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Western Digital My Passport Drive. USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive.

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WD My Passport Ultra is about to die

My WD Passport Ultra 1TB, lived for a long 2-3 years, never any issues, but recently it start work really slow, and take a long time to respond. Likely, I was able to recover all the data from it, and tried to reincarnate the drive.

I'm mac user, and Disk Utility app (mac default) can format (erase) it, but if I'll run the First Aid, it will show me the error, and suggest to back up the data. The WD utility, acting really weird on my 2015 MacBook pro, it crashing all the time. However, it can check the S.M.A.R.T. status, but can't run quick or complete test of the drive.

The question is, any suggestion how I can repair it using other software, maybe from Windows? Could it be bad sectors, or other issues? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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The Windows version does a surface scan but likely won't repair bad sectors. If the drive is suffering from bad sectors, there is a chance to repair this using DOS version of WD Diagnostics (Dos version of WinDLG).

The problem is, DOS doesn't have proper USB support.

You also cannot take the drive out of the enclosure and directly connect it to a PC because the WD Passport drive is actually proprietary and part of the enclosure itself and does not have a SATA connection.

I suggest to run your drive's serial number through WDC's Warranty check.

If its still under warranty, try to get it replaced. WD drives depending on the model have 1-5 years warranty.

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The problem is that I have only Mac machine, so there is no DOS or possibility to connect it "directly".

And unfortunately, it's out of warranty, checked ;(


Try DOS via Virtualbox ( and Freedos. I believe there is a pre-made Virtual Machine for DOS. The problem is I don't think you get direct access to the drive it is USB.


Thanks, I remember before it was quite a lot of software that can work on the bad blocks, like Norton Disk Doctor or so. Used to repair floppy disks when I was young, OMG I'm getting old ;)


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If Western Digital won't cover a replacement backup under warranty, here's my suggestion:

Very recently, my main hard drive on my imac was dying and had multiple bad sectors so it was difficult to back up using any traditional backup utilities because they would either time out or quit due to a read error. After a lot of searching, I finally found a solution using linux. It's a little involved for a first-timer, but I made a perfect backup of my hard drive and was able to restore 99% of my data, with only a few corrupted files that I cared about (pictures).

First, you'll need to boot Linux on your mac. Google how to get that going. I ran Linux Mint, but just about any current distro will be able to do the job for you.

Second, you'll need to run the dd command to copy the entire hd contents from one hd to another. This link will get you started, but there is certainly more than one way to do this. Google is your friend on making sure you run the correct command line so you don't accidentally overwrite your data. Note, I ran the "dd" command and it worked fine but took hours. Apparently there's a faster "cat" command which I read about here:

Third, if this is too complicated/involved for your liking, take the hd to a computer repair shop and they will certainly be able to help you out.

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Thanks for the suggestion, but in my case I was able to recover the data, the drive is still working, but really bad. I thought there could be anyway to bring it back to "normal" life, because now I won't use it as backup. And I don't understand why FirstAid can't handle this...


Yes, I understand your concern. The WD hard drive repair utility would remap the drive to work around bad sectors so that it would work like "normal". FirstAid will repair data and only mark physical problems. It will only do 'high level' repairs. It will not physically remap the drive, which is a 'low level' repair (i.e. invasive surgery to repair a wound vs simply putting a bandaid on a wound). Only a manufacturer's own utility can do a repair like that. WD can only repair WD drives, Seagate's utility will only repair Seagate drives, etc.


Roger that, will try their tools again, for some reason it crashing my system all the time... But will find out, thanks for the comments, appreciate that!


Ah, thanks for the clarification! I thought you were still having trouble reading from the bad sectors. I see you meant "luckily" rather than "likely I was able to recover the data" now. Appreciate the feedback from you and S W. :)


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Konstantin Ogurchenkov sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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