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Old 05-17-2008, 01:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hard Drives is not showing files

I have a 500Gb WD external HD. Just recently I attempted to access something on the HD, and to my surprise, all the files and folders were gone, except for the 'My Music' folder. Even this folder had nothing in it. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drives is not showing files

If the original partition is still on the drive it's most like the factory Fat32 type for flexibility between Windows or Mac. It sounds like the software needs a reinstall on Windows in order for Windows to be able to properly read the older Fat type partition many external drive generally come with.

One alternative besides Windows for looking on the drive with a little ease is a live for cd Linux distro like ubuntu since those can read MS partitions as well as Linux Vfat types. They often make a great data recovery tool for this reason when Windows can't access a drove or partition for some reason.

With the serial number required you can go directly to the WD support site to get the zip file available for replacing the original software they come with. Once you have full access and can back all files up eslewhere use the Disk Management tool to reformat the drive to NTFS!

That will make the drive seen without the software in both XP and Vista without fuss. I ran into that one using a WD 500gb usb model here. Is that the My Book Essential?

Once reformatted and the zip file is unpacked onto the NTFS partition you simply plug the drive in while XP is running to see the autorun.inf file bring up the autoplay popup asking to play media since it's then seen as a disk inserted into am optical drive. Windows will then simply see the drive as another logical drive even without the software installed.

Copying files from the external to internal with ubuntu live on cd.

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Old 05-17-2008, 04:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drives is not showing files

Not entirely sure which version of My Book it is. When I use this zip file, will it format my HD or simply give me access to the files? Do you have a link to where I can download this zip file? It might not work seeing as I am running the HD on a government computer and they have more restrictions than humanly possible.
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drives is not showing files

The WD support requires the drive's serial number be entered on their support page's request seen there. All the zip file is are the files that come preinstalled on the drive where the unpack to the drive replaces anything missing like the autorun.inf file. That goes quick once you have the download and simply extract the files from the download onto the drive.

For working without full administrative access you would have to go to someone above you in charge there since that's not your own private property. And no it only replaces the original program not wiping anything else leaving the partition intact.

With an NTFS NT cored OS the idea of first backing all files up and reformatting to NTFS and then extracting the original software files to the drive is the best move for Windows. XP and Vista alike will then readily see the drive just like it was an internal model while you can still run the installer. Fat type partitions require the software so that the newer versions can see onto that partition type as well as being compatible for Mac. That's why you see the Windows/Mac compatibilty seen when first buying one.

Even the support site at Seagate for that brand recommends first reformatting to NTFS if Windows is the OS to be used. Sometimes the Fat32 factory partition doesn't go on fully and results in problems like the one you are seeing now. I ran into that here where once I saw Fat32 was the type I backed up everything and simply reformatted the drive.

WD's support page is seen at Downloads Once there you have to select the exact model following the My Book title with Essential, Essential 2.0, Home Edition, Office Edition, Premium, Premium ES, etc. there or enter the model number. That will take you through the process where the actual serial number for that particular drive will have to be entered to be able to download the replacement in a zip file. The information there will instruct you to simply unpack the files onto the drive itself.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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OK, I have the My Book Premium Edt. Should I be downloading the WD Drive Manager (PC), or is it something different?

Revision, I have the Premium ES Edition. The only thing I can download that is considered restricted software (serial number required) is the WD Retrospect .zip file (approx 182Mb). Is this the correct file?
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drives is not showing files

When registaring the drive(required) you simply provide a first and last name, a valid email address, and the serial number as required. WD's automatic notification sends an email with a download link for the page there.

That was an item I forgot to mention earlier. But that insures the correct file for the model you have there. The main reason for that is to prevent anyone other then a valid owner from access to the software. Kind of a software piracy prevention method.

The model or order number itself will insure the correct download since that will identify the precise model of drive you have there. The backup software zip file I downloaded showed...

Supported Operating System:
Windows 98 SE
Windows ME
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Mac OS X

The software also runs on Vista as well. But once you reformat the factory Fat32 or see that removed you can create a new NTFS partition and actually no longer need the software while it's still a good idea to have it on anyways.

For the drive you have there registration is required as well for the Restrospect Express HD 2.0.

Supported Operating System:
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows Vista

You can see the slight difference between models right away. But once you selected the MyBk Premium ES 2.0 and then enter the serial number while registaring you will see the correct file there that serves as the backup software. You got it right.

If you have any online free email you could easily use that to get the download and remember to save it to a specific folder on a drive to have onhand as well as remembering the sign in link like saving that in the favorites for future used if needed. The email can also be moved into the drafts or sent mail of an email account to keep from being deleted.

WD simply wants verification that you actually own one of their drives by requiring the registration to gain access to the replacement software seeing the exact same files that come on the drive already when first bought. You'll get the correct file once the registration is complete.
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