Western Digital Elements External Hard Drive not working?

I got a Western Digital Elements external hard drive (USB 2.0, 1 TB) about a year ago and the warranty is expired. I've been having problems accessing files on it. It takes up to 15 minutes to access text files and anything else crashes windows explorer. The problem started THE DAY AFTER MY WARRANTY... show more I got a Western Digital Elements external hard drive (USB 2.0, 1 TB) about a year ago and the warranty is expired. I've been having problems accessing files on it. It takes up to 15 minutes to access text files and anything else crashes windows explorer.

The problem started THE DAY AFTER MY WARRANTY EXPIRED...............

I am a computer technician and I know what I'm doing but this problem has me baffled. I ran a diagnostics on the hard drive, disabled thumbnails, and even switched to windows Classic to try to get it working. all has failed, and the tests show up with no errors.

System:
Custom Built by me and a few of my pc tech friends
Motherboard: Asus Maximus 2 Formula
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad (Wolfdale)
RAM: 8 GB (lol not a typo)
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The external drive is formatted NTFS and is about 1/4 full with text documents, music, videos, pictures, all other file types are .rar I am only able to access text based documents like txt, doc, and HTML (HTML only if i open it with notepad)

When I try to access anything other than text files, Windows Explorer stops responding. Also, as a semi-related issue, whenever i plug in a flash drive while the external HDD is connected Windows Explorer stops responding instantly and the only way to unfreeze is to reboot.

All suggestions are appreciated, even if you don't know what's wrong, help me brainstorm lol
oh and no it's not a virus or spy/ad/malware... my system is squeaky clean lol
Update: The drive works perfect on my laptop, which is running Windows 7 Home Edition x86 and I have absolutely no errors.
4 answers 4