My 3 year old Western Digital 3 TB HDD suddenly started acting up one day and when I plug in my WD External HDD, it gets mounted as a CD Drive and nothing else shows up. Under the device manager in Windows, it shows up as a “WD HARDWARE ERROR USB Device”. The lights on the drive glow up but I cant see my files on the hard drive. This happened all of a sudden one fine day. I tried searching all solutions available on the internet and I found many issues with the WD SES Device but that’s not my issue.

I tried downloading WD’s Data LifeGuard Diagnostics for Windows and check up on the health and SMART status of the drive. It showed the drive but mounted as 0 GB. I checked the drive’s warranty on our website but unfortunately it got expired then, and I could not get a replacement.

“I removed the drive and connected it to my PC and luckily the drive showed up correctly as 3 TB under device manager and no more “WD Hardware Error USB Device” message. So, I decided the problem is with the logic control board on the drive and not the HDD. For some reason, my partitions on the drive did not show up. I fired up the WD’s Data LifeGuard Diagnostics for Windows and performed a quick erase of the drive. After erasing, I opened windows partition manager and formatted the drive in NTFS and voila, I got the drive showing up as full capacity again. Till then, I have been using this as an internally mounted HDD and have no problems. So, if you face the WD Hardware Error USB Device error, don’t spend wasting time and pry open the drive to mount the internal HDD to salvage your data.

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