MacBook (OSX Yosemite) no longer recognizing my WD External Hard Drive

Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Earlier today I bought an HP laptop that runs Windows 8 and I attempted to connect my WD My Book External HD (1 TB) for Mac to it and download a firmware update from the Western Digital website to see if that would get it to read it even though it says its "for Mac". I realize that was probably dumb.
Well as you can imagine it didn't update the firmware so I unplugged it and reconnected it to my MacBook. Usually it would appear on my MacBook Desktop within a few moments but it didn't. I went to the WD driver website again to try and update the firmware, downloaded the driver, extracted it and ran it but now it says "Unable to update firmware on this device. Please contact support."

I can't find it in Disk Utility.
I've tried powering down and restarting my MacBook to no avail.
The HD itself is plugged in and the power light is on.

I pray I didn't lose all my back ups!
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2007
Messages
25,564
Reaction score
486
Points
83
Location
Blue Mountains NSW Australia
Your Mac's Specs
Silver M1 iMac 512/16/8/8 macOS 11.6
G'day and welcome to the forums.

Think the contact support is the best advice. Concerned when hooked up to your HP the WD has been formatted NTSF and everything gone, but it should appear in Disk Utility.
 
OP
P
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Points
1
G'day and welcome to the forums.

Think the contact support is the best advice. Concerned when hooked up to your HP the WD has been formatted NTSF and everything gone, but it should appear in Disk Utility.

Arghhh this is terrible news. 2 years of back ups...

But wouldn't it take a looong time to delete or dump 700 gb worth of back ups? It wasn't connected to my HP for that long. And would I theoretically be able to access my HD on the Windows computer?

I guess I'll call Western Digital tomorrow

Thank you for your reply
 

chscag

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,248
Reaction score
1,833
Points
113
Location
Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
But wouldn't it take a looong time to delete or dump 700 gb worth of back ups? It wasn't connected to my HP for that long. And would I theoretically be able to access my HD on the Windows computer?

No time at all. As soon as you attached the drive, it was probably initialized. And what that does is wipe out the boot sector of the drive and render it not visible. Try looking for the drive from Windows 8 "Disk Manager" and let us know.
 

Rod


Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
9,689
Reaction score
1,879
Points
113
Location
Melbourne, Australia and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Your Mac's Specs
2021 M1 MacBook Pro 14" macOS 14.4.1, Mid 2010MacBook 13" iPhone 13 Pro max, iPad 6, Apple Watch SE.
I hear your pain PKthunder. Sometimes odd things work so try this.
Leave your USB HD plugged into your Mac and switch off the Mac. Then boot up your Mac and see if the WD appears either on the desktop or in Disc Utility.
If so you may have to erase and reformat to make it useable again. I know you said you had two years of backups on it, you did not say if this was Time Machine backup. If it is and your Mac is operating OK then you can perform another full backup from scratch. I do this roughly every year anyway assuming if I didn't need anything over a year old then I probably wont need it ever again. Also as I have upgraded Operating Systems at least yearly I see no point in keeping backups of Mavericks when I'm now running Yosemite. So once I'm satisfied everything is as it should be I erase the HD and start afresh.
 
Last edited:
OP
P
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Points
1
It was my time machine back up but now that I've plugged it back in and brought up time machine it lists the "My Book" disc (which is what its called) but it says 0 kb is available. and once again it doesn't appear in Disk Utility :(

I still don't know what I did and this is just awful
 

Rod


Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
9,689
Reaction score
1,879
Points
113
Location
Melbourne, Australia and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Your Mac's Specs
2021 M1 MacBook Pro 14" macOS 14.4.1, Mid 2010MacBook 13" iPhone 13 Pro max, iPad 6, Apple Watch SE.
So did you shut down and reboot your mac with the USB HD plugged in or what?
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2014
Messages
792
Reaction score
4
Points
18
it actually is sorry see wd uses a incryption logic on there board if you don't have that hard drive connected to its serial matching usb to sata conversion board you can't recover the drive because it is incrypted
 
OP
P
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Ever? And there's nothing they can do? Is there some place I can send it into to recover?
 

Slydude

Well-known member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
17,609
Reaction score
1,076
Points
113
Location
North Louisiana, USA
Your Mac's Specs
M1 MacMini 16 GB - Ventura, iPhone 14 Pro Max, 2015 iMac 16 GB Monterey
it actually is sorry see wd uses a incryption logic on there board if you don't have that hard drive connected to its serial matching usb to sata conversion board you can't recover the drive because it is incrypted

Can you provide a link for this information? I think it's more likely that things were scrambled when the drive was connected to the PC.

@OP There are data recovery services available but they are rather expensive. Even the commercial software intended for Consumer use such as Data Rescue costs roughly $100.00 unless you catch an occasional deal.
 
OP
P
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Can you provide a link for this information? I think it's more likely that things were scrambled when the drive was connected to the PC.

@OP There are data recovery services available but they are rather expensive. Even the commercial software intended for Consumer use such as Data Rescue costs roughly $100.00 unless you catch an occasional deal.

Well is there anything I can do? I would be willing to hire a service
 

Rod


Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
9,689
Reaction score
1,879
Points
113
Location
Melbourne, Australia and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Your Mac's Specs
2021 M1 MacBook Pro 14" macOS 14.4.1, Mid 2010MacBook 13" iPhone 13 Pro max, iPad 6, Apple Watch SE.
I'm surprised it doesnt show up in the PC device manager. I would have thought it would have been accessible in one or the other. If it shows in the PC device manager it can be reformatted to FAT 32. This will erase it of course. Then it can be reformatted on the Mac.
I'm really a little (no offence) surprised at the OP's concerns about the Time Machine backups. After all I would have thought it unlikely that anyone would want t to revert to or restore a two year old file.
I sincerely hope that like my daughter PKthunder has not been erasing files under the assumption they could be restored at any time from Time Machine. Unfortunately she did this with iPhoto. As we know that is not what time machine is for. Time Machine is a recovery system not a long term storage option.
 
C

chas_m

Guest
Yes, I'm a little befuddled about the need to recover backups. They're backups, not original material, so who cares if they are lost? Everything you have that's worth keeping is still on the boot drive, or should be. Certainly in this case you lose the ability to go back and retrieve something you've trashed, but after two years that's a non-issue IMO.

As for recovery, if that is really needed, DriveSavers may be able to help you. Last time I checked, they run $1,500-2,500 for typically-sized drives -- but that was some years ago, when typical drive sizes were smaller.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
675
Reaction score
22
Points
18
Location
Scotland, UK
Your Mac's Specs
nMP 6-core/32Gb/D700/512Gb: rMBP 15" 2.3GHz/16Gb/512Gb: iPhone 6 128Gb: iPad Air 2 128Gb: NEC PA322U
I wonder if the firmware update for the drive has rendered it unreadable by either OS.

Did it begin to upgrade the firmware and it stopped (or you cancelled it) or point blank refuse to update?

If the hard drive is removable from the WD enclosure you could try it in another computer or hard drive caddy to see if you can still access the drive?
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
88
Reaction score
2
Points
8
Well is there anything I can do? I would be willing to hire a service
Probably the disk's directory is damaged. I don't think it is formatted by connecting it to the PC.
Connect it to the mac, restart, when you can see it in DiskUtility you could select it and do "repair disk", if you succeed, reconnect it to TimeMachine.
 
OP
P
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Points
1
It was my time machine back up initially, but over the last 2 years I've had it I've been using it for storage of videos and comics (I know). So it's not just 2 year old back ups.

I think when I was attempting to upgrade the firmware when connected to the HP it finished, but when connected to the MacBook it couldn't find the HD.
 
OP
P
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Points
1
I just got off the phone with tech support. She said it sounds like the disc isn't working properly so I should try a data recovery service. Oh well. Thanks everyone. Next time I won't try connecting a Mac product to a Windows device.
 

Shop Amazon


Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top