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

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Why does my E:Drive have a blue question mark?

Whether the hard drive is plugged in or not, the E:Drive has a blue question mark and does not open in a new window. This is where I usually access the hard drive. The hard drive itself seems to be running as I can feel movement inside and the light is on and not blinking. This hard drive is not even a year old.

Update (10/21/2018)

Windows 10 Pro, on PC.

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@jaimierae Have you tried connecting it to other computers? I just want to make sure this is/not isolated to one computer.


Tested it on another computer, it did not show up in the directory but it did show up when I looked for it in the eject menu. It then said that it could not be ejected because it was "in use" which is the same thing that happened on my computer.


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Hi @jaimierae ,

Try assigning a new drive letter to the drive and see if it resolves the problem

Open Disk Management (right click your Start Button and select link) 

Right click that drive and choose Change drive letter and paths 

Click on Change , choose an appropriate letter, OK

Then restart your PC.

If it has resolved the problem you should be able to change it back to E by using the same procedure

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Unfortunately it does not show up in the list under disk management. The light is on, on the hard drive and it sounds like it is running properly.


Hi @jaimierae ,

Does the HDD appear in Device Manager > Disk Drives? (right click windows start button left side of taskbar > device manager > disk drives)

Also check in Device Manager > View > show hidden devices.

(If there are a lot of other external HDD devices shown "greyed out" in Disk Drives when you enable "show hidden devices" try uninstalling them - right click on entry- they will be detected and re-installed when you plug them in again, as if there are a lot of them the drive letter allocation list may be "full". or may think that it is full Just a thought).

If it does appear in Device Manager try "uninstalling" the device (right click on entry), unplug the HDD and restart the computer then plug it back in and allow windows to "find" it again and check if it now appears in Explorer.


It does appear in HDD Device Manager. One of the three options that came up under WD Management Services, had a yellow exclamation point. Error said that windows was unable to read device. I updated the device driver and updated windows and then restarted. Upon restart, the same exclamation point remained so I uninstalled. E:Drive still has a question mark throughout this process. I also enabled the "show hidden devices" option...nothing new showed up. When I plugged it back in, I was not prompted by windows to find it.


Hi @jaimierae ,

Really stupid thought but have you tried a different compatible cable to connect the drive to the computer, you didn't say?

Does the computer beep or notify you when you plug the drive in?

You said that it didn't appear in Disk management but was there a drive appearance having the same "size" as your external drive but is labelled as unallocated? Not those that are shown as unallocated and are associated with other labelled drives

Other than that if you wish to retrieve any data from the drive you may have to try and see if a data recovery program can access the files etc. as I now think that the drive has failed


This has helped me with fixing my issues, I know its long after you posted, but thank you!!


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Test your hard drive on another computer. Looking it up, other people have had the same problem with no solution with the PC. It sounds like an hard drive failure. The external disk drive may be broke.

But you can try going to “Disk Management” and see if your external hard drive appears…. (make sure it’s plugged in)

If it shows up, you could either create a new partition or clean it and make a new one. This would erase you’re data. Do you have anything important you like to keep?

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Tested it on another computer, it did not show up in the directory but it did show up when I looked for it in the eject menu. It then said that it could not be ejected because it was "in use" which is the same thing that happened on my computer.


Thanks for the response! I do have a lot of images I would like to keep.


Ok. So you can attempt to get it fixed, and jayeff down there is trying but imo that thing is broken to the point of not being able to open it in the windows. But! They're ways to recover data from the external hard drive from a professional or some software you can download.

Going to that link, it will give you steps along with a software choice to download that I believe may help you get the files you want off the drive. But I have never used it, and can't tell you indefinitely anything. I would try it, can't hurt :) Hard drives can be replaced, pictures can't.


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Jaimie Egan sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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