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Repair and service information for Western Digital's line of WD Elements Desktop USB external hard drives. Available in 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB, and 14TB configurations.

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Why is my device not turning on anymore?

Dear ifixit-Community,

I do have one of this WG-elements Desktop external Hard-Drives and suddenly it stopped working. It didn’t fall down or nothing. When I connect it, the control-light doesn’t switch on. Windows doesn’t recognize, nor plays the USB-Plugin-Sound anymore.

I’m shure that Cable and Power-Connectors are fine, I do have another one of this machines and it works fine but on the broken ones I stored important data.

Happy Greetings from Hamburg :-)

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Sadly it sounds like the power logic internally of the drive needs repairs. You stated you have another exact same drive can you first get a new drive which is large enough to transfer your data to (I would get an SSD this time)

  • So what you’ll do is first back up your currently working drive to the new drive
  • Now carefully open the drive cases (both) keep track which is which!
  • Take the working drive out of the case and put the non-working drive in
  • Now before putting back together does the dead drive now work?
  • If it does I would look at getting one more new drive (SSD) to then back it up.

Sadly drives fail, so its important to have multiple copies of your important stuff. I use a set of drives which I rotate and I even have one in a safely deposit box at a bank just in case something happens within my home. I also use cloud storage for my purchased media and when I travel light I use it for my general snaps from my phone.

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OP is screwed if the controller is shot - 2010+ has a encryption key. I know with a lot of the older Ware drives that you can buy one that's the same from another source, "shuck" in your original drive and be good but I do not know about the more recent Ware drives.

Still worth a shot on the newer ones, especially if you can get your hands on an enclosure from a shucked drive. Just ask for the model on the back to make sure it's the same or as close as possible.


Dear Dan,

thanks for your reply! It worked out the way you described it.

Best, Hauke


@Hauke Lorenz - Happy to hear you got the drive working! Don't forget to accept the answer - Thanks


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Hauke Lorenz sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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