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Old 7th November 2009   #1
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I/O Device error for my external hard drive


I have a Western Digital 160GB "My Book" external HD that is not communicating with my PC at all (i.e. I/O Device Error). It powers on OK and shows up as a mass storage device on my PC, but I can't bring up any of the files I have stored in there through windows explorer. Is it something inside the external HD that is bad? Do I need to get a new enclosure if this is the case?

I've had issues with this external HD in the past so I hope someone has experience with this. Thx

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Old 8th November 2009   #2
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You can go to the Western Digital website and get the testing utilities for the drive. If those don't give you any leads, you could try running CHKDSK on the drive (although I don't expect any positive result).

I haven't come across I/O errors very often. Check that the connection cable and USB port/s are functioning correctly. You can (should be able) to take the HDD out of the external case and with the correct cable, connect it into a desktop computer. That will tell you if the fault is in the electronics of the WD external case.

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Old 9th November 2009   #3
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Running CHKDSK didn't work as all I got was another I/O device error message. All the cables work fine as well. I will have to check the Western Digital site to see what utilities they have there per your advice. Anything in particular I should look out for?

Otherwise, I will have to buy another enclosure as I don't want to blame the hard drive just yet. I would like to get those files back. I wonder if any enclosure will work, like buying off ebay?

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Old 10th November 2009   #4
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Find the downloads for your model:
http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?wdc_lang=en
It will probably be a version of LifeGuard.

I have taken the HDD out of a WD external drive and tested it the way I suggested (in a desktop computer). The electronics in the enclosure had broken, the data was all still there. I didn't break any warranty labels and gave the owner the choice of asking WD for a replacement enclosure or just buying another one. He chose to buy another enclosure. Where I work, it was just a two block walk to a computer (parts) supplier and bought another one. You will need details about it's size (My Books are 3.5 inch, I don't think they are 2.5) and if the HDD connection is IDE or SATA. All external enclosures should have a USB connector for the computer, but you might get other choices like Firewire or eSATA.

Ooh, could it have two HDD's inside? It looks like some My Books have two. If that is the case, it could be a problem with how the two drives are run (RAID).

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Old 10th November 2009   #5
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what is your connection USB - Firewire, if it is USB how do you connect, direct to Motherboard or via USB Hub.

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Old 12th November 2009   #6
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Originally Posted by hawk22 View Post
what is your connection USB - Firewire, if it is USB how do you connect, direct to Motherboard or via USB Hub.
I connect via USB through a PCI board I installed because my PC didn't come with 2.0 ports, only 1.1.

mattman, I have downloaded that program from the WD website and when I ran a Quick Test, I got this pop-up dialog box/message:

Quick Test on drive 2 did not complete!
Status code=07 (Failed read test element), Failure Checkpoint=65 (Error Log Test)
SMART self-test did not complete on drive 2!


Needless to say, I didn't like this news because I still have data on there I want to get back if and when I buy another external HD. (Never again Western Digital) I am currently running the Extended Test but that could take hours, so I'll see what happens then.

Otherwise, I will take out the drive from the enclosure and plug it into my PC to see if really still works. Doing this will not erase the files that are stored on the drive will it?

Note: Model number of external HD I am working with is WDC WD1600JS-22MHBO. MDL: WD1600C032, from white-sticker on back of enclosure.


Last edited by Devil Z; 12th November 2009 at 22:48.
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Old 12th November 2009   #7
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Update


A quick update on the Extended Test I was running, I got a message stating there "Too many bad sectors detected", and stopped/failed at 1 hour and 6 minutes. Ugh, I really hope I can still get at my files in there! Time to get it out of the enclosure I guess.


Last edited by Devil Z; 13th November 2009 at 00:16. Reason: Wrong wording
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Old 13th November 2009   #8
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Oh dear, good luck taking it out and connecting it to the computer.

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