Reset a Western Digital My Book Essential external hard drive by performing a format to the storage disk. The format process will wipe clear any data on the hard drive and resolve operating issues you might be experiencing. Windows includes disk management utilities to assist you in managing the storage devices associated with your computer system. Back up any important files saved to the hard drive before you begin, as all of the data will be lost during the process.
Plug the USB cable from the My Book Essential into an open USB port on your computer.
Click "Start," "Control Panel," "System And Maintenance," "Administrative Tools" and double-click the "Computer Management" icon. Enter an administrator password if prompted by the computer.
Click the "Disk Management" entry under the "Storage" category.
Right-click the "Western Digital My Book Essential" entry and click "Format." The "Format" dialogue appears.
Click "OK" twice in the messages that appear to reset the Western Digital My Book Essential hard drive.