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John T. F.
John T. F., Mac Druid
Category: Mac
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Experience:  20+ years in the computer/Mac industry
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I have a WD Passport 2TB that I used to back up a ton of files

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I have a WD Passport 2TB that I used to back up a ton of files from a previous computer used for work. I checked multiple times before giving up the computer (MacBook Air) that the backup files were indeed accessible. However, when I plug my WD Passport into my new MacBook Pro, the error I receive indicates that it is "unreadable on this computer". I'm kinda desperate to get the files (photos of my children and years of work) off this external driver. Can someone help??

Hello! My name isXXXXX will work diligently to provide accurate advice and information.

Can you tell me how you backed the files up originally?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think I used the "back up" or "time machine" function on my (old, no longer accessible) macbook air.


Okay, thanks.

In the Finder, click on "Go" in the menubar and choose "Utilities"

Locate the "Disk Utility" app and open it

In the left hand sidebar, do you see the WD Passport drive?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yep. see it.


Okay, good.

Select it.

On the right hand side of the page, click "Verify Disk". Let me know if the procedure uncovers errors or states the drive is OK.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

"verify disk" is shadowed an inactionable when I click on the "2TB WD My Passport 0748". However, there is a "sub" disk shown labeled "disk2s1". When I click on it, I was able to select verify. However, the response I received was "Verify volume failed: Unrecognized file system." What should I do now?


In the Finder, click on "Go" in the menubar and choose "Computer"

Do you see the WD SmartWare virtual CD?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, I do not.

Restart your Mac

As soon as you hear the Startup chime, press and hold the SHIFT key

Continue to hold the Shift key until you see the Apple logo and progress indicator.

Then, let go of the Shift key and let it boot to the Desktop.

See if the drive mounts properly.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i think that worked!

I'm going through to see if all the files are here... picture files say they can not be used as the "main library" since it's from Time Machine. hope I can resolve that easily as these are the main files I'm worried about. Lots of photos of my kids from the last 5 years.


Okay, please restart once more and make sure the drive continues to be accessible.

If you have a question about restoring something, please let me know as well.

If you continue to have questions on this topic, just reply back to this discussion. I will be more than happy to work with you further. Hopefully, this info will answer your question. If so please, please remember that when you are asked to give a rating, you are rating my personal service only and not this website itself or your issue.

Thanks and good luck,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks. photos all seem to be here. whew. any idea why videos from the backup wouldn't have any sound available? they run like animated gifs. weird.

Where did the videos originally come from?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

some were from an iPhone.... some were created via SnapzPro.... each video from the backup, either runs without audio (and looks very choppy) or doesn't show either video or audio. When I click on any of the volume buttons at the top right of the keyboard, it simply shows a "prohibited" sort of symbol (circle with line through it). any ideas?


If they were created on an iPhone then they most certainly should play.

Are you playing them through Quicktime?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hmmmmm. the iPhone videos are opening in iPhoto (?). And others in Quicktime.


also, it seems my backup had all photos saved in iPhoto. I continue to get an error message upon trying to open iPhoto from the backup:


"The iPhoto library is a Time Machine backup, and so cannot be used as the main library. Reopen iPhoto with the Option key held down to choose another library."


If this qualifies as a "new question" and I need to initiate a new just answers cycle, please let me know. I do not wish to take advantage of your great help.





it does sound like you may need help with the Time Machine backup so to make sure we stick to guide lines (JA does prefer we keep topics seperated), if you could rate this answer and then submit one for backup/restore assistance via the following link then that would be great:

John T. F. and 3 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you