WD My Book fubared! (Or so I'm told)

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by dosmalo, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    If we get in the way-back machine and transport back a few years ago we'll find a thread where I lamented about a WD My Book external (I used it as a USB hook up) I had that had went on the blink. It contained hundreds of MP3s and countless pics of family and friends. I started getting all nostalgic and missing the contents I had on it a couple of weeks ago and
    I finally threw it in the seat of the car took it to a local "computer hospital." Got a call this morning with sad, unfortunate news - guy says the control board or logic board is not good and I've since read this appears to be a common prob.
    The unit will light up but just blinks.
    I've read a few posts on the board here where there were fixes for a misbehaving control board so i need to know for sure if there is a, at least, temporary fix so that I can transfer files off the dang thing before I bury it in the backyard.
    I appreciate any advise.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019

     

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  2. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    First of all, they are just regular hard drives. You should be able to take it out of the my book and hook it up to a computer, internal or via a USB/Drive cable and connector.

    And hopefully you had your drives in the Mirrored configuration for redundancy.
     
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  3. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    I'm not sure if I did or not. Probably not.
    It was back in 2011 or so when I bought it and just plugged it in and hammered down. Wasn't very savy about that sort of thing.
    According to the doc at the hospital, he plugged it into several computers and got nowhere. I'm not sure if different interfaces were used or not but after mulling our conversation over in my head, I'd say he did.
    I was sort of bummed.
     
  4. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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  5. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

  6. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    It allows you to take a raw hard drive and connect it to any PC with the USB cable so you do not have to install it internally into a PC. It is basically the same as what is already connecting the Mybook to your PC now but without the internal controller and other related software built in. If the drive is not damaged, it will just appear like a huge USB Memory Stick, because thats all it is at that point.
     
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  7. drew_t

    drew_t AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Second of all, the “computer hospital” should know this. Consider seeking assistance elsewhere.
     
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  8. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    I've already learned something that I did not know and didn't know enough to even ask. Good info Hyfi, thank you.
    I'm not giving up yet, the adapter info should come in handy dealing with the next tech. I'm thinking I need a 2nd tech's opinion.
     
  9. Stillhouse

    Stillhouse Active Member

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    The problem is that the controller in the WD enclosure essentially encrypts the data so only that specific board can read it. I know because I had a 3TB MyBook go out, but the drive itself is fine. Connected to a PC through either internal SATA or external USB the drived showed no data at all even though there had been nearly 2TB on it. Fortunately I had a backup and now use the drive in a generic USB external enclosure that does no such encryption.
     
  10. Donal64

    Donal64 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It seems these just have a hard drive inside that can be removed from the enclosure. I have one of the usb hard drive adapter kits that I bought many years ago for not much. It has an adapter for 2.5" and 3.5" hard drives. Comes in handy. Here is a video on removing the hard drive from the enclosure. Looks like the hard drive itself is just a plain old 3.5" hard drive.
     
  11. mgosdin

    mgosdin Well-Known Member

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    Not all of the WD MyBooks use encryption, I would definitely recommend having the drive removed and attached to a PC to see if the data is recoverable.

    Mark Gosdin
     
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  12. Donal64

    Donal64 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have used these for years. Don't know that it makes a difference as far as retrieving information goes, but, I always format the drive prior to using. I think my media drives are formatted to MS-DOS/ Fat32 .
     
  13. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

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    Easy stuff first. Open the enclosure and re-seat the connectors. If that does not work, as the others mentioned, remove the drive and use your computer's spare SATA connectors. And pray that it is not encrypted.
     
  14. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    I bought the unit new but recall being a little surprised there wasn't much of an operating manual with it.:confused: Fairly minimal at best.
    Couple of questions:
    Does the drive being encrypted mean that it is specific to that mother board or controller and no other? Do they come from the factory encrypted?
     
  15. Stillhouse

    Stillhouse Active Member

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    From what I gathered from my searching for a solution with mine, yes. If the actual drive's board had gone faulty it could possibly be revived with a board from the same make and model, but the enclosure board does the encryption/decryption, so getting the existing data of in that case is not possible. Granted this was a few years ago and there may be a solution now but to the best of my knowledge, no.
     
  16. mgosdin

    mgosdin Well-Known Member

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    Per WD the 4TB MyBook 25EE that I have sitting on my desk supports 256 Bit AES encryption once you've used the Security tools software to activate it and set a password. @dosmalo, if you never put a password on your MyBook then it probably doesn't have the encryption turned on. Again, I'd get a tech to remove the drive and see if the data is accessible. You've nothing to loose trying.

    Mark Gosdin
     
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  17. Stillhouse

    Stillhouse Active Member

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    I never put a password on mine and still the data was still unrecoverable. Drive itself is still working to this day in a different USB enclosure.
     
  18. grey

    grey AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I seem to remember something about this. The WD controller was needed to copy the data off and it wasn't encrypted. I couldn't just plop into a generic sata drive bay and read it.
    I've converted my external drives to Sabrent USB>SATA controllers due to the WD sleep function causing access delays.



    @dosmalo, I still have a good mybook 3TB controller if it can help you out. I have no use for it.
    IMG_20190102_154342771[1].jpg

    I keep an image (using Acronis) of all of my primary drives on another offline drive to cover things like this.
     
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  19. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    Thanks @grey :) I sincerely appreciate that.
    I’ll be talking with the tech guy by Saturday and will know more about what direction needs to be taken.
    Being able to see the files on this drive would be like seeing old friends again!
     
  20. cpt_paranoia

    cpt_paranoia Super Member

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    We really need to identify exactly which model it is; there is a whole series of models, ranging from simple USB devices to full NAS.

    If it's one of the NAS models, then the HDD I'd formatted with Linux extfs, and needs either a Linux box to recover the data, or a pc with an extfs driver.

    If it's simple USB HDD, then you may have less luck, unless there's a controller board you can remove, and swap out for one from a working drive.

    I've got a couple of MyCloud drives, and spent plenty of time on the WD forum, where there were lots of people who managed to recover data from their HDD after the controller board packed up.
     

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