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Repair and service information for Western Digital Elements external storage drives.

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External disk fatal hardware error

I am trying to get access to my external hard drive and hopefully the data on it. However, my disk is not being recognized by the computer. I have tried opening Windows disk manager and it immediately gives me the pop-up window, that I have to Initialize the disk with ( MBR or GPT tables) if I want to use the disk, but when I click ok, it gives me the error: The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error, in disk part, it is being recognized but with the size of 0 bytes. I had used TestDisk program but the disk is not being recognized.

Are there any other steps I can try for recovering data?

Should I try to tear it apart and then what to do?

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From my experience, when a disk is behaving in the manner you are suggesting, it has a major internal issue. Sometimes on external hard drives this can be caused by the adapter board they will use between the SATA drive and the USB connector. In that case removing the drive from its enclosure and hooking it up directly via SATA can help. Unfortunately, Western Digital has been following a different approach for this conversion recently that negates this method. Instead of using a standard SATA drive in their enclosures, they take a 2.5” hard drive and put a custom PCB on it that only has the USB connector visible from the outside of the device. This means taking this drive out of the plastic enclosure will unfortunately not help here.

In this case, your best bet is probably to start looking for a data recovery specialist and let them take care of it.

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