Please Help! External Hard Drive Not Detected


macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
Hi all,

I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could point me in the right direction with this problem I'm having.

My WD Elements 2TB was running fine until I dropped something heavy on my table, at which point it was ejected, with the computer issuing a notice that the disk was not readable by the computer.

I tried plugging it back in and I got the same error, but after a couple of tries, it stopped detecting it altogether. I can't even find it in Disk Utility.

Anyway, I've tried using different USB cables, different power adapters, and even plugged it into my PC: nothing has changed. I hear a faint clicking noise every time I plug it in, but that doesn't last too long. It's whisper quiet after that.

SO, WD said that they'd let me open this thing up and try to recover files myself (so that i don't have to pay someone else hundreds to do it for me) without voiding the warranty.

That means I need any help I can get in:

1. Determining the problem
2. Recovering files

I understand that the second might be a big undertaking, but I have no idea how to solve either of the two problems.

Please and thank you!


macrumors 6502
Feb 2, 2003
Silicon Valley
Hard drives and abrupt movement (like what you describe) don't mix well...

The drive head could have skipped across drive platters....not a good thing...

You might need to contact DriveSavers or other drive data rescue shops for help...unless you have recent backup of all your data on that drive....


macrumors 6502
Feb 2, 2003
Silicon Valley
'Step-by-steps' for what?

1. Call DriveSavers


2. Explain what happened to your drive...

3. Listen to what options the tech guy says to you...

4. Decide whether to send them the drive...

5. Let them get your data from drive and either put it on disk or flash drive or a new hard drive.

6. Get package back from DriveSavers.

7. Get back to work.....

Now, if you still want to try getting some data back yourself, then get a copy of either:


DataRescue 3

There are some others as well....

Thing is that if your hard drive is damaged physically inside, spinning up the platters can make things worse in terms of data recovery efforts.....

Your choice....

*** This is why regular drive backups is so important..... ***

Elbert C

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2008
A long shot but try the HDD in another enclosure.
Do you have DiskWarrior? It can recover files from failing hard drives.
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