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What to do with a broken Western Digital WD Elements portable Hard Drive
Oh there's nothing better than having oodles of space on a portable hard drive to back everything you have up on so you don't have to choke your own computer with the lunatic amount of mp3s and pictures of cats you've collected over the years...
...That is, when the portable hard drive works that is.
When it doesn't (and Western Digital seems to have big problems with portable drives failing to get read on occasion), you will end up with that sinking feeling that your big collection of saved things has now just become a very fancy paperweight.
The good news is that you do have a number of options with what to do with it. So if you're WD elements drive is doing nothing but blinking at you and refusing to be read, try some of these solutions to see if you can get your can has cheezburger cats back where they belong.
Replace the cord: Both the USB and power cords to these drives can become damaged over time so check that they're in good working order. If you want to test them, borrow a set from a friend to see if that makes any difference. The USB cord for this system should only set you back a couple of bucks.
Open the case: Deep in your enclosed hard drive.. surprise surprise is actually, a normal hard drive. The only difference is that that it's connected to a USB cord reader while is a part that commonly fails. The good news is that it's easily removed by taking out the obvious screws with a screwdriver. After that you have a couple of ways to use the drive itself:
♦ Get another 3.5 inch Hard Drive enclosure kit that comes with USB and a power cord. These are commonly found at computer stores and eBay. This will make your portable hard drive still nice and portable, just in a different (non Western Digital) case.
♦ Plug your hard drive directly into your motherboard. If you're not technical enough to do this, consult a technical friend for advice. If it's a big sized drive (1TB or larger) just be aware that some older motherboards might have a problem with it connected and you might have to update a variety of things to get it working. Failing that...
Use a data recovery service: it's the most expensive option here but you can send it to the professionals to get everything off it. Check online for your nearest service.
And if those tricks fail...
Throw the dead drive through the nearest window: Sure it won't help you get anything off your drive, but it will make you feel much better about how frustrating a broken portable hard drive can truly be..