.

I went back to WD's support and only found the possible solutions that I had already tried. I initiated a support ticket and was only told to do a full scan of the drives with their software. Both drives passed. I did a Google search and saw post after post on the WD support forum of the same issue - the drives just stop showing up as drives. On one post it was said not to plug them into a UPS backup or a power strip but directly into their own wall outlets - What? I don't and I don't think many people have dedicated wall outlets just for external drives.

So I think it is their transformers and the power they put out to the drives themselves. The reason I think that is it only takes unplugging the power and not the USB cable, rebooting the computer and they show up again.

If anyone has any new info I'd like to know about it. And any recommendations on more reliable external drives.

In my experience what you describe above is quite common and if your setup is similar to mine it is simply caused by Windows failing to allocate a drive letter to a newly plugged in drive. If this is the case for you all you need to do when one doesn't show up in Windows Explorer is right click Computer in the Start menu and select Manage. In the Computer Management window that then opens click Disk Management. Scroll down through the disks displayed in the bottom half of the central section of the window until you see your external drive. Right click in the main right hand pane for the drive and select Change Drive Letter and Paths. You will now be able to allocate a drive letter after it should be visible in Windows Explorer.

I find the above is typically necessary after I have accessed the drive using a bootable CD eg when doing a system backup.

Hope that helps,

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