Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Hard Drive HELL (Unknown, Not Initialized)

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    Windows 7 64bit

    Hard Drive HELL (Unknown, Not Initialized)


    I had a WD 2TB external drive which I transferred successfully to a USB 3.0 enclosure months ago. Then I moved and the drive has been packed away in the trunk of my car since.

    I just got it out as I need some files on it, and when I hooked it up it didn't work: the computer recognized it as a CD drive or something... in Computer it would not show up or show up as just a drive letter ... in disk management it said No Media. I tried it on another PC too to no avail.

    After much research, the most likely solution looked to be to get a new enclosure. So I did, but the drive still isn't working, but in a different way.

    When I first hooked it up, all looked well: the system tray showed correct recognition of the drive and enclosure type/brand and installed the drivers successfully.

    But the drive no longer shows up in Computer at all, and in disk management it now prompts me to initialize the disk, and has it marked as Unknown, Not Initialized.

    I have spent all day trying to fix this problem, and have read a million threads on different sites and tried everything, to no consequence. I need the files on the drive, and have tried all of the following:

    - booting in ubuntu and knoppix via cd - drive is not recognized

    - every major app for this type of problem i saw recommended: seagate seatools, partition wizard, wd data lifeguard diagnostics, power data recovery, find and mount, a bunch of stuff on hiren's boot cd, test disk, etc.

    In most cases, the drive was not recognized at all. In a couple instances it was, but no scans were successful - they would instantly say failed, or complete instantly showing no results.

    The drive sounds fine when it is turned on/hooked to the pc: it sounds normal, spins like it should, no weird noises.

    I have no idea what to do. The only thing left that I'm aware of is to initialize it (against most of the advice I read) and hope it then at least gets recognized by some of the recovery apps.

    But I don't want to lose my data and this seems like an absolute last resort.

    Help!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Austin TX metro area
    Posts : 640
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit [MS blue-disk set]


    "...See page 38 "Unlocking the Drive with the WD Drive Unlock Utility" of this Smartware User Manual..." --Jumanji, w7forum
    The page is no longer available.
    That was what I also was looking for! Smartware's Drive Unlock -- this software cannot be altered, bypassed; and must be installed and active on each and every computer attempting to utilize the WD Passport HD in question.

    Over in sevenforums.com, Jumanji explains why one should not change WD Passport HD's exterior/external enclosure -- I can't find the right words, the thing that now comes between computer and WD Passport HD. Based on that sevenforum's thread, put this WD Passport HD back exactly how you had it in the computer originally. Hopefully the software that came with the WD Passport HD will kick in. WD Passport HDs have an on-board circuit-board level encryption process that gets everything going onto and everything coming off of said WD Passport HD. Changing the physical interface and/or attempting to bypass the included software will bring much more grief than joy. I know, because I had to return such a WD Passport HD to Fry's Electronics because I interfered with the access-software of said WD Passport HD.

    Let me reword what I learned from J over in 7-forum:
    WD Passport HDs have an on-board circuit-board level encryption process that whatsoever going onto and whatsoever is coming off of said WD Passport HD must pass through the on-board/circuit-board level encryption process. Altering the included software and/or attempting to bypass this process, hardware-wise or software-wise -- will bring much more grief than joy.
    Last edited by RolandJS; 02 Jul 2016 at 12:11.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 3
    Windows 7 64bit


    thanks for your response.

    the drive in question is not a passport, it's an older wd (non "portable") drive.

    it worked fine when i first put it into a third party usb 3.0 enclosure. only now, after months of inactivity, it's not working.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 138
    Windows 8 Pro


    Have you tried a different drive in the enclosure? That would eliminate that problem.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 3
    Windows 7 64bit


    Quote Originally Posted by TrustMe View Post
    Have you tried a different drive in the enclosure? That would eliminate that problem.
    not sure what you mean. are you referring to the first replacement enclosure or the second/current one?

    in either case, how would putting a different hard drive in it fix my problem?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 138
    Windows 8 Pro


    Sorry, I missed that you bought a second enclosure. You might consider asking for help at our sister sight Windows SevenForms. Just let them know your on Windows 8. There is a hard drive expert there that RolandJS mentioned above. Hopefully he'll pick up your post.

    Windows 7 Help Forums
    Last edited by TrustMe; 03 Jul 2016 at 21:27.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Austin TX metro area
    Posts : 640
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit [MS blue-disk set]


    By swapping hard-drives, you rule in or rule out the enclosure being the problem.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Hard Drive HELL (Unknown, Not Initialized)
Related Threads
Any idea why my SSD is listed as a 'Hard disk drive' instead of 'Solid state drive' as in your screenshots above? I am running W8 Pro x64 RTM from Technet. In Device Manager my SSD shows as a 'Samsung SSD 830 Series SCSI Disk Device'. I wonder if it's being on a Marvell controller might be the...
I have this 160GB hard drive that I have not been using for a while, yet I am very sure it was working fine the last time I used it. Today when I plugged it in to my new notebook that is running Windows 8.1 now, it doesn't detect my hard drive. I also tried on other notebook and it has the same...
I am using windows 8 and I have read previous threads with similar issues that I face but my problem is unique. My 60GB external Hard disk was manufactured by FUJITSU and was taken out of a dell laptop. When I bought a case for it yesterday it was tested in a laptop computer to see if it was...
I've got 600GB HD (Rock mobile disk) that goes without saying need to be recuperated. It was working fine earlier this summer when I last accessed it. A few weeks ago, I plugged it in again and it gave me an I/O Device Error, read and unspecified error. I have been researching a solution non...
hey guys.... made an account in the hopes you might be able to help me. right, we borrowed the wifes folks laptop hp 655 (win 8), while i repaired the hdd on ours.... when i came home today the wifes says the laptop is acting up, when i turn it on there is an error popup saying explorer.exe...
I'm booting off my SSD which is drive C:\ and I have games and programs on an extra hard drive which was origanally drive H:\ but after a restart it switched to I:\ and when I go into Disk Management to change it Drive H:\ isn't there.
I have a 2TB Western Digital My Book Essentials, it's filled with tons of old photos, movies, docs, games, and I'm scared to think of what else. The SATA to USB connector broke on it, so I took the drive apart and put it inside my computer. I opened up device manager because it wasn't showing up...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook