492 Comments

  1. there is an information in the usb but now it need to be formatted so I think the usb is damaged and to access that information or fix the usb if possible.

  2. Hi! I own a very old Western Digital 640 Gb SATA/8MB cache WD6400AAVS -00G9B1 – WD Caviar Green. unintentionally I used the wrong power adapter and I believe I burnt the PCB. Before this mishap the external HD was working perfectly fine. I am trying to buy a HD docking station to retrieve the info. I purchased the iDsonix super speed USB 3.0 (iDD-U3102) and it wouldn’t recognize the external drive. Would you please recommend a Hard Drive docking station compatible with the specific external HD mentioned above. Thank you in advance for any help you can give. Be well 🙂

  3. Hi. Just followed your instructions on this and I’ve got my “dead” WD 1TB running in a Next Star Hard Drive Dock. THANK YOU for your guidance on this.

  4. on several of the larger NAS or even external desktop drives I have been unable to get any system to recognize the drives once removed from the NAS or USB controller board. These are all larger 3 or 4 TB drives. I had read somewhere that the drives are formatted such as they can only be “seen” when connected to the correct controller. For my correct needs, i would much rather just mount them inside the system case and they do have the standard SATA connectors. Any idea what I am doing wrong?

    1. Author

      questorfla: You’ll need the exact same controller to be able recover the data from the drive. It’s encrypted by the controller.

      1. Carlton, but if encryption were the issue, I should be able to at least see the drive and reformat it. It isn’t detected at all. This is an 8T Mybook drive.

        1. Author

          Western Digital has changed the hardware over the years. Some drives have proprietary connections on them (usually just switched pins on the connector, but could be more) that prevent the drive from being accessed using a standard SATA connection. (They did this to prevent the drives from being removed from external enclosures and used as internal drives – because the internal drives are usually sold at a higher price than external drives.)

  5. My book essential extra drive problems with power button

  6. ACS Data Recovery has been a leading provider of hard drive and RAID data recovery services since 2003.

  7. Where do I register to watch the video?

      1. Hi Carlton,

        I have stumbled upon this guide and first of all thanks for taking time to describe the issues and fixes. I have a MyBook Essential 2TB drive – hdd seams fine, just not mounting. I understand this is a problem with the encryption, however my board (external case – not PCB) looks like it is burned and I am unable to recover it. Do you think that if I buy another MyBook Essential drive with different parameters (ie. 1TB instead of 2TB) – take it apart and use the USB board? Would the encryption key be stored on my drive and work with other USB boards?

        So far I have used a third party to replace my PCB board (and transfer bios) but it looks like this might have not been the issue. So now I am looking at this burned USB/Power/Board knowing I can’t clean it as it must have effected a lot of components or the whole circuit.

        Any further explanation or information on this that you might have and could help me, would be grately appriciated. I am unable to afford proper data recovery as it costs too much for me to handle. Data on my drive is uber important for me as it includes photos/videos of my newborn child and it would be a great shame to loose it all (+last 10 years of digital photos and other data).

        Kind Regards,

        Mike, PL Gdansk

        1. Author

          Mike, your best bet is to get a working version of the exact same model, from ebay or elsewhere, and put your drive in that enclosure. Some WD will be the same as yours, but others will be different. I don’t know the details of each model. Your other option is to send the drive to a data recovery service. Good luck!

  8. Hi
    I would like change inner disk in my WD My Book Studio WDBC3G0020HAL.
    When I opened my WDBC3G0020HAL, I discovered WD20EARX Green’s series.

    Can I upgrade inner disk with WD Green WD40EZRX or WD50EZRX, WD60EZRX?

    Kind Regards,
    Dmitriy, Ukraine, Dnipro

    1. Author

      You might be able to do that upgrade. It’s hard to say. It’s hit or miss with WD compatibility. You can give it a try, but you’re probably better off just getting a new external enclosure and drive. Or find a third-party enclosure and add whatever drive you want.

  9. Hi, thanks for your guide. I’m looking to swap my My Book Studio drive with Seagate, but seems like i can’t find the prongs and jumpers mentioned above.. i can see others J1-J17 but not J6
    Not sure if you (or Fisslefink) have this documented, a picture references maybe?

    My board is 4060-705083-003.REV. A

    Appreciate any advices.

    Cheers!

    1. Author

      That newer version may not have a jumper. I didn’t find that it was essential to use it in older versions.

  10. Hi, My Book Studio (White Case with display). Changed damaged WD Green 1 Tb with WD Red 2 Tb, all worked fine!!!! Need format before 🙂

  11. Hi, I have the WD My Book 4TB drive and I did exactly what you said. But after I placed it in a new dock and plug it into my mac, it prompts me to reformat the disk. What can I do to get my data out from this point? Please help! Thank you.

    1. Author

      Did you purchase the exact same model number Western Digital external drive, remove the new drive, and install the old drive? That is your only option to overcome the encryption chip. The chip has to be identical between the external enclosures.

  12. Great instructions. Thank you.

  13. Sorry to say but in July 2020 this information is no longer correct
    The Disk Management Tool no longer recognizes a WD Elements drive removed from it’s enclosure

  14. Hi, I have a My Book for Mac 3TB which works fine until i had to remove the drive and use it in another project and then tried to put it back in its enclosure. WD Tools reports a 3TB drive however it only formats as a 2TB drive using WD tools or OSX Disk Utils. Have I missed a step in preparing the drive to be reinserted? e.g. wrong partition type or something? Any help much appreciated

    1. Author

      You should try formatting it with a different partition type and/or file system. Try GUID if you haven’t.

      1. Switching to GUID was the first thing I tried. I even wiped the drive and inserted it and used WD Tools to get the case to format the drive but still didn’t work. It’s a bit odd.

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