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The Western Digital My Passport Ultra is a USB 3.0 portable storage device with capacities from 500 GB up to 5 TB.

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ALL Files Vanished - Gone!

I had over 700 Classic movies, most in HD, that I have collected over the years.

They just vanished. Gone. The WD My Passport Ultra seems to have reset itself to a factory default, and only has folders called Boot, efi, sources.

It says there are 15 used Gigs, and 17 free Gigs.

I’ve poked and tried the Recuva tool to see if there are any hidden files, but nothing.

It seems hopeless. But, I am exhausting all my options.

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Solution retenue

You do understand that this is a very technical question you are asking. With most professional data recovery firms the meter starts ticking at between $1000 to $2000. Having said that let’s see what we can do.

First of all the “ST 500 000LM021” indicates a Seagate hard drive “Laptop Thin HDD 500 GB”.

You don’t mention what computer your WD My Passport Ultra is attached to but is it possible that the drive listed above is your laptop’s drive?

Recuva is good but light weight and only looks for normal deleted files. What you need is a more robust data recovery software as your partition table has most likely been altered. Testdisk is good and free but very techie but take a look:

In my professional experience, LSoft Technologies’ Active@ File Recovery, Active@ UNDELETE, Active@ Partition Recovery modules are good. They are found in Active@ Live CD. Of course you are free to choose what ever software you like. Others will have their preferred tools.

Let me know how it goes. I’m here to help.

A general comment:

As I have mentioned before, these name branded external drives are the worst possible choice. Always, always purchase a SEPERATE case/controller and hard drive. Again, why? Often the branded ones have the drive’s circuit board and the USB port inbedded in the same circuit board. If that circuit screws up you are often lost. The component solution (like a good hi-fi sound systems) allows you to easily take the drive out, if the USB part goes bad, and recover your software in another system or case.

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@ljbamberry you need to give the capacity of the passport drive. The used/free numbers you’ve quoted certainly seem bizarre all right.

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For starters, the device changed its name to RECOVERY.

When I click Properties, it indicates there are 2 disk drives:

ST 500 000LM021-1K J152 & WD My Passport.

I have found timestamped changes, one back in August '20, another in Nov.'20, and another a few days ago when I was poking around looking for the lost files.

It says the capacity is 31 gigs, but I had close to 800 movies on there, which would easily exceeded 31 gigs.

I honestly thought there was 2 TBs on the drive, or 4 TBs actually.


Google the part number on the device label to find what the capacity is.


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LJ Banmberry sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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