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Troubleshooting for Western Digital External Hard Drive: Can I Update the Driver?

Troubleshooting for Western Digital External Hard Drive: Can I Update the Driver?

Who’s got enough hard disk space? I don’t, and most probably, neither do you.  The truth is that a lot of people can barely make do with the available memory built into their computers.  My music collection alone has taken over half of my hard disk space.  Plus you have to take into consideration the many applications and data you’ve got in your computer and you’ll realize that no amount of disk cleanups can actually free up enough space.

The solution: get an external hard drive.  One of the most well-known brands for external HDs is Western Digital, with its extensive line of storage devices.  I’ve got a Passport with 250 GB capacity, and I’m telling you it is nearly filled to the brim as well.

You could say that my Western Digital External HD is an extension of my life – it’s practically the repository of all my digital possessions.  One scenario that keeps me up at night – and clogging up various tech forums – is the probability of losing this data once the external HD is corrupted or compromised.

There are many possible causes of failure for external HDs.  A software update of your operating system could lead to its inability to read your external drive.  Pulling the drive off the USB port without ejecting properly could corrupt your files and render your entire data unreadable.  The list is endless.

So let’s say something happens and your PC can no longer recognize your external hard drive.  Here are some steps to help you troubleshoot and save your precious data:

  1. Think back.  Have you undertaken any software updates or changes for your operating system recently?  Updates and upgrades can result in an incompatibility of your operating system and external HD.
  2. Check your Device Manager.  Click the “Start” button and go to “Control Panel”.  Select “System and Maintenance”, then open “Device Manager”.  Confirm whether or not your external HD is listed.
  3. Check your USB connection.  Could it be a hardware problem? Try to switch with a different USB cable.  You may also try to check your USB drivers.  Update the drivers to ensure that the port is working.
  4. Update your device driver.  Western Digital external HDs do not have individual drivers.  Rather, they rely on the built-in drivers present in your operating system. To update, you will have to contact your system manufacturer.
  5. In cases wherein updates for your HD are available, check out the Support page from the Western Digital website.  Select the model of your external drive and select the updates as necessary.
  6. Remember: back up, back up, back up!  Errors are inevitable; if things don’t work out, at least you’ll have the copies of your precious files at hand.

Since a lot of external HD errors stem from incompatibility stemming from software updates on the operating system, try to update your drivers regularly.  One way to do this is by installing a software that offers automatic device driver updates.  This should be helpful in keeping your drivers from rotting and causing problems for your devices.

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