I have been using my WD Passport Essential (500GB) for fine during the past few months. I copied about 1000 files to it and yesterday my PC (running under Windows 7 home basic, 32 bit) would no longer recognize it by saying “The device attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it”. I tried changing the USB cable, still does not work. Now it is saying it has malfunctioned and does not show up on my computer. Is there a solution to fix this sort of external HDD not detected issue? Or at lease recover my data. Please help!
There are a number of reasons that can cause the issue and make your WD external drive won’t be detected well by PC. Try the following steps one by one to see if the problem can be fixed.
Step 1: Download Stellar Windows Data Recovery and install it on your PC. Open the software and see if it can detect your WD drive thus recover some data immediately. Many a time, the external storage device does appear under “Disk Management” though your computer won’t recognize it well.
Step 2: If you have just installed some third-party programs or plug-ins, remove them in case they might be causing a conflict with the system drivers. If you can’t remember those new-added apps or services, use System Restore option to restore your Windows to an earlier date (when your WD drive can be detected normally).
Step 3: Try Driver Detective to fix possible driver errors. The app finds all your outdated drivers and automatically updates them all. Note: Windows driver issues can quite possibly cause your WD HDD to work not that smoothly.
Step 4: Simply unplug your PC from the power supply. First turn off your Windows 7 using Shut Down or pressing the power button and then unplug it from the wall outlet. After 60 seconds or so and plug it back in. Note that this does not mean just turning off your computer because modern computers don’t really turn off when you press the power button as the motherboard still gets power.
Hope the above fixes help resolve your WD not recognized by PC problem.