Western Digital Elements external hard drive power supply dead

It’s certainly not been a great week for hardware for me.  Now the USB 2 Western Digital Elements (1Tb) external drive that I had hooked up to my Linux box quit on me.  Appears to be the power brick — disconnecting the enclosure and unplugging/plugging the brick causes the green light to light briefly, then fade away — although I haven’t actually tested the pins to prove that they’re dead and it’s not the enclosure itself.  The thing is only about 6 months old; what a crock.

Apparently, the failure for these drives is endemic.  See, for instance:

The consensus appears to be that WD can’t/won’t replace the power supplies without, at best, a hassle.  While Asian Power Devices appears to manufacture a compatible brick, I think I’m just going to go get a new SATA enclosure (or maybe just remount the drive internally) … which is too bad, as I liked the rubber feet on the WD enclosure.  Sigh.

Anyhow … given the similar problems others have had, and the minimal opportunities to rectify the problem, I’d stay away from these drives.

54 thoughts on “Western Digital Elements external hard drive power supply dead”

  1. Me too: Dead Western Digital power supply, poor support, nobody to call
    After one month the power supply on my WD MyBook Essential edition is dead. Impossible to find relevant help on support desk. Downloadable diagnostics (required to get a “send back docket”) assumes the device powers up! An unreliable back up device is worse than none at all. My advice: Stay clear

  2. I had a problem with my power supply too. I bought my drive in January and have only used it to backup my system – switched it on twice. I connected it today – heard a loud bang and the power supply no longer works. I tried another power supply – a multi adapter and it’s fine. My father used to work for one of the accreditation bodies that certifies this type of product – before his recent retirement. I’ll check with him to see if there is a history with the device. It’s the one with the removable pins dependent on which country its for.

  3. As a quick update: I contacted Western Digital, and they sent me me a new power supply, no questions asked, and no need to return the whole unit. Of course, by that time, I’d taken the drive out and mounted it directly in my server … but at least now, in theory, I have a functional enclosure.

  4. The power supply in my Western Digital Elements drive also crapped. I contacted technical support (800) 275-4932), I gave them the serial number and they are shipping the new power supply, no credit card, no hassle. They did ask me to ship the old one back.

    While I was waiting, I chatted the rep up about the problem and she said they know this has been a problem for a while.

  5. My power supply also went out. They WILL NOT send a replacement power supply but will send a replacement power cord and or replace the unit.

  6. Power supply dead after 6 months use. It was a 6 pin type (dont know what the tech term is for this type of connection) anyway sent just the power supply for RMA and was sent a whole new drive but they changed the power supply connection. I have the old drive now that cant be powered up and need the data from it. Anyone know what this power supply connection is called or maybe where one can buy one.

  7. Shiraz — easiest thing to do is just to open up the enclosure (don’t worry about breaking the seal!) and take the drive out. It’s just a normal drive. You can then mount it in a computer, or buy an empty drive enclosure (should be around $25) to mount it in.

  8. How much did it cost you in long distance calls?
    I have had the same problem!

  9. I called the toll free WD support phone number. The support tech took my HDD model and serial number to confirm the drive and power supply were still under warranty, which they were. The support tech told me that they would ship a new power supply within 2-3 business days, and did not say anything about returning the dead one. I received the replacement power supply within a week and did not have to return the dead one.

  10. Just called tech support for power supply replacement. My unit was not under warranty. It cost me $12.99 total on my credit card for them to ship me a new one. Just ordered it today….they said I should get it in 4 to 5 business day.

  11. The WD drives and products are CRAPPY! Do not waste your time or effort and specially your money buying these poorly made pieces of junk. I spoke to one Carlos from WD Customer Service today who tells me that they cannot replace my WD500 Elements power cord because he does not have the power to! Your money with Western Digital goes only one way. STRAIGHT DOWN THE DRAIN!

  12. Yes. Apparently this is a common problem. I phoned WD. They offered to replace the drive free of charge and did require the old unit to be returned. Their support was excellent.

  13. Me too. I had three WD Elements 1TB drives. Two of the power supplies failed within 6 months!

  14. I’d have to say that my experience with these drives has been similar. I’ve had 2 power supplies die but WD has replaced them with no hassles.

    I’ve never had a problem with the drives they have been the most reliable drives i’ve used.

  15. Same happened to me (500 gig WD Elements) – the power supply light goes on for about a second, then dies. I’m under warranty for another couple of months (I did have to email a photo of the receipt and back of the drive to prove I bought it less than a year ago). I called WD support and now have a “case number”, but both last week and just today they told me they were out of stock on the power supply – they won’t put your replacement on a “back order” process and just ship it when one comes in – you have to keep calling every few days and hope they are in stock at WD when you call, then they’ll ship you one. This is terrible. I’ve gone ahead and ordered an enterprise-type eSATA drive with a 5-year warranty, but I would like to get a working power supply on this drive. I suppose I’ll just have to call every week until I luck out and they’re in stock.

  16. ok so the same thing has just to me happened, but I live in the UK…does anybody know if they ship a replacement power box abroad?

    that said I like idea the of being able to retrieve the data on the hard drive before I return to Amazon…can you plug the hard drive in a laptop somewhere or does it need to proper PC (technical terms i know!!!) , but I’d finished loading on 1200 CD’s and really don’t want to do it again…i’m gutted!!!

  17. I have the same probelm as Carl (Aug. 13, 2009). I am still under warantee and hoping, but does any one have a source for a replacement power supply, hopefully another brand, but a WD would be fine to get me going again. My model number is WD5000EO35-00 500G. This has only 5 pins.

  18. same problem…I emailed Western Digital customer support a few days ago and they told me the power adapter was not in stock, but they would ship it to me when it was. I asked them how long that would take and they told me they expected new adapters in 2 weeks. Hopefully, that’s how long I have to wait.

  19. Again, the same problem. WD says power supply not in stock. They say they expect more in 2 – 3 weeks at a total cost of $18.54 with shipping. Yeah, they gave me a case number but didn’t offer to do anything. Luckily I have two units so I can get by with one power supply. Maybe I’ll buy a third just to get another power supply.

  20. Same problem as above with my WD 500 drive, switch the drive on , the green LED comes on then fades away – but I have found a temporary fix! If you heat the drive and power supply – leave it in bright sunlight for 30mins or so, get it upto a temperature of 30-40 degrees C – then then power up the drive will come up and stay up. This at least gives you the chance to download your files – just don’t switch it off until you are finished! Hope this helps.

  21. I have called these idiots at Western Digital 4 times and all they would tell me is that, “It will be soon” as far as sending me a replacement power supply for this piece of junk elements hard drive………..will never shop with them again.

  22. Call Western Digital support now!! They finally have the adapter in stock and they told me they would be shipping it to me in 7-10 days.

  23. I made the mistake of purchasing the Asian Power Devices DA-30C01. Ut was recommended as a replacement for the AD6008. I wasted $25 bucks to find that it does NOT work as a replacement. Taking Tathamg’s advice of a new case is what did the job.

  24. Can anyone point me to a website with instructions or info about mounting one of these darn things internally.

    Mine is a FAT 32 format and I want to still be able to access the data. Do you think that will be a problem? Does the computer read it just like when it was an external drive?

    Do I need a separate ribbon or can I piggyback it with the CD/DVD?

  25. My 500 MB Essentials power supply gave up the ghhost. WD thinks the 36 Watt might work but wn’t guarantee it. of course no more 24 Watt in stock. ANy one know where you can buy one?

  26. Hmm, interesting twist on the same old story…
    After having the same symptoms reported several times here about the light coming on momentarily and then fading away, I called WD Customer Service and they sold me a new power supply, since mine is out of warranty.
    The moment the CS rep told me my card had been charged for the purchase, I plugged my hard drive in again just for giggles, and lo-and-behold, it fired right up. Needless to say, I am now frantically copying files off of this dangerous piece of equipment and shopping for alternatives.

  27. Called today- thanks for posting. Thought I’d lost all my files b/c I am not a computer girl AT ALL! Thank God it’s just the cord. As I have had this hard drive for almost 2 years, they are charging me 18.75 to ship and replace entire power cord kit….. we’ll see if that works. Asked Mohammed what would happen if cord breaks again, he said that they would make an “exception” for me to return it for a new one and gave me a case number, but that it was not company policy to have any kind of replacement parts warranty. HUH? Had I known this, I wouldn’t have bought the dang thing in the first place! So am I supposed to just keep replacing power cords indefinately, or worse….. figure out how to transfer all those files?!?

  28. Everyone try this: leave the power supply plugged in for up to an hour, not attached to the hard drive. In my case the green light finally came on and the power supply then functioned normally! (I had accidentally left the supply plugged in while I dismantled the case, by the time I had finished (~half an hour) the green light was on)

    Note: I also tried bashing the supply and heating it on a radiator prior to this, but I doubt that contributed anything

  29. Update: Crucial bit seems to be heating the power supply before plugging it into ac power. I just tried it again, wouldn’t work from a cold start, but after heating on a radiator for half an hour, the green light came on steady straight away (Note, I also heated the drive on the radiator, but this is probably unnecessary)

  30. Thanks a lot, worked with me as well! I also think that the radiator bit is crucial since I first tried only plugging it into the mains and this lead nowhere (the green light was still blinking), but once I heated it up on a radiator the light was steady and the disk worked.

  31. My 500GB WD Elements drive is about a year old and the power supply did the same thing to me. I read somewhere that some internal capacitors are damaged, so after breaking the case to the power supply trying to carefully open it, I noticed 2 electrolytic (tower-like) capacitors were bulging at the top. I replaced them with some “alternate” parts I removed from an old computer and now the power supply works, at least for now. They should recall this and not charge us to replace. Next time I won’t buy WD!

  32. i agree with brad, within 1 year the power supply broke down twice and i always had to pay for the new device

    i’d like to warn people: don’t buy western digital articles anymore; it doesn’t pay
    you’ve got to pay

    p.s. it is an external drive wd 5000eo35-00

  33. Heads Up! If anyone reads this thread and is about to contact WD technical support to resolve there power adapter issue, be sure to let them now if you own the 5-pin model. Apparantly, the S/N of the unit that you provide to technical support does not provide this information to insure you will receive the correct replacement power cord. I received a replacement power cord today, however, it is not for the 5-pin model Element drive that I own . Ah well! My saga continues. Peace.

  34. Same problem with power supply of WD 500E HD

    I opened the power supply using a Dremal tool and I also found two bad Caps. I will replace them and let every one know how id turns out.

  35. Hi,

    My power supply unit broke down during a storm back in Feb 2010. I called up WD to tell them to ship a new power adapter(my hard disk is still under warranty). One of the agents promptly said that it will be shipped in 5-7 working days and I was pleasantly surprised that they were so efficient. So I called them up again after 5 days just to ensure that the product was being shipped on time. Now the problems with WD started. The agent who took my call said that since I had purchased the Hrad disk in the UK I will have to get the serial number changed so that it will reflect in the Indian database. Got that done. Since then everytime I would call them they had the standard line “Sir, we are currently out of stock and we’ll be recieving the adapet in a week. You will be recieving it in 7-10 days”. waited and waited for a month and nothing happened and whenever I asked to speak to a senior support agent, they said no senior was available. Finally after much shouting I was put through to a “senior” agent who said that he will take on this case personally and get it resolved. Withing 4 days I recieved a set of power adapters both of which were incompatible. My hard drive needs one of those 5-Pin adapters. further calls to WD has resulted in nothing. Same crap that they are out of stock and will be recieving stock shortly.

    I am fed up of this. I am shocked and apalled at the kind of customer service that WD has in India. Not sure about how it is in other countries. I have vowed never to purchase another WD product ever.

  36. I also have a 500gb elements drive & I have not yet called WD since my ps just died today. I am an electronics tech so I opened up the ps & found that there are 2 defective hi temp capacitors 1- 16v/470mfd and 1-10v/1000mfd if any of you know of a repair shop or are friends with an electronics tech the parts shouldn’t cost more than 5 or 6 bucks. the only fun is cracking the case open. good luck to all of you!

  37. Although my Western Digital Elements Desktop 500GB drive is 3 months old, it sat around for a few weeks before I got round to formatting and installing it. 2 days ago something went bang, and everything went dead. I knew that one of the fuses in the main electricity board had tripped. After I reset it, and rebooted the PC, everything worked OK, except the external drive. The absence of the power light signified that the Power unit was at fault. (Why do they put this light at the back of the unit instead of at the front?)

    Anyway, I called the freephone number and spoke to a guy (located in Holland). After I supplied the relevant info, he advised me that I would receive a no-charge replacement unit within 5 days.

  38. mine power suplay broke too. Green led flashed. To start power suply (disk) had to play a little by pluging power connector to disk drive slowly and by angle… But when opened (with brute force) pover suply box, I found 2 electrolytic capacitors bloated 1000 and 6×0 microfarads by 25V. Replaced both with 1000 by 25 I had and it seems it’s working ok.

  39. Same here. Old Elements Drive – multi-pin power adapter – failed on me. Today, previous version of Elements 1TB drive – “normal” power adapter – also failed. I always buy a NEW one, backup, and return the complete package.

  40. Hello,
    I’m looking for a power adapter for my WD WD5000EO35-00, impossible to find on WD web site !
    best regard

  41. I have 3 external WD (Two 2TB and One 1.5tb Firewire 400/800) all still under warrenty. Suddendly all THREE of my units won’t get power to them! I have two other WD externals (USB) and the work just fine!

    What are the chances that 3 externals would have a power failure at the same time?!!?!

    Also, does this mean I’ve lost all my data, pictures and video? Or is this just a simple fix with power cords or an electrical component inside?

    Please help, I’m going frantic here!

    If I could trouble you to reply to my email, so I get it faster, I’d totally appreciate it!
    email is: info@sxeapparel.com

    Jessie Valverde

  42. Hello,
    When do you think WD would lauch WD studio line with Thunderbolt adapter?
    Best regards

  43. Im so angry… I have so much files on my external and now I have a flashing light. It seems online on all blogs they all have the same problem. You think they would have it fixed by now . . . but no. No one has the answer why… It is my fault.. your right. I should have backed up my files..and copied and pasted… but Im new and I grew up about of a thousand files…..turned into alot and lost about 10 thousand files in the end.. Im done with HD…. Now that I dont have anything to do I might just do what I used to do when I was kid…Fu$k the usb cord I got a rope and a tire….gonna make an excellent swing…maybe play with my race track..that never broke down..Man the great feeling I felt when I was the man that won the game of kick the can..

  44. I’ve had my WD 1 tb for a number of years but never used it. I backed everything on it and stored it. I took it out recently and the power supply does not work. it’s 2011 now what should I do I need the information thats on the drive.

  45. big thanks for all that info guys not gonna buy new lead but take drive out and put it all on my new media player when i get it that cyclone 2 tb looks good wi fi and everything what do ya think ?

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