Code 43 with Western Digital External Hard drive RRS feed

  • Question


    I need some help with figuring out a problem with my WD external hard drive. I leave my external hard drive plugged into the firewire port. Everyday Microsoft Vista shuts down my external hard drive stating it is because of Code 43. I searched on Microsoft for updated drivers and it tells me that all drivers are up-to-date. How do I prevent Vista from shutting down my external hard drive? I leave my computer on throughout the day and sometimes when I come back to the computer it shuts down the WD external hard drive.  The only way I can access the external hard drive is by restarting the computer. This is really annoying since I have files only on the external hard drive and I just wished it stayed connected. Anybody have a similar problem? The external hard drive is a month old. Thanks!
    Monday, November 12, 2007 11:39 PM

All replies


    Hi Reeser24,


    Thank you for the post.


    The most likely cause is that your Western Digital external hard drive is not fully compatible with Windows Vista.


    Can you please let me know the model of your external hard drive?


    We can also check whether the drive is compatible with Windows Vista on the following site:



    As the Western Digital external hard drive is a third-party product, the information we can provide about it is limited. I believe Western Digital is the best resource for troubleshooting the issue. Therefore, I recommend you contact Western Digital for detailed information. Thank you for your understanding.


    For your reference, I have included the Western Digital’s homepage as below:



    Please Note: Since the website is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.


    Hope it helps.


    Best regards,

    Tim Quan

    Microsoft Online Community Support

    Thursday, November 15, 2007 2:07 AM
  • Thanks Tim for responding. The Western Digital model is: WD3200F037. It is the Home Edition model with 320 GB of storage. The WD box says it is compatible with Vista. Do you think the cause is still because it is not compatible with Vista? 

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007 11:58 PM
  • I have the impression there is a general problem with Western Digital external drives running under Vista. I recently bought two WD2500XMS-00 250GB pocket sized USB drives for backup purposes and find the one I have opened does not run under Vista - there is much hunting for a driver on Microsoft Update followed by an invitation to insert the disc that came with the device (no disc is supplied) and my PC finally announces no driver can be found and asks me to contact Western Digital. Well, I have hunted high and low on WD's site and note the drive is unequivocally stated to be compatible with Vista but there is no sniff of a driver. I emailed WD giving full details on 14th November and have had no response beyond the automated acknowledgement by today 24th November (they state a one day turnaround, three day if busy). Web searches quickly show my problem is not unique but no solution is offered, and a thread in a forum from May 2007 talks about Microsoft support finally agreeing that 'Vista's driver for the WD drives wasn't coded very well' but unable to give a date for the problem to be fixed.

    The packaging of my drives says Vista compatible, additional text which might just apply to Mac OS 10 or to Windows as well says 'Compatibility may vary depending on user's hardware configuration' though this was covered at the time of purchase by the store's security tag...

    I've never known a computer hardware or software supplier to leave it this long and still not make a reply. It makes a very bad impression and I shan't be buying from WD again if there is an alternative! It's a shame. Nice drive, but not fit for purpose. If I don't find a solution in the next few days I shall take the drives back for a refund.

    Saturday, November 24, 2007 10:46 PM
  • same here.  I've already exchanged a WD 320GB MyBook Premium as it wouldn't function properly with Vista desktop and the replacement is worse as it now makes life difficult for me by either not copying some files and then is no longer recognised or not powering off automatically so I have to pull the plug manually, which can't be good for it.  The same happens when I use it with my XP laptop
    Friday, December 14, 2007 9:30 PM
  • Hello, did you ever find a resolution to this problem?  I have the same drive and had been using it with my Gateway Laptop running XP and it worked fine.  It also worked fine on my Dell Desktop using XP.  But, then I upgraded my Desktop to a Gateway running Windows Vista and the darn thing won't work.  It actually goes into an endless loop looking for the drive.  Eventually, it times out and says that it can't find the drive.  I know my brother had the same problem with a portable drive and Vista, but I can't remember which one.  I think it was a Western Digital Too.  Unfortunately, I can't take the drive back, because I've had it for about 3 months now.  I'm guessing that is what you probably did.

    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 3:15 PM
  • Hi, sadly I didn't find a way to fix it, ended up just copying files from my laptop onto a memory card and transferring that across to the desktop.  Seems like a waste as I can't use the WD drive for its intended purpose.  Seems like you had more luck with it than I did because it wouldn't work properly with my laptop either.  Will probably just steer clear of WD drives in future.  Good luck
    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 6:08 PM
  • I have the same problem but with windowws xp, anyone have a solution?
    Friday, May 9, 2008 6:18 PM
  • try going to western digital and ask them by email or call there tech support

    Saturday, May 17, 2008 5:19 PM
  • Staying clear of WD drives is the best response I have heard yet.. If only I had followed my thoughts about them too but couldnt pass up a deal on their portable 250G usb drives. Seems it doesnt matter internal or external I always have some issue with them immediately or eventually but in this case right out of the box using XP Pro fully updated, it wouldnt recognize the drive claiming the usb drivers are incorrect. Of course WD gives very little info and only has old windows drivers available and the very limited info on their site and wack quick start guide dont help at all.


    PS, I have tried the drive using their supplemental power cable and 4 other computers of various brands/internal hardware and windows update levels and all have no luck so its not just a few of us with their unlucky computers.


    Saturday, May 24, 2008 6:08 PM
  • I have a WD 250GB Model WD2500XMS too. Vista did not like at first because I plugged the HDD to a 8-foot long wired keyboard with USB port. I unplugged the HDD and plugged it directly to the USB port right in front of the computer and it worked. So I believe length does matter.HTH.
    Friday, May 30, 2008 6:48 AM
  • I know the issue is on a WD... but I have some information from Seagate that helped me. I hope this can help at least one person that is having trouble. It's nice that Seagate knows WTF they are talking about.




    If this doesn't help I'm terribly sorry. Worked great for me once I got to step 3 or so. GL everyone.

    Friday, June 6, 2008 6:25 PM
  • same problem here, my 250GB My Book works for about 10 minutes, then just stops. Works fine on XP though, but I no longer use XP Sad

    Friday, September 26, 2008 2:43 PM

    I too bought not only a WD Passport Essential but also a WD Passport Elite external hard drive. Now I have two USB ports in the front of my computer I tried plugging hard drives into them but with no luck. It says its installed but may not work properly. I check why and find no drive installed for device or so I think. NO drive appears in my computer. I guess just out of shear luck or miracle I unhooked it from the front USB ports and hooked them into the USB ports directly off the motherboard and what do you know it works. My only explination for this is that since it needs an external power source from computer, my USB ports in the front was not giving hared drives enough power to fully run. A more direct connect gave it the power it needed to operate properly. It found the drive and works great! Hope this helps. 

    I use XP.
    • Proposed as answer by xavibcn Thursday, April 16, 2009 1:33 PM
    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 4:39 PM
  • I had a similar experience to Brush74 WD2500XMS-00.
    The drive was not being recognized by Vista when I plugged it into a USB extender cable that i have plugged into one of the ports on the back of my desktop.  Once i plugged the drive directly into the USB port, Vista recognized the drive and i was off and running...

    Thanks for the help!
    • Proposed as answer by xavibcn Thursday, April 16, 2009 1:33 PM
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 12:30 AM
  • I've my own experience with WD portable HD.
    I tried with a normal USB cable and it didn't work. It recognized a new hardware but it was not able to install the drivers. When I tried with a shorten cable (it comes with the HD) it worked with no problems.
    I'm using XP.

    Thursday, April 16, 2009 1:38 PM