Western Digital MyBook Open Case Recover Data

I have a 500 gig Western digital MyBook external drive. One day I hooked it up to my computer and it would not power up (for the purposes of this post, the background as to why it might not boot up is irrelevant ;-)). Horror! Of course I didn’t have everything backed up – time to start saving money for a second 500 gig drive I guess. Western Digital sent me a replacement drive but told me that my data was lost unless I wanted to talk to their data recovery department and that it would most likely be costly. After reading a bit on the ‘net, common opinion was the power or USB on the MyBook was likely the cause – that these elements were not as robust as the drive itself. After a little more research and some playing I did manage to disassemble the MyBook, recover my data, and return it to Western Digital (as pristine as possible so hopefully I did not obviously void any warranties – which would be ridiculous since I just wanted *MY* data back from *THEIR* broken drive).

Here’s what I was looking for on the ‘net and did not find. Hope this helps someone else. Click any of the images for a larger image.


(1) There is a black sticker covering one screw securing the case. Remove this sticker (mine was more like black paint that chipped off) and remove this screw.


(2) On both the top and bottom of the drive there are plastic “catches” that must be pressed in to allow you to slide the outer case off the drive. See the next picture for a clear view of the “catches” with the case off. It may be tricky getting both sides pressed in at the same time to slide off the case. On my drive, I used a flat-head screwdriver to push one side in and a little to the side to lodge it just a little under the plastic case so it would stop popping back up again. Be careful not to push in too far and break the “catches” off.


(3) Slide the case off. In truth, easier said than done so don’t cuss me out when you try it. I had to use my fingernails and pry the edges of the solid black case away from the drive unit and just keep carefully working at it until I could get it to start coming apart. When you’re doing it, you’ll see what I’m talking about.


(4) Remove four screws securing the drive unit to the inner case.


(5) There is a small circuit board attached for the LED power light that you need to remove to make the drive easier to get out of the case. Remove the three screws holding it on and gently unplug it from it’s connection on the drive unit.


(6) Peel back the foil tape so that you can access the power and data connector on the drive. Unplug the connector attached to the drive. This is a SATA hard drive and can be hooked up to a desktop computer (that accepts SATA drives) or I’ve seen adaptors on the ‘net that you can plug into a SATA drive to turn it into a regular IDE drive (not exactly something most people have laying about though). I happened to have a DELL Optiplex in the office that uses SATA drives so I opened it up and hooked the second power connector coming off the main drive to my newly freed MyBook drive. I still needed a SATA cable so I “borrowed” one from another office computer to connect the drive to the motherboard. If you are unfamiliar with all this, just look at how the main drive is hooked up – it’s not rocket science.


(7) On my DELL Optiplex I had to go into setup when the computer started and enable the second SATA drive. Okay, I didn’t know to do this right off – the drive just didn’t show up and after scratching my head for a few minutes I rebooted and checked setup. After this everything showed up fine – there was ALL my pretty data. I attached my new MyBook and moved everything over. Note – over 350 gig of data takes a while to transfer.

For the curious, all pics were taken with my Verizon LG8000 cellphone and quickly edited in Photoshop.

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568 Responses to Western Digital MyBook Open Case Recover Data

  1. Amos says:

    thanks for the detail steps & picture,
    your guide is really helping me,
    my WD MyBook keep diconnecting for no reason,
    and i decide to take the hard drive and hook it up internally 🙁

    thanks again

  2. Jimmy says:

    Thank you so much for this posting. After reading it I was *finally* able to learn how to remove the case. I tried the WD site, but to no avail. There was nothing to be found there for model #WD16001302; also, the disassembly pics they did show illustrated the models that have four-(4) screws in the case, whereas this particular model has only one, as did yours. Until I googled and found your writeup and disassembly instructions/photos, I was at a loss. After finding your article, however, I was then able to get the *!@#*.)%@$* case off! THANK YOU!!

  3. Scott Cramer says:

    Glad I could help! My new drive is working great but I’m sure it’s a refurb so it worries me a bit… Love to get the terabyte drive – but I can’t imagine it crashing on me. Argh.

  4. Nicole Rork says:

    I’m using a 500 GB WD MyBook Pro – unforunately I couldn’t find any screws to even begin this process. Do you know if there’s a way to remove the external drive’s case from this model?

    Any help would be MUCH appreciated!

    This is the model:

    Nicole Rork

  5. Burim says:

    I have the same problem, I have WD MyBook 500Gb Premiun and couldn’t find the holes. I dont want to void my waranty too

  6. Nicole Rork says:

    I figured out how to open it up. You have to pull the rubber off of it and it will slide open (with some force). I had to completely disconnect the hard drive from the external casing, but I was able to restore all of my data. I put it into my computer and connected it via SATA cable and it works great now.

  7. k baker says:

    God bless you , i been tryin to extract the hdd from the wd enclosure for a week , i finally figured out what wd has been doing. ide hdds are on the way out wd hdds are filled with ide cheap drives, its a marketing ploy to sell a high end product usb drive with a cheap enclosure enabled ide. i applaud their creativity.m a bit more suspicious about the quality of the internal drive . im pluckin mine and puttin it inside the puter.then for 9$ for cable power thats reliable and the old enclosure im puttin a seagate sata 500 gig drive in the firewire boxanyway thanks , and never trust anything thats ”over the counter”

  8. Tom says:

    Well thanks a great deal for the pictures, I finally got it apart. Mine is a little bit different from your drive though. Mine did not have the screw. I just had to push down those two pieces of plastic on the top and bottom and it slid out. Thanks!

  9. Scott Cramer says:

    Update – Have not heard back from the company yet. I sent in the drive on the RMA and the lengthy instructions warned about voiding the warranty if you removed the drive from the case. Officially I never *completely* removed the drive. I put it all back together so I’m not sure how they could tell anyway unless they dusted for prints (or searched for my blog oops). I even put the rubber feet they provide (that they sent with my new drive) back on the old drive to cover the now visible screw hole in the outer case. I figure when their techs take off the rubber feet, that could account for the paint/sticker over the screw coming off.

    BESIDES – even if I get charged, I’ll be like, “Give me back the broken unit” and I’ll use the drive – anything else is worth it to get my data back without paying through the nose for data recovery. Grr.

  10. dude says:

    Dude, that is a kickass presentation, it’s getting harder to find good free information on the net

  11. GaFietsuh says:

    Thanks 🙂

  12. Scott Cramer says:

    dude – Totally agree. I figured since I was going through it, snap a few pics and throw it up on the web. Cool that it has been helpful.

    Update – Got this e-mail from Western Digital:

    Dear SCOTT CRAMER, This is a confirmation that we have received your defective drive for RMA #55555555. The RMA is now closed. If you have any questions about your RMA please reply to this email. If the information is correct, please do not reply back to this email.

    Hopefully I don’t get another one saying, “You opened your drive. You are teh suck. We are now billing you.” Grr. Sending it back without getting my data when it was soooooo easy would have been ridiculous.

  13. Morghus says:

    My MyBook has the same symptoms, I’ll try opening it later today, hopefully it works! I’m glad some people had success restoring their data.

  14. Noziroh says:

    Thank you Scott and all of you so much for posting here it’s really been helpful.

    I have two My Books, one is the newer triple interface (Firewire 800 etc), the other is the older double interface (USB 2.0 + Firewire). The newer one crashed, taking 500GB of data with it, and Windows was no longer able to even format the disk. Thanks to this blog, I was able to take it apart tonight and mount it in a new machine.

    Since I’m somewhat of a “veteran” external drive user, having about 4 terabytes on hand, I thought I’d add my two cents to this thread.

    Anytime your PC shuts down abnormally, the external drives take a beating. Of the drives that I own, every external enclosure from every vendor has failed at one time or another. One from Maxtor failed completely, rendering any drive mounted in it non-responsive, and other enclosures from a generic CompUSA enclosure, to one of my WD Books have failed in similar fashion as well. So get used to pulling the drives apart and swapping enclosures. In fact I’ve gotten so tired of the maintenance and UPS requirements for supporting all of these drives, that I just recently built an “IDE drive server” to host six of them.

    So a few tips:
    1) Google chkdsk and learn how to use it. (Command prompt type “chkdsk c: /r” and that will run checkdisk in repair mode on C. or any other drive you specify.) You can drop that line in a text file and rename it to “.bat” and set that batch file to run on a schedule using Windows scheduler. That way all your flakey external drives will last as long as possible.

    2) If you’re going to build an “IDE drive server”, get a mother board that supports SATA and IDE both (very common now). The WD 500GB enclosures use SATA drives not IDE, but my Maxtor 500GB uses IDE. And with a basic SATA motherboard you typically can have 2 SATA and 4 IDE drives running inside one box. That’s at least 3 terabytes on hand without using Firewire and USB, for about $250 ($50 motherboard, $50 CPU, $50 case, $50 ram, $50 for fans/cables/ etc).

    3) If you want me to build one for you, send me a fax or leave me a voice mail and I’ll see if I can get it done. My voice mail number is (seven zero two) nine nine five – nine three nine two. Obviously since I have a lot better things two do with my time it’s going to cost you a heck of a lot more than $250, but if someone had offered to build this server for ME last week I would have taken them up on it at almost any price.

    Back to being “on topic”, for owners of the newer 500 GB My Books, to take yours apart, follow the steps in the guide above, except instead of a screw:

    1) First remove the rubber border.
    2) Second, after you release the “clips” as specified in the guide, pry open the “middle” of the case (where the cables plug in). On both sides, you’ll see plastic brackets holding it closed. I inadvertently snapped mine off, but it’s no worse for wear. Once you get the middle pried open a little, you can start to slowly wiggle/yank/pull the casing away.
    3) After that, it’s everything as described in the guide.

    Good luck. And thank you all SOOOO much for this thread.

    P.S. My spellchecker keeps asking me to retype “SATA” as “SATAN”. hmmmmm 😉

  15. Chris says:

    The usb connection on my drive failed, and your guide was quite helpful taking that beast of a case apart.


  16. Dan Richardson says:

    Thanks for the writeup – I just got one of these, and was intending to use it internally (it’s cheaper than buying it bare! :-/). I couldn’t figure out how to get it open without destroying the case, and I’m usually pretty good at this stuff…

    Anyway, much help, thanks!

  17. Scott Cramer says:

    Dan – Hmm… never thought of checking the price on external vs. internal. You’d think an external would be cheaper all the time. Will have to pay more attention. Only downside I can think of is not knowing the brand of drive inside so not being able to do any research on it and really do a good price comparison.

  18. nils says:

    thanks for the tips. i had the exact same problem with my 250gb drive. I retrieved all my data yesterday. unfortunately those little clips are pretty beat up and i definitely voided my warranty. but i’d rather have my files back than getting another drive that’s going to fail again.

  19. nils says:

    in doing some searching, I found this product that may be of use to people without access to the inside of a system or no SATA cables…

    it’s a USB to SATA IDE 2.5-in, 3.5in adapter.


  20. Paul says:


    Thanks so much for posting this guide! \

    My MyBook Pro is only a couple of months old. In fact I have two – the older one still works perfectly. This newer one has always been “slower” and has been getting worse for the past few weeks. Today it totally crapped out. It’s still recognized by XP and button manager. And I can still look around the drive, but it takes ages, and file transfers simply time out with “I/O errors.”

    I think (and am praying) that it was the I/O board that went bad, and the actual HD is OK.

    My 500GB Pro model was slightly different than the one pictured – it’s silver colored, there is rubber around the edges (easy to pry off) and no screw, but after playing around with a simple butter knife, I was finally able to get the case open. No damage done at all. Yay.

    I’ve been up all night in shock and dismay over this drive going bad on me. I have a TON of data on it, and I’m hoping to complete the process later after I get some sleep.

    If all goes well, I hope to recover my important files, and to reassemble the drive – WD owes me a damn replacement!!! All of us!!!

    I will post again if I get my data back. (Otherwise, I may be too depressed to even type…)

  21. Paul says:

    Success!!! The hard part was getting the HD out of the encosure.

    The HD is now hooked up internally via SATA and is working fine. All my files are there. Phew.

    So basically the enclosure PCB is some cheap crap that goes bad easily? What a shame.

    Question – will WD send me a new MyBook now? If not I’ll just keep this drive as an internal SATA. And I will NEVER buy WD again. I’ve only had 2 HD’s have issues in my life so far – and both were WD (this one, and another one maybe 12 years ago). My Seagates and Maxtors have always been reliable.

  22. Scott Cramer says:

    Everyone – Thanks for all the useful information! I’m very grateful to the internet community for conversations *just* like this.

    Paul – After you get all of your data, see if you can put the drive back together as pristine as possible. I did that with mine and sent it back in for replacement and received my replacement drive. I think it depends on how bad condition the drive looks when they get it. My guess is it’s a bunch of techs who have to take it apart anyway and they don’t really care so long as it’s not SO obvious that they can’t ignore that the warranty was voided.

    Of course, to get the return, you’ll have to call WD and get an RMA (return merchandise authorization, I believe). I told them that my drive just stopped and they put me through some lame steps to troubleshoot which I just went along with and said I tried “all that”. I got my RMA. If when they get the drive, they turn you down, I’m betting all you will be out is the shipping to them and then the shipping to get the “broken” drive back. Still cheaper than buying a new SATA internal drive. Just my two cents.

    Good luck! Thanks for the comments and update!

  23. Scott Cramer says:

    Nils – Muchos! I’m picking up one of those cables this week (on the company dollar) to keep in the “standard tool set” at the office. Maybe two… one for an offsite backup. 😉

  24. Paul says:

    Update: I spoke too soon… 🙁

    Turns out the HD _is_ corrupted. But at least I can see the contents now, and some files are definitely OK. Some are not. I will try to recover what I can.

    I don’t know if the FAT is messed up or what. I used to be somewhat knowledgeable years ago, but I’m not too techie these days.

    Any recommended software for such a task?

  25. Paul says:

    Update 2: These MyBooks really suck!

    I discovered just now that my other MyBook has a corrupted autorun folder, and am now error-checking it.

    I wonder if using Firewire has anything to do with this?

    (Meanwhile, my 2 year old Seagate USB external is still working fine.)

    QUESTION: what is a reliable, cost effective way to backup massive amounts of personal data? I’m pretty broke at the moment, unfortunately.

  26. Scott Cramer says:

    Nils – I ordered one of those cables. Will try it out when it comes in and post something here. Thanks again for the link… I wouldn’t have even thought of looking for that anywhere!

  27. NightFox says:

    Thank you sooo much for these pics and guide. You have no idea how much you have helped me. The internet is a wonderful place!

  28. Jay says:

    Will Someone please YouTube a video?

  29. Jay says:

    I have the My Book Premium 250GB I don’t see the bottom clip. My drive clicks 3-4 times, and doesn’t show up in My Computer, but shows up in Device Manager. Anyways. thats how I ended up here.

    Thanks, Loved the article.

  30. Joe says:

    For those who do not find a screw on the outside of the case in order to get started, apparently later versions use snap-on cases. The trick is to pry with your finger tips to see what part of the case lip (the end with the connectors) opens the easiest.

    Then with a plastic knife or other similar device, stick it between the opening and run it along the until you feel resistance (you are hitting a tab). Pull out just a bit and then push down and then continue running along the length all the way around the unit.

    When you get to the top and bottom ends of the metal there is a pair of plastic push-in tabs about an inch from the button end of the case. Push these in slight and the case pops off.

    Unfortunately I snapped a couple of the little plastic clips that hold it together, but nothing that prevents the unit from going back together (but would likely void the warrany.. so beware and be careful.

  31. Paul says:


    I almost forgot to come back here and report my outcome.

    Well it’s good news. I very successfully reassembled my drive after recovering ALL of my files from it (!!!). WD sent me a replacement, and they received my old drive and it was accepted. Case closed.

    Thanks again to Scott for starting this very helpful discussion.

  32. Mark says:

    Thanks for the post. I have two My Book Essential drives and have not been happy with their performance. I think they put really cheap chipsets in. I have been looking for how to do this for a couple of weeks. I even sent an email to WD tech support asking how to remove the drive – no answer – big surprise!

    I am purchasing a newer tech enclosure that is also a firewire and USB 2.0 hub.

    Thanks again! You did a real service to all of WD’s lost customers.

  33. Liam says:

    Great article re: opening the WD “My Book”. Mine is 2 months old and died. This is the only site I found that had good up to date info.

  34. Wes says:

    Same problem for me, my XP finds the drive when hot swapped via USB, but does not mount the drive, or identify it as anything other than a WD hard drive. So, I freed my 500GB drive from its MyBook casing and purchased a SATA controller. After getting it all hooked up, the SATA BIOS found the drive at ‘1’, but gives “0 MB’. Am I doing something wrong?

    Also, if this tact doesn’t work, does anybody have any reviews for SpinRite, which looks to be my last chance at recovery before taking this to GeekSquad or someone.

    Thanks in advance — Wes 🙂

  35. Pat Sheehan says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to share your knowledge about MyBook case removal. Mine is giving the (apparently common?) symptom of 4 clicks, USB announcement but no useable device, then nothing); is out of warranty; and I just want to take a (probably long) shot at salvaging the data. I was afraid I was going to have to resort to brute force to open the case I know I’m not out of the woods , but at least I’m no longer completely stymied. Haven’t read all the posts in detail, but will next. Thanks again.

  36. Mike G. says:

    Very Helpful. I almost broke the case because I did not see the screw until I found your presentation. Thanks.

  37. Downwind says:

    Has anyone with the 4 click scenario actually been able to recover their data and what were the steps.

    And does anyone know what those clicks are. Sounds pretty bad to me.

    Thanks in advance. Who needs Western Digital’s help when we have this sort of help.

  38. tom says:

    mine had no case screw at all. model wd16001032-001 160gb. it did have facilities for one in the metal frame but none in the plastic slide. the case was removed with catches and clips, and the two latches toward the ‘spine’ on either end.

  39. Downwind says:

    But did you mage to retrieve the data Tom ?

  40. avibp says:

    Thanks for the right up! I too almost mangled mine because of that hiding screw. What did you use to re-cover the little screw before you sent it back into WD? I know they will void the waranty if I use electrical tape or …. Black finger nail polish. (?)

    Downwind, I am getting the clicks as well as no visible drive in windoze too and will tell you what I find after I get the thing plugged into my motherboard. BTW. The one utiility that I ran told me that it had a “Sector 0 Error”. Dunno if it means death or not but, I want my 400 gigs of data.

  41. Gabe says:

    The clicks you are hearing are likely the RW heads cycling over the platters and it is usually not good news when this happens.

    As has been suggested, try chkdsk or scandisk and see what happens.

  42. Downwind says:

    Whatever that means

  43. Mike says:


    Great guide! I have a MyBook 160GB, and the only difference between mine and yours is that mine doesn’t have a screw that is hidden behind a sticker (or paint, as you described). There’s solid plastic in those areas.

    Mine DOES however have those plastic catches at the tops and bottoms, just like yours.

    Good job, man.

  44. Downwind says:

    Dear Readers,

    Just to update you on my experience. Today I received the USB to SATA IDE cable that I ordered off of eBay. Took “My Book” apart no problem, and powered it up with the USB SATA cable. “My Book” powered up for a few seconds and emitted the famous few clicks of death then shut down. This is exactly what happened when it was in its enclosure using its power etc.

    So in short, whilst I was glad to have found this site and appreciate the help that Scott has been to some people, for me and “My Book” its the end of the line. My book is now awaiting my power grinder to destroy it completely. I could of course send it back to the geniuses that made it, but they charge for data renewal and whilst peeling back the silver foil, I inadvertently tore a piece off, so their not likely to honour the guarantee.

    Oh well, only 200 GB of high res photo’s taken of peoples weddings and stuff. Not to worry eh. The moral of the story, if its worth keeping, back it up at least three times on different machines disks or cards and NEVER trust one machine and one make.

    My point also is that if you have the click of death, then you’re unlikely to be able to retrieve your data with the use of attaching the unit directly to your computer. In other words, don’t order the cable, don’t take the drive from its enclosure and if you don’t mind the manufacturer dicking with your files, might be worth sending it back to them.

  45. Michael says:

    Scott, thank you! Mine did exactly the same thing. WD refered me to CBL to transfer the data to the replacement hard drive before returning the defective one, and my local CBL lab wanted $250 just for the time because they have “more important” tasks. “Anyone can do that, like Best Buy for $90.” Thanks to you I did it myself.

  46. avibp says:

    Downwind, kiss of death clicks sounds about right. I have 99.9% given up on rescuing the data. I am a noob at Linux and will try more on that side.

    The HD hooked directly to my windows box delivers a blue screen when the OS attempts to start. The BIOS see its existence as a SATA drive but, it doesn’t know what it is.

    The closest thing I got to a potential fix for the death clicks is via Acronis software while it was connected via USB and still in the case. The error was Sector 0 but, it too couldn’t continue.

    Goodl Luck all and thanks a LOT Scott. I don’t know if I did already but, without your help, I definitely would have voided my warranty.

  47. Random Dude says:

    To the folks with the “click of death”: 99 times out of 100 your data is still on the drive- it is just the read/write heads that are malfunctioning. If you can find a drive of the EXACT same type and swap the controller cards (the electronics on the bottom of the drive), you have a 50-50 shot of fixing the problem. The controller card will have a bunch of numbers on it somewhere- either a sticker, or a REV # burned right on the board (or both). These have to match, or be as close as possible.

    If that doesn’t work you can then try to replace the drive headstack- but it is not for the faint of heart:

    The biggest obstacle is finding an identical HD. The drives WD uses for these external devices probably have a unique part number, firmware rev#, etc. that you won’t find elsewhere. You could do an RMA and see if you get another drive of the same type and canabilize it for parts, but really your best bet is to just buy another My Book at the same retail outlet you found yours at. If you do the later and decide to return the device after parting it out please don’t stick the next customer with it- return it as defective, not as “I just didn’t want it”.

  48. Random Dude says:

    This is an excellent article Scott- thanks for putting it up. An FYI to others: as you can see be the comments, there are a couple different case designs out there. I have one not yet mentioned. It is a 320gb My Book, and it does not have the hidden screw, rubber feet on the face, or hidden clips all around the edge. There are however four small rectangular rubber feet on the bottom near the serial number sticker. Hidden under the feet closest to the “spine” of the My Book are releases for two catch clips. These are the only thing holding it all together. Using two screw drivers, press them both in and then use your third hand to slide the shiny plastic “book cover” piece off, as in Scott’s picture : http://www.ransackery.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/mybook3.jpg

  49. trotinetes says:

    My 6 months old MyBook 250Gb is apparently slowly dying… it’s slowing down, showing I/O errors and, now, not even showing up on windows anymore 🙁 (although I hear its spinning)

    This guide to open the case seems to be of great help as the data in it is more important than the HD itself. Had never noticed that there was that hidden screw, but…
    ….repeating a previous question:

    “What did you use to re-cover the little screw before you sent it back into WD? I know they will void the waranty if I use electrical tape or …. Black finger nail polish. (?)”


  50. Michael says:

    Trotinetes, I did not “re-cover” mine and it did not void the warranty for me. I was worried about that, too, but WD’s support distinguished between the hard drive and the case when I talked to them before opening it up. I was even more concerned about the silver tape inside as mine tore a little bit. None the less, WD accepted it upon return. You must be most careful with the hard drive. No opening or scratching, etc. As long as it is intact and you take care with the rest of the enclosure, you should be okay. It was okay for me.

  51. trotinetes says:

    That’s good news for the warranty! I send them an e-mail to WD through their support site some days ago and no answer.

    Anyway, I finally got the HD out (it’s the WD MyBook 250Gb usb2.0), and I’ll be trying it on a PC over the weekend. I didn’t damage the case (well, just a little scruffed)!

    The disc isn’t SATA (as I expected), and there isn’t any silver tape!
    and the cable between the 2 panels is sort of glued (not a problem as I disconnected everything from the HD)

    Thanks for the help so far!!!

  52. Darin says:

    Hey- thanks for the 411 on the WD external hard drive. I am glad that you took the time to post your info on the web!

  53. Harald says:

    Thxs a lot! The best description availabe, should be definately placed on the WD support page 😉

  54. Farhan says:

    I’ve hit this same firmware killing the drive issue with my Western Digital MyBook 500 Premium external hard drive. Is there anyway to force an update on the drive, or am I going to have to swap this one with a new one and return it back to Best Buy?

  55. Ritesh says:

    I’ve had the infamous “clicks of death” encounter with my 500gb my book as well. jus taken the drive out of the enclosure and about to hook it up directly. i’ll let you know what happens although im not very optimistic about it after reading all the posts.
    P.S. HUUGE thanx to scot for this blog. we need more ppl like you on the net!

  56. afterhours says:

    Mine is a newer model, without the hidden screw hole. Getting into this was similar to iPods or MacMinis (I do a lot of Mac work). There are two small plastic tabs that are hidden by glued on rubber feet on the bottom (the two closest to the LED side of the case. These tabs index into twin little slots. With careful work, you can depress them and slide the case apart.

    Alternatively, you can use a putty knife or a black stick to work around the edges of the seams to get things apart without scuffing up the plastic or breaking anything. Neat container, but I wish it was easier to get into.

  57. Iszatso says:

    The type of the file system is NTFS.
    Volume label is 031707.

    CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)…
    File verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)…
    0 percent completed.

    So mybook 500g essential, essentially quit being able to move copy view the files contained therein although the drive shows up in win xp and lists files, but hangs when trying to open them up. Connected via usb, was working fin earlier today. So when running chksk got the above, hanging at the second stage.

    So i am a candidate to pry the drive out and mount it in an external case and recover my data? No clicks of death, just stays on when unplugged and copies maybe 20 pictures and then hangs, multiply that times 1000 pictures not backed up, do i have i fighting chance to recover all from the hard drive after freeing it from it’s incompetence?

    interesting reading, thanks for all the comments read above with depressing ernest.

    TIA, patrick

  58. trotinetes says:

    Well, my drive had a similar behaviour (MyBook 250Gb -see above-, and it just ended up dead!

    I removed it from it’s case, tried everything (with the help of more specialised friends) and, basicly it’s a mechanical fault (the spinning rate fails to keep it’s constancy)!!

    WD support replied to my e-mail WEEKS after I sent it!! And, they’ll replace the drive but I need the data =(

    Options right now are paying for an expansive data recovery service or let go of the data…. (well, it’s my fault. These drive should be only for back-up, not trustworthy for anything else, really…)

  59. afterhours says:

    For most data recovery efforts, it is a matter of repairing the corrupt directories. On the Mac side, at least. Don’t know how many different ways various Windows OSen can screw with the file structures, but for those of us with a Mac, products like Diskwarrior or Drive Genius are fantastic at recovering ‘dead’ drive data before a low level reformat (and reuse). Trotinetes’ post sounds more like hardware failure, at which point he’s stuck with the ‘more expensive’ data recovery places. However, with anything that has bearings, it may be a heat-related issue and if he can get it running long enough to grab some files, turn it off to cool down, spin it back up and grab a few more, etc. — he might make some progress. Some people claim putting a drive in a freezer overnight helps. I’ve never seen that, and am reluctant to try. But I have seen where one can ‘spin’ or quickly rotate a drive (in the plane parallel to the platters) to get a ‘stuck’ drive spinning again. That has worked for me more than once. People who hit their drives almost NEVER get their data back 🙂

    Iszatso — we do data recovery, so if you want, contact me off list via our website. We get a lot of ‘dead’ windows drives that don’t even mount for XP or Vista, but the Mac can see them just fine.

  60. FilmGizmo says:

    Well…I am having the same problem as Paul is having. I disassembled the drive and installed in internally with serial ata. And wala, the data was there. But then it still gave me the same problem with the I/O. What can I do?

  61. Bill Jacobs says:

    Thank you for this guide.
    I hurt myself a bit digging for the screw that doesn’t exist on my wd5000c032 model, but the rest was very accurate.

    If you don’t mind, would you like to suggest to people that they try to open their case WITHOUT looking for the screw if they have a wd5000c032 ?

    Now the case I worked on has an unnecessary ding in it.
    Not vital, but it’d be nice. I’m still terribly grateful.

    Why WD doesn’t offer this simple advice is beyond me. Hoping to sell more drives?
    Better tech support might sell more drives too.

  62. Jim says:

    Best resource for taking apart the WD MyBook! Although (after scraping away the corner to find no screw), later models can be disassembled in a similar fashion to replacing an old iPod battery – run a putty knife or similar around all the edges and then undo the clips as indicated in your 2nd and 3rd pictures. The cover then slides off. I was able to ditch my broken 250GB drive and fit a new 320GB one in it’s place. Thanks for this.

  63. flocu says:

    I`ve got the same problem with my MyBook Essential 500GB as Wes:

    XP still recognizes the drive as a WD hard drive, but the capacity is wrong (2048GB) and there`s no partition.
    When using it internally, my S-ATA Controller finds it but says “0GB”.

    Thanks for any help

  64. Ryan says:

    I have a WD 500gb premium that recently got the click of death, and I’ve tried all the techniques above to try to open up the drive– nothing’s working. There’s no screw, and I can only seem to locate a slightly-flexible plastic “catch” on the top, not the bottom. I’ve tried to run a knife through the lip all the way around to find a clip, but I can’t seem to find anythign there either. There must be something I’m missing here. Any other ideas before I just give up and throw it against the well and hope for the best?

  65. PFKL says:

    Begin to remove the rubber strip surrounding the enclosure at the top and bottom. Insert a flat bladed screwdriver the the “spine” on the mybook, and depress the catch. Slightly pry the the case using the screwdriver and you should begin to feel the case separate. Repete on the other side and your home free.

    Now about that click of death. . . .

  66. Ryan says:

    Thanks, PFKL, despite all my previous trouble, your advice worked like a charm. Now to find out if I can actually recover anything any the drive…

  67. Skip says:

    I have a new SATA WD MyBook. There are “NO” screws holding this case closed.

    Place the hard drive case upright, with the LED (mines blue and blinks up and down as you access the drive) facing you and the smooth sides of the case at your left and right. The rubber feet should be facing down.

    Take a small pocket knife blade and place it just left of center, between the smooth case and the vented case. press down between the two cases about a 16th of an inch. gently continue to apply downward pressure and slowly twist the knife blade and the two halfs of the cases will begin to seperate. when the case opens about a 16th of an inch, you can then reposition the knife blade or use a small screw driver to seperate the case further.

    The smooth part of the case should slide all the way forward and off, with out having the vented case move. IF YOU ARE MOVING THE VENTED CASE, YOU ARE USING TO MUCH PRESSURE. Mine was sitting on my keyboard tray and I opened it with just one hand.

    All the components are mounted in the vented case, with the exception of the LED lens.

  68. Kyle says:

    SKIP – did you have to remove the rubber strip first? I have a newer one (purchased in May 2007)

    I was following steps where the rubber had to be removed, and i think i tore a bit of the rubber stripping. There goes my replacement

  69. Skip says:

    Kyle – I did not remove any rubber strip. I have a 320gig SATA and a 250gig IDE and neither have a rubber strip. The 250gig drive, does have the screw, and is located on the top, right, back corner. That is if you position the drive in the same position as mentioned in the previous post. You then still need to press down on the plastic locking tabs on the top and bottom of the case. Pry gently on the smooth cover until it moves about a 16th of an inch.

  70. Skip says:

    Kyle – My drives are Essential and Essential Edition II. The Pro is the type with the rubber strip going all the way around the two covers. Judging by the look of the Pro (square/rectangular vent holes) they would have the plastic tabs at the top and bottom of the case.

    To bad they are not all made like the Premium Edition II and Pro II. 4 screws at the corners and the two half’s come apart.

  71. Kyle says:

    Skip – ya i have the two tabs on the top and bottom, i’m just wondering if removing the rubber strip is necesssary, or if pressing down the catches and trying to separate the two halfs will be sufficient.

    Like i said before, i started to try and remove the rubber and some of the lip tore a bit. Now i doubt i can get away with an RMA.

    Does anyone think that i’m screwed because of the rubber stripping…? I’d like to get my data of the drive and still get it replaced

  72. Kyle says:

    BTW mine is model wd5000d032, if anyone was able to open this type can someone please post pics… or something.. i can’t get this damn thing open

  73. Kyle says:

    Well i got the Hd out of the case, it appeared during boot up but it didn’t appear in my computer. I checked out Disk Management, and the drive is “Unallocated” ..woohoo corrupt partition

  74. Skip says:

    So… How does it come apart?

  75. Kyle says:

    It came apart quite nicely one i bought a small putty knife. Just so everyone knows, to open the model WD5000D032 you do not have to remove the rubber strip. There are two catches one on the top and one on the bottom… by pushing these down and using a putty knife to gently pry the two parts apart. It’ll came apart.

    I’d post some pics on where to pry if i could.

    But ya once i got it hooked up to my computer, it turned out the reason why it didn’t map was because the partition on the drive was pooched. So i recovered the partition and bingo, all my data was there. I put everything back together and it works again.

  76. yong says:

    mine’s a 250gb my book essential and when i connect it via usb to my laptop, it recognises it as a usb mass storage device but after that, the light just blinks and after 5 minutes, the autoplay pops out but it’s not reading anything. i just wanna know if my hard disk inside is alright and is it possible to retrieve everything after taking it apart?

  77. pro1337 says:

    I have the 1TB My Book Studio Edition, the case have a picture of a lock with a “K” on it do i have to worry about that?


  78. pickler says:

    I got my data off, but I can’t get this rubber strip back on. I attached it on all but the top side and it just won’t go in. Any ideas?

  79. Alex Wright says:

    For all those poor souls with the clicks of death problem, there is hope. There is a magical piece of software I have used on many different makes of HD with the death click and it has repaired and recovered nearly all of them. It’s called HDD Regen and I think it’s Russian. It’s well worth trying although I have seen it take over a week to recover a severely damaged 20 gig HD. The important thing is it recovered the data. http://www.dposoft.net/
    It’s $60 but that’s a lot cheaper than data recovery services. Try it, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And no, I don’t work for them or earn any comission, it’s just a bloody good tool I have used.
    Oh great guide by the way, I’m about to internalise my own 500GB Mybook and this will save me ruining the case.

  80. avibp says:

    Alex Wright, your idea is good. It wont work on my click of death drive because my drive (via USB or Direct connect) isn’t recognized by my cmos/bios therefore, HDD Regen can’t find it to fix it.

    Somebody else recommended replacing the board on the hard drive however, I found only one “exact” model number for sale and it was only one item and some where out of the country so I didn’t trust the purchase enough to try. But, I think that is the answer.

    Heads up RMA’ers:
    I’m currently RMA’ing it through Western Digital now(as of 11-24-2007) and they tell me there is a supply problem and they don’t have any so I should expect a two week shipping delay. I even authorized them to charge me $250.00+/- for expedited service (no charge when they receive my RMA warrantied return)… So, I wait.

  81. Wastenotime says:


    Let me be another in the long line of THANK YOUs. A friend’s 80 Gb MyBook stopped working after it was unplugged accidentally. youe site was the ONLY one that popped up when I searched for the WD model number, and damn! if it wasn’t exactly what I needed.

    Long story short, got the case open, removed the IDE drive, hooked it up and burned a few DVDs of iTunes holiday music-the user will be most pleased! Thanks again for giving back.

  82. bj says:

    thnx! it worked for me.. my harddrive was already firewire 800, but i decided to build it internally for more speed into my macpro. only thingy is that on the european version (the grey/silver one with the rubber edges) there is no srcrw. just hook the two lips and it’ll come off. when you’re sure about damaging the case, i recommend to take the rubber off first. that way the case will slide much better apart.

    thnx again. i am now going to relax at 750 gig’s – holla!

    sorry for the poor grammar. if it aint dutch, it aint much!

  83. Sprocketboy says:

    Thanks a bunch. Only that my 500GB USB MY BOOK case is put together differently. No LED circuitry in front (just a diode) and no taped hole on the outer case with release screw. I did end up breaking 3 plastic L brackets. Next time I’ll just buy the drive. The USB controller in these case are poorly made.

  84. derkaderka says:

    wonderful guide. my USB port busted but otherwise everything worked fine; i kept getting power surge errors. WD offered to replace the drive, but that doesnt help me recover the data already on it now does it? anyway, pulled it out just fine (after a few fruitless and aggravating attempts on my own). again, thanks

  85. tacua says:

    One more happy reader. Thanks for the guide and comments, I was able to open my 500GB MyBook Premium, due to increasing bad clusters and most of the recovery software doesn’t like external drives. I plugged mine directly to the SATA controller and I was able to recover 98% of my data. Now I have it running SpinRite to see if I can revive it, if not it’s going for RMA.

  86. Pixelgeek says:

    Wow ! Am I glad I stumbled upon this blog ! Thanks for all the help everyone ! I purchased the 500GB for $99 and it only lasted a couple months. Probably the USB, and I couldn’t find any screws to open it ! Thanks again.

  87. bL!Nz says:

    Hi all, I have WD 500 Essential Edition, and when Im going to copy datas to another HD or mount an image… windows says : “Mistake in the delayed writing” oh my god… I can play all in my wd but I cant copy nothing to my wd and I cant copy from my wd to another hd…

    Could anyone help me? pleaseeee…

  88. RatMan says:

    A friend/co-worker brought me his Premium ES drive to salvage since I am the IT guy. Thanks to multiple posts above, I was able to remove the drive and mount it in a computer.

    To those who can get Windows to see the drive but get errors copying data to/from it, remove it from the case and install it in a computer on the secondary SATA channel in place of an optical drive. Windows will report problems upon booting and run chdsk on it for you.

    The one I am working on will probably run chkdsk overnight, but hopefully I can recover most of the data in the morning.

  89. RatMan says:

    First update:

    chkdsk completed, but still could not copy the data. Touched the drive and noticed it was extremely hot. I’ve seen this before, so I removed the bare drive completely from the housing. I then enclosed it in (2) ziploc bags being sure to remove as much air as possible and put it in the freezer to bring it to a very low temperature. Only use ziploc type bags to seal the environment for the drive. Moisture can destroy the drive and ice crystals in the bag mean there is moisture.

    Sometimes when drives go bad, they begin overheating. Freezing them may make them operational long enough to recover the data. I’ve done this before with internal IDE drives, so we’ll see if I can reproduce the results with a SATA drive.

  90. Danny Zogwax says:

    Anyone know how to open a WDH1CS10000 (My Book Home 1tb). I wanna try jumpering the drive if poss to sata150 to see if it is then recognised. I can see no screws or catches or…



  91. Kohai says:

    Hi all and thanks for your good advice on how to open a MyBook. Mine is without screws.

    I got a friend who used the wrong power supply and there were a little too much amps and voltage for the drive. I got the harddrive out and connected it to an SATA/IDE to USB cable with external power, but unfortunately it seems that there is the circuit board on the hard drive that is “gone”. I managed to find a surface mounted diod on the circuit that is burnt and want to replace this one or the whole board. The problem is that the diod seems to be a custom component. Anyone got a spare controllercard from a 320 WD HDD?

    Thanks again for you advice regarding opening the My book.

  92. Joern says:

    Hi, does anybody know how to open the case of the
    400 GB WD4000D031 WDG1U4000x HD.

    Thanks a lot, Joern

  93. Olle says:

    Hello everyone, I’d just like to say thanks for the main post and also some of the helpful comments. I have a MyBook Pro 250GB with the rubber strip, and had a pretty hard time getting the drive out of the case. I finally managed without damaging the case, I hope.

    My drive had problems for quite a long time, write errors and such. This weekend it stopped working totally and Windows couldn’t even open the partition. I guess it’s become like this because of random shutdowns now and then.

    Anyway, when I hooked it up internally, it still had the same problems but using GetDataBack I was able to find all of my files that still were on the drive (phew!) and copy them to another external harddrive (Lacie Porsche). It took an awful lot of time but it was really worth it, it seems like all my files are back!

    I don’t really know what to do with the MyBook drive now, I guess it’s possible to format it and start using it again, but how? Maybe partition magic will do the trick. On the other hand, I’m a little scared of using it again after all these problems.

  94. RatMan says:

    Second update:

    I was able to recover about 99% of the data when I moved the drive to the computer. The drive itself had bad spots and is done for. Cooling the drive didn’t matter in this case.

    Funny thing happened after reassembling the case: it works! Before disassembly, you were never able to see the drive contents. Now everything is there. I’m going to format the drive and send it back. The replacement should be here tomnorrow.

    Now we’ll see if WD balks at replacing it. I did leave marks on the 2 release tabs.

  95. Pingback: The Terrible (and big) Western Digital 500 GB MyBook | A Conflagration of Randomness

  96. Simon Windmill says:

    Thanks for this. I just bought a 500gb Essentials, and the screwless procedure was as Noziroh noted.

    I took the drive out not because there was anything wrong with it, but because my system was experiencing problems when the MyBook was attached at the same time as another USB storage device (SD card reader). Now I have a nice fast 500gb drive and a spare USB enclosure should I ever need one 🙂

  97. Kohai says:

    Hi guys,

    Just a tips for you regarding connecting discs to USB. I took my disc out of the My Book case and bought this nice SATA/IDE cable that give you the possibility to connect your hard drive directly to a USB port.

    At work we had several computers with hard drives that needed to be formated, so by just taking them out I connected them on the desk via this USB to SATA/IDE cable with external power and it works as a clock, i.e. really good. There is no logo on it, and it is simply called “USB 2.0 to SATA/IDE cable”.

  98. Western Digitarl Tech Support says:

    Hi, I have just been working in Western Digital for 3 years in the Tecnhical Support department and since then I’m trying to open my “500GB MyBook Pro” without success. Thanks to this post I got the solution. Congratulations for your work and thanks a lot.

  99. Darren Hart says:


    Thanks heaps to you and everyone else who had input on this blog.

    I’ve been having problems with my 500Gb WD MyBook’s connection ‘periodically’ dropping off since I bought it under a year ago. More so recently, as I was having to unplug and replug the firewire and power supply connections to get it to appear on my Mac’s desktop again, at least once a week.


    My 500 GB Western Digital MyBook decided to not power up yesterday. ARGHH!!

    The instructions on this blog helped me remove the 500Gb HD from it’s case. YAY!!!
    I bought a new WELLAND USB2 caddy today as well as a second WELLAND FIREWIRE caddy with a 320Gb HD. My WD 500Gb HD is now in the WELLAND USB drive and is currently copying all my important files to my NEW 320Gb WELLAND FIREWIRE drive.




  100. jesper says:

    Thanks to all for the suggestions.
    I have a 750gb essential edition (wd7500c032-002).
    To open the this case you there is no screws and you can leave the 2 rubber strips, otherwise the hard bit is to pry the casing from the 4 cathes (I broke one) on the longer side.
    I also did pry open the top and bottom sides which have a continous ledge but I don’t think I had to..

  101. Ryan Waddell says:

    Thanks for the guide! My 500gb essential edition is a big pain in the ass, but I finally got the case off. It had stopped being recognized in windows, but powering up fine and not making any weird noises, so I jiggled the connector inside and VOILA, workin fine again! I might just get a new enclosure now.

  102. Maverick73 says:

    Dude –

    Thanks so much for the help. I had found the screw hole originally, but couldn’t get the case off.

    You just saved a customer of mine a ton of $$$ as I could pull the drive & get the data off. Not sure if the power cord just died or the circuitry in the unit.

    Either way, it seems like these units are a P.O.S.

    WD support sucks.


  103. Roberto says:

    Scott, you’re a lifesaver. I had lost hope of ever having access to my 500Gb WD, after having turned it on/off repeatedly, tried different ports, different cables and even different computers. What I had NOT done is UNPLUG the drive from AC and leave it for a while before trying again. It worked! Thanks a million, regards from Brazil, Roberto.

  104. Stacey says:

    Hey Guys,

    Had the same problem yesterday, evidently my partition table was deleted, tried everything mentioned here then then some. I got the drive out, but my desktop has the older ATA cable so I couldn’t plug the SATA into the ribbon. In the meantime I played with test disk adn photo recovery, but got numerous read errors and was just about to give up when I found a $69 program that SAVED MY ASS.

    The Program is called Data Doctor Recovery FAT+NTFS.

    I started the recovery utility and woke up this morning to find my files recovered and waiting for me to save. At the moment they’re all being saved to a second external drive, a process that will no doubt take hours.

    In any event, if all else fails, you might want to try this. $69 is a bargain compared to the minimum of $249 you’ll pay for “possible” recovery at the Geek Squad. I stumbled upon it and paid online and activated and used it immediately.

    Let me know if it works for you


  105. Benjamin says:

    Really loved your presentation. Thanks dude! I was getting really pissed off with WD and there complete lack of help. Your guide and pictures were first class. Thanks again.

  106. Colton says:

    Count me in as one of the unlucky ones. My wife’s 500gb MyBook just
    started slowing down. Took forever to get a directory until it died
    and stopped showing up under “My Computer”. Replugging it and did
    several shut-downs – unplugging the unit – nothing worked. Found
    this information and decided that it was time to pry the harddrive
    loose from the case. Plugged it (SATA) directly into my computer
    and got a directory, but alot of “read errors” prevented me from
    rescuing the files directly.

    By some luck, I had purchased Ontrack’s Data Recovery software and
    decided I had nothing to lose. It located the drive, but the disk
    partition said “RAW” with 0mb. I let the program scan and it found
    all the data and SLOWLY copied the files to another harddrive.

    I plan to reformat the drive as a NTFS partition and see if it is
    still worth keeping. To my knowledge, no “clicks of death”.

  107. RatMan says:

    Final update:

    I ran the WD utility on the hard drive and it was able to recover ALL the data. Wound up sending the replacement unit back instead of the original to ensure the warranty stays good.

  108. Colton says:

    RatMan –

    What WD utility? The program that comes with the drive?

  109. RatMan says:

    Yes. I think the folder is WD_Windows_Tools.

  110. GoofyGary says:

    I’ve had great luck with WD. However, I wanted to swap the drive in MyBook with another one and couldn’t get the silly thing open. You are a life saver; better yet, a HD WD saver.

  111. PeterC says:

    Simon Windmill or anyone who bought a 500gb Essentials:

    I am waiting for my 500gb Myboook Essentials to arrive and couldn’t help wondering what’s inside the external case. Is it SATA or PATA (IDE) drive?

    Can anyone verify k baker’s statement below?

    “ide hdds are on the way out wd hdds are filled with ide cheap drives, its a marketing ploy to sell a high end product usb drive with a cheap enclosure enabled ide.”


  112. Michael W says:


    I bought my 500 GB My Book Essential Edition USB 2.0 drive back in December 2006. The drive itself is SATA and it was manufactured on November 8, 2006. The reason I know these last two things is that I have it apart right now. That’s because it clicks 4 times, shuts down, comes back on, and clicks once or twice again, but never shows up as a drive in Windows. I’ve rebooted and it still does that. Why it worked for just a year is beyond me. For over 2 decades, hard drives are supposed to work for 10 years or more! The box tells me it’s out of warranty already.

    Back in December 2006 I also bought 2 250 GB versions. Hoping to temporary borrow some donor parts and narrow down the problem, I opened the case of one of these 250 GB versions. I wanted to try swapping out the controller card as Random Dude suggested in one of his posts. Now I see that isn’t going to work because it’s an IDE drive. Uggh!

    So from what I’ve bought, k baker’s statement about them being IDE isn’t always true. I can’t comment about cheap. k baker is probably the only person who considers external USB drives a high end product. They’re simply ordinary hard drives in external enclosures with cables, which have been around for decades.

    PeterC, good luck with your drive. Maybe you should order an identical one–I’m only half-joking. Maybe Maxtor’s the way to go.

    I found this blog post to be extremely helpful. And as warned, it took time to pull the case open. My drive is an exact match for the excellent description and pictures by Scott Cramer.

  113. Peter C says:

    @Michael W,

    Thanks for your reply! From your message I guess it may be a crap-shoot whether a mybook comes with SATA or PATA. 😛

    Well, we will see. When I get mine, I intend to open and use it as an internal drive anyways.

  114. Peter C says:

    I just opened the external case of 500gb Mybook Essentials and retrieved a hard drive and yes it’s SATA. What’s inside:

    Western Digital Caviar WD5000AAVS Hard Drive – 500GB – Serial ATA

    However, my case was a little different from Scott’s pictures inside and out. WD may have redesigned/changed the mybook layout. Here is some tips from my experience.

    First, the “clips” are now hidden inside so you cannot see or release them from outside (later you will see the clips are located only at the bottom where four little rubber feet and serial number stickers are). So I had to carefully pry open the middle of the case and then keep on doing it toward the ends on both sides. After both sides are pried open pull the casing away as Noziroh suggested.

    Second, inner case design have changed as well but easy to figure out once you get there. Try to unscrew the adapter on the top of hard drive first and then unscrew the rest to release the hard drive.

    Anyways I wish Good Luck to everyone and THANK Scott for this blog!

  115. Shawn says:

    ARRRGGHHH!! Now my OTHER WD 500gb went dead! Several “clicks” and no drive icon. That’s TWO 500gb dead in ONE MONTH!


  116. Colton says:


    WARNING! Before you submit for a RMA# – you better make sure you have $300 in your bank account because WD will HOLD that money until they receive the defective unit. Bastards! Their statement clearly says they wouldn’t charge you until after 30 days and the defective unit hasn’t been received by them, but what they really do is once you request a RMA# and enter your credit card information – they will instantly take that $300 out of your account and hold onto it.
    Your bank can’t do anything about it and WD won’t return the money until they receive the unit. So, make sure you have more than $300 in your account to last you and send your defective unit to them ASAP!


  117. Carl Swanson says:

    I just finished playing with a 1TB My Book and once I discovered the trick as posted here it was simple. I am dealing with the latest shipment from HD and here is what I know. Like posted before take a (in my case) a small flat blade screw driver to open. I put panters tape over the blade to avoid scratching the case. and do the foloowing:

    1) Stand case upright with spine nearest to you. Place the screw driver just left of the center between the two pieces and press down. You may need to move towards the outside left. At some point you may hear a release sound (small noice im my case) and you will see that the cases have seperated a bit.
    2) Turn the case over and repeat step 1 for the bottom release.

    Please note there are no screws or visible release tabs on this model.

    3) Slide the cover off, it should move easily.

    4) You will now see the HD and SATA to USB/ Firewire interface. The entire assembly will come out as a single piece. Before doing this note the way it is inserted, so you can put it back the same way. Also, there is a plastic “T” shaped piece that just slides out. Slide the HD out by just pulling gently away from the interface (power) side.

    4) The Converter hardware and Drive vibration damping hardware are held togeher by 6 screws of which only 5 are visable at this time.

    5) Take a careful look at the raised portion which contains the Sata to USB converter card this is held on by 2 screws. Remove thes two screws and this entire assembly sides out by moving towards the rear of the disk drive (where drive power connections are). THis uncovers the last 6th screw.

    6) Remove the 4 screws hold the HD mounting plate (the is the drive vibration device mentioned above.
    You now have sucessfully removed the HD from the enclosure.

    To install back in it is simple, just reverse the steps.

  118. Carl Swanson says:

    Another think I noticed about the HD was in one case poor performance, or the reason it was being replaced. THe performance of one of the drives was 30x slower that a identical drive. Doing a copy operation from same source to 2 identical targets. I did something that fixed the issue and it does not make any sense, but it may help others. What I did was delete the partition that came with the drive and created a new partition formeted it as a NTFS partition using the defaults. I then repeated the test and the performance problem was solved. I recreated the test a number of times with the same results. Once may ask how was I measuring and comparing, the method was not scientific I was just watching the time remaining indicator. The test to the good initial drive never showed more than 60 seconds and actually ran between 45 and 50 seconds. The the flaky drive it showed 9 minutes for the same folder and actually took about 12 minutes every time. After the new partiontion it took between 45 and 50 seconds.
    I do not know why but it seemed to fix it.

  119. tom says:

    Incredibly useful instructions.

    I have a My Book Essential 250gb (bought in the UK in 2006) that one day, shortly after end of the warranty, failed to power up.
    Tried replacing the power supply but this had no effect and then I found this site. Not sure I would ever have discovered the screw on the outer case, cunningly concealed behind a thin layer of plastic/paint that chipped off, exactly as described.
    Got the drive out (again, compliments on the instructions) and discovered it was a WD Caviar SE 250 GB EIDE (WD2500JB) that luckily my desktop already had a spare cable for, and is now running as internal. All the data was fine.

    Thanks a million Scott.

  120. Ryan says:


    I’ve been contemplating purchasing a 500GB MyBook because the price was right, plus I’ve read plenty of positive reviews about them. I’m just curious what would cause the drives to become unusabe… I don’t want to go out and buy a drive that’s going to break on me just because it’s cheap. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

    I don’t see how a drive would suddenly fail like that. It makes no sense to me, especially if it’s not even the drive that’s failing, but the USB controller.

  121. Darren says:


    The Western Digital Hard Disk itself is not the problem. I believe the problem lies in the crap caddies that the drives come in. Being the right price is not going to make you feel any better when your My Book poops itself and you’re also pooping yourself thinking you’ve lost a truck load of information.

    Here’s my story…


    Thanks heaps to you and everyone else who had input on this blog.

    I’ve been having problems with my 500Gb WD MyBook’s connection ‘periodically’ dropping off since I bought it under a year ago. More so recently, as I was having to unplug and replug the firewire and power supply connections to get it to appear on my Mac’s desktop again, at least once a week.


    My 500 GB Western Digital MyBook decided to not power up yesterday. ARGHH!!

    The instructions on this blog helped me remove the 500Gb HD from it’s case. YAY!!!
    I bought a new WELLAND USB2 caddy today as well as a second WELLAND FIREWIRE caddy with a 320Gb HD. My WD 500Gb HD is now in the WELLAND USB drive and is currently copying all my important files to my NEW 320Gb WELLAND FIREWIRE drive.




    To date I’ve had no drama whatsoever with the WD drive in my new Welland caddy.
    But I still paid $70 for an extra case on top of what I paid for the My Book.
    The only saving I made here was my data. Good on you for doing you research first before buying what could become a nightmare.

  122. Michael W says:

    Ryan (and Darren),

    The Western Digital external hard drive has a number of different problems. A few of the problems are simply with cables and connectors.

    However, if you look through the responses on this page you will see quite a few of them that mention clicks, which is a fatal hard drive problem. This is a problem with the hard drive itself. That’s what I’ve got after 1 year of use, and it’s out of warranty already. It failed suddenly. It was working fine, then one day I connected it and got a few clicks. It will only click now. I’m planning on sending my drive to a recovery service, which will cost me a few hundred dollars (US$) and I’ll also have to send them something to copy the data onto, which will cost me a few hundred dollars more. I’m not going to pay extra for express service so it will take a couple of weeks. The drive will be junked after that.

    I think that hard drive quality has greatly declined. Historically they should last for 10 years or more.

    Sadly, I’ve decided that for each external drive I have, I’m going to have another one the same size to keep a second copy. That should keep me from losing data. I’m expecting more failures in the future.

    Ryan, you could look at one with a longer warranty, but that will only get you a replacement in exchange for sending them the bad one. The warranty will not get you any data recovery.

  123. Paul says:

    Amazing how this thread has grown.

    If you look way near the top, you’ll see I had to replace my 500GB MyBook Pro last year. Only thanks to this thread was I able to do this without losing my data.

    A few weeks ago I had to replace ANOTHER 512GB MyBook pro!!! I have two of them.

    This time I wasn’t so lucky – the drive itself went bad and I lost lotsa data, but managed to recover a decent amount. It was mostly media files and games stuff – i.e. things I can live without. But that’s not the point of course.

    The point is – these drives are GARBAGE.


    I will NEVER, E_V_E_R buy Western Digital drives again.

    My old Seagates (2 internal and one extrenal) and Maxtors are still working 100% after several years of constant use. I’m especially fond of Seagate and my next HD purchase will probably go there. But Western Digital – whatever “clever” cost cutting they’ve done to maximize profits at the expense of quality – it WILl bite you in the behind eventually, and eventually is coming soon for this burned ex-customer.

    Good luck to everyone here recovering from your MyBook disasters. You are not alone.

  124. Ryan says:

    Thanks alot Michael for the information, and you too Paul and Darren for replying. Well, after much deliberation I finally decided to get the 500 gig drive. I don’t think I will be using the drive to the point of running it ragged. So I’m hoping that it will last me a while.

    It’s really sad to hear that the drives have such a high failure rate. Is there any relation between the place it was purchased / when the drive was made and the rate of failure? I’m wondering this because I live in Canada. I’m just wondering because it is possible that the drive itself could have been manufactured somewhere else. As for the caddy, it is quite possible that is also the problem.

    For your drives in particular, were they constantly on? Were they ever removed frequently and brought to other places? I don’t intend to carry my drive around with me a whole lot, and essentially need it to back up my things when I need to format, and then copy the information back over when I’ve completed the format.

    I think with any external drive you run the risk of losing the data on it. For any drive out there, I’ve read positive things, and negative things. I hope that this purchase is not one I will regret. If the drive fails any time within the next three years, I will be one disappointed customer.

    I do agree that drive’s used to last forever. I do believe I still have an old 250 meg WD from my very first Packard Bell 286. I also think that the entire machine still functions, and this machine is perhaps 20 years old. I’m not saying that I expect this sort of quality from newer drives, because with the extremely high storage capacities of today’s drives, and the high rate of speed these machines work, it would be very hard to make them last for upwards of 20 years; however, I do think that, and hope that I am not naive in thinking that, these drives drives will at least last for 5 years.

    I would greatly appreciate any more comments and discussion as well! Thanks alot guys!

  125. John Stone says:

    My ‘My Book Studio’ 1tb drive stopped mounting properly but the actual hard disk sounded fine, so I managed to get it out of the case (after an hour of prying around) and put it into a G5 powermac at work. My case had two clips on the back of the case, opposite the i/o ports by the k security slot. The drive was being detected in Disk Utility but the volume/partition would not mount. Booting to a DiskWarrior boot disk and rebuilding the directory restored everything. I’m now putting the drive into a new enclosure and hooking it back up to my Time Capsule for storage.

    What a mess… drives are unreliable enough without having to worry about the controllers/bridges in enclosures being total garbage. Just one time I cut corners and look where it got me. I’m ordering one of these next time:


  126. Michael W says:


    It sounds like your situation is virtually ideal for the drive’s longevity: infrequent use, writing onto an empty disk (so it writes into contiguous sectors, no jumping around to different sectors, etc.), contiguous reading back to the source, then it’s disconnected. From what you briefly said about using it, it sounds like the data will exist in only one place (the external drive) during the format of the source drive. If that is the case it would be momentarily risky if the external drive were to fail, but very unlikely…although eventually someday it will fail.

    My “My Book 500 GB Essential Edition USB 2.0” external drive was connected half of the time during the year (I use my laptop daily). I never the drive it anywhere. It was never dropped. It was kept indoors at room temperature. Its ventilation was not blocked. It was not around excessive humidity or moisture. I did read and write to it very frequently. I also read and write to my laptop’s primary hard drive, which sees considerably more frequent use and is now maybe 4 or 5 years old.

    About leaving it on most of the time, there’s always a debate between whether it’s worse to leave electronic equipment on constantly (causing thermal wear) or to let it heat up and cool down repeatedly (causing fatigue). If you leave a light bulb on one week a year it will last a long time. If you leave it on constantly it will burn out soon. If you turn it on and off every few minutes it will burn out even sooner.

    As with any particular item you can buy in the store, the defect rate can vary by the manufacturer’s design (which can vary slightly over time) and their manufacturing plant (whose raw materials and craftsmanship can vary over time and batches/lots/shifts). I bought my drive in the United States around Cincinnati. It was manufactured on November 8, 2006 and I bought it in December 2006. The original box says “drive manufactured in Malaysia or Thailand” and “disque dur fabriqué en Malaisie ou en Thailande”, which you may recognize as French, so it’s probably packaged for the Canadian market too.

    I do get a kick out of the box saying “Put your life on it®”. From my experience that seems like a very bad suggestion.

  127. Ryan says:

    Thanks Michael!

    I do intend to continue to use the drive after I format, though. And hopefully it will last me for some time afterwards. I want to be able to rely on it to keep things stored for a long period of time, and use it as a backup device for anything I download.

    I’m so interested because of the fact that there seems to be an disgracefully alarming amount of people with the exact same problem. Judging by this site alone, the failure rate amongst these particular drives, namely the 500GB Premium Edition, is extremely high. I find this to be shocking. Are they taking steps to prevent this in the future? Or is it just that this is where everyone with a bad WD MyBook congregates?

    I hope that my device manages to avoid falling into the pits of the broken drives. Are they afraid of bad press due to these drives?

    I whole heartedly agree with you’re last statement as well, Michael. From what I’ve read, I’m not even sure I am willing to put my goldfish’s life on it.

  128. Scott Cramer says:

    Thanks everyone! I’m glad the original post provided a jump-off point for the great information each of you has added. It’s almost worth that sinking feeling in your stomach when your drive crashes. Well… I got my data off the external so it’s easier to say that, I guess.

    However, I did have a Hitachi Travelstar 100 gig go belly up on my on my laptop last year. THAT has data I know is still on it and I can’t get to it. Tried the external casing and cord hookup mentioned way earlier in the comments here. No dice. I think the heads took a dump. $900 is the best quote to date for data recovery. Still not on today’s budget. I’ve researched but am still leery of opening up the drive. However… bravery comes with time. My present plan is to sit in the cleanest spot I’ve got and carefully open it up and check for anything obvious. Barring that, the plan is to get another drive of the same model and try swapping the platters. Crazy? Sane costs $900 that I don’t have.

    Data to recover includes pictures and videos of my daughter not backed up elsewhere. Yeah, I know. I’m in the biz and I still didn’t back it all up. The drive wasn’t that old. I thought I had time. All the same excuses. Funny thing was, it crashed WHEN I was uploading all the pics to my Flickr account to start backing up all the important stuff. Go figure.

    Anyone following this thread have ideas, suggestions, information (is that redundant)? Referrals or expertise good too..

    On an aside, thinking about revamping this Western Digital post. Anyone with pics of other drive dissections willing to share, I’ll try and make it more inclusive. Links to your sites, if applicable, and credit to where credit due, of course.

  129. Carl Swanson says:

    Scott, what you are attempting is an absolute last resort option, with chances of success very low, what you may end up with is two bad drives instead of one. I work in the storage division of a major computer manufacturer in RD and I would not try this outside of a lab. There are some very good commercially available data recovery programs out there for about $100. We have used these to successfully recovery lost data. I am not in my office where I have such hardware put if you Google NTFS partition recovery, you may find the company, they are in Minnesota (Edina) Here is the link to the software I have used:
    Please note I do not work for this company or endorse its products, but I will say they have saved my a** on more than one occasion. Of course you mileage will vary. Good Luck

    It is too bad I did not take picture of taking apart the new 1TB drive since this seems to be even easier that the older models.

    And for those commenting that the 500GB drives from WD are bad, please note they have over 1,000,000 of these drive in the field. And yes some number of them are going to be bad it just seems that most of us have found their way to this thread. I actually like taking the SATA II drive out of the enclosure and directly connecting. I only got two of these drives in the book form because of price, I then took them out of the enclosures.
    Also, please note the 500GB may not be SATA II it may be SATA I, this makes a big difference since these drives did not support Tag Command Queuing or Ladder Sorting. What this means is grater and more random head movement.

  130. Michael W says:

    Scott Cramer,

    First, let me again say “thank you” for your excellent blog entry.

    I don’t know how thoroughly you’ve diagnosed your Hitachi drive problem. There are different things you can try based on whether it clicks, doesn’t do anything, appears on your computer as hardware but not as a drive, etc.

    This article about common data recovery mistakes seems reasonable to me: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/404816/the_5_most_common_data_recovery_mistakes.html

    Personally, I think that hard drive surgery is an even bigger mistake; I think it’s just not common enough to have made that list.

    Scott, if you still want to perform surgery on your drive, Random Dude mentioned a hyperlink on Sep 29th, 2007 at 10:36 am: http://www.ransackery.com/western-digital-mybook-open-case-recover-data.htm#comment-29949

  131. Michael W says:

    I’m not sure that I should have tried the freezing thing, but the change that I made to the technique was to use a Ziploc *afterwards* and a blanket, when I was letting the drive come back up to room temperature. It was actually about 10 degrees Fahrenheit (about -12 degrees Celsius) outside one night so I put the drive outside with protection from snowfall. If I’d sealed it in a Ziploc then moisture would have condensed out of any trapped air because cooled air can’t hold as much water vapor. If I’d put the drive in my freezer I probably would have used a Ziploc during cool down too. After several hours I tried to read data, but it just clicked. I went outside and sealed the drive in a Ziploc and squeezed the air out of the Ziploc, wrapped the Ziploc in a blanket, and brought it inside to slowly warm back up to room temperature. If you ever sit something cold out on the counter (pickle jar, can of Coke, etc.) you’ll see that water condenses from the air onto anything that’s a lot colder. I used the blanket to sort of reduce the temperature difference and spread it out over a longer period of time, hopefully eliminating condensation.

    The freezing method is only supposed to give you a few minutes to recover data (search Google for ‘”hard drive” freeze minutes’ and read the first several results).

  132. Colton says:

    You know what’s weird? My drive had the “click of death” and tried to format it, but it failed. I hooked it up to another computer a few weeks later and it formatted just fine. Full capacity and no errors. I wonder if I can still recover data from it?

  133. carl swanson says:

    By the way the site I mentioned allows a trial download of the software. This permits you to see if it will do you any good before you buy. I do not think it lets you actually recover anything but shows you what it can recover.

  134. Darren says:

    In reply to Carl Swanson’s 2nd last thread, the paragraph saying…

    And for those commenting that the 500GB drives from WD are bad, please note they have over 1,000,000 of these drive in the field. And yes some number of them are going to be bad it just seems that most of us have found their way to this thread. I actually like taking the SATA II drive out of the enclosure and directly connecting. I only got two of these drives in the book form because of price, I then took them out of the enclosures.

    If you’ve read all of this thread, most of the complaints are about the Caddy malfunctioning not the drive. Most people on here have used the information on this thread to help them remove the actual HDD from the MyBook casing and put it in to another Caddy/Case or Computer. I know Western Digital make a good hard drive. Apple Mac used to put them in their Power PC’s (Don’t know if they still do). It seems you’ve bought the MyBook purposely to remove the drive and directly connect it to your computer. Probably a smart idea.
    However so, many people aren’t wizards in regards to tinkering with computers or storage devices. Most people have found there way here because they have had a problem with their MyBook.
    The fact this thread exists says obviously there are problems with the WD MyBook. I myself think it lies in the electronics/bridge in the cases.

  135. Carl Swanson says:

    I do not disagree with what you posted. And yes I did take tem out of the enclosures. But I actually ot one on ebay still in the enclosure and I think you are correct it stating that the problem most likely lies with the bride card or its connectors. What I noticed in the 1TB drive is that the connection to the drive can move, possibly enough to cause erratic performance and even data corruption. My other comments were directed to those who were ranting about the HD it self. Once I took all of these drives outside of the enclosures and connected them to a SATA controller I have had no issues. I 1st tested everything as JBOD this led me to the performance issue I had with one of the drives. But after deleting the partition and creating a new partition the performance problem went away. But, since I can not explain why it went away I expect it to come back, so I had this drive replaced by WD without any issue. Installed the new drive no problems after testing setup a raid 5 array using a 3+1 strip so far so good.

    In summary I think these are good drives with flaky enclosures. But who time to time the can be gotten at a good price. So buy them and remove them from the WD enclosure.

  136. Darren says:

    Carl, your following 2 comment have hit the nail on the head!

    “My other comments were directed to those who were ranting about the HD it self. Once I took all of these drives outside of the enclosures and connected them to a SATA controller I have had no issues”.

    “In summary I think these are good drives with flaky enclosures. But who time to time the can be gotten at a good price. So buy them and remove them from the WD enclosure”.

    Your first comment regarding the hard drive itself being incorrectly blamed stands correct. But there are many people who see a WD MyBook as one entity. The fact the electronic bridge is the problem and not the hard drive is a difficult thing for many people to interpret. eg; My father is a mechanical fitter, he can basically make or fix anything mechanical. He’s quite on the ball for an old fart.
    But hypothetically, if he suffered a problem with a storage device like this one mentioned, he would view the ‘whole’ external hard drive as a failure until it’s explained to him that the fault lies in the component that connects the external drive to the PC and not the actually hard drive itself. Even after being told the hard drive is OK and not the problem and even it was fixed by being placed in another caddy or directly connected to the PC, he would still be dubious of its reliability.

    Another way to look at it…

    A person buys a car.
    The car mechanically is reliable, he/she starts the engine and it runs perfectly!
    Day after day…
    Then on a hot summer’s day the air conditioning poops itself or the central locking fails or a door handle falls off.
    All of a sudden this person starts to question the quality and reliability of his or her car, even if the car still starts every morning and gets him or her from A to B.

    My rant is over…

  137. Colton says:

    In a nutshell, is it better to take the HDD out of the case and use it as a internal HDD?

  138. Ryan says:

    I’ve had my 500GB MyBook now for over a week. I’ve got approximately 60 gigs used as of now. I’ve formatted the drive to NTFS, and so far so good. No problems. No data lost.

    One thing I don’t like is how it spins up randomly. I can only assume this is windows poking around the hard drive randomly, because it happens frequently while my computer is not even doing anything, and hasn’t been doing anything for over an hour.

    I know that constant spinning up and down of the drive can cause it to wear out prematurely. I’m curious if this could be one of the problems leading to the drives early demise?

    That aside, I find no problems with the drive being slow, or data going missing. Everything is always there when I need it. My only fear is that I’ll wake up some day and it’ll all be gone! Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. Just thought I’d let you all know my thoughts on the drive thus far.

    Darren, I agree that the poor choice of components used reflects badly on the company. Everyhing within the device should work harmoniously and not malfunction early. If anything, the drive within would be the first thing I’d think would malfunction. Since it’s the only thing in there that has physically moving parts. Those things tend to break earlier than other electronics. All I can say is that it must be poorly built electronics. Which is really unfortunate, because so far I think the drive is good.

  139. Jim says:

    Mine is the WD 4Gb mybook essential edition. WD4000C032. Videos of my kids and all our pictures the story of our life. .. Really sad ..
    Am still not believing this .. that this data is now all lost.. I do have the so-called “click of death” symptom. just bought this about 18 mos ago because I had no harddrive space left on my pc … so I moved my photos to it… hardly used this.. this is wrong..
    don’t know how anyof you all got it open without scarring it up. I so far haven’t had any luck.. Was trying this just to see if I could and to take a peak.. don’t know what I’m going to do .. nor how I can explain this to my wife.. my 15 year old computer hd still works fine..


  140. Darren says:

    Still sad to hear all the upset the WD mybook drives are causing. The following is my reply to Western Digital’s response to my MyBook problem…

    Thanks for the response BUT… I’m self employed and I didn’t have time to muck around!
    I pulled your drive apart removed and inserted the Hard Disk into another case/caddy (NOT WESTERN DIGITAL), that I’d bought on Sunday.

    I don’t give a crap about the warranty – JUST ABOUT THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS of work that I had stored on the WD MYBOOK DRIVE.

    I do have 99% of the work backed up to CD & DVD – But enjoyed the convenience of having it all on the External HDD.

    It’s appears that your MYBOOK drives are getting a bit of a BAD reputation!



    On 21/01/2008, at 2:55 PM, Western Digital Customer Service wrote:

    Dear Mr Hart,

    Thank you for supporting Western Digital.

    We suggest that you try to connect the hard drive with another computer to see if the same problem persists.
    If the hard drive still cannot be detected, you may like to send the hard drive for warranty service.

    If you need to recover the data on your drive, please contact our recommened data recovery partners.

    Should you have other enquiries, you are welcome to call or email us again.

  141. Fake Name says:

    I can’t believe what garbage drives are these days. WD makes some of the least reliable external ones on the market too. I had a 4GB SCSI one back in the early ’90s that I paid about $1000 for (it was super cutting edge at the time…like a 600MBps serial scsi 150GB drive today. There is not one bad sector in it today, and it’s been in a box in the attic for 15 years. I brought it out months ago to see what was on it, lol, and I could use it just fine if it weren’t so tiny.
    These hard drive companies certainly deserve to get counter-screwed by as many people as possible…which makes me wonder. How many people are going to use this tutorial to buy a tiny, cheap My Book, and a 1TB My Book, then swap the drives and return the expensive one with the tiny hard drive in it. LMAO. Then do that every time there’s a bad sector after a very thorough 36pass random 0/1 format. 🙂

  142. fartwimp says:

    thanks bro you just saved my butt.
    yet another reason why we need hackers cuz those dumbnuts do not want us to have a brain of our own so they can rake in the cash.

  143. Jon says:

    Yet another problem with these drives…my story is 1tb My Book Pro II burnt up today – decide to swap dodgy usb connection for firewire – immediately smelled burning, pulled the cable but too late the system board is fried. Nothing to lose but 900GB of data

    EMailed WD with system board id but checking FAQs they say they don;t supply boards!! Thought about buying an old drive off ebay or a new one and dropping the 2 500gb drives in then decideds I may as well have a go…

    I pulled the drive apart – no rocket science here and ended up with 2 500gb drives labelled A and B (1TB is 1 logical drive the way I set it up so I am assuming one of the drives or both will have no FAT table but I am hoping data will be there….)

    Installed 1 drive into my main pc and booted up – drive spun up fine, bios recognised it and I downloaded a couple of free utilities to check the drive – all seems fine but windows xp doesn;t see the drive…

    Cranked up Acronis and it found the drive but showed data as unallocated…

    Checked about 50 sites and ended up running Easy Recover which is running now and has found 20,000 files after 3 hours (3 more hours to go) – no directories found yet and filenames look wrong eg FIL234.JPG so looks like I may have lost all my filenames!!(but at least it’s finding files and can id the type!). My hope is that Easy Recover will be able to rebuild directory structure somehow and at the end of the scan may be able to do something clever with the filenames (my first time using this product so any tips welcomed)…

    Digging up another 500gb my book to store the recovered files on now

    Will update tomorrow when Recover has completed


  144. Jon says:

    Update at 1am…

    Found out that the drive was probably configured as linear (spanning) or Raid 0 and identified some software tools that apparantly can reconstruct the drive array if I can connect them simultaneously – any advice welcomed (another email sent to WD asking for help…). Looks like I may have to scan drive A, copy the files to another drive then do the same for drive B, then try and run these utils to reconstructt the file names and directory structure…

    Update tomorrow

  145. Paul says:

    OMG, that’s really awful. Shame on you Western Digital.

    Funny thing is that I’ve been using USB lately instead of firewire, because I had 2 drives go bad on firewire connection.

    As soon as I can afford it, I want to get another storage solution and get my data backed up off these WD’s.

    Anyone done any research – are other company’s large capacity drives really more reliable? I’m gonna need around 1TB, and if I spend the cash, I want to get something better than WD gave me (headaches, horror stories and data loss).

  146. S J West says:

    Nice one mate, this is very useful. My Mybook started to die 1 yr into my warrantly. Luckily I found out the problem was heat related and cooled the whole drive down with ice packs and got everything off. It used to disappear every 20 minutes once it got warm enough you see. I had some HORRIBLE service from Western Digital in the UK. My total RMA turn around time was 1 month, compared to the 5 – 7 day time they say it takes. That erased 1 month from my warrant and I was VERY annoyed. They took at least a week to reply to my emails, and often sent back automated replies that had NO relevance at all to my queries. After some angry emails from my side that they kindly ignored, they sent me back a random huge battery, and then an extra set of cables for my HD. Infuriated I emailed them again. The next week I got a call back in which I gave them a right ear full, to which the man said how sorry he was when I commented on how the drive was noisier now then when I sent it off. He was stunned at this (along with me telling me how WD has only got a 2yr warranty compared to Maxtor & Seagate) so he offered me a 750GB drive in REPLACEMENT for my 500GB, and I could send back the battery too for safe disposal.

    Of course, I only sent them back the battery, which once scanned in, they immediately sent me a 750GB Mybook. True, this has no warranty, but as a back up drive to my 500gb, this is fine.

    UP YOURS WD!!! You mess me around, and I’ll rob your asses! I’m never buying another external drive from them AGAIN.

    Pls note though, my mate in the UK had a Seagate drive that failed on him, and they took ***6 months*** to return his drive in warranty. These giant companies are pretending there tin pot and tiny and can’t afford a decent after sale services. My advice is to be HARD on them, and COMPLAIN AND COMPLAIN AND COMPLAIN. They HAVE NO EXCUSES.

  147. Jon says:

    Ok – update time….

    Gave up on the files – couldn’t see me renaming 40,000 files with no directory structure…time to try to recreat the single physical drive with some software…

    I connected both drives to my pc and found some really good free software (irecover) which basically software emulated the raid hardware controller that had blown (I found I had set it to raid 0 when I installed the drive). It ran and amazingly found the directory and file structure intact in about 3 minutes! (result!).

    Problem is the free vs of the software would only recover 1 folder of data ($90 for the full version but at least you can use it to check the drives! – good thinking on the s/w devlopers side)…still this would be ideal if I only had 1 folder! and you know know if the raid hardware is blown you can still get to the data. My guess (to be confirmed) is that with the reconditioned 1tb drive I ordered I should be able to drop the drives straight in and see the whole drive now…

    Anyway now I know worst case I can see the directory and files and can recover the whole 1TB drive (you would have thought WD would suggest this rather than the return to base, go to one of our software recovery experts etc….)

    All in all a useful experience. I also found File Scavenger 3.2 that provide similar functionality to irecover which looks like another option for a fee…

    Hope this helps someone else


  148. Rippy says:

    If I had a dollar for all the blog comment and forum threads I’ve found read the last few months that feature people telling their MyBook horror stories, then I could drop the grand or more that it’s gonna cost me for data recovery without having to skip meals. There’s at least the consolation that I am not alone. (Misery loves company.)

    The MyBook Premium 500 GB that I put a few years of my life on was purchased at Costco around Feb or March 2007. It suffered the clicks of death shortly before Thanksgiving.

    Since then, it’s been sitting on a shelf until I get the time and dough to bring it in for data recovery. At this point, I don’t care about warranties or RMAs. I don’t want another one of these junkers. I’d like my money back, but I’m more concerned about getting my data back.

    I’ve contemplated cracking the shell, putting the HD into an Eagle enclosure and hooking it up to my eSata port, in an attempt to get the data back myself; but far I’ve so been too squeamish to do so. Besides, if I’m experiencing clicks of death, will this method actually work for me? Do I risk just making things worse?

    Back in early December I tried running EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro on the thing for several days in a row, with zero results before giving up. I had work to do on my PC, and I saw no reason to keep going. I fear I may have screwed up my chances up clean, total recovery by doing so, but my fingers are crossed.

    Each night before I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my data to keep…and for WD to go belly up. A pox on their ancestors!

  149. Paul Steven says:

    Have successfully removed the drive from the enclosure and now trying to attach it to my Dell Dimensions desktop via SATA cable. There are currently 2 160gb samsung drives in my Dell but if I remove one, it won’t boot.

    It is using something called a RAID Array – does this mean that both are needed? If so then how can I attache this Western Digital drive? There are no additional SATA connections:(

  150. Darren says:

    Buy a sata external case/caddy. not expensive approx $70(Aus).

    The raid array means that the 2 drives in the dell are either striped or mirrored. Striped for speed or mirrored for drive failure protection, (ie: one drive fails the other still holds a copy of the mirrored/duplicate data).

    I’d guess that yours is striped.


  151. Paul Steven says:

    Picked up a “akaska” external enclosure for the SATA drive and at first looked like everything was fine and I was able to see the data on the drive as I could see all the folders on the drive. However if I click on one of these folders to open it, I get the error “The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable”.

    Any suggestions how I can attempt to recover the data? Perhaps there is some software I can try?



  152. Darren says:

    Try copying one of ‘these’ folders onto another drive. Then try opening it.

    Otherwise one of the Windows Experts on this forum may have some info on recovery software

  153. Paul Steven says:

    Unfortunately it won’t let me copy any files or folders from the drive to another drive. I have got a copy of Ontrack Easy Recovery software and am running some tests on the drive. The quick test reports that the drive is fine so now running the Full Diagnostic test which I guess will take a long time.

    So now spent about a day in total on this problem. Logic would make you think Western Digital should be sorting this problem out for me as it was clearly a problem with their HD. Even the guy in PC World told me he was aware there were issues with these drives.

  154. Paul Steven says:

    No joy:( Full diagnostics test just hung, as did the other tests I tried using Easy Recovery.

  155. Pingback: Honza’s perspective » Blog Archive » How to open Western Digital My Book World Edition

  156. Michael Ross says:

    Before taking my WD Essential(s) apart, can someone suggest any possible issues? I turned off the computer yesterday to some maintenance. When I switched it back on and replugged my “3” external USB drives, only 1 worked. I’ve moved the USBs around in back of the machine, but still the drives aren’t recognized… even the yellow led doesn’t work. I can see one drive going out, but 2???? Please someone… can you give me a little direction?

  157. Michael Ross says:

    I should add that I can hear the drives w/o any clicking sounds…

  158. Pingback: Western Digital Essential 500GB Not Recognized XP - Page 3 - HardwareLogic Forums

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  160. Adam says:

    Thanks so much for this. I was told that if I dismanlte my drive I’d void my warranty and if I sent it back to be replaced I’d loose all my data. Great customer service! (NOT!) Anyway, my drive didn’t have the screw as described above but it did have the clips etc so I got it apart after a bit of finger power. Thanks a lot for a great post Scott.

  161. Dave says:

    Amazing thread.
    Here’s my 2 cents.
    WD50000C032, less than 6 months old, OUT OF REGION, so no warranty.
    Popped out the drive, swapped out the DVD for the 500 Gb drive in office Dell 9200, and moved my files to my Lacie 500Gb drive.
    If and when I get a new box at home, with SATA, then I’ll have an extra drive. Until then, I have an expensive door stop.
    Have not seen any mention of damage on the control board, so here is what I noticed. SCORCH area on board around chip labelled AMC1117-3.3 F0652J, location U6 on the board. This disable the USB communication, drive not visible to XP, and also killed power to the power indicator diode.
    Good luck to everyone else who has one of these babies! Glad I didn’t get the 1Tb drive!

  162. pedro adams says:

    I lost the power source (ac->dc) of a WD16001032, can yo say to me that dc voltage dc requires?

    thanks a lot.

    sorry my bad english ¿spanish?

    – necesito saber de que voltaje es la fuene de poder del disco WD16001032, pues me robaron el transformador.

  163. Paul says:

    Hi Guys…just managed to get all my files from my dead MY BOOK 250Gb.

    Can’t really see how the proceedure I followed made it work again but might be worth some of you trying the same method. (Gotta be worth a shot!)

    1. With the drive connected I went in to the device manager of my PC (on which the faulty drive was being used before it malfunctioned) right clicked on the USB port that was showing ‘unknown device’ and clicked ‘uninstall’.

    2. With the power still connected to the drive I removed usb cable from PC and plugged it in to my laptop. The drive instantly mounted and I was able to retrive all of my files.

    I had, the previous day, tried the faulty drive with my laptop, but with no joy.

    Very weird.

    As I said can’t quite explain it, but it worked!

    Needless to say I will be sending my drive back to be replaced and will promptly be selling the replacment one on ebay.

    Hope this helps someone out…I feel your pain.

    WD should be made to pay!


  164. lili katzenberg says:

    Good day,
    This is a terrific idea!. Any system recognize my external HD anymore and I got ALL my data there.I had no idea that this device was actually a regular HD. I’ll try your suggestion this weekend and will definately keep you posted.
    TKS for sharing your resolution!… you really made my day.

    From Paris, France
    lili katz

  165. Darren says:

    My USB connector snapped off the circuti board on my 500GB Home Essential (SATA). My attempts to solder back on have not worked, suspect something may have fried on the connector. If anyone has an abandoned connector, my case is the newer black with blue light, I’d love to take from you. otherwise its into a new case.

    drop me mail if you have spares to flog

  166. Jon says:

    I have a 500 GB My Book Essential which stopped being recognised. I must have accidently removed the USB cable while the disc was active. I used a program called USBDeview which can look at all your USB connections (even ones you connected years ago). It can disconnect an reconnect a drive within the program which is how I got my drive up and working. Don’t know how long for though.

  167. Avi says:

    Heya Scott
    Well done! great presentation!
    I purchased WD’s MyBook 500G HOME edition that started to abruptly disconnect. I took it back to the dealer and switched it with their STUDIO model (based on the dealer’s customer support) and had the same issues. Hell Frustrating! I found someone on the net that said that the Drive disconnects becuase it heats up (the dude attached an external fan to it and he said it solved the problem).
    I figured that if I could take it out of the case I will improve its cooling but did figure out how to do it!
    Now I know, lots of Thx

  168. Scott says:

    I had the same problem with my 400 gig mybook. With these instructions (and a lot of forcing it to open), i was able to get the SATA hard drive out, and pop it into my computer. When i booted up vista, it basically did this 7 hour check of the hard drive. Afterwards however, all my files were intact! Thank you Scott!

  169. Kaspars says:

    Thanks for this post and comments. I had problems with MyBook Essential 320gb, it showed as corrupted and unreadable, but I didnt want to open case, but just working this stupid box agaid and using CHKDSK in repair mode in cmd.exe as I found in comments really helped me. Thanks.

  170. Paul says:

    Hi, I’m the first Paul who posted last year…

    Anyway this is really disgusting to see how many people are still suffering from these shoddy drives. I have to wonder how many more MB owners are out there, with the same problems, and never find this site and/or lack the computer skills to do anything about it.

    If I knew how, I’d try to start a class action suit against WD for these drives. At the very least we should get parial refunds for the aggravation, lost data and lost time we all went through.

    I’m 2 for 2 – bought 2, both went bad, now running replacements and hoping to god they hold up this time.

  171. Lauren says:

    I have the clicks of death 🙁

    I am having a friend of mine install the drive internally, and I suppose we’ll see what happens… I have seven years worth of files backed up and I am going out of my mind!

  172. Michael says:

    I have the same drive as Scott, but I have the clicks of death. It would click and then do nothing. Windows can not recognize it as a drive. I tried the freezer method and Windows recognized it as a WD drive and then Windows died/crashed/reset. I removed the drive from the enclosure and installed it internally using SATA. This resulted in clicking and OS crash whenever I booted. I then froze the drive for a few hours and tried it again internally. Again I got the clicking and OS failure/reset right after the first Windows graphic appears during boot.

    The freezing method allowed Windows to recognize it was a WD External Drive when it was in the enclosure, but it never showed up in My Computer. The freezing method did nothing for when I removed the drive and installed it SATA internally.

    I called Best Buy’s Geek Squad and asked if they could help. They said that if the BIOS can’t recognize the drive (it can’t if you have the clicks of death) then they can’t help. Of course you can’t use any data recovery software either since the drive isn’t even recognized, so don’t bother searching online for data recovery software. Geek Squad referred me to FlashBack Data, which is local for me (Austin, TX). I emailed FlashBack Data for a quote, and will post what they say when they respond.

  173. Ito Friedman says:

    Hello all..
    In the Hebrew language, we have two wisdom phrases derived from the old:
    1. The trouble of many is a half-comfort.
    2. The trouble of many is the fool’s comfort.
    Yes, I am one of the FOOLS who’ve purchased WD 500Gb Pro (WD5000D032-000) Less then a year ago, expriencing now the infamous CLICKS OF F***ING DEATH.
    I’m a HD junky sort of speak, having like 2.4 GB of HD connected internly, mostly WD products (to put it in Tina Fay’s words: “BLURG!!”) and have never, ever exprienced a failure of a hd before, 20 yrz or so of using.
    I will probably claim the warranty and replace it, connecting the next one internaly, trying to avoid future failure (can anyone output at this? will a internal hooking from day-1 reduce risk of future failuring?).
    Anyhow, about 500 Gb of data is gone. Blurg.

  174. Patrick Roney says:

    i just need to know if this is sata i got 4 of these for free im gonna use 2 and crack the other 2 open for internal hard drives =P

  175. Patrick says:


  176. MrFixIt49 says:

    So, first, many thanks to all the posters. This is by far the most extensive thread on what to do when your WD My Book product fails.

    Short background on me, prosumer, playing with computers since I was 6, A+ certified, etc… I’m not System Admin worthy, but I’ve recovered drives before.

    I purchased two WD5000D032-000 My Book 500G Premiums at Costco, together, for personal use. I implemented them at the same time, USB2.0 to the same computer, different controllers.

    One drive was “supposed to be” backing up the other, but I removed the backup to migrate to Windows Home Server. So here I sit with one empty drive (to assist in moving data, we’ll call it drive 1) and it’s brother, 7/8ths full of EVERYTHING important (we’ll call drive 2). Running XP, I get an I/O error on Drive 2 when trying to move data, computer locks up. I reboot, CHKDSK automatically comes up. It says everything is fine. I open My Computer, the drive is there, 465G available of 465G total, WHAT?

    So, I disconnect drive 1, try drive 2 (the bad one) on a different USB controller, reboot, same thing. At this point in time I don’t hear anything out of the ordinary from the drive.

    I plugged drive 2 into a MacBook, both firewire and USB and still no recognition. No Linux/Unix available.

    Now I start to get creative. With the help of this site, I was able to get my case apart. I disassembled it carefully, but not so carefully to save the foil, I really don’t care about returning them, I just need my data!

    Step 1: Plug bare drive (Drive 2) into a built in SATA port on another computer. No recognition. Only when I removed the case did I hear a tick, a double tick. (I say tick because it’s faint, very faint, but there, once every 6-8 seconds. A click seems loud, I’ve had drives click before, and this is a tick.)

    Step 2: Remove the case from drive 1. Plug drive 2 into the working case of drive 1. Boot XP with USB plugged in from power off, XP recognizes it, loads WD button manager as with the original drive 2 case, but now it doesn’t show the capacity. I open XP’s Disk Management Tool and its there, 465G, and it says it’s HEALTHY! Clearly not.

    (Test drive 1 with the on-board SATA connector. That didn’t recognize either, so I rule out being able to view these drives directly.)

    Step 3: Isolate the power supply by utilizing the molex connector from my computer’s power supply, not from the WD case. I also tried to use the SATA power connector from my computer’s power supply. No difference, no help.

    Step 4: Place drive 1 and 2 side by side upside-down, controller board up. To my fortune, they are exactly the same. Unscrew and swap controller boards. Test drive 1, steps 2&3, nothing. Test drive 2, steps 2&3, nothing.

    Ok, conclusions thus far. Drive 1 doesn’t work with the controller of drive 2, so the controller from drive two must be bad. Drive 2 doesn’t work with controller from drive 1, so the physical drive 2 must be bad also.

    Can I go any further?

    Am I looking at data recovery?

    CBL or ITS – Data Recovery Specialists or any others? Anyone with results from either?

    I have tapped every resource I know, SpinRite can’t help, although I highly recommend it for other problems and preventative maintenance, www.grc.com. (No affiliation.)

    All help appreciated!

  177. Cris says:

    I can’t get the first screw off….i tried with a normal Phillips and I’ve seemed to have stripped the screw…lol what now?

  178. Ryan says:

    Hey guys, it’s me again.

    I’ve posted a bit before in mid March. I figured it was about time for another update. It’s going on about two months now, and I am still using my 500gig MyBook. I am happy to say that it still hasn’t given me any grief. I’m hoping it stays this way for the next few years, but only time can tell.

    I was aware of this forum and the abundance of problems it’s notorious for, however, I purchased the device anyway. Now I’ve got abou 1/4 of the drive’s space used. I’ve never had any data go missing, and the drive has always booted up fine. That said, I have never removed my drive from the computer since day one. It just sits on my desk next to my machine. Another thing I would like to note is that I don’t use the software provided with the drive, and that I have formatted it to NTFS, due to it’s ability to handle larger files.

    I do have one major concern about the drive, and I can see this being the prime cause of many drive failures. It automatically shuts itself off when inactive for a period of time. I’ve heard 15-20 minutes from various places, but it seems to me that if the drive has been reading for a while and then it stops, it will spin down quicker. It seems like it’s only been 2 or 3 minutes since I stopped transferring files, and then it spins down. It hasn’t caused me any problems yet; however, Windows is constantly probing the drive throughout the night and day, and since I leave my machine running 24/7, while I’m asleep and at work, the drive is constantly spinning up and down needlessly. If the drive spins down while I’m not using the computer, I think it should stay down, and not turn on until I come back. If it does spin down every 15 minutes, and Windows probes it shortly after. In that case, the drive is spinning up and down 4 times an hour. 24 hours in a day, multiplied by 4… That’s almost 100 times a day. In my opinion, that’s 94 times too many.

    The drive should remain on while my computer is in use, and when my machine goes in sleep mode at night, or while I’m at work, it should stop accessing my hard drive randomly. I think this could save alot of people grief. And my drive is not shared on my network or any sort of thing such as this. At the same time, I don’t want the drive to be spinning 24 hours a day, if I’m not using it for 24 hours.

    Think of it like starting your car. You’re not going to turn your car on and off 100 times a day (ideally). It would surely lead to a starting motor issue. Which appears to be what happens with these drives. The mechanism that makes the drive function externally eventually fails, though you can still get the drive to function inside your computer, it will not function in it’s current housing.

    I hope that this is helpful to you all, and I hope that all the drives work out for everybody. I would like to add the speed of the drive, and ease of use is quite excellent.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my comments.

  179. Nitin says:

    Hi guys!!

    and i thought i am the only unfortunate one on this earth whos MyBook died after 2 months of purchase!

    heres what happened with me –

    “last night i turned on my drive and i started working on some image files inside the drive. the drive worked just fine for almost about 6 hours, then suddenly i open the drive and goto a folder and duble lcick on a song and the drive freezes!! i assume that its a windows error and restart my computer but when i open my computer the drive doesnt show up in there and i coudl hear the clicking sound inside the drive. it was like its spinnin and after some spins it clicked and again same thing..same clicking and spinning..the blue light wud just keep on going in circular motion. then it wud calm down stop spinning and start again after some time. i figured that if i keep my drive turned off for 40-45 mins and plug it back in, the drive comes to life and i can see some data in it. i was even able to backup some stuff off of it initially. but now, the drive comes back to life for couple of mins and again frezes and clicks.”

    ANY HELP WUD BE REALLY APPRECIATED!! i dont wanna spend 2000 bucks on the stupid data recovery!!…i m kind of reluctant to open my drive cos i still want a replacement drive from WD. is there any other way to get my data back?? ANY WAY!??

    ~~thnx alot guy and scott thnx a lot for this blog!

  180. Paul says:

    Been meaning to say thanks for the advice on this site. My situation is similar to others. The drive worked fine for about 6 months then one day it brought up a message saying it needed to be reformatted in order to be used. I tried in on several other PCs with the same results.

    After reading this thread, I took the thing apart (mine had one screw in the corner hidden by black paint)

    I hooked the drive up inside my desktop PC which fortunately had the correct connections for SATA. The drive was visible upon starting up the PC but there were problems reading the files. I purchased some data recovery software which allowed me to recover some files but many of the files were corrupt I think it said due to bad clusters on the drive or something like that. Fortunately I then realised that all the data on the backup drive was still elsewhere, either on my old PC that I hadn’t reformated yet or on my current PC.

    I therefore put the drive back into the myBook case and painted over the screw with black marker pen. It was really obvious still I had opened it especially as I had scraped the case trying to open it by pushing in the side clips with a knife:)

    Anyway I sent it back using the option where you pay in advance and I received my new drive several days later. Several weeks later they told me the case was closed. Hence they happily received the drive even though it was obviously opened.

    I have still not dared to use the new drive and have bought a 750gb Maxtor USB drive (similar sort of thing). I don’t really trust either now so have also signed up for some online backup. Mad really as I have never had an internal drive fail on me in the 15 or so years I have been using a PC and I work on my PC every day as I run my own web design company.

    Good luck to everyone with this crappy drives!

  181. S J West says:

    To Nitin, it sounds like your problem might well be heat related by the symptoms you have described. I would try what I did; first allow to cool completely, and then get some ice packs/frozen peas, wrap them up in a tea towel, and put those on top and underneath the drive (especially on top). Wrap the whole lot up in the biggest jacket you can find, to create a cool atmosphere for your drive. You want to be sure to wrap the ice packs in a tea towel though, as you don’t want moisture to get into the drive, so be sure to follow that step. Good luck.

  182. Rippy says:

    I’d like to have something cleared up. Specifically, has anyone out there who’s MyBook has suffered “clicks-of-death” been successful in recovering data by opening the enclosure and connecting the drive internally; or will this method only work with drives that are not clicking?

    Also, if anyone has taken in a clicking MyBook for professional data recovery, how successful were they in getting their data back?

    I’ve got a clicking MyBook—with a few 100 gigs of stuff trapped on it—just sitting on the self. It’s time I decided what to do with it.

  183. Nitin says:

    hi SJ WEST!

    thanx for the suggestion! i am pretty sure its a heat related issue!…but one question — when i am cooling the drive with ice in towels around it…wouldnt it give rise to condensation when their will be a difference of temperature after i take off the ice from around it???…

  184. Robert Nicolotti says:

    I have a WD MyBook Essentials 250 Gb USB drive that lost its plug & play connectivity. I opened the case using a tooth pick and metal spatula; no problem. Note: probe several small holes until you find the one that easily depresses the latch on the top and bottom of the case. Use the spatula to pry the case apart so that it does not re-latch when you remove the toothpick. A few Phillips screws later, I was able to unplug the internal USB board, and then plug the drive into my free hard drive slot in my tower case using the daisy-chain cabling extending from the existing hard drive. When I turned on the computer, to my surprise, I saw the MyBook drive with all my stored data. Piece of cake! Thank you.

  185. BBB says:

    Question for Michael on 4/24 —

    We’re in the same boat (along with several others). Clicks of death / Austin, TX. I have a WD 500MB My Book that I bought in June 2007. Basically has the last 10 years of my life on it. I as well ripped it out of it’s plastic casing (rather unapologetically I might add), and hooked it up to the SATA connection on my IBM. No dice. Same clicks. All the windows-based data recovery software I’ve tried can’t even find it. Although, Vista did install some extra ATA controllers the first time I booted up. It does not however show as a “Disk Drives” in the Device Manager.

    I got a quote from Flashback Data here in town. They charge a $100 eval fee, and said it would be between $600 – $3,000 to recover the data. Did you end up sending your disk off to them for data recovery?

    Before I shell out the bucks, I’m going to try leaving it on the shelf for a week or so and hope I get that magical last boot out of it.

  186. Nitin says:

    hey guys!!

    it worked!!! the freezing technique worked!!…what i did was that i put ice in 4 separate zip lock bags and wrapped them in a towel and then put one bag underneath the drive, one on top and two on the ssides and then covered this whole thing up with another big towel and let it be like that for about an hour. after that i plugged in my drive and voilla!!! it mounted and ran, but not for long bt long enuff to let me back up my important data.

    THANX A LOT SJ WEST!!! i will remember you!!

  187. S J West says:

    No problem mate 😉

    Glad I could help you get some of your data of your drive. For anyone else experiencing the same symptoms as me and Nitin, I recommend you try the same easy method to prolong the life of your drive before it overheats. BE SURE to wrap the ice up properly so condensation build up is MINIMAL and make sure you put the extra ICE ON TOP OF THE DRIVE, as cool air is heavier and sinks, the opposite to hot air.

  188. Matt Law says:

    OK, I like the rest, just about took a crap in my pants as my hard drive didn’t work today.

    My drive ran, didn’t click, but wasn’t recognized by any computer.

    Ripped the thing apart, took a trip to radio shack, bought a SATA cable, and now…

    We’re up and running with a new 500G internal hard drive!

    Thank you for this post. I appreciate your good comments!


    Matt Law

  189. Jan says:

    2 days ago, I had been working late at the office, was very tired…I reached for a folder and knocked my Western Digital My Book and a Maxtor external hard drive off of my computer cart to the carpeted floor about 3 feet below.

    Yesterday, I came into work and noticed a big red X on my Roboform Icon near my clock. I kept all of my Roboform data on the Western Digital My Book, 500gig Essential Edition.

    My Maxtor was completely gone, however that data is on a drive at home.

    My Western Digital was the one with some very special files that I had begun transferring over GoToMyPc at home and had not completed.

    The WD whirled and clicked 3 times and nothing… even after changing out the USB cable and power cables with new ones that I already had. Plugging into different ports on my computer and even plugging into a different computer.

    In the 20++ years of using external hard drives and tape backups, I have had many horror stories. However, this is the one I am living now.

    With the hard drive whirling, then clicking, I knew it was a goner.

    I found this wonderful site and, at least I can say I tried to save it, thanks to you guys!!!

    I was able to take the WD apart, install it in a brand new, never used, same model case. Still, the whirl and clicks and stop.

    I even froze it…While icy cold, it whirled and acted as if it was going to start up, then died. Oh, at this point, I had everything out of the outer case and even had pulled the hard drive out of the internal case. Yes, you read correctly. I wanted to see it do the clicking. I thought maybe something had bent and I could fix it.

    Nope…all of the ext drives are history. Yes, I could put the second WD MY BOOK back in the case and use it…I had rather not.

    Well, I can recover, from other drives and my computer, almost all of the data. It’s just a those few files on there I had begun transferring and didn’t take the time to complete.

    Moral…don’t let these external hard drives fall. I would not have thought that drop would have hurt anything, but it did.

    Well, I am about to set up my Iomego eGo Portable Harddrive so I can, at least, have a current backup of my computer.

    Scott, thank you for starting this and thank you all for letting us know your story.


  190. Learn Guitar Online says:

    I have a My Book 160G which had the “clicks of death” for a few days, but worked fine, and then it was not recognized. Baaaaaaad feeling. After much searching, I found this site.Thank you Scott! Mine had the one hidden screw and clips just like Scott’s pictures but it had an IDE connector. My buddy Joseph was kind enough to hook it up to his machine since he has plenty of memory (computer and personal) and voila’! All the data was there. We didn’t have to change any jumpers. There was no clicking going on at all which makes me wonder if it might be a low voltage problem. My meter is in storage, so I didn’t check it. I had read several places that the clicking indicated a bad head, but it was fine with the computer cables attached. Anyway, I got the data back. Thanks Scott!


  191. joly says:

    I had a My Book 500 die on me last week. There was no screw on the casing. I ripped the rubber off and was able to slide out the drive and then unscrew it from the casing.

    I have no internal SATA access so I went to tekgems and ordered their $16 USB – SATA cable. http://tekgems.com/Products/kl-usb-sata-ide-25-35.htm

    It came today. I plugged it in and the drive came up as blank. “Do you want to format this drive?” – obviously not!

    I had R-Studio installed since an earlier crash – it was able to see and recover all the files from the disk.

  192. Sven says:

    Thanks for the walkthrough. I could recover 1 disc (500GB Studio Edition) already. Seems like it is a Sata disc, so tomorrow gonna buy the good connectors…

    I also have another one from 500GB (Essential Edition) That one is gonna go tomorrow after work…

    No more Western Digital for me!

  193. Adan says:

    My WD 500gb doesnt work. Ive read all this and it seems that it had this same problem. I dont know I get this feeling that this external drives stop working when they overheat because I left mine with my cousin and then this.

    Well my question is that if I could hook up one of these drives when I take it out into a laptop instead of a computer?

  194. S J West says:

    Ha, a few months ago I posted a message here on how I robbed WD of a 500GB they stupidly sent me in exchange for a waste battery they sent me. Well this HD is already suffering from problems, as this was the HD they were going to send me as a REPLACEMENT for mine, and its 1 year left of in its warranty.

    I’ve turned this HD on and off now, precisely…. 10 times I’d say? Probably less actually, and the other day I found the stupid thing WOULD NOT turn off. Nothing I could do would stop the stupid thing spinning (at near enough full speed too) until I finally had to take the plunge and unplug the thing at the mains.

    My other WD HD that they “fixed” under warranty, also refuses to run at anything less than full speed making it very noisy indeed.

    So now I have 2 lovely pieces of crap stacked next to my PC now. I’m never buying WD external drives again. Bear in mind, there internal drives are solid as a rock, and I have had them working over 6yrs + without a hitch.


  195. AC says:

    Hello, first thank you for the walkthrough, I hope anyone still reads this, I have managed to get the drive out of the case, and I want to plug it in my computer witch it does have a SATA unit left but what I dont know is how do I get to “power on” the disk since it does not have the same type of power connector as the other internal disk because it depends on the circuit thing that comes in the case. So I dont know if this can be possible, or do I have to get another mybook and switch parts with the one that I have?. Thank you in advance.

  196. Learn How to Play the Guitar Online says:

    All I can tell you is that on my mybook 160, I just had to unplug the power connector on the end of the drive (4 big wires red blk blk yel) and it was the same connector as inside my computer. Mine had the IDE connector though, not the SATA.


  197. Rippy says:

    >>do I have to get another mybook and switch parts with the one that I have?

    If you can, I’d think you’re better off getting an empty external drive enclosure, and stick the old drive you extracted from the MyBook in there, and hook the whole thing up USB, Firewire or eSata. Certainly sounds cheaper and a lot less of a hassle.

    Mind you, I’ve only used enclosures with brand new drives, so I can’t say this will work with a crapped-out MyBook. I’ve been meaning to try it myself, but I haven’t got around to it yet.

    I’m sure somebody else out there has tried it and could tell us more.

  198. AC says:

    thank you both for the response I will try your recommendations.

    @ Ted: I will post a picture of the connector I have so you can tell me if its the same as yours.

  199. S J West says:

    Well they no doubt used the same voltages and amperage as a normal HD. If you can’t find the right connector from say Ebay or something, I’d just rig some wires up from a 12v molex power plug (the most common found from your PSU)I can’t imagine they’d use anything but a standard type of power connector, so be patient, or find an electrically confident friend.

  200. Rod says:

    I had a 250Gb IDE MyBook die this week. At least I think its dead. It began to click and was not recognized so I tried it on two different computers (Vista & Xp). Same clicking, so I decided to take it out and put the drive in an old computer. Same clicking, and teh computer won’t boot, so I’m thinking I’m screwed. I go into the BIOS and manually set the drive as the secondary master (instead of auto) and the thing boots up fine and all my data is there. Hmm, now I’m thinking my chasis is the culprit, so I put another IDE drive in there and that works fine too. Now I’m starting to think that there was some kind of corruption in the file system, and the OS “fixed” it somehow or is ignoring the error. Sad thing is, I have no more faith in this drive so I’m going to have to buy another one.

  201. Rich says:

    I am having this problem now. I don’t hear a clicking though, and it is sometimes recognized by my computer, but it has been taking FOREVER to copy files to and from it.

    I am going to try and connect it to an open computer at work…

    …stay tuned!

  202. SD says:

    I was using a 500GB MyBook Essential 2.0 for the last 4 months. Last week I was copying some huge data on a USB 1.1 and it was taking a long time. After that I did not use it for a week, and now when I plug it in, it shows a fast flashing light and clicks a few times. It does not seem to spin up. On removing the internal HDD, I found it to be a SATA disk. I plugged the SATA to my PC and tried to power-up, but it would not power-up the PC. I tried this with several PCs and same problem. Can someone please suggest me a way to get my data backup?

  203. AC says:

    @ SD yes I have the same problem, you can’t power it up with the PC because the disk doesn’t have the same power connector as the other drives I’ve been searching for some sort of adapter so I can plug it in the computer.. as soon as I found something I’ll let know.

  204. SD says:

    @AC Thanks for the prompt reply. Well, the problem that you are facing is that you do not have a SATA power connector. What you have is an IDE power connector. The solution is to use an IDE to SATA power connector. I got one from my vendor. After that, I connected the MyBook Essential’s internally used SATA hard disk to my PC (I followed the steps mentioned on this site to open the external case and remove the internal HDD). Having done that, I pressed the power-up button of my PC, and it would not do anything. I checked everything (SMPS, lose connections, etc..) but everything seemed fine. Finally, on removing the power cable to my WD HDD, I tried power-up and PC was alive again. I am suspecting a short circuit of my WD HDD. However, I want someone to confirm the same. Also, in such a case, is there even a slight possibility of data recovery?

  205. TURBO says:

    Has anyone had success recovering data from a drive with “clicks of death?” If so, please post a reply with the procedure. I too have problems with WD 500GB MyBook and would appreciate some insight. Thank you!

  206. Rippy says:

    Finally decided to open up my dead MyBook Premium 500GB paperweight to see what was inside. First off, no black stickered screw in the case. Had to use a flathead screw driver to pry the damned thing opened. Inside, I found a WD5000 Caviar SE16, and it appears to be a SATA drive. Good news for me, since I have a spare external Eagle SATA enclosure laying around. Now, I just have to unscrew everything that’s clamping it into in the fakakta case. Looks like there’s silver tape in this thing too. Yeesh. Maybe later.

  207. Lexster says:

    Remove 500gb drive from a World Book 1 NAS (Ethernet) Drive for recovery:
    This website gave me lots of hope that is for sure. I had progressively swapped out all my home computers to include one MacBook Pro, 2 iMacs, a MacBook Air and kept a Thinkpad T40 for backward compatibility. But my home ‘network’ was in transition too and before I could get some good backup routines reestablished my World Book NAS started to slow down – useable. I tried everything and then saw this. So I bought a SATA-USB 2.0 enclosure for $39 and after reading this thread I easily took apart the WB World Book 1 apart with no broken anything — easy peasy. Then I popped it into the case and it worked a treat. Now I couldn’t read it on my Macs nor see it plugged in to the USB expansion bay of another drive. After some searching I figured out that the 4 partitions that I could see in Win XP Drive Management (all 100% free but unmountable) were evidence of a Linux install. Of course, it is an NAS so it must be ext2 or 3! A quick search for ext3 drivers and I was able to install and mount the partitions as drives. The copy over took no time at all (previous attempts when the drive was working a bit was over 24 days!) – only about 4 hours in total.
    So I plan to RMA the drive if I can but this whole exercise worked a treat and now I plan to do the same to a Maxtor drive that gave up the ghost a year ago. Thanks to everyone who has added to this thread

  208. Sticky says:

    I’ve had a My Book 500GB Premium for about 2 years now, like pretty much everybody else, it suddenly stopped working the other day. Important data on it – should have been backed up more recently etc.

    Just wondering, how loud are the clicking noises people are hearing with their drives?? When I plug mine in the blue light comes on, it doesn’t at all spin and I hear a steady, very faint clicking if I put my ear right up to the enclosure. NOT 3, 4 or 6 clicks and then nothing or spinning up again, but just a steady, constant faint clicking without any attempt to spin at all…

    Can anybody tell me if this is a failure other than the hard drive? Or is this the same clicking people are hearing with helplessly broken drives?

    If it’s a power or circuitry failure I can attempt to connect the HD internally, but if it’s a problem with the HD itself I’d rather not continue to risk damaging the drive. Thanks in advance!

    F*?$ing WD My Book’s…

  209. Geremi says:

    I have a mybook western digital hd 500gigs.
    Just when i moved out , I started to have issues accessing my hd ( lag issues..) then i got errors I/O from utorrent…
    After running a defrag/optimizing software that came with my new Internet provider, i started to have real problems.. the defrag stalled at 35% and manage to complete like in 12 hours !!!
    The western digital disk repair software said i had bad sectors.. now too many bad sectors.. can’t run a scandisk.. now sometimes it won’t even show I have this hd.

    that was first with quick test from wd :
    status code=07 ( failed read test element), failure checkpoint = c (or g)5 ( error log test smart-test did- not complete
    then the thorough scan delete some bad sectors now it says i have too many bad sectors.
    All my files and such are on this hd please help! send me mail at asitfades@hotmail.com or the email that won’t be published plz…. !!! THANKS !!

  210. Marc G says:

    Well mine wb 10000n1u-00 is no longer being recognised as a file system on XP It was formated ntfs and is barely a month old. I was useing it to free up space to do defrags on my prime dirves and now I am concerned that I have lost data. Any ideas? I do not think that the drive is damaged physically and it was working well for a while.

    One other question: why do we keep buying these drives if the failure rate is so high?

  211. MC says:

    Just wanted to post my own 2-cents here… I lost the 500GB essential from WD a week ago. After reading this insanely helpful post, I felt somewhat optimistic that I might be able to recover it.

    Taking the thing apart was NOT easy (as others have expressed), just getting the casing off was the ordeal, the rest was smooth sailing.

    I ordered the adapter cables and they came in today…

    Plugged ‘er up and, lo & behold, all my data is corrupt. It’s there, just fubar’d.

    So to those of you who read this and are contemplating recovering your data from this drive, I say go for it. Anything you can do on your own is worth a shot, right?

    As for me & my WD, we’ll be going to the store today and demanding an exchange – since I just got the thing 3 weeks ago. Grrr.

    Thanks for posting this, though, at least it calmed my nerves while I awaited the delivery of my cables…

  212. greg says:

    Here’s my horror story, I bought a 1Tb WD MyBook pro2 about a year or more ago from costco, iirc for about $400. I used it via firewire-800 with my powerbook G4 running tiger’s latest version and highly unfortunately for me as raid-0 (I wanted the 1Tb capacity and the speed). The drive worked fine and I foolishly moved my iTunes library and stored all of my movies on it without any other backup. At times the fan would kick into high speed and is very loud, similar to a hair dryer. About a month ago the drive would not mount and clicked a few times then produced an error message to contact WD support…an oxymoron as I later found out. Contacting WD has been useless and they referred me to their data recovery partner$ where I’m looking at $500-$1200 depending upon the difficulty of the recovery.

    I am considering at least spending the $100 to see what data is deemed recoverable, and then to make a judgment from there and possibly spending the money this one time and learning a HUGE lesson, to never trust any drive as a backup and redundant backups; which is what I heard over and over from the dozen or so data recovery companies I called.

    I guess this blog is helpful but I don’t hear of anyone here recovering data from a clicking drive let alone a Raid-0 setup.

    >>@ Rippy or Turbo…..any luck with data?

  213. greg says:

    @Downwind….WD does nothing to recover your data but to refer you to their partner data recovery companies for a lot of money.

    @Random Dude….I found that site you mentioned, hdguru, and it is littered with folks looking for WD drives with all kinds of specific date codes; it’s a needle in a haystack for one, and to make it worse if you read a lot of whats there, it is usually more complicated than “just swapping” the controller card, which in itself can be difficult.

    This site is no doubt helpful for some users but seems like once the clicking has started it is too late. Still waiting to hear of a successful clicking recovery and from a raid.

  214. Theron McCollough says:

    Dude, getting into your own drive should not be so hard. I love WD’s products so far, but goodness.

  215. greg says:

    Not sure what or who your comment is directed towards, ya it’s easy to open the box and the drive, and then what? Finding another drive with the same exact model#, date code, country of origin doesn’t really guarantee much if the problem is beyond a controller board. My 1Tb was regretfully set at raid-0 to make matters worse. After reading a ton of forums, some pure BS, some helpful and watching http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?p=r&user=SuperFlyFlippingA&page=1 it seems like it is a bit beyond the average joe’s realm. Turning on the drive and hoping it’ll respond normal seems naive and not having DR apps and a pc make it tougher.

  216. Green says:

    Thanks for this. Google found it pretty quick when I searched on the model # and “open enclosure”.

    This is actually quite a good thing; for 2 situations:

    1. The enclosure’s electronics fizzle, and you want to move the
    good hard drive to a new enclosure, or to a desktop machine.

    2. The hard drive fizzles, and you want to re-use the enclosure. From what I know, the hard drive does not have to be the exact same model and sub-model as before. Most enclosures are smart enough to adapt to whatever you put in there.

    Fry’s and Office Depot have such enclosures for 3.5″ drives from about $30 and up. You can get do-it-yourself enclosures for 1.8″, 2.5″, 3.5″ and 5.25″ (cd/dvd drievs).

    Cool! THANK-YOU(x1000) SIR!

  217. brick says:

    i too get the horrible 4 clicks on my mybook. This has made me really think twice about WD. In contrast I have a 40GB WD in my PC from 8 years ago….never had a problem with it. It use to be my OS drive, but thru the years has just become extra storage. I did however move my entire OS to a WD 200 GB SATA drive the same time I got my MyBook. So I’m a little worried that that could go soon now too.

    thanx for the post as I was very hopeful that it would resolve my problem. But it has not. I have 8 years of family pictures and tons of music on this drive, so it looks like I’ll be paying for data recovery. My oldest son is 8, so you can imagine the importance of all these pictures.

    I found this site which seems reasonably priced… http://www.aerodr.com/default.asp

    one thing I dislike though is that they put your backed up data onto a WD Passport ext drive (which you have to purchase on top of the flat rate $279 recovery fee). I’m a bit leary of WD’s ext drives now, so I don’t think I want my important data on one again. One good thing though that I read is that you CAN send in your own USB powered external hard drive for them to back up the data on.

  218. greg says:

    brick, not sure where you are located but if you have read WD’s site they have a list of authorized recovery partners which are approved to open the drives and not void the warranty….if it is a concern of yours. I think that WD drives themselves are fine and all of these problems are related to the horrendously poor MyBookPro design.

    You might want to look at http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?p=r&user=SuperFlyFlippingA&page=1 they were pretty eye opening, specifically this series “Advanced Hard Drive Data”.

    That data recovery price seems like a great deal, but I’d prefer to send in my own drive as they charge above market rate. I just sent mine off to ontrack and am utterly fearful of what the estimate will be, I was told 500-1200.

  219. BBB says:

    Brick…bad news for you. I sent my 500GB “clicks of death” hard drive to Aero data recovery a couple of months ago. (See my posting from 5/13). They could not fix it, and this was their assessment:

    “We have examined your hard drive and have found that it exhibits symptoms of a severe head crash. Unfortunately our capabilities are not extensive enough to safely perform a recovery attempt in this situation.”


  220. dscott says:

    Thanks Scott,

    My Essential 500GB (WD5000C032) would not power up.
    Connecting the SATA to system would recognize but not mount drive.

    Before ripping drive apart: Checked power supply 12Vdc we good.

    Already ripped it apart by the time I find post. Note: I saw a comment the the c03 does not have the screw, mine did.

    Comment about GetDataBack helped! You can download a trial version and it will tell you the file system. The Essential can format in either FAT32 to Ext2fs. Mine ended up being formatted for Ext2fs. Free utility called Linux_Reader could read the Ext2fx for a full recovery.

    I now have 3 500GB drives internal on the computer 🙂

  221. ~S~ says:

    yesterday after connecting my 2 yr old WD MyBook Essential 320G into a new laptop running windows vista i received “need to partition drive”, needless to say i didn’t want to partition the drive and assumed it was yet another vista related nag screen. later when i tried to boot mybook the light remained off and the drive has since been inoperable. i didn’t notice any clicking noises prior to this current issue.

    i’m really glad i stumbled upon this page as i had no idea these ext hdd’s could be removed and placed into a new casing. unfortunately i don’t have a desktop anymore only the laptop so i’m unsure if the same results described in the original post can be achieved but i will first try a ide to usb adapter and of course a new ext casing and hopefully that will work.

    on the subject of casings, does anyone have any suggestions? there are so many to choose from and they all seem to receive varying reviews.

    thanks for posting this page… sometimes good actually does triumph.

  222. Lostmemo says:

    Hi, I see lots of people having similar problems to mine so I’m wondering whether someone could help… 2 days ago my WD My Book Essential Edition USB HD drive stopped working with no reason at all.. I was hearing a strange sound when the drive was ‘trying’ to start up and right after that it stopped ‘trying’.. I followed the instructions above and opened it, hoping that the problem could be in the case…and I took it to a PC shop cause I just have a laptop, where the guy there told me that the disk head has a problem and that’s why I hear this noise.. Bottom line, I spoke with some data recovery companies who ask for a fortune to recover my data, if it’s recoverable… Does anyone know if there is a more decent way to find out if there’s any possibility to recover these data without spending these crazy amounts? I’m not a company loosing millions here, I’m a poor guy loosing some memories from moments that are not reproducible in any way if you know what I mean..

  223. Jorge says:

    Hi all,i´ve got a new record.
    Buy it today 27-7-2008,around 20 pm,hook it up at 21pm,died at 22 pm after a format.
    LOL simply marvelous,pure trash,tomorrow back to the store,want my money back.
    It`s the same problem;windows recognizes it,well kinda off i only hear the sound of the usb,it doens`t show elsewhere.The leds keep blinking.
    Tryed 4 pc`s same results.
    Again pure trash.
    Best regards to all.

  224. Rippy says:

    Why does WD continue to sell these pieces of total crap? Because they obviously don’t give a rat’s tuchas about the quality of the merchandise they sell. Why do people continue to buy these data destroyers? Probably because the average consumer hasn’t been warned that these things are nothing more than expensive paper-weights, and when they do find out, it’s too late. Personally, I will never buy a another product from this company as long as I live, and I tell everybody I know to stay away from this company like they would a skunk.

    Has anybody seen a scathing review for the MyBook line or any stories about MyBook users losing their data, sometimes forever, in the press? I sure haven’t. If we can’t sue these bastards, then we need to make sure that they get as much bad publicity as possible so their sales will plummet.

    I want to see this company driven out of business. I want to see WD’s corporate heads living inside of refrigerator boxes. Most of all, I want my goddamned data back!

  225. iblou12 says:

    Great, thanx a lot for u’re xplanation
    and the pics as well.
    U help me a lot
    thXXX a lot again

  226. S J West says:

    lol, I can relate to your rage.

    The thing is, there normal desktop enclosed hard drives are actually a completely different story. I have always bought WD, over the past 10 years, and I have had not one of them ever over heat on me, let alone completely fail, neither have I ever heard of anyone I know have a WD fail or over heat on them either. It appears that they’re psu/I/O links are they’re weak points. If not there, then they’re entire external HD range.

    I wouldn’t be reassured by other companies either however, as I have had friends Seagate and Maxtor drives fail on them too. One friend had 2 Seagate drives fail on him in 1 year, another had a Maxtor fail on him after 5. But 5 years is within Maxtors warranty? So…

    Its silly why WD, have only a 2 year warranty on their products (UK at least) as they won’t even live that long! What can we hope for the others (cheaper) 5 year warranties??

  227. Rippy says:

    I actually bought the MyBook based largely on the good reputation that WD had from its internal drives. Now, WD deserves the reputation of rotten tomatoes. Like I said in a previous post, my MyBook suffered the clicks-of-death, and like I said in another post, I opened her up and found a WD Caviar drive. Isn’t that their line of internal drives? (Caviar? That’s a laugh. They should call it “Tripe”.)

    Bottom line is that if WD had any pride in the products they sell, they would have pulled these things off of the shelves a long time ago. If an automobile manufacturer put out a car this defective, the problem would be all over the news, the company would be forced to issue recalls, and its reputation would suffer for some time.

    Yeah, I realize it ain’t exactly the same. If a car crashes, you can lose your precious life and die. When a hard drive crashes, you can lose all your precious data and then you feel like you want to die.

    As for other makes of external drives, I’m done with all of them. I now buy internal drives, stick them in external enclosures, and hook them up eSata.

  228. greg says:

    It seems that the WD drives themselves are ok but it is this MyBook design that is utterly flawed. Mine was the 1Tb, with 2 of 500gb caviar drives inside and it was made to be taken apart by the user to swap drives, when I opened it up the fan inside is tiny (2″x2″) and there isn’t much free air space.

    After reading around the web and people saying “oh just swap the controller boards (if you can match the exact date-codes)” and watching some vids on youtube. I made the huge mistake of Raid-0, I wanted the full 1Tb, I didn’t know how bad an idea it was! Here is how catastrophic those clicks of death are:

    “I just want to give you a status on your drive, it is in our clean room right now due to the internal failures on the drive. We have been able to read 52% of the surfaces so far and it is still reading very slowly.

    Once I know more of when it might be out of the clean room, I will update you again. From the clean room, it will go to another lab where we will look at the data available and compile the file listings. I will contact you as soon as I have more information from the engineers.
    Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or concerns. “

  229. tom says:

    you rule

  230. 3ss0neR says:

    I have a WD My Book studio edition 1TB usb, firewire(400+800), eSATA. I run it on my Imac (Tiger).

    I guess what happened is my fault, the sales rep told me I could run it on Mac and Windows, no prob. I didn’t think i’d need to anyways. I used it on my IMac for the last couple of months, then I had to send the Imac in for cd repairs at future shop. It’s been there for a while and I needed to upload footage for a tv show.

    What I did is I hooked it up to my girlfriend’s NEC laptop (XP), log story short, it asked to reformat, I said no, I ejected and that was that. Last night we bought a new MacBook (Leopard) and now it says that the drive installed doesn’t recognize or read properly. WD told me it was corrupted because it was formatted for Mac and then I used on Windows. Out of the 1TB, it is showing in my Disk Utilities as a 931.5 GB on disk2.

    Does anyone know how I could retrieve all my footage and info out of disk 1?

    On the PC, there is no memory available.

    I have enough space on the MacBook, 250GB.

    Thanks, btw, I got through the posts til march 08 but I have to go to work so if the answer is already posted, I apologize.

  231. greg says:

    $1500 dollars to get my crap back!

    DON”T buy any WD MyBook device!!

  232. BBB says:

    ouch! Who did you use for data recovery? Were you able to get 100% recovery?

  233. Rippy says:

    Yeah, I’ve seen $1500 or so quoted by several data recovery companies. If they have to take the thing into a clean room, that’s gonna cost you a pretty penny. That’s the main reason why my MyBook is still sitting on the shelf. I just don’t have that kind of dough to spend right now.

    Still I wonder how much it’s actually costing the data recovery company to recover the data, and how much they add to that cost to soak the consumer.

    Greg, I hope you were able to get everything back. If so, then there is hope for the rest of us who have suffered the “clicks of death”. Even if it only 95% recovery, then I guess maybe it’s worth shelling out the big bucks to get critical data back.

    You should send the bill to WD, with a note attached saying simply “F**k you! Pay me!”

  234. Justin says:

    Same problem as the rest of you. WD 500gb external drive. No screws. silently clicks about 3 times. Almost tries to recognize the device but no luck. I tried the tabs on the left and right (or up and down, however you have your’s sitting) but it doesn’t seem to be working. I’ll work at it more. If anyone has any help for me, I’ll be back.

    PS: 2nd WD drive in a year. The old one started to work sometimes after I unplugged it for it awhile.

  235. Rippy says:

    Justin, try prying that sucker open with a flathead screwdriver. That’s what I did. Took about 15 minutes, and I scraped my fingers up, but I finally got the stinkin’ thing open.

  236. Justin says:

    Ironically enough, I just looked at my old WD drive and found that the paint was chipped and I could see some metal! Now, time to scrape the 500gb and hopefully find a screw. A very small screw.

  237. Justin says:

    Thanks, Rippy. I just got the screw out of my old one that I replaced with the 500gb last year. Now, time for the second one; if I can ever scrape away this damn paint.

  238. greg says:

    I have not gone through with the recovery yet and might not bother. It was my entire iTunes library (90gb) and database files (so iTunes will probably launch and be blank….I’m scared to death to even launch it), another 30gb of music waiting to be added to iTunes, many movies, and back up of my powerbook. I want to talk to the recovery place to go over the list as it is huge and I don’t really understand some stuff, like some is listed as %100 and other stuff at %99….so wtf does that mean? What does an %99 recovered mp3 or avi do?

    I went to WD’s site and went with kroll/ontrack, a buddy who is an IT guy in NYC said he’d trust no one but Ontrack. Also keep in mind my MyBook is a 1Tb set up as Raid-0, about the WORST scenario you could possibly encounter; I didn’t know, I wanted the full 1Tb.

    Believe me I fully believe that WD should pay the bill or at least pay half, but you know the reality of that happening! I don’t know what I am going to do, I originally was told $500-1200 and prepared myself with vaseline to spend $1k, but $1500 is a bit too much for nothing that will make me money and that only wasted hours and hours of my time.

  239. Justin says:

    Success for the 160gb SATA. Just opened my 500gb case and see now that it’s not SATA…..back to work…

  240. Justin says:

    Final Solution:
    Kept getting CRC (cyclic redundancy…) on the 500gb IDE drive; Went out and bought another WD Internal SATA drive. If this one fails next year I’m going to live in the woods with my guitars and some Wild Turkey.

    This site/ forum was a great source. It did help me with my 160gb. Thanks for the info!

  241. greg says:

    I’m giving up, I’m not paying $1,500 for my music and movies, I’m out the $100 evaluation fee. Hopefully I can sell the WD warranty replacement drive for something and recover some of the original cost.

    Is WD ok as long as they are not the MyBook???

  242. 3ss0neR says:

    So … No news on something I can do? I can’t imagine I’m the only one to which this has happened to. Anyways, I tried to run disk warrior, like john Stone did but, it did nothing: It said that the disk was unknown and was a Windows disk ??? What the hell?!? I don’t know what to do … Anyone??? Anything???

  243. greg says:

    3ss0neR, don’t give up on it, you might want to check out some Mac forums where you can post specific questions and folks are exchanging information, there are a bunch including apple. This page besides having some very informative info on a specific procedure seems to be more of an affirmation of WD’s failed design of the MyBook series.

    I talked with the Ontrack rep who is handling my mess and said that I’m having a hard time considering the $1500 estimate as it is music and movies with a bit of other stuff that won’t make me any money, just took a lot of time, and that I thought the original high end of the estimate was around $1200. They lowered the bid to just under $1200 and I’ll need another 250gb drive, I’m considering forgetting about it and saving my money, hitting bit torrent and always having data in two places. At least for the $100 evaluation I now have a list of my files and a true hatred of WD.

  244. Al Swann says:

    Thanks Scott and everyone that posted this information. WD is lost on Wall Street; thank you for saving their customers thousands of hours or anguish. This MyBook was having power-save unavailable issues. The WD Diagnostic wrecked my boot sector and mbr. Windows reported my 750GB MyBook was unformatted and was ready to format it for me…(no thank you). TestDisk at cgsecurity.org (a donations only disk utility) recovered them. Without mounting it as an internal Sata I was guessing the MyBook electronics was defective. Mine has catches under the rubber feet.


  245. 3ss0neR says:

    Thanks Greg, I went to the new Apple Store in Montreal last week and one of the techs recommended a program called DATA RESCUE II, free trial on the site, free software on Pirate Bay. I ran it and I was puzzled to see that it found 272 GB’s instead of the expected 70GB’s. I guess I did have more stuff on there. It recovered about 80% and all it cost me was a second drive, 500 GB, for $200, it transfered everything in 6 hours, I reformated the 1TB crive and it still works although I’m now reluctant to use. Thanks to everyone that posts here, it saved a lot of people’s hineys … Including mine.

  246. elizabeth says:

    thank you so much, scott! my heart dropped when i thought i lost all the data on my WD 500GB external. i managed to slave the sata drive and backup the data to another hard drive. 🙂

  247. Rob says:

    I bought a cheap WD7500. Now I know why it was so cheap. Really, if a drive is so crappy that it becomes known for a “click of death” and over 250 comments have been left regarding this style of WD drive, then I guess this particular series of drives are just really poorly designed, and a manufacturer’s recall would have been appropriate, if not obvious. But I guess we just avoid WD from now on because they don’t care, and then the message might get through.

    Thank you for the instructions on how to open the case and possibly relieve the drive from an obviously under-designed interface or power supply. Here’s hoping I can get back data on something I was hoping could be used for a backup.

  248. John K says:

    I got frustrated and just destroyed the stupid outside casing (time is money, and I wouldn’t trust using it again!). But sure enough, all the data on the drive was fine. Just something in the internal circuitry…

    Thanks for your tips!

  249. Bowser says:

    As odd as it sounds, I took my 500gig WD My Book Essential to a common PC repair shop. The guy opened it (thanks to the tips shown here 😉 ) and cleaned the circuit connected to the HDD.
    He told me that after cleaning the circuit and checking, he connected it and voilá, working again!

    I dunno how that solved the problem but…yay.

  250. Lumstruck says:

    I have a 500gb mybook that started fritzing a couple of weeks ago requiring unplugging and plugging back in the power to resume operations. I then left it unplugged while I went on vacation and upon return it wouldn’t respond to unplugging. It doesn’t click, in fact you have to put your ear on the box to hear a faint swish then tick repeated every 2 seconds. Anyway, I put my voltmeter on it and it is all over the place but mainly around 10.1 volts and never over 11 volts. Since it supposed to be putting out 12 volts according to the side of the transformer, I’m hoping that is the problem. I’ll have to search to jerry-rig something since it is out of warranty and has a different plug than my 750 mybook. Does cronic low voltage permanently damage anything?

  251. mobilelawyer says:

    This was a very informative site. I got back from a labor day holiday to find my WD My Book Profesional 500GB to be malfunctioning. I had the unit hooked up by firewire. It is a little more than a year old.

    Vista was taking forever to boot up, and I think it was becuase the OS was trying unsucsessfuly to connect with the drive. When I clicked on a link to a file on the drive, of course, the drive was not found.

    When I followed the steps here, I was able to get the drive out of the case, but when I connected power and the the sata cable from my conmputer, the bios did not find anything. Setup did not find or display any information about the drive, and, of course, no drive was reported when the system booted.

    I had simply taken the connectors off another drive, and when I replaced them in the orginal drive, its contents were seen normally.

    I tried over and over again, checking the connections which appeared to be just fine– no soap. I take it the drive must be totally frozen. I never heard any click of death or anyting like that.

    I certainly expected the drive to be detected in the bios, even if the data turned out to be corrupted and unreadable.

    Anybody else have any further thoughts?

  252. Pingback: I Believe Two Things » Blog Archive » I Knew I Should’ve Unplugged It First

  253. mobilelawyer says:

    I spoke too soon! Hooked the drive up last night via sata cable, and it was not recognized. I listened and felt for some sign of a spin up. Nothing. Then I pushed the SATA connector in just a little tighter, and, Boom, drive recogonized on next boot, just like there was never a problem, and I was able to copy all contents.

    I deduce from this that the drive never had any physical problems (I never heard any click of death) and that the sole problem was the controller.

    I am going to keep the drive as a back up internal.

  254. nuzimom says:

    I have a WD1600 external drive which is out of warranty. I was able to get the drive out of the casing and inserted into the computer via IDE connections. I still get the clicking noise and then it stops. I also get an error “Auto sensing primary hard disk”. Any more suggestions?

  255. TONY says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for the great postings here… Unfortunately for me I found this site after I bought a 500gb Mybook on ebay, and as fate would have it, it gives me the clicks of death. I plan on buying an internal drive next. It just doesnt seem worth the trouble to have a drive that you have to worry about taking anywhere or writing to frequently. THANKS FOR THE HELP!!!

  256. Joel says:

    My of my MyBooks wasn’t recognized any more by Windows Disk Managment and made clicking sound and other weird noises, just as if the drive head was stucked in it’s idle position (click of death?). It has allways been standing on my desk and have never travelled with it, as it’s not intended for that purpose. For sure WD would have given me a replacement drive but not the my data. The drive itself has no particular value to me and I had no intentions to keep the casing intact aslong as I could recover the data. Besides I don’t think it’s even possible to open the casing without leaving traces of break in if you plan to send it back for warranty purposes.

    I openend the casing and connected the drive to one of my mobo sata controllers, rebooted and… a MIRACLE just happened 🙂
    I can’t tell you all how glad I am to get my data back.

    One thing is for sure, these drives everything but reliable, there are lots of folks on the web with (similar) issues, defective drives. I will NEVER EVER buy one again…

    Thanks a lot for the pics!!

  257. Phil McGuirk says:

    Have just bought a 500Gb MyBook today. Decided to do a bit of research….after I bought it (yeah I know!!!) and I found this blog. Now I’m EXPECTING it to die on me at some point soon!

    At least I know where to come for a tutorial when it does. 🙂

  258. El Guapo says:

    I have a question for anyone that can help… yesterday I deleted about 200 gigs of data on a friends Worldbook using the rm -r command. We had previously “hacked” the book to give us command line access. Well I deleted some sub-dirs that I shouldn’t have… anyway.. what is the best way to recover this data..? I imagine that I need to remove the drive slave it and run data recovery software. Is there anyway to do this via USB? Any replies are greatly appreciated! Lesson learned thanks..

  259. El Guapo says:

    Is it possible to recover data using a usb to usb connection? I am not very good at this stuff? Or do I have to pull the drive out of the case?

    thanks again
    El Guapo

  260. James says:

    Well my nearly 2 year old (is this a record) WD My Book 500 GB drive died. I bought another external case to see if I can recover the data, but on powering it up I hear nothing from the drive. I think my drive bit the big one. SOB DRIVE!

    Anyone recommend a GOOD drive maker (now that I have an external case just sitting here)? NEVER EVER touching WD products again

  261. mobilelawyer says:

    Please read the comments above. Did you try a direct SATA connection once you got the drive out of the enclosure? I could not hear my drive spinning up, either, but it was recognized, and I was able to copy all the data onto the replacement drive.

  262. BBB says:

    Just got my clicking WD 500GB hard drive back from a *second* data recovery service. Their diagnosis was not good. They said it had a “damaged / unreadable servo pattern.” Questions for the group:

    1) Do you think this is correct, or something they say when they don’t know what else to do?

    2) Is there ANY remedy to this (like swapping the platters onto an identical working drive)?

    They charged me $175 for their expert opinion. And $18 for return shipping. Nice.

  263. jcarlisle says:

    interestingly enough, i have 5 of the wd5000 500 gb my book drives. of the 5 only two didnt have the hard drive breather holes covered. all were double wrapped inn foil tape and one had failed with the “click of death.
    disassmbly of the outer case can be done with a flat head screwdriver by prying the plastic top and bottom from the meal front and side grills.i plan to remove the drives from the enclosures and replace my older internals after removing as much foil as possible to allow the drives to cool better. i can see no reason or purpose for the foil except to cause drive failure. the covering of the breather holes will cause heat buildup and accelerate drive failure when theres nowhere for all that hot moving air to go.
    thanks for the info that will hopefully extend the life of my drives now that they arent enclosed in that crap foil….

  264. nuzimom says:

    Regarding my posting of 9/11, I took my WD External drive apart and hooked it up internally via IDE connections which didn’t work. If I read the above correctly, if I hook it up via Sata that it might work?

  265. Rita says:

    I haven’t had time to read thru ALL of these posts, but was wondering if anyone here has had data loss after an error message (which – of course – I was in too much of a hurry to write down completely!) that includes the words “error saving data to file F:\”, “all data lost” and “error is not recoverable” followed by a quick look in the F drive (MyBook) which showed a bunch of EMPTY folders??? I had to leave so turned my desktop off, and upon returning later and restarting the computer, I have the typical “F drive unavailable” which I’ve been familiar with; unplugging and plugging back in would always fix that one…
    Now I’m deathly afraid to plug this thing back in and see what I find…
    (45 minutes after unplugging it…)
    …Oh my God!! It’s all there!! I really was expecting the worst, as I’d not seen reference here to that sort of error message, just the unresponsiveness. This has been one of the WORST evenings of my life, believing that I’d lost all my photos and artwork records. I’m going to begin a second backup IMMEDIATELY! Because I never want to go thru this again!! I don’t even care what caused that message. (My computer is heading towards a complete wipe-clean and reload anyway – again – this week may be a good time for that!)
    (..maybe even a 3rd backup..)

  266. Torcy says:

    thank you, I have been trying for monthes to open this case and this article finally gave me what I needed to do it
    my drive has starting making the clacking sound of impending death and as it is well over warrenty I want to replace the drive with a cheap internal 🙂

  267. Magdalena says:

    Any suggestions on how to retrieve the data once I’ve opened the casing, if I need to connect to a laptop computer?

  268. Mark says:

    I have a WD5000P032 model drive 500GB My book.

    This weekend I noticed it was completly powered off. Perhaps due to the power cable coming loose from the wall outlet.

    Anyway, once powered back up, it’s not reognized by windows.

    Shows up in device manager, but no windows explorer.

    I’ve tried a different usb cable, differnt usb ports, even plugged it into another pc.

    It’s never recognized as a driver.

    Is the solution to open the case as desscribed above.

    And sorry if this is a dumb question, but how do I know if my pc can accept a sata dive.

    Thanks for any help

  269. bill says:

    Thanks for the post, it was very helpful in dissasembling my drive. I however had the 500gig world edition, which connected to sata was unreadable by disk manager (because of the unix os on the drive). I figured out a way to get the data using linux. If you need instructions, I posted them here: http://randomlylearned.blogspot.com/2008/09/recover-data-from-my-book-world-edition.html

  270. alberto castro says:

    hope anyone can help me, i got a Western My Book of 160Gb and i’ve lost the AC adapter power cord, which voltage should i use to tun it on? thanks a lot

  271. Fisslefink says:

    Thanks for the post! I have a 1TB Western Digital MyBook Studio (silver). Between your post and this other post ( http://www.carltonbale.com/2008/01/western-digital-my-book-opening-the-case-removing-the-drive/ ) I was able to swap the 1TB drive for an old 250GB Western Digital SATA drive (and use the 1TB drive internally in my server)

    Important note: At first, the 250GB drive was not recognized by the enclosure! I run linux, and after plugging it in with USB, I saw lots of these errors when I typed dmesg|tail into the terminal:

    [ 590.201208] usb 5-1.1: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 5
    [ 593.265868] usb 5-1.1: device descriptor read/64, error -110
    [ 601.944938] usb 5-1.1: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 6
    [ 605.009597] usb 5-1.1: device descriptor read/64, error -110
    [ 613.688799] usb 5-1.1: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 7
    …and so on up to address 23 before I finally unplugged it.

    The Firewire connection didn’t fare any better:
    mythtv@mythtvbox:~$ dmesg|tail
    [ 230.266440] scsi 8:0:1:0:
    [ 230.266444] command: Test Unit Ready: 00 00 00 00 00 00
    [ 230.274818] scsi 8:0:1:0: scsi: Device offlined – not ready after error recovery
    [ 230.274881] ieee1394: sbp2: scsi_add_device failed
    [ 231.112122] ieee1394: sbp2: Logged out of SBP-2 device
    [ 479.899055] ieee1394: Error parsing configrom for node 0-00:1023
    [ 479.899313] ieee1394: Node suspended: ID:BUS[0-00:1023] GUID[0090a9581804443c]
    [ 489.463441] ieee1394: Node changed: 0-01:1023 -> 0-00:1023
    …but the drive was never recognized

    Anyway, here is how I fixed it:

    The onboard chipset memory of the MyBook Studio needed to be reset. When you remove the metal shielding, you see the circuit board and all of the different components. One of them is two metal prongs, an empty jumper (J6), sticking out of the circuit board, near the DC power input. By shorting those jumpers with a metal screwdriver for 2 seconds (with the drive OFF and the power cord REMOVED!), I was able to reset it so it would recognize my new drive.

    For what it’s worth, I also used a traditional jumper shunt (those darn little black things that get lost all the time!) to connect the jumpers at OPT1 on the 250GB drive itself. This switches it from the faster “SATA 2” 3.0GB/s transfer rate to the slower 1.5GB/s rate, which I think the enclosure chipset also appreciated.

    Now the drive just works when I plug it in!

    Again, thanks for the info, and good luck to everyone out there!

  272. Martin says:

    Thanks for the instructions. You wouldn’t think there’d be much difference between the 320 and the 500 as far as the case is concerned, but alas there is.

    However, my hd has a ide cable, not sata as expected. Not sure why, but made it a little more difficult to connect to my computer. But once I got it in, all was good.

  273. bossa nova says:

    I have the My Book Premium Edition 500G hard drive which of course has failed. It is recognized in the Device Manager but I cannot access the drive (there is no drive icon). My computer is an old Sony PCV-RX560. I think my PC supports ATA instead of SATA. Can I remove the external hard drive from the casing and perform the procedure explained by Scott Cramer?

  274. Rob NY says:

    This was helpful! Thanks!
    I have the WD 500GB w/ Ethernet and USB connection.
    I was able to remove it from the enclosure, but when I use connect the drive to my computer, I can see it on the Device manager and also on the Disk manager, but not on “my computer”, no letter is assigned to the drive.! I am not able to see my files!
    ANY suggestions?


  275. Pingback: Re-Rewind… « Luís Miranda’s Blog

  276. dooonny says:


    I have the WD my book essential 320GB and currently blue light is keep blinking constantly, and the laptop wont recognized the hard drive. Tried to connect to other laptop, still won’t work. Also, the hard drive seems not spinning.

    Anyone had this problem? Is the problem on the hard drive or on the circuit board?

    For getting the data, should I try to open the enclosure and directly connect the hard drive to PC?

  277. Rob NY says:

    1. Got a SATA to USB Adapter (about$20) and connected the drive to my laptop.
    2.The partition is a EXT3/Linux, that’s why I could see it on the Device Mgr but Windows couldn’t assign a drive letter.
    3.Used this little program to read the linux partition and get all my files! http://www.fs-driver.org/
    You ca also try using Ubuntu or Knoppix to reat your Linux partitions!

    Hope this helps!

  278. lallaromana says:

    Thanks so much for this posting site!! I have (had?) a Western Digital My Book Pro Edition II TB (dual 500 G hard drives). Don’t remember hearing the clicks of death, but one day – no recognizo! After a brief heart attack, I searched the internet, found this site, and directed my tech guy to this site also. Long story shorter, purchased a new enclosure (Eagle Consus I-Series) put the drives in, reformatted, no problems since! Luckily, I can rebuild my iTunes from my iPod and the other things I lost are replaceable. Thanks Again!!!

  279. jose blas says:

    I straight away requested to keep the original drive that I bought and they sent me a replacement with no charges. We should go for this mother******s. The drive they sent me as replacement didn’t work out of the box, DOA. I contact them again and they sent another drive, which has now died after 5 months. I will never use a wd drive in my life.

    They should label their external hdd with something like this:

    if you care about your files, DON’T PUT YOUR DATA in this piece of shit of equipment.

  280. Pingback: cobalt » links for 2008-11-24

  281. DE says:

    I think last night I was reading this thread for about 2 hours after I got the infamous “USB device not recognised message”… I tried everything on this thread and other threads to no avail and was fully prepared to buy a USB booster cable the next day and if that didn’t work, opening up the case as a lot of others have done and try to recover my data using SATA. I was getting the “clicks of death” too…

    For future reference, I live in Australia and have a Western Digital 500gb My Book Home Edition which has USB 2.0, Firewire 400 and SATA. I’ve had my HD for about 6 months and was unsure if it was caused by lending it to someone to use on their computer as it was the first time it had been used on a different computer, as though maybe the installation settings had changed or something.

    But fixing my HD was as simple as leaving it disconnected overnight and reconnecting the device in the morning! Who knew?! I tried this as an absolute last resort as someone else posted this solution months and months ago… I still think I might buy the booster cable (although I am so scared of ever disconnecting and reconnecting my HD EVER AGAIN) because when it finally recognised it this morning it said my device could be running faster using USB 2.0 so I’ll just do it to make sure it’s getting adequate power.

    GRANTED – I have no idea if any, some or ALL of my files are corrupted… Hmmm the latest episode of Gossip Girl is working at least!

    Cheers for this thread (it’s bookmarked) and so nice to know that people still care enough to provide free information and help for one another.

    Merry Christmas and hope you retrieve your data too 🙂 DE

  282. DE says:

    Just made the mistake of disconnecting and reconnecting my HD… “USB device not recognised”… ARGHHHHHHHH.

    What is the point of an external hard drive if you can’t use it externally!!!

  283. scorebaby says:

    This didn’t actually help me since the model I have doesn’t seem to have a screw on it! However, when I couldn’t get the drive to start I simply plugged in a different power cord and that worked! Thank gawd I thought of that. What a relief.

  284. Joe Kessler says:

    Wow, finding this info was GREAT! Much more helpful than anything from Western Digital either in their knowledge base or via support line. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

  285. Prophet Zarquon says:

    250gb Western Digital WD2500JB USB 2.0 Enclosure with PATA drive.
    Accidentally hooked up a Dell laptop power supply. 15v on a 7v device. Whoops!
    Reconnected the right way and the drive’s power supply flashed ominously, with no response from the enclosure.
    Whatever, stripped the case off (without this guide, thanks! that screw was a pain to find) and plugged the 250gb IDE drive inside into the empty bay above my DVD burner.

    I’ve done this with dozens of hard drives over the years.

    This one has a circuit board that hangs a bit lower than most.

    My burner has a small lump on the top of it’s metal casing.

    When I turned on the PC, the WD drive blew black smoke, arced audibly and burst into flame.

    Flames. Big yellow flaring flames, spewing black smoke, inside my freshly rebuilt, Vista64/RedHat-Gnome/OSX-Leopard running, lovingly frankensteined, HD-video editing workstation, with 4gigs of brand new ultra-low latency RAM, and two 500gb SATAs.

    The power switch didn’t work. I yanked the power cable from the back of the PC and watched the flames go out.

    I sat down and cried.

    The drive’s controller has long black scorch marks and part of the circuit board is missing.

    I ordered another drive which appeared to be identical, but ended up with a WD2500BB, not a JB. I removed the controller card and tried it anyway.

    Attached to the new controller card, the drive produces a slow steady clicking that I recognize as “a very bad noise”.

    I could try a controller from a WD2500JB, if I can still find one.

    I am probably going to try opening up the drive’s casing and swapping the disc platters themselves. I’ve never done that. I think I will probably break it. I’m willing to try anyway.

    If I can get the drive to show up at all, I will use Active @ Advanced Data Recovery to attempt a file recovery action, because I have personally had good results with that program in the past. When I got it, it cost $450 per copy. Now it costs $45 per copy. Same program. It reads data from RAW drives and drives where the partition table has been lost or corrupted.

    Wish me luck. I figure I have about a 2 percent chance of getting my data back right now.

  286. spitfireslim says:

    Thanks for this info – managed to get the case off off my 500GB My Book with a bit of effort and a few scratches, and just plugged it into a spare bay in a G5 – both partitions mounted and I successfully retrieved my Data!

    The drive had made a funny screech noise when reconnected after being disconnected for a couple of days, and then would not power up. It died after only 3 months. Planning to keep the Hard Disk and put it in a new enclosure rather than returning it for warranty.

  287. Heather says:

    Thank you so much your awesome! I had the same problem with mine and this helped so much. It really sucked when they tell you they won’t retrieve your data for you.

  288. Shan says:

    I had clicking problem, opened the case as it was said here. It was SATA. I connected directly to computer , still clicking and makes the whole computer slow. Though the computer recognises the drive, it stil clicks and crashes the computer. 🙁

  289. Luis says:


    Well… after almost 2 years of use my 500 gb Mybook Pro got damaged…

    As usual.. i don’t have any backups of my info there.. and i have the most important things there… so sad!

    The Symptoms: Drive not spinning by any way, not sounding neither… but if i touch it.. can feel a gentle tick tick tick going on forever…

    Any answers?? thanks a lot to you all!

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  291. Mike says:

    Thanks a million for the photos and the help. The only thing you didn’t mention were the “catches” around the perimeter of the “book” portion of the case. My 500GB Essential has 4, and once I popped them open the rest of the disassembly was easy (that’s a relative term!)
    Again, thanks for your help 2 years ago!

  292. carlos says:

    please, somebody known what is the power supply for the western digital drive #wd5000d032? my power supply is missing.

  293. mike says:

    hi there
    thanks for the article. i hooked up the WD 500GB to my pc with sata cable. it found my WD drive on disk management. but no data was found in WD 500GB. it indicated that need to reformat the hard drive.

    Needs help!!!!!!!!

  294. Mike says:

    The power supply for the 500 GB My Book is Model # DA-24B12 by Asian Power Devices, Inc., 12VDC 2A output. It has a removeable cord from the plug to the transformer, and then a permanent wire from the transformer to the drive. Hope this helps, Carlos.

  295. mary says:

    Yes, Thanks. Wish I had read this before I bought “My Book” 11/24/08. Already crashed – less than 4 months old. Got mine apart ~ don’t have any SATA computers. Will file an RMA and get the new one on the way.

  296. carlos says:

    Thanks Mike for your comment & your help. God blees you & your family.

  297. carlos says:

    Finnaly I found the power supply with your help & ordered it by ebay… Thanks Mike.

  298. Maquina Biagi says:

    Thx for the pictures. Opened it without problems. No screws. Regards from Brazil – Maquina Biagi

  299. Lex says:

    Great site. Thanks!
    Can anyone help…

    I have a My Book Premium 250 GB.
    I think I messed it up when I accidentally plugged in the wrong power cord (too much equipment here). Now, the blue light just blinks.

    I want to see if I can put it into the empty slot in my Mac G5 PowerPC. Any tips?

  300. bb.choq says:

    i dont have the exact same har drive, but its of Seagate..
    i have opened up the hard drive, but im not sure about how to connect it to a computer, as in, how do u know whether a computer can read a SATA hard drive? and where can i get such wiring.
    my hard drive just clicks when i turn it on, and there is only a USB port, no firewire, so how do u think i should go about recovering my data? i read that some people have just opened theirs up to check if anything was loose, but mines seems okay that way, and i have never dropped it or anything, so any suggestions?

    thanks, your help is greatly appreciated.

  301. Mona says:

    It worked!!!

    Thank you so much for these instructions! I am NOT a computer person, and it never would have occurred to me to do this and that it would be so easy!

    I have an iMac, so I did have to buy a USB to SATA adapter, but it worked like a charm and I was able to get ALL of my files off of the drive!

    Also, thanks to your instructions, I was able to open the case without ANY damage and send it back for a replacement!

    A couple of tips for those with the silver-ish one with the rubber trim:

    1) Remove the rubber trim first
    2) Pry the sides away at the top and bottom, taking care not to break the two plastic tabs on each side
    3) Follow the steps above to slide the case off and all the same steps to remove the drive from the case
    4) When you put it back together, put the rubber trim back on the inner case BEFORE you slide the case back together! (I actually took 2 of these drives apart, and the first time I put the rubber trim on at the end, and it’s SO much easier if you do it BEFORE putting it back together.)

  302. Alex says:

    Hey Scott,

    Thanks for the guide, had my WD 500GB My book for a couple of months and then lastnight it went pop! No power, lights nothing, no recognised at all….should have listened to the reviews that WD stuff was un-reliable.

    But, thanks to you guide and a recommendation to buy a SATA drive cradle, i’ve managed to recover the 160GB of data that was on it, much appreciated.


  303. Tao says:

    Hi, Scott…

    I found your blog while searching for a way to save me data in a failing WD 1T MyBook Studio Edition. I hope you or anyone here have suggestions what I should do next. I feel it’s the end of the world now…

    The drive is only 3 weeks old. It worked right out of the box with my Mac(G4 Powerbook running OSX Tiger). I didn’t format it or RAID. After days of usage, I moved all my data to the drive and thinking that will be the safe spot for them. I was wrong!!

    In the past week, I had this drive (1T MyBook) connected to my Airport for network drive. It worked fine until yesterday I had the bad idea of tried to connect it to Airpot through a USB hub. I was hoping to get the other old 500GB MyBook on the network at the same time. I plugged both of them to USB hub (I hope this wasn’t the cause of it’s failure) and nothing happened, so I undo it and put the 500GB one back to Airport.

    When I tried to use my 1T MyBook again, I got the error message: The drive is not readable… “initiate” or “eject”. I tried on my neighbor’s Mac and PC, also got the same error. I am shocked and feeling helpless now that all my portfolio (I am a design who recently just lost the job) and life memory are in there.

    My basic question is first: Do you think the data is still there untouched? When I plug it to Mac, the light is on solid and the drive spin smoothly. What can I try at home to recover them without making it worst before I need to turn it to a date recovery service?

    Should I use Disk Utility on Mac? My friend suggest me to try boot with KNOPPIX to access it. Any software is safe to try? Or should I try to replace with a new power supply? Please, somebody helps me!!


  304. Mike says:

    I wanted to clean the dust and animal hair that was trapped inside of MyBook, but didn’t see any obvious ways to remove the cover. Just what I was looking for. Thanks

  305. david says:

    I have a WD MyBook World Edition Pro II (the 1Gb model). I have had it replaced once by WD then they now claim the new one is warranty void. The new one is starting to crap out. I can’t mount the drive but I can run chkdsk and chkdsk sees the NTFS filesystem on it. Last time it crapped out I ran chkdsk on it about 17 times then it remounted.

    This unit is a 1Tb unit with 2x500Gb drives. I have been using it as one single 1Tb drive. What I want to do is take the 2 500Gb SATA drives out and recover my data. Does anyone know if this is possible?

    I am worried that the I/O card in it does something funky and there is not a separate NTFS file systems on each drive. Anyone know?

    Thanks in advance

  306. Clay Franklin says:

    Thank You for the wonderful approach to solving a problem. I just plug in the power adapter and the USB and nothing happens. Thank goodness I found your site. I am switching to a HP mediasmart server.

  307. david says:

    Hey if anyone wants to get their data back from the 1Tb MyBook Pro II. I have managed to do two things with it:

    1) I ended up recovering all my data by mounting it under Fedora 9 using FW400 as (mount /dev/sde1 /mnt/shitbox -t ntfs)

    2) I deleted the partition from it under Linux, moved it back to Windows XP then created a new primary partition using admin tools and the did a quick format to NTFS. The thing still gets errors on Windows but at least I do not have to use that horrible WD software (button manager and raid manager… absolute garbage).

    I also asked WD to replace it again then they want me to send it to Singapore from Indonesia for the replacement… which costs just as much as the unit cost to purchase here in Indonesia. Needless to say I am VERY annoyed because I even raised a support request regarding this on their web site with no response.

    I think my ultimate solution for everything now will be Maxtor or Seagate because WD are a bunch of **&!@^*%(*#%&*@^’s.

  308. Dave says:

    I followed the instructions for getting the drive out, I hooked up the drive to another computr that has sata and when I tried to boot I couldnt get into windows. I disconnnect the drive and I was able to go into windows. What is the reason why i cant get into windows with the drive connected? Any ideas?

  309. david says:

    Change the primary boot drive in your BIOS back to the old drive. It has probably picked up the new drive

  310. Wikitundra says:

    You are the man!!! Thank you for helping me save my data. The SATA drive is running perfectly as a secondary internal drive in my PC. Since my WD MyBook 320GB was no longer under warranty, I thoroughly enjoyed ripping it apart. It is a piece of crap.
    Thanks again for your help.

  311. Ed says:

    Well I am another victim… I have about 370 gigs of family photos, video, and music… I am able to see the device, I seen some of the folder structure however when plugging it on a different computer it says that the drive needs to be formated. sometimes an i/o error. Pulled the hard drive out today, opened our desktop… Have to wait till I can get an IDE/Sata adpater or… USB Sata adapter. I hope I can get my data off before it is toast. Maybe I should go back to film DSLR?

  312. Chuck says:

    I disassembled my WD50000G032 and removed the 500gb drive. I hooked it up to my CP via a usb-sata adapter, and the drive shows up in the Windows XP disk management console as a drive with 5 partitions that show up as healthy(unknown). Do I need to mount this drive on a Linux box to read the partitions?

  313. david says:

    Chuck that is my experience. The only way I found to get my data back from exactly that scenario was to mount it on Linux and copy the files off (see my post above on how to do that). Some of the files I copied were corrupted but most of them were intact. Prior to that I tried all sorts of disk recovery tools on Windows with no success.

    Good luck.

  314. Ell says:

    My 2 cents.

    Brand new 1TB My Book
    Brand spanking new
    Copied data across using terracopy (stupidly deciding I didn’t need to CRC test because it was a new drive)
    Decided after copying I should run WD diag
    Too many bad sectors
    Copied data back… twice because the sector errors caused the copying to crash
    Store will replace drive
    Next time, WD diag before copying data across!

  315. Wayne says:

    Hi David,

    I also have a WD Word Edition 1TB that has fallen over. B Drive has failed. I am not experienced with Linux but can figure most things out. Did you mount both drives or the fault drives.

    Apreciate anu help I can get!!!!

  316. david says:

    The drive I have is the World Edition 1Tb… same. I did not take it apart to get the data off. I mounted the whole unit under Linux (Fedora 9) as follows using the FW400 interface as (mount /dev/sde1 /mnt/shitbox -t ntfs). I then managed to get all the data off just using “cp”. If one of your drives is completely dead then it depends which mode you had the thing in I guess (RAID 0 or RAID 1 mirror etc.). If it was in mirroring mode then you should be able to get the data from it the way I described above. If not then I you may be able to get some of it. Unfortunately I think drive B is where it tends to put the data first. Anyway… give it a try. I tried a few different Windows based recovery tools and they all failed. WD Diags also told me there were too many errors on my drives.

  317. david says:

    The drive I have is the World Edition 1Tb… same. I did not take it apart to get the data off. I mounted the whole unit under Linux (Fedora 9) as follows using the FW400 interface as (mount /dev/sde1 /mnt/shitbox -t ntfs). I then managed to get all the data off just using “cp”. If one of your drives is completely dead then it depends which mode you had the thing in I guess (RAID 0 or RAID 1 mirror etc.). If it was in mirroring mode then you should be able to get the data from it the way I described above. If not then I you may be able to get some of it. Unfortunately I think drive B is where it tends to put the data first. Anyway… give it a try. I tried a few different Windows based recovery tools and they all failed. WD Diags also told me there were too many errors on my drives.I trashed the casing and reused the drives (which seem ok). BTW when I used WD Diags to analyze the drives inside the casing (i.e.not yet removed) they showed many errors. Frankly I am very dissatisfied with WD gear. I have another 320Gb WD SATA drive that is also now getting errors under WIndows… I just bought a Seagate FreeAgent Extreme 1.5Tb… saying goodbye to WD.

  318. Chuck says:

    I am not a linux guy, so I set up Ubuntu 9.04 on an old box I have. when I do an fdisk -l, I can see the partitions on the WB drive. I am not entirely sure how to mount them, the /dev/sdb4 is obviously the one I want, being 480 gb or so. Any assistance would be appreciated.

  319. david says:

    Create a mount point (directory) i.e. mkdir /mnt/wd

    Determine which scsi device is the one that the NTFS partition is on… the way to do this is to do a detailed directory listing (ls -la) on the /dev scsi devices i.e.

    [me@fedora ~]$ ls -la /dev/sd*
    brw-r—– 1 root disk 8, 0 2009-05-18 22:15 /dev/sda
    brw-r—– 1 root disk 8, 1 2009-05-18 22:15 /dev/sda1
    brw-r—– 1 root disk 8, 16 2009-05-18 22:15 /dev/sdb
    brw-r—– 1 root disk 8, 17 2009-05-18 22:16 /dev/sdb1
    brw-r—– 1 root disk 8, 18 2009-05-18 22:15 /dev/sdb2
    brw-r—– 1 root disk 8, 32 2009-05-18 22:15 /dev/sdc
    brw-r—– 1 root disk 8, 33 2009-05-18 22:15 /dev/sdc1
    brw-r—– 1 root disk 8, 48 2009-05-18 22:15 /dev/sdd
    brw-r—– 1 root disk 8, 49 2009-05-18 22:15 /dev/sdd1
    [me@fedora ~]$

    Looking at the listing above you will see the scsi devices that are mounted (the scsi driver will be used to mount the WD device) and determine which device it is. My system has a few scsi drives as you can see from the listing above. Your system will probably only have one (the WD device) and report sda and sda1 where sda is the actual drive and sda1 is the first partition.

    What you need to do is mount the first partition (sda1) so for example us the following command (whilst logged in as root of course):

    mount -t ntfs /dev/sda1 /mnt/wd

    This should mount it by default as read only and you can then copy your files off using the cp command. You will potentially need plenty of space to copy the files to depending on how much data you need to recover. I recommend that you get a Seagate FreeAgent Desk or FreeAgent Extreme 1.5Tb drive.

    I replaced my WD drive with a FreeAgent Desk and it is fantastic… No funky error prone software or firmware. No software install required, a far smalled in footprint than the WD drive (about 1/5th of the size), just plugs in and runs with no errors. Cost was about $180 but I am in Indonesia and gear is more expensive here because of import tax. You can probably get one for $150 or so in the USA.

    You will need to mount that drive the same way as the WD except using the -o rw for read/write so that you can write data to it i.e.:

    mount -t ntfs -o rw /dev/sdb1 /mnt/freeagent

    Alternatively you could create a share on the Linux machine and copy you data across the network (longer explanation required). I think what I have outlined above is the easier approach to this so long as you have two USB 2.0 or one USB 2.0 and one FW400 port on the Linux machine.

  320. Chuck says:

    Thanks for the info, David. I followed your instructions and got the following:

    root@chuck-laptop:~# ls -la /dev/sd*
    brw-rw—- 1 root disk 8, 0 2009-05-21 04:48 /dev/sda
    brw-rw—- 1 root disk 8, 1 2009-05-21 08:48 /dev/sda1
    brw-rw—- 1 root disk 8, 2 2009-05-21 04:48 /dev/sda2
    brw-rw—- 1 root disk 8, 3 2009-05-21 04:48 /dev/sda3
    brw-rw—- 1 root disk 8, 16 2009-05-21 08:48 /dev/sdb
    brw-rw—- 1 root disk 8, 17 2009-05-21 08:48 /dev/sdb1
    brw-rw—- 1 root disk 8, 18 2009-05-21 08:48 /dev/sdb2
    brw-rw—- 1 root disk 8, 19 2009-05-21 08:48 /dev/sdb3
    brw-rw—- 1 root disk 8, 20 2009-05-21 08:48 /dev/sdb4

    /dev/sbd is the WD disk. After creating my mount point via mkdir /mnt/wd, I tried mounting as follows:

    root@chuck-laptop:~# mount -t ntfs /dev/sdb4 /mnt/wd
    NTFS signature is missing.
    Failed to mount ‘/dev/sdb4’: Invalid arguement.
    The device ‘/dev/sdb4/ doesn’t seem to have a valid NTFS.
    Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
    partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?

    So I tried the command with all partitions on /dev/sdb with the same results. Am I doing something wrong? Is the disk trashed?

    Thanks again for all the help.

  321. david says:

    What I would do first is just perform a “mount” command by itself so that you can see what is already mounted. You should get something like this back:

    [me@fedora ~]$ mount
    /dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00 on / type ext3 (rw)
    proc on /proc type proc (rw)
    sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw)
    devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,gid=5,mode=620)
    /dev/sdb1 on /boot type ext3 (rw)
    tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw)
    none on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw)
    sunrpc on /var/lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs type rpc_pipefs (rw)
    fusectl on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)

    The above will show you all of the devices that are mounted. Have

    Were you running the WD drive in mirroring mode or as a straight 1Tb striped drive? It is odd to see 4 partitions (which you have i.e. sda1, sda2… sda4 and sdb1… sdb4).

    You must mount one or more of the partitions and not the whole drive (i.e. sda1, sdb2 etc. and not just sda, sdb). Figure out which drive the WD drive. Maybe the USB hardware is not seeing it. What did you plug it into… USB 1.1, USB 2.0 or FW400?

  322. Chuck says:

    The drive was a 500gb out of the box config. The size of /dev/sdb4 is around 480gb, so I am assuming that is the partition with my data.

    when running the mount command, I get the following:

    root@chuck-laptop:~# mount
    /dev/sda1 on / type ext3 (rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro)
    tmpfs on /lib/init/rw type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
    proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
    sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
    varrun on /var/run type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
    varlock on /var/lock type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev,mode=1777)
    udev on /dev type tmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
    tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
    devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=620)
    fusectl on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
    lrm on /lib/modules/2.6.28-11-generic/volatile type tmpfs (rw,mode=755)
    securityfs on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
    binfmt_misc on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
    gvfs-fuse-daemon on /root/.gvfs type fuse.gvfs-fuse-daemon (rw,nosuid,nodev)

    I tried mounting the individual partions, as well as the entire drive. I currently have the drive plugged into a USB 2.0 slot.

  323. Chuck says:

    More information, if relevant:

    root@chuck-laptop:~# fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x33f133f0

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 9960 80003668+ 83 Linux
    /dev/sda2 * 9961 25517 124958092 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 25517 28780 26213376 af Unknown

    Disk /dev/sdb: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x00007c00

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 4 369 2939895 fd Linux raid autodetect
    /dev/sdb2 370 382 104422+ fd Linux raid autodetect
    /dev/sdb3 383 505 987997+ fd Linux raid autodetect
    /dev/sdb4 506 60801 484327620 fd Linux raid autodetect

  324. david says:

    The out-of-the-box configuration for these things is mirroring (RAID1). When I got my drive I changed it to RAID0 (striping with no parity) so that I could use the full 1Tb capacity.

    Looking at your fdisk output it seems that the partitions on your drive are reporting as “Linux raid autodetect”. This means that it may be possible to mount it with the RAID driver.

    Try mounting it with the following command:

    mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /mnt/wd -o defaults,umask=0

    … this assumes that the version of Ubuntu you are using has the ntfs-3g kernel module. If not then try the following:

    mount -t ntfs /dev/sdb1 /mnt/wd -o defaults,umask=0

  325. Chuck says:

    I tried the following, with no luck:

    root@chuck-laptop:~# mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /mnt/wd -o defaults,unmask=0
    NTFS signature is missing.
    Failed to mount ‘/dev/sdb1’: Invalid argument
    The device ‘/dev/sdb1’ doesn’t seem to have a valid NTFS.
    Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
    partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?
    root@chuck-laptop:~# mount -t ntfs /dev/sdb1 /mnt/wd -o defaults,unmask=0
    NTFS signature is missing.
    Failed to mount ‘/dev/sdb1’: Invalid argument
    The device ‘/dev/sdb1’ doesn’t seem to have a valid NTFS.
    Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
    partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?
    root@chuck-laptop:~# mount -t ntfs /dev/sdb4 /mnt/wd -o defaults,unmask=0
    NTFS signature is missing.
    Failed to mount ‘/dev/sdb4’: Invalid argument
    The device ‘/dev/sdb4’ doesn’t seem to have a valid NTFS.
    Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
    partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?
    root@chuck-laptop:~# mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb4 /mnt/wd -o defaults,unmask=0
    NTFS signature is missing.
    Failed to mount ‘/dev/sdb4’: Invalid argument
    The device ‘/dev/sdb4’ doesn’t seem to have a valid NTFS.
    Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
    partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?

  326. david says:

    Chuck, according to this article (http://micro.stanford.edu/mediawiki-1.11.0/images/Howto_mount_WD_MyBooK1TB_v02.pdf) the drive seems to be formatted with HFS+. I’m sorry I didn’t remember that because I bought the drive over a year back and I must have formatted it with NTFS.

    The HFS+ driver for Linux can be downloaded at the following URL http://www.ardistech.com/hfsplus.

    Once you have installed the driver then you will need to mount the drive as type hfsplus. There must be some documentation with the driver download so I suggest you read it. I am happy to answer any other questions.

  327. david says:

    Chuck… below are the instructions from the readme file for the driver (note that you are probably using a 2.6 kernel if you have installed Ubuntu… just type “uname -a” to confirm that).

    It also looks like you will need to kernel sources installed to install and compile the driver. You can use the Ubuntu GUI installation tool for that or the “yum” command line tool:

    The HFS+ can be used with Linux 2.4 and 2.6 and can be compiled either as module or as builtin driver. The driver source requires the configured kernel source of the target kernel.
    This release also include support for HFS, the instructions to compile the driver are equal to the HFS+ driver, excepts that Linux 2.4 currently requires the linux-2.4.hfs.diff patch.

    Modular driver:

    For Linux 2.4.21 and earlier versions it’s required to apply the patch linux-hfsplus.2.4.diff and to recompile the kernel. For Linux 2.5 or Linux 2.4.22 and later this is not required.
    To build the driver go to the hfsplus directory and start make with the path to the kernel source as argument:

    cd hfsplus
    make KERNELSRC=…/linux-2.x

    To install the module type:

    make KERNELSRC=…/linux-2.x install

    After a reboot the module can be loaded with ‘modprobe hfsplus’ or it will be loaded automatically by the kernel, if the ‘-t hfsplus’ option is used with mount.

    Builtin driver:

    Recent kernels already have the hfsplus support integrated, so that
    you only need to replace the hfs or hfsplus directory. Otherwise
    first the linux-2.4.hfsplus.diff or linux-2.6.hfsplus.diff has to be
    applied to the kernel source and the hfsplus directory has to be copied there:

    patch -p1 -d …/linux-2.x < linux-2.x.hfsplus.diff
    cp -r hfsplus …/linux-2.x/fs

    Now you can go to the kernel source, configure the kernel as usual and rebuild the kernel.

  328. david says:

    Chuck my post above got posted before I was finished it. The Ubuntu distro you have may actually have the HFS+ driver installed. I just checked on Ubuntu Intrepid and it is there. You can test this under the root account or by typing “sudo modprobe hfsplus” to see if the driver loads and then “sudo lsmod | grep hfsplus”. To check if it is there. If it is there then you should be able to mount the drive using “mount -t hfsplus …”. Never tried it so not sure. The only literature I have read is where people blow away the HFS+ partition and format NTFS which is what I did. Good luck.

    Happy to answer any more questions because I know how badly companies like WD support products and how little they care about customers that pay big money for a boat anchor. I am so unhappy with WD. I even asked them to compensate me on their support web site and they did now respond.

    It is so lousy and I feel sorry for anyone that buys a lemon from them. Have a look at all of the unsatisfied users of WD at this link: http://www.tomrafteryit.net/western-digital-my-book-pro-edition-ii-sucks/

  329. Chuck says:

    Thanks for all of your help up to this point. I am still stuck, though:

    root@chuck-laptop:~# lsmod | grep hfsplus
    hfsplus 80644 0
    root@chuck-laptop:~# mount -t hfsplus /dev/sdb4 /mnt/wd
    mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdb4,
    missing codepage or helper program, or other error
    In some cases useful info is found in syslog – try
    dmesg | tail or so

    root@chuck-laptop:~# dmesg | tail
    [159005.688867] sd 5:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
    [159171.624676] hfs: unable to find HFS+ superblock
    [159242.998169] hfs: can’t find a HFS filesystem on dev sdb4.
    [159252.115112] hfs: unable to find HFS+ superblock
    [159260.374988] hfs: unable to find HFS+ superblock
    [159265.156365] hfs: unable to find HFS+ superblock
    [159346.329342] hfs: unable to parse mount options
    [159463.543055] hfs: unable to parse mount options
    [159470.431363] hfs: unable to find HFS+ superblock
    [159530.608836] hfs: unable to find HFS+ superblock

  330. Leigh says:

    Too upset for words! Lost the lot from MyBook 500GB.
    You name it, I had the lot, clicks of death etc, etc.
    Never buy WD again.
    Great thread, wish I’d seen it a month ago!

  331. david says:

    Chuck, try mounting /dev/sdb1 and not /dev/sdb4 with the HFS+ driver.

  332. Renee Adams says:

    Thank you so much for the detailed instruction. I bought my WD HD backup 3 years ago wanted to save all my pictures to it so as not to slow down my computer. It stopped being recognised by any computer. Got a little freaked out needed to get pictures off HD. Used your technique however I wasn’t so nice to the case. I just broke it off as I was Pi_ _ _ _ off. Your advice and pics were great. It took awhile to back up to my seagate free agent 500gig but it worked. Now whats to say my Seagate doesn’t do the same thing? Kinda miss printing all pictures but I have a TON! I will be putting them all on a CD just for safe keeping. Wish me luck and thanks again!

  333. Scott Cramer says:


    Yeah, no telling if the Seagate may do the same thing. With your digital pics I *HIGHLY* recommend uploading them to a service like Flickr or Smugmug. I’ve used both and prefer Smugmug. It’s worth the minimal expense and you’ll ALWAYS have an offsite backup of your pics. PLUS you can send friends and family to the online galleries of your pics. With Smugmug you can control every gallery separately for access to the pics; i.e., public, password protected, private.

    Good luck with everything, glad the info here could help out. 🙂

  334. bunnytobin says:

    this saved my life.
    I work in pro tools and run a studio.
    The drive that failed was my “work from” drive.
    I had most everything backed up on a separate drive, except what I had done over the last three days on three very large and expensive projects. If I would not have recovered this data I would probably have lost three very good and high paying clients. And these days and being a new studio it may have killed the biz.
    Thanks so much for this man. Lifesaver.


  335. Justin says:

    wow is the first thing for this. mine must be a little older but this article got the box open for me which is just what i needed. years of pics on this HD i am very happy right now. back up back up backup….new rule, make back up of your back up…
    thanks a million

  336. Liz says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you — will remove the case and then do an immediate backup to a not-WD drive, assuming the data is still readable. Many video files on the WD drive. Luckily, we still have the originals on tape and the editing files to recreate the final versions, but I’m hoping that removing the case, attaching the drive via USB-to-SATA or USB-to-IDE will work so that I can backup to new drive. Thank you.

  337. Hi-JoBe says:

    Hi there Chuck,

    I’ve been dealing with the same problem as you for a while now. I have a WD MyBook World Edition 500Gb (white case/blue rings) of which the ethernet-controller has died on me. I’ve been scouring the ‘net for nuggets of info to access the data on it, but so far nothing worked for me. As your thread ended late may, have you had an luck on getting at the data somehow?
    David, Thanks for the insider info so far, it’s been great. Do you have any more options I or any of us can try to access a stubborn drive?

  338. waleed says:

    I made some pics when i opened the MyBook studio 500GB white. There were no screws at all..

  339. Chico says:

    I did exactly what Prophet Zarquon did! 😐 ” 250gb Western Digital WD2500JB USB 2.0 Enclosure with PATA drive.
    Accidentally hooked up a Dell laptop power supply. 15v on a 7v device. Whoops!
    Reconnected the right way and the drive’s power supply flashed ominously, with no response from the enclosure.
    Whatever, stripped the case off (without this guide, thanks! that screw was a pain to find) and plugged the 250gb IDE drive inside into the empty bay above my DVD burner.

    I’ve done this with dozens of hard drives over the years.

    This one has a circuit board that hangs a bit lower than most.

    My burner has a small lump on the top of it’s metal casing.

    When I turned on the PC, the WD drive blew black smoke, arced audibly and burst into flame.

    Flames. Big yellow flaring flames, spewing black smoke, inside my freshly rebuilt, Vista64/RedHat-Gnome/OSX-Leopard running, lovingly frankensteined, HD-video editing workstation, with 4gigs of brand new ultra-low latency RAM, and two 500gb SATAs.

    The power switch didn’t work. I yanked the power cable from the back of the PC and watched the flames go out.

    I sat down and cried.” but… didn’t go up in flames and didn’t cry (nearly did though) what i have noticed is that the circuit board on the drive has a burnt bit on the power line or path on the board [hope you understand that] Does anyone have any ideas on how i can get it working?

  340. david says:

    Well Chico… you have already cremated it. The only thing left to do is bury or dispose of the ashes.

    I migrated off WD onto a Seagate FreeAgent a couple of months back and never looked back. The WD device is still gathering dust. It cost me so much time that I have not got the patience to even bother with relocating the 2 500Gb drives in it.

    I might have a ceremonial cremation myself… now how did you do that again?

  341. Don says:

    My WD 1TB MyBook went dead too. Having several identical external drives, I swapped the internal controller pca and determined that was the cause. Noticed a capacitor on that board (1000uf 6.3v) had a swollen top. Replaced it with a better rated 1000uf 10v cap and all is better again. Good luck all.

  342. Vince says:

    Hi, I was following these instructions to replace the HDD in my original 500GB MyBook, however, after scraping off the “screw cover” as noted in step 1, I discovered that there was no screw. In fact, I started just prying the cover off with my fingers and was surprised that it slid right off. Everything else was pretty similar. So I guess if you don’t want to put a hole in your case, try to pry it open gently and see if it will give before looking for that elusive screw.

  343. GMR says:

    Thank You for the detailed info on disassembly of the HP MyBook. After that first screw it was a piece of cake. The music instructor was happy too, now that he has access to his data again. Guys like you are truly appreciated.


  344. Iulian says:

    I have a WD5000H1CS-00 and I can’t open it, except teh two rubber pad I can’t find anytihnig else and cant open it !
    please help….

    send me any info at iulian.musat@globeground.ro or post it here

    Thank you very much!

  345. photobob says:

    I have a WD 500 Essential that I can hear power up and then stops. I was able to get the cover off after releasing the two tabs on the top and one on the bottom using a plastic knife. The light is on on the hard drive but no one is home. I had previously tried an uninstall before I found this blog, so my computer laptop not longer has any Don it. What now? If I had known what a POS these external drives were I would have never bought one. I have a thousand of that will be lost if I can’t recover them. Geek Squad said it would be $69.00 for them to mail it out for someone to look at and then it could cost a couple hundred dollars to a thousand. I said no thanks and would try to recover the files my self. Thanks for this blog Scott.

  346. Hi-JoBe says:

    The first question to yourself must be: is the data important to you? than the question is: do you want to risk losing that data by trying to recover it yourself?
    Unless you have an intimate knowlegde about retrieving the data from a raid Ext3 Linux filesystem i would recommend you do try a data-recovery service,a s expensive as it may be.
    I myself had a MyBook World Edition dying on me: ethernet didn’t work anymore, HD was fine.
    While i know my way around a partition under windows I didn’t dare to touch the raid Ext3 with wich the MyBook was formatted. so it has cost me about 1200 euros to retrieve the data.
    But, as i am getting the drive back in the original state, I am surely going to try and tinker with it to see if i can learn some more from it for the next time a linux drive dies on me.

  347. William says:

    Hi everyone. Thanks so much for the thread, I just have a question about a problem I am having. I got the hard drive all opened up, and pluged into my computer with sata data and power cable. When I go into the BIOS, it shows the port that it is plugged into to be blank (no name, or info), and when vista boots up, it cannot see the hard drive. If (while in BIOS) I press enter on the port with the hard drive and press the find hard drive I can feel it spinning around like mad, but stops moments later and changes nothing. Last bit of info, when booting up, and the computer is checking for hard drives to boot off of, for my main hard drive it says something like “S.M.A.R.T. compatibility *something like yes*”, and for the western digital hard drive it says the same thing, but instead of yes it says “none”. I am not sure what this means, but maybe someone else does. Hope you can help, thanks!

  348. Francisco says:

    i have a question and im not very good writing in english, my book have the folders but when i try to access my folder in my book they says files are corrupted unable to access, what could i do? (im dont know what to do if u could send me a email cuz this isnt my pc too and i dont have any where to save my web pages now… xD)

    Thx for the help ^^ now i know how to get out the hard disk but now i need help to recover corrupted data.

  349. Chuck says:

    david says:
    May 26, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Chuck, try mounting /dev/sdb1 and not /dev/sdb4 with the HFS+ driver

    I tried the above with the same results. No luck.

  350. Chuck says:

    Hi-JoBe says:
    June 15, 2009 at 4:28 am

    Hi there Chuck,

    I’ve been dealing with the same problem as you for a while now. I have a WD MyBook World Edition 500Gb (white case/blue rings) of which the ethernet-controller has died on me. I’ve been scouring the ‘net for nuggets of info to access the data on it, but so far nothing worked for me. As your thread ended late may, have you had an luck on getting at the data somehow?
    David, Thanks for the insider info so far, it’s been great. Do you have any more options I or any of us can try to access a stubborn drive?

    I’ve had no luck in this. It had to go on the back-burner for a bit, but I am back at it.

  351. Chuck says:

    what’s more interesting about this is as a goof, I downloaded a trial of diskinteral’s raid recovery, and I was able to see all of my data on the drive via a windows machine. I could even view photos and play mp3’s within the software’s interface.

    Of course, I could not restore the files, as it was a demo. So this tells me the data is there and in-tact. Yet I cannot recover it manually. I don’t want to spend money on software if I do not have to, as money is tight.

    I emailed WD about this issue, and they told me that there is nothing they can do, but referred me to some data recovery agency.

    good times

  352. Shelly says:

    My Western Digital 1TB My Book just died. It just died for no reason. Either my laptop and desktop would not recognize it. I contacted WD’s “authorized” data recovery center, the price they charge range from $400 – $1200 based on condition of the drive. I am not a tech savvy person. Can anyone help me?! Please~~!!

  353. Lonnie says:

    The world’s most stupid thief came to my house this week and stole my laptop, but not the power cord, and stole the power cord, but not the Western Digital My Book 500 GB Essential. I’m scared to death to use the Jensen Universal power cord I just bought because I can’t find any info on what voltage to set it on. The options are 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 9 or 12. Does anyone know? Thank you in advance.

  354. Raymond says:

    I have a Western Digital My Book 500 GB Essential and the information on my adapter is as follows:

    Switching Adapter
    Model ADS-24S – 12
    1224 GPCU

    Input: 100 – 240 v – 50/60 Hz
    Max 700 ma 50 VA

    Output: 12V – 2A

    The adapter measures about 2″ x 3″ x 1″ wide.

    I hope this information helps you.

  355. David Smiley says:

    Thanks for the tips folks. I have the 002 model and as someone noted there are no screws. However it was incredibly difficult to get it off even though the only thing I supposedly had to do was press in the catches on both sides. I pulled hard and managed to wedge a thin piece of metal at the port end of the case and I wedged it further from there. Now I have a SATA drive I can put in my Mac tower; sweet.

  356. Kevin says:

    Thanks. I had a bit of trouble with the catches, but I was still done and recovering data in about twenty minutes. I’m going to put my drive into an NAS housing as an upgrade!

  357. Gavin says:


    are you saying they will send the new unit out to you before you send in the defective one?

    if thats the case, my prayers are answered.

    i have a 1Tb Mybook II that consists of two 500mb drives in RAID-0 format…

    which in english means, i need another mybook II casing to get my data!

  358. Mark says:

    Thanks Scott – I seached High and Low and found lots of dead ends – then came across your solution. I tried disk recovery tools at first, then simply removed the case – it worked long enough to extract the data over to another external. Now that I have a copy, I’ll find a sata configued computer to slave it into. Thanks again – some times you have to go back to the basics….

  359. Buz says:

    Thanks Scott, I have, sorry, had, a WD5000H1CS-00 500GB My Book Home Edition which could be heard spinning up then nothing. Rather then spend £300 odd pounds getting the data recovered I followed the advice on here. Then with a bit of research purchased an Icy Box – Ib-318stus2-b from Amazon.co.uk, took the hard drive out of its steel cradle and plugged it in and away I went as I only have a laptop and couldn’t find another way around it.
    This particular version of the MyBook had no screws, but i prised the casing open with a couple of screw drivers all the way around the edge and job was a good’un!
    Thanks Man, I owe you a pint!

  360. Doug says:

    Again another nice description but not an appropriate title. I need help trying to recover data from a clicking WD external drive. I’ve disassembled it but don’t know where to go from here. The freezing trick did stop the clicking for a few moments but my OS still doesn’t read the drive. It still spins but after it thaws out, it starts clicking again. Data recovery services want a ridiculous amount as if I’m trying to recover government secrets. Can anyone help?

  361. Frank says:

    My son has a 500GB MyBook attached to his HP DV9000 laptop running XP Pro. It is about 2 years old. He says he can no longer write to the disk (not full!). When he right clicks on the drive icon in “My Computer” it shows as “read only” but he cannot change this attribute.

    Has anyone encountered this problem? I haven’t found a solution for it yet.


  362. Corey says:

    Thank You for posting this with pictures and everything. I really helped me when I needed to replace my HD that would no longer respond after I dropped it.
    The new drive works like a charm in my “My Book” case.

    Just goes to show that you never know have many folks you can help when someone takes the time and trouble to post their own experience’s hey?

  363. Duke says:

    Read through most of this thread…My WD 320 GB is having similar problems.

    When plugged in, the blue light turns on and remains solid, but the drive doesn’t spin. Therefore it doesn’t show up on my computer, can’t run chkdsk, not under disk management etc….

    Most recent symptoms prior to this was “delayed write failed,” but even then, it would at least spin up and I would be able to access the files for a short period of time. Later on, the HDD wouldn’t spin up or mount to the PC immediately, but eventually would after a varying amount of time (sometimes 10 min, sometimes 2-3 hours) where the autoplay would kick in and it would work. But the most recent problem is as described initially: no spin/connection to PC.

    What are my options? I’m not very computer savvy, but seems like I can figure out how to remove the drive from the enclosure like shown in the above tutorial. But I have no clue what to do after that. I have a laptop for what its worth. Should I try one of these USB to SATA/IDE converter cables I’m seeing? Would removing the drive from the original casing even help here (if the drive is just straight up dead, then seems like putting in a different case or connecting it SATA won’t help at all).

    Any suggestions welcome.

  364. Zack says:

    Thanks for posting this up. I had a WD 250 GB drive, turns out it’s IDE inside. The first screw to remove ended up stripping out very easily, so I just took a flat head screwdriver, pryed apart the case, and rotated it around. Then removed the 4 screws holding down the hard drive along with quite a few other components, and wala, all set. Got a small battle scar(bloody finger) but FU WD case, i wiN!

  365. Robin says:

    Thanks for posting this article. I have a WD 750 GB drive from a Blue Ringed MBW. Unfortunately removing the HDD from its case and plugging it into my motherboard did not work. The BIOS was able to see the SATA drive but Windows could not, I even booted up Linux but that wouldn’t talk to the drive either. I had already thrown the MyBookWorld case away (thinking the drive was knackered) so I have been unable to return it under warranty. So today I thought I’d give it another try but still no luck. As a final resort I placed jumpers on all four switches (including the un-labelled one) and rebooted my machine – nothing! I then removed the four jumpers and rebooted again and now EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard and ARAX Disk Doctor Data Recovery programs are able to see the partitions and have started to recover my data – yippee! I can only presume that the jumpering has in some way reset the HDD. If you’ve broken your case or are out of warranty I can only suggest that you try this for yourself.

  366. tivoboy says:

    WOW, I am really glad I found this site.

    Well, had a Western Digital My Book World 1TB, blue rings drive that doesn’t seem to want to attach to the network. sometimes it will, and get an IP address, but other times no. Now, I cannot get it to do anything, other than spin and sometimes show Blue Rings. Mind you, this is totally new. What I listed above is just what has been happening in the past few days.

    So, I have the case open.

    I have bought a SATA to USB adaptor. I have macs, pcs with XP, VISTA and can run a linux distro if needed.

    I simply need to get the data off the drive. I don’t want to send it to WD like this, even though they will replace it for me.

    What is the best solution for getting the data off the drive (I DID have a share on there with a password on it, will that be a problem?)

    Shall I run some of the scripts above, under a linux distro?

    Has anyone used the EXT2 for windows program listed above, did it work? that would be REALLY easy.?

    What ARE the commands for getting the drive to mount under the linux distro?

    Thank you so much for any response, I have a day off tomorrow and will try my best to get it working enough to get the data off.

  367. Robin says:

    @tivoboy: I have just used EXT2IFS from http://www.fs-driver.org/ to retrieve the data from my hard drive. Works very well even under Windows 7.

  368. tivoboy says:

    Well, I finally got the drive to “mount” using the IFS software, but i cannot access the drive. Says I need to format (which of course I won’t do.

    I ran the mountdiag tool, and it said something about “shutdown state, Ext2/ext3, open file, etc. Mount in Linux to access, or something like that.

    So, it appears I need to run the linux distro mount solution, and see if THEN I can access the drive.

    Any tips of what distro to run and or what commands are necessary?

  369. tivoboy says:

    I guess the question is, what are the commands for trying to mount and or access if I connect it via USB? or will that even be an issue?

  370. tivoboy says:

    wow, strangely, it just mounted fine under the ubuntu 9.06 distro. Fired that up with a CD only run, and plugged in the drive, boom all files were there and I started copying. Not sure if everything is good yet, but I am copying fine, no codes, no mounting instructions, nothing.

    what is up with that?

  371. tivoboy says:

    well, I managed to get all the data OFF the drive, connecting it to a linux distro. but, I would really like to be able to DELETE some of the files. I cannot seem to get write access, is there something one needs to do? I have it hooked up with usb to a laptop, what are the commands?

  372. Willie says:

    It’s now late 2009 and I just found this blog. I just had a drive go bad and decided to replace it with an SATA. Problem was that the local store only had external drives and I wanted it immediately so I bought it and took it apart. I got a WD My Book and it came apart just like this “afterhours” said above. I’ll paste it below too.

    After I installed the drive my old computer couldn’t “see” it so I ended up putting it back together and using it as an external. Good thing I didn’t kill the case! Apparently my mobo needs to boot from an EIDE drive and then I could install drivers to operate an SATA as an additional drive.

    Here is what afterhours said:
    afterhours says:
    October 30, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    Mine is a newer model, without the hidden screw hole. Getting into this was similar to iPods or MacMinis (I do a lot of Mac work). There are two small plastic tabs that are hidden by glued on rubber feet on the bottom (the two closest to the LED side of the case. These tabs index into twin little slots. With careful work, you can depress them and slide the case apart.

    Alternatively, you can use a putty knife or a black stick to work around the edges of the seams to get things apart without scuffing up the plastic or breaking anything. Neat container, but I wish it was easier to get into

  373. Poll Wood says:

    Thanks for posting this up! This was a very informative site. Thanks for the guide, had my WD 500GB My book for a couple of months and then lastnight it went pop! Poll

  374. Tim says:


    I have a Western Digital my book studio edition 1TB extern drive, (silver).

    1. There is nothing wrong with my drive but I would like to disable the annoying flashing light.

    In this story, you mentioned:
    “(5) There is a small circuit board attached for the LED power light that you need to remove to make the drive easier to get out of the case. Remove the three screws holding it on and gently unplug it from it’s connection on the drive unit.”

    If I were to open my drive and remove that circuit board, do you think that would disable the light without preventing the drive from working?

    2. Is it possible to replace my 1TB drive with a 2TB one, if it can fit
    in the silver enclosure?


  375. Willie says:


    If yours is like mine – those led lights are not what you see from the outside. you actually are looking at plastic light pipes which can be removed easily. The light sources are on that little circuit board and would not be visible from the outside.

    You must leave the circuit board alone if you want the drive to operate as an external – but you can easily remove the light pipes.

    I think you are asking if you could buy a 2TB internal drive and install it into your external drive case. The answer is I dont know. But why do that anyway? Why not Just buy a 2TB external drive.

    Good luck!

  376. Duke says:

    Update on post from Sept. 30.

    I opened the case, removed the screws, took out the circuit board (with the help of this site and a few other tutorials online) and had the hard drive separated from everything. I bought a USB to IDE/SATA Adapter from Fry’s which has its own power supply, connected it and plugged it into the laptop, and after a few seconds…..started spinning!!

    I was able to recover all the data. However, the drive seemed to still be erratic, as a few folders disappeared then reappeared. Anyway, seems like it was just a faulty circuit board/power supply/etc.. and the HDD itself was fine.

    Strongly suggest trying this if having similar problems. Guy at Fry’s told me that this solution wouldn’t work and if the drive isn’t spinning it’s a mechanical failure and I’d have to send it to data recovery at a price of $700-$2400. No thanks. Cable cost $25. Problem solved.

  377. tivoboy says:

    Duke, sounds like you and I bought the SAME cable from Fry’s, and managed the same recovery. Good job!

  378. Ritec says:

    I can’t believe how many replies / comments this post has! I have had two of these and both of them have died!! The ibook is not built to last and it’s a piece of shit enclosure with shit drivers. Do not buy Western Digital Ibooks.

  379. James says:

    I just tried this on a 160 gb WD my book. It was a little different but close to the same procedure. Once I got the drive out and plugged it in to an older computer with the old cable system, the drive worked fine.
    I was not willing to pay someone several hundred dollars to get the info off the drive. I am able to use the drive now in my computer.

    I am not buying another WD My Book for any cost. They are junk.

  380. Jarle Bryn says:

    Mine started clicking today. Have had it for a few years now, but now it wont start. I’m sure its the same problem as everyone else is experiencing. Not a hardrive fault, but the casing/power steering. Seems like WD has done a BAD job here. I’ll disable it and connect it directly thru my USB/adapter cable when I get the time.
    I dont think I’ll have another MyBook……..
    Thanks for posting this brilliant user guide here !!
    Well done !


  381. tivoboy says:

    Just got my replacement yesterday, too nearly a month. But, they sent what appears to be a new MBWII 1TB edition. I think this one is supposed to be somehow better.

  382. Martin Thomas says:

    Firstly a huge thanks to Scott Cramer for the creation of this site, what a huge help.

    I’ve got the WD 500GB drive which was showing up as a corrupt local drive.

    I removed the rubber banding (before finding out that it did not have to be removed) and found the two hidden clips thanks to this site. There was not external screw on mine.

    Once the drive was removed I was able to run CHKDSK [drive letter] /r
    This took a while but recovered by whole hard drive. Oh the relief.

    I did damage the case slightly taking it apart, but as I’ve now had the drive for over six years I knew that the warranty was up.

    I’m now looking for a mirror drive (RAID 1) or something with RAID 5 capabilities as I don’t want to go through this again.

  383. Frederick says:

    My 320 gm mybook just took a poop on me. It reads as a mass storage, but I can see it on my comp. took it apart and plugged it into my sata, and nothing. Dont know what else I can do. any help?

  384. Jay says:

    Hey Thanks for your article. My WD5000 is clinking …. if it fails, your article would be life saver. 🙂

  385. Robert says:

    Hi Steve,
    My WD Mybook 1TB(wd10000HICS-00) crapped out on the weekend. I had about 500GB of data on it, with some 100GB related to research I was compiling. Some things I can replace, some are currently just visible memories.
    I like your site, and it is a good read as well.
    Have tried to recover data using wincare. Nojoy.
    Question: Cant seem to get the cover off to remove HDs. There is a key-hole/slot (I think). Drive is still under warranty, but reluctant to return because some/most data is intellectual property.
    I have read through your site, but will read through again. Is there a step 1, 2, 3 to recover data effectively? Maybe you have developed an aid de memorie.

    Many thanks

  386. tivoboy says:

    If you look up above, you can see what I did to recover. I managed to get it open and get all my data off, even though it was a linux drive. If your drive is running at least, then you should be able to do the same.

    If you want help, email me at gmail. my name here. I can help, of if you are comfortable with it, can pull the data for you. Your call N.

  387. Duane says:

    Wow, this site has helped me a ton and now I dont feel as bad about possibly losing a ton of date. My 1 TB MyBook crapped out this week. Had a delayed write failure and now it wont let me move some files, although I can see them. Ive been mega stressin’ since Im a professional artist/writer/photographer and have about 600GB of stuff on it. My Book SUCKS and they arent helpful at all. Basically told me its dead, send it in for another one but if you want your data here is our partner company that can pull it for a fee. Yeah, right. I pulled the drive out tonight and thought I could hook it up with a USB like I did my old tower hard drive but not so, so I just picked up a docking station thing of amazon to put the drive on. Hopefully I can get my data back, all of it. I started getting some off it, but some wont let it be moved. Ive got my fingers crossed and this site book marked.

  388. John says:

    Just want to say thanks for posting this helpful tutorial! Much appreciated.

  389. Frederick says:

    Is there anything I can do to get my computer to read the hd? the computer can see it, but that is it. Its plugged in the sata and still nothing.

  390. Annie says:

    Computer sees the HD but is not recognizing it by drive letter. Not sure how to get XP to recognize the drive so it can be accessed. Is it a bios setting that isn’t right? Please help, really need my data.

  391. Duane says:

    Well, after getting the BlacX docking station after reading on another forum regarding the crappy WD My Book, I have gotten some of my data back. Most actually, except for a few movies, which sucks because they are of my 2 year old son. When I try to copy them the device freezes up: The blue light on the blacX turns red (mostly) and says there was a problem copying the data, etc., and the location could not be found. The decive also disapears from “My Computer”, sometimes rebooting, sometimes needing to be shut off. Anyone have any guess on whats happening and how to get the few of my files back???? Thanks

  392. Annie says:

    Okay, things I’ve tried without success:

    1) BlacX SATA Docking Station – Same problem as connecting the HDD to a computer. It sees the device but no way to read it since it has no Drive Letter assignment.

    2) Connected it to a Win2K computer and it sees the drive and partitions and will allow you to assign a drive letter but immediately tells you it needs to format the drive.

    3) Swapped out the 500GB Drive into a MyBook World 1TB Case. Drive is not able to be accessed at all.

    What I’ve learned is the MyBook is formatted in Unix, therefore Windows will not recognize the drive as readable and simply wants to reformat.

    Now I’m downloading a Linux program to see if I can get at the files. Will update once I’m done.

  393. Megan J says:

    I have the 250GB MyBook. The disk inside it died. I want to put a new, larger one (750GB or 1.5TB) in and use the enclosure with it. Is there a risk associated with this? Does the controller impose a size limitation? Anyone with experience doing this?

  394. Annie says:

    What a nightmare this has been, but finally SUCCESS!!

    I have the 500GB White MyBook with the blue rings. We think the network connection died, the drive was just fine. However, extracting our data was another issue.

    We opened the case and took the hard drive out and installed it into a computer. We couldn’t get the drive to mount with anything, Ubuntu saw the drive, but wouldn’t mount it. Forget about Windows recognizing it.

    I found DiskInternals dot com and we downloaded the Partition & File Recovery program $139.99. It found 4 partitions in total: the first was simply the Linux file structure, the second contained all the MioNet files, the third was OS files and the fourth (the largest partition) contained all our data files.

    The program is much easier to use than Ubuntu and some of the other technical suggestions made on this string. Yet the program doesn’t give a lot of direction either. Once you scan the partitions and do any necessary recovery there, you will need to run the NTFS File Recovery portion of the software. When you run the scan it will prompt you to look for NTFS files or All files…we chose All files. Then it prompts you with File System Choices, we chose Ext2/Ext3 Linux. It took about 2 to 3 hours for it to scan the entire partition and when it was done…there were all our files in perfect condition.

    We have recovered all our files without spending the $500 to $2500 being charged by the Data Recovery companies listed on WD website.

    This experience has been a real eye opener and we will never again trust a NAS Drive. Western Digital needs to stick to making hard drives and leave the cute little boxes to someone that is willing to manufacture one that is stable and contains good components.

    If you are in hell trying to recover your files, try the program we did. They allow you to download and scan without paying for anything. If you find your files and want to recover, then they will hit you up to pay for the unlock key. We feel it was money well spent.

  395. Robert says:

    I am truly thankful that this forum exists. Thanks also to Nick who stuck with me. A great help!
    I was able to retrieve all of my lost data… some 400GB..
    Initially I tried a couple of venues. I searched and found a usb adapter for sata.. Never got to use it as I installed Ubuntu in windows and hooked up wd hd in series with primary.. Took a while, the wd drive was quite slow at the end..
    I am sooooooooooo Happy!! Now I have data backed up in 3 different locations… Attempting to have 4 with data to DVD..

    Again, tks to alcon..
    A new expert in recovering data!
    Robert 🙂

  396. mark says:

    My wife bumped into my W D external hard drive while it was recovering data for the mac that she crashed the week before….

    needless to say the W D doesn’t isn’t recognized anymore. The light still lights up I am trying figure out what to do…


  397. Robert says:

    Install Linux (Ubuntu) (Free online) on a system, either mac or windows. By doing so, this will give you an OS selection upon bootup. Select unbuntu, look for drives using ubuntu directory… Ubuntu should see data on drive, drag to another HD/WD where enough space is avail..
    Good luck..

  398. Dominik says:

    Thanks a lot to Scott and all the others. I owned a 500GB MyBook Office and had to experience the same problems – a few klicks and thats it.

    Encouraged by all postings and the photographs I today bought a new case, moved the HD itself in to the new case and there you go.

    This was definitely the very last WD external drive I ever bought.


  399. Svend says:

    Just want to say i follow this instruction, i took a step further and completely demounted the drive from the external box.

    I now use it as a normal internal drive.

    This guide have been a blessing, thank you very much!

  400. Jack Bekhor says:

    Thanks for this, it was extremely useful and your instructions were clear and easy to follow.

    It would appear my issue is that drive (400GB SATA) is dead – it’s making a loud clicking noise and isn’t recognised by any of my computers.

    I am not too concerned as I was using it as a backup drive and the original files still exist.

    Does anyone know if i bought a 2TB SATAII hard drive, would it work in the My Book drive enclosure ?

  401. John Jones says:

    Hello, perhaps this posting may be off topic but anyhow, Having been browsing around your web site and it looks really neat. It is obvious you know your topic and you seem fervent about it. I am constructing a fresh site and I am attempting to make it look good, as well as present the best quality message. I’ve gleaned a good deal from this web site plus I look forward to a great deal more quality information and will be returning soon. Thanks you.

  402. Larry says:

    Thanks very much. My 500GB MyBook was not responding and not visible from my computer. Based on your iformation I suspected that I may have either a power or USB controller issue. I removed the drive from the case and installed it in another external drive case that I already had. It works just fine now. I had many precious videos on the drive so this has really helped me. Thanks

  403. Johnny says:

    I have also problem with this WD MyBook Essential products.I just bought mine and already problems. Then see this forum here and then I can say that I will throw this product out the window and buy another brand.


  404. Abax says:

    I have WD 1TB HD and same thing happnen to me and if i’m not saving my data with some software i’ll use you’te tip. My HD still have warranty, so if i can save data with software solution, i’l do that and take HD back to get new one But before that i’m wondering if HD without casing can be attached in to the PC same as internal HD?

  405. kevin says:

    i have had a problem with my WD MyBook 1tb. i am posting on a bunch of forums trying to get help. the drive worked well for my macbook pro for weeks. then after a spell of not using it (during which i fear some kids may have knocked it off a table) i tried to use it again. it started powering up like normal but did not mount and then it sort of “died”. when plugged into the power source the LED blinks about once a second but there is no spinning….when connected to my computer as well, even the light stops. someone suggested to me that it could just be a power problem and that i should get a new caddy.
    i dont know much about this stuff. i managed to get it apart but i dont really know what im looking at or what to do next. ideally, i would like to address the power problem by reconnecting something, but it doesn’t seem that obvious. i am willing to buy a new caddy to recover my data if that is cheaper than all that other junk. also now that it is open im sure i have lost my warranty….possibly never had it because i didn’t buy it directly from WD. please help or point me in the right direction

  406. Peenak chatterjee says:

    i have a WD 1tb hard disk and i think that its power adapter has failed, so i want to recover data but i cannot find screws to open it plz help it contained photos of my sisters wedding

  407. Abax says:

    Here: http://www.adcworks.com/2008/06/diy-how-to-rescue-data-from-your-western-digital-mybook/

    I hope it helps. I didn’t do it my self yet, becasue my HD still had warranty and I laready buy new one os i’ll try to rescua data some how and send HD bank to manufacturer.

  408. Mr Boo says:

    These drives are still failing badly…Its definitely the power circuit or power adapter causing problems.
    I removed the drive and hooked it up to the pc, unfortunately it isn’t picked up by windows. I’ve yet to try your suggestion Abax but it is probably a setting in the bios i’ve missed!!
    I want to get the drive to show up so i can format it and return it to the place of purchase.

    I always thought Western Digital were good, reliable manufacturers. I’ll stick to their hard drives next time (never had one of those fail on me) so its back to a trusty hdd and separate enclosure i think.

  409. Abax says:

    I try it my self too, but no HD in BIOS. I’ll try to hook it to another PC/mother board and i’ll let you know. I’m pretty sure my BIOS don’t have option to turn on SATA connector and it should be detected automatically. Anyway i tried to hook up to working DVD ROM cable and i still didn’t get any visible response from HD.

  410. Mr Boo says:

    I’ve spent all day trying to recover my data. I have given up and decided to format the drive and take all the bits down to the shop…i’m getting a new hard drive online somewhere.

  411. n_wildgirl says:


    Your guide is really helpful, I’m glad I found it cause when I realised my HD was clicking, I freaked out and had no idea what to do at all…! Not to mention I didn’t know how to open it!

    But, I want to ask you something, I hope the answer is not too obvious (aka, I hope I am not stupid) 😛

    I have the disk “naked”, out of its case, and it connects via IDE cable. So, I connected it with the port of the IDE cable on my PC (the one that is used to connect the DVD-ROM device), and the disk sounded like working but did not appear anywhere.

    On the other hand, the internal HD (the C drive if you prefer), is hooked via SATA to the motherboard. So maybe this is the problem? I have to connect any HD I put inside via SATA?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  412. Robb says:

    Thanks for the info. My Book Western Digital 500GB drive died yesterday after 1 1/2 years of part-time service. The thing was flaky out of the box, but it worked and the price was cheap. I will do surgery on it like your descriptions, I hope it works!

  413. Abax says:

    n_wildgirl I have same problem and still working on solution if there is any. Friend told me that i need kable with somekind of controler. I’ll let you know

  414. n_wildgirl says:

    Abax, thanks a lot. Stay in touch 🙂

  415. shaned123 says:

    This rocked! worked like a charm and saved me the ‘data recovery’ nightmare.
    Thank you!!

  416. Anthony Maw says:

    In my experience Western Digital makes the most unreliable hard drive products of any manufacturer out there. I have replaced more dead WD drives than any other brand. Furthermore their external drive products are even worse – I’ve had to replace THREE of those WD My Books in my computing life because of failed drives and failed support electronics. Basically Western Digital products are CRAP and there is a high likelihood that you can lose data or at least have to go through the headache of making a warranty claim, if you have one. Furthermore they dont’ make it easy to open those MyBook housings and pretty much expect you to throw out the drive with the external case. I would NOT rely on WD drives, either internal or external for any data storage as you are risking your data. Luckily the dead external drives were being used as backup targets but it is still a loss. I strongly recommend AGAINST purchasing any Western Digital product until they get their reliability problems solved.

  417. Victek says:

    Thanks for the instructions and screenshots. These My Book externals are hard to get into.

  418. Jon N. says:

    Here is a strange problem with my Western Digital 500GB Mybook Essentials external USB drive.
    If the drive is connected to either my desktop PC or a separate laptop PC, as soon as I connect the drive it will freeze the computer. I won’t be able to launch a browser or get the computer to do much of anything. As soon as I unplug the USB cord from the computer, everything works again right away. The browser windows will open, etc. The drive doesn’t show up in My Computer. If I plug it in while the computer is shut down, it won’t even complete the boot process.

    Here’s the kicker: As a test and last resort I plugged it into my wife’s Macbook, and the drive is immediately recognized and I can access all files!
    At least I know I can get the data off there now. But what the heck is going on with this drive? When I first got it I performed a backup of my desktop PC just fine and was able to access files. Then I didn’t use it for several months…and that’s when this problem started.
    Any feedback or advice is appreciated, thanks.

  419. n_wildgirl says:

    Jon N., recently Western Digital sells also external drives especially for Mac. Maybe you purchased one of these by accident?

  420. Robert says:

    As an amp to Wild Girl, I just bought one… There was instructions indicating that they come pre-formatted in Fat32 so mac can read… I reformatted to NTFS as my os is W7..

  421. n_wildgirl says:

    Robert, all my externals are FAT32 but my PC reads them flawlessly, so why would this format be a problem for a PC?

  422. Robert says:

    Hi WG..
    Got your last. To my understanding and if I read your last correctly…
    you are windows, not mac? Mine’s locked up in the office..I recall some papers that arr with it…stating why it was in FAT32 vice NTFS.. alluding to Mac being the reason..
    Sorry, am not a mac per.Let me find it tomorrow and get back to you, if ness.

  423. n_wildgirl says:

    Robert, yes I am windows (unfortunately!) 😉
    I understand the reason why they are formatted in FAT32, but I’m just saying that FAT32 can also be read by desktop computers! 🙂

  424. Robert says:

    Message clearer.. concur

  425. ravi says:

    thanks for this article, i followed the guide and pictures and was able to remove hard drive in the enclosure, and then hooked it up to my computer using sata cable that came with the external hard drive, found all my saved work from a to z

    thanks thanks and thanks again

  426. ralle-usa says:

    Maybe our case will be helpful for someone with similar problems. This is what we were using:

    – MyBook World Edition 1.5 TB
    – White case with blue LED circle on front
    – European Model
    – Purchased in 12/2007
    – Set to Raid1

    The device stopped working all the sudden, no LED lights, no fan, but the hard disks were still making sounds. After a few hours of trial and error we diagnosed this (we are tech savvy, but far from being real experts):

    – The controller board must have malfunctioned
    – The B-drive was dead, don’t know if this was linked to the incident or if it stopped working a long time ago
    – The A-drive was physically fine
    – A-drive had 4 partitions, all formatted with ext3 filesystem
    – Drive was recognized by BIOS and could be found with Computer Management under Windows, but partitions were not mountable (as Windows does not understand ext3)
    – Partition and filesystem may or may not have been damaged

    We then tried about 10 different tools, none of them would recover any data and/or let Windows access the files. We got a quote from a data recovery agency, but they would only work on both drives since it was a Raid and demanded about $ 1.800 for the job (the evaluation would have been free though). We were going to set up a Linux system, but decided to give “Data Recovery Wizard Professional” from EASEUS a last try ($89.00). And this was the one and only program which not only found the data, but also recovered the whole filesystem including all folder trees.

    You can find the program here:

    I don’t know if this will work in other scenarios as well as it did for us, but it is definitely worth a try. Especially since you only have to register and pay after the program recovered data (without the full version you can’t restore the files).

    And no, I am not at all affiliated to the company publishing the software. It just worked really well for us, saved us a lot of money and solved a case that we had already declared hopeless.

    Hope that this might be helpful for someone someday, good luck to all you fellow sufferers!

  427. maxicon says:

    Very useful set of posts here. I’ve got a WD 500G MyBook that’s given decent service for a couple of years as a backup drive for a desktop. It recently failed, and won’t show up on XP anywhere – disk management, my computer, whatever.

    I wasn’t worried about breaking or marring the case, just figuring out if it was repairable or if the HD was reusable. It’s a secondary backup drive, and my primary backups are still fine, so the data is expendable.

    When it was plugged in, it would spin up, then spin down, and eventually would spin up again and light the blue light, but XP wouldn’t recognize that anything had changed when it was plugged into a USB port.

    This was the no-screw version. I had to peel off 2 of the rubber bumpers at one end to get to a couple of locking tabs, which I broke off completely with a small screwdriver. I then pried around the case to unlock the snaps, and it came right apart. The SATA drive was easily removed, and the case went back together and held firmly, even with the tabs broken off.

    I hung the drive on a USB to SATA adapter cable, and it’s still working fine with all data intact, so I’ll be buying an external USB case for SATA drives and installing it in there.

    This was a failure of either the power supply or the USB/SATA converter board. My money’s on the PS, as those are frequent failure items in modern commodity gear. I’ve had several routers and powered USB hubs die in the last year due to wall-wart PS failures.

    Shame on WD for designing gear where the electronics fails sooner than the hard drive! Save a few pennies, lose reputation and customers.

    Thanks to Scott for starting this page and keeping it online – these failures are ongoing!

  428. HYEMP3KING says:

    PLEASE!!! if anyone has this exact hard drive (the WD MyBook listed on top), if anyone can lend me the circuit board so I can change it with mine. The power on my hard drive went out a year ago or so… and I have been looking for a circuit board ever since to swap it with. I just need it for a few hours (once it works, i’ll transfer all my data to another HD) and give it backkk.

    Please, I’ll even pay someone to lend it to me! If anyone lives in the Los Angeles area, and purchased that hard drive for Costco in 2007 please e-mail me: hyemp3king1@yahoo.com


  429. ChrsTee says:

    To HYEMP3KING or anyone else having “circuit board” issues…the best thing to do is buy a Hard Drive Dock (also called a toaster). http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_slc.asp?CatId=2785&name=Hard-Drive-Docks& They run from about US$20 on up.

    You hook up the dock via USB, IEEE or even eSATA (depending on which you purchase) and then you drop in a naked SATA hard drive just like you do a piece of bread in a toaster. Some models will also accept 2.5″ laptop drives.

    For NetBooks you would have to completely remove the hard drive from its case and supports and cabling.

    This eliminates the need to open up a PC and find a SATA connection and is incredibly convenient.

    The EAUSA recovery software is a great matchup for a dock…you’ll be glad you have this duo…especially if you take care of a few PC’s for friends.

    Good luck to all!

  430. Pingback: The bragging thread - Bad Astronomy and Universe Today Forum

  431. Ali says:

    My WD hard drive lost all files due to Trojan virus, how would I recover the data, I was able to recover back the folders but not the contents of the folder (Using PC inspector software), can anyone help me with this problem?

  432. Kex says:

    Thank you a lot dude for this tutorial. I was just curious to find out what’s inside the case (was out of warranty anyway). My 250Gb MyBook is having a temperature problem. If it’s not in a well ventilated area, after half an hour of reading/writing it just won’t respond anymore and it gets inaccesible (in windows it shows me that error H:/Mft…bla bla cannot be written). I just have to wait for it to cool of , then works like a charm. Untill it heats again, of course!

  433. Nik says:


  434. Paul says:

    I have 2 MyBooks, and have just had to tear my 500Gig apart as per this blog. I am never buying another external drive ( I have several), as I have discovered the Mediasonic external cases. They have fans and I have both the 2 bay ( USB, FireWire 400 and 800), and a 4 Bay with USB and SATA. These are excellent well-made cases and come in a variety of types (USB2, FireWire 400 and 800, RJ45). I highly recommend them, and I just bought new 1 TB drives at $70 USD each.


    They have a US and a Canadian site, plus dealers all over North America

  435. John Emberley says:

    My Book must be an earlier version. No screw, just plastic locking tabs at both top and bottom, similar to your photographs.
    However, the drive in my book is an IDE drive.

  436. Christine says:

    Thanks so much for your advice. It took only minutes to get the case off. The only hitch was the SATA cable. Then I realized I could use the other connector on the WD (not mentioned in your article) to as spare on my computer. After a total of 15 or 20 minutes I powered up to find my data. Good lesson, I have since bought another (not WD) external hard drive and backed everything up to it and to a DVD. Thanks again for saving me money and my sanity!!!

  437. Hookable says:

    Another grateful my book owner sends huge thanks! I saved big bucks and all my data with this info and a @20.00 adapter from amazon.

  438. Abax says:

    I’m happy to announce i succeeded to restore my data with some special SATA cable with special controller. I have no idea what that cable did, cause i borrowed it from friend. I have information that i have to get new case or try to get HD dock and then i can use HD as external HD. That is going to look ugly and really, but it’s only way to use it from now on.

  439. Darren says:

    My World Book crashed today and would not turn back on. This is the only website I could find with the information to extract the hdd. Cheers!!!!!!

  440. Filip says:


    I have some problems with older MyBook 500GB.
    It seems that solution is make cooling of the device.
    My solution is here: http://blog.belin.sk/index.php?PgId=8&Lang=En

  441. Darvin says:

    Great writeup. My “My Book Premium” is exactly set up like yours is, except it dosn’t have a screw holding the case on, just the clips. I just checked up your site for info to be sure I get the drive out correctly, I am going to attempt to load a larger disk in its place.

  442. James says:

    Need a drive recovered and cannot do it yourself, lookup ebay seller”datamajic”. $50.00 to see if drive contents are recoverable.

  443. Kysersosse says:

    Wow!!! I LOVE YOU MAN!!!! both you scott who started this and the guy who explained how to take the Mybook apart when there is no screw. My piece of shit WD was 3 years old so no warranty, but the info was valuable since i used it to backup all my stuff regularly. I took it apart as the second set of instructions (rubber border) and took out the drive. I didn’t have a sata ready connection so I bought a sata to usb kit ($29) and the computer found it the first time but I couldn’t see it. I rebooted, same thing. I then disconnected the USB and connected it back and my hard drive worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    HERE IS THE KICKER! everyone told me if you hear the clicks of death then the drive is done! well I sure did hear the clicks of death when i took the MYbook apart, and tried one more time for the hell of it using the controller board that comes inside the enclosure, and it clicked and clicked, I wanted to take out my sledge hammer and go to town on it. Then i decided to get the usb kit. I got all my data, the drive was fine, nothing wrong at all. I tried again the controller that comes with the Mybook and it clicked and clicked……
    The Mybook controller is a piece of shit! but the drive works just great, I am putting it inside my pc!
    Thank you so much for all the info guys!!!

  444. ryan says:

    I had bought a western digital my book similar to yours and have had a similar problem, to the extent that the usb port on the hard drive has come away from the board due to faulty soldering. all i am wondering is whether the outer shell and power board are available to buy separately and if so where

  445. Kysersosse says:

    Update to my earlier post:
    After taking it apart and finding out that the hard drive was still alive even after hearing the so called “clicks of death” I tested the board some more by testing all the different components that the luxury of mybook offers, it turns out that all of it worked EXCEPT For the power supply part of the mybook board that powered the hard drive. I have it put back together now as it was except I cut a slot in the shell just above the sata power supply side of the hard drive, got a sata power converter ($5) connected it to the hard drive throught he cutout and into the PC in an available power connection. It’s working GREAT!!!
    Moral of the story: I am glad this post is here because without it, I would have cried for days for the lost data! You might hear the clicks of death but don’t give up!!!! Really don’t! someone might try to charge you a lot of money to “recover data” while all is ok!

  446. Alky Styles says:

    I have the same external drive but a different problem…I’ve been backing up all of my work data on this piece of shit only to find out that ALL of my Adobe Illustrator files are corrupt and unusable. Fortunately, I only deleted 20 accounts before realizing the problem but I still need those damn files. Anyone have the same problem? Or can anyone offer a solution to recovering or repairing Adobe Illustrator files from a Western Digital piece of shit external drive.
    Of course, Western Digital Tech Support says to contact Adobe….And Adobe says to contact Western Digital.

  447. Howard says:

    When I try to attach the WD Model #WD3200D032 external hard drive, I receive the following message:

    “One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it. For assistance in solving this problem, click this message.”

    Is there most likely a problem with the USB port on the external hard drive case? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Take care and have a good night!



  448. Mandy says:

    I need help!!! i cant get this stupid thing to open! ahhh!!! and my data is sooooo very important i hav family pics and videos that i am just dying to retrieve or else my parents will kill me D= i would like some one on one guide through this plz?!

  449. Rob says:

    Thanks for posting this. You’re an asset to the Internet community 🙂

  450. Z-Flo says:

    So I backed up all my important files to my 500GB MyBook Home so I could redo my main OS. I figured that the files would only be on there without any backup for a week, but of course, now it doesn’t work.

    So far, I have freed it from the case and tried hooking it up directly to my motherboard using an extra SATA cable. The Bios sees it, but when i get into windows, it is nowhere to be found. I have had a few occations where it will not ever boot up… it just gets hung up.

    Next, I have tried hooking it back up using Firewire and that doesn’t work… then I tried the USB, and it finds the drive and tells me everything is working fine in my device manager, but no new drive letter is in my computer. I have tried some various recovery software and they see the drive as it is hooked up via USB, but the show that it has 0 sectors.

    It doesn’t seem to be dead, but what do I know… If anybody can help, I would appreciate somebody pointing me in the right direction, I would truly be greatful!

  451. Amanda says:

    I was once given this advice about recovering data from a clicking drive: Put it in the freezer overnight, and then hook it up and pull your data ASAP before it gets warm again. I’ve never had opportunity to try it yet, but I figure it’s worth a shot before sledgehammering. I would explain why lowering the temperature can get a faulty drive running temporarily, but I’ve completely forgotten the explanations I’ve heard for it. :-/ Something along the lines of “heat = bad”.

  452. Johan says:

    I just wanted to recommend R-Linux, for those of you who have ext2-filesystems. I took a while for me to understand that the reason to why I couldn’t see the files, when having installed the MyBook World as a second internal drive, was that it runs a linux system. Once I had figured that out I tried maybe 20 different linux to windows data recover softwares, only to find that one of the free ones was also the best one… Works perfectly on 64-bit Vista, at least. Just my 50 cents.

  453. Maria S. says:

    This site was EXTREMELY helpful.

    I have a digital photo class, and all my photos are stored on MyBook. Well, right before finals, the USB port just died. I couldn’t get any USB cable to read my files. I spent over 2 hours messing with various USB cables and tools to try and get the port to function again.
    Thanks to your walk through I took it apart and attached it as a traditional harddrive. I couldn’t figure out how to open it otherwise. (That black paint over the one screw was pretty sly)

    Now my files are safe and sound on my new more portable drive.

    Thank you so much.

  454. Johan says:

    Wanted to confirm what Alex Wright said earlier in this thread: HDD Regen is a life saver; I now had a friends hd (fat32, this time) and the clicks of death increased dramatically during a few hours of testing different softwares and finally I lost contact with the disk completely. I then checked this thread again and tried getdataback and a few others before coming to HDD regen (hdd regenerator, actually) – I installed the tryoutversion, which lets you scan the whole disk for damaged sectors and repair only the first of them. It found numerous bad sectors and managed to repair that first one… The weird thing is that after that one repaired sector I could enter the disk in explorer, just like the other disks, and I managed to copy almost all files back to c:… So, it seems to work where others fail… Worth a try.

  455. steve says:

    Very helpful guide at opening the device without damaging it. I followed all the steps to open the device but didnt have a desktop computer available to plug the drive in. I purchased USB to SATA/IDE adapter from eBay for about £15. This allowed me to connect the drive via its original SATA data and power cables to my laptop my USB. I was hoping it was just the PCB that had failed but it sadly hadnt. The drive would still not power up. Having lost all hope and ready to ditch the drive, I contacted a friend from university who did electronic engineering (useful I know).

    With a promise of a big crate of beer, he removed the circuit board below the last cover which connected the physical drive to the SATA connectors. Plugging in just the SATA power cable into the circuit board without the drive attached. He waited a moment and noticed that one of the (little black square) diodes just by the power socket was getting really hot. Apparently a diode to prevent you putting the power cable in the wrong way round. Using pair of small pliers and clippers, managed to clip the diode off. He reconnected the circuit board and the USB to SATA connectors and the drive spun up finally and was recognised by the laptop. Finally all my files were back. I put everything back together and put it back in its black case. It is now back to exactly how it was before.

    I hope this helps someone. if you know anyone with any knowledge of circuit boards then they could help. maybe take it apart and take it to an electronics specialist and ask for some help. or just connect the power and find a little diode just by the power supply that gets really hot and pull it off carefully. Note it is the SATA power socket and not the AC socket on the PCB. I would put a photo on but I cant get the drive apart again without a tiny star screw driver which I haven’t got.

  456. Mike says:


    I recently while playing with my dog dropped my 500 GB My Book off the table. The drive seemed fine but I believe something happened to the interface board for the SATA connections. I got the case apart and took out the SATA HDD. I then proceeded to buy an enclosure from Radio Shack which I thought would work but it apparently has the wrong power parameters. The version I have of My Book requires 2 Amps and the enclosure I bought only produces 1.5 Amps…. I thought it would work but it does not have enough power to function properly.

    I then looked into thermalake I believe for a docking station.. I have one on the way I hope that works if not then the drive may be toast (informatin invaluable) this would be the worse case scenario. I at one point that maybe Western Digital had it setup so that you could not use there HDD’s outside of the MY BOOK enclosure but seeing some success stories is keeping me optimistic.

  457. Tor Inge says:

    This guide saved my day (and probably more). My disk didn’t spin up today. But after removing the case and connecting the harddrive to my pc, I found out that it was 100% ok. I could get my archived files back, and that is all I’m asking for.

    I’m glad I haven’t got the 1TB drive with a raid controller. Then I would never get my files back.

    Thanks a lot!

  458. skibum says:

    Anyone file a class action lawsuit against these clowns? It is unaccepatable to have this many people lose data ovet the same issues.

  459. Steve says:

    Hey I gotta a major problem over here..Well my drive is fine, was working fine last time I used it..
    my issue is I do not have the driver for it..??? I can’t seem to find it any where’s either..I even
    forgot what I have on my slave drive..I know its nearly full thou..Any suggestions I would greatful.
    Thanks..take it easy, Steve

  460. mixmasterwizardry says:

    can i get some advise please ? i have a 1 tb mybook essential[ only has 2 ports , power + usb]. runing vista on my dell laptop. i have 800 gigs of music + music creation apps. dropped the drive. it powers up, led’s come on, reads as not initialized under disk management, and is not recognized in the my computer screen . do i replace the enclosure , is there a recommended recovery software i can try???? opening it is a peice of cake . im hoping 2 years of waisted time can be recovered ! if you can help my contact mixmasterwizardry@rocketmail .com . thanx !!!!!

  461. Trevor says:

    Well written instructions.
    Many thanks.

    Managed to prove it was the interface and not the drive at fault.
    So stuck the 250gb drive inside the PC

  462. dan cooper says:

    got one of these drives about 4 or 5 years ago. i think it was 320 GB. opened it, but was just confused. next time i have a look, i hope these instructions help rescue the data; thanks for posting them: they’re obviously needed. the drive, in my opinion, was junk. i never bought another one again, and am glad i didn’t. maxtor onetouch externals, and now some iomegas, have been working fine for me in the years since.

  463. michael says:

    Brilliant!!! My wife thanks you many times over, the WD 1Tb external stopped working, she was at a loss and devastated it might all be gone. I found your site, took it apart, got a SATA cable at the local computer store for $2 and installed it in the PC. Works great, all the data is there. Thank you again.

  464. Greg says:

    Thanks for the info. My WD5000C032 just died when I needed it most. It has all my daughter’s recruiting video stored on it and I HAVE to make a DVD for a prospective school tomorrow. I am well out of warantee but it’s good to know I might have a chance to recover the data tomorrow and salvage the DVD without starting over. I hope I can copy the raw MAC files to a DVD from a PC because that’s all I have in the office.

  465. Greg says:

    An update on the above attempt. It was unsuccessful. I plugged the drive into a USB SATA dock and the drive spun up for a few seconds but never got recognized. I guess its a total loss.

  466. Josh says:

    Does anyone know what the 12 PIN connector is once you take apart the My Passport Elite external harddrive(500 GB WD5000BMVV)? Mine does NOT spin up and the led comes on for about 1 sec then starts flashing constantly at a frequency of 1/sec and is unrecognized by my computer. I took it out of the external case to try and see if there was a standard connector but the 12 pin doesnt look familar, unless I’m not thinking…thanks

  467. EWCS says:

    Is there an esata port there also?


  468. Josh says:

    Nope…the USB board is built into the main portion of the drive, its basically 2 rows of 6 pins(12 PIN), then the micro USB port and 2 other pins just on the opposite side of the USB port. I’m starting to think the 12 pin connection is a proprietary connection for WD.
    Here is a picture showing the connections of the 500 GB HD from Yersys Technology Blog website(which is an awesome reference of pictures for all sorts of hard drives):

    Its hard to tell from the pic, but there are actually two rows of the 6 PINs, only 1 row of the 2 PINs just to the right of the USB connection.

    Does anyone know if maybe trying a Y connection(double USB power) would help? Since the drive flashes constantly I know there is power. Or is there another method of seeing if the BIOS is recognizing it? Considering the fact that it doesnt show up under my computer or under Device manager and Autoplay doesn’t work anymore. Thanks!!

  469. Ryan Pickering says:

    Hey Scott. I’ve been looking for this info for months, thanks so much for posting. I had a couple questions and frankly didn’t want to wade through hundreds of posts to find it. After removing the drive from the enclosure is it possible to access the files using a SATA/IDE to USB adapter? If so, could I continue to use the HD this way for mass storage and would you recommend it? And finally, is there any merit what I’ve heard that getting a new enclosure would save the drive? Thanks again, man. Peace.

  470. SteveC says:

    I thank the original poster Scott Cramer for showing this. I had my WD My Book Essentials for 3 years and filled almost two thirds of the useable storage space for my own personal data(music, games, ect.) Just a few days ago I went to plug it into my desktop to back up some files on it and I knew something was terribly wrong when I didn’t hear it power up when I plugged it into the adapter. My fears were confirmed when the lights didn’t come on when I connected it via the USB cable. WD tech support was of absolutely no help(I could do their job) and said the drive was gone and asked if I wanted a rebate on a new one(hell no I want my data!) or to send it to a data recovery service(cha-ching!…for them that is) Finding this guide was very helpful and I will begin the HD extraction process in another day or so.

    The one question I have is can anyone recommend a brand of external USB adapter case so I can keep this drive as an external one? Please email me any info you have because I want to conitnue to use it as an external drive until I can get another one(and based on what I read and experienced it WON’T be a Western Digital! They’re cheap but the savings in money is NOT worth data loss when the casing PCB parts die)

  471. Ryan Pickering says:

    SteveC, I’m looking for the same info. I’ll post if I find it. Do the same?

  472. SteveC says:

    Sure. We’ll tag team this and make this all easier for everyone who would like to know.

  473. Sarat U says:

    Hi Scott,

    Need your help!!
    I have a 1TB My Book Essential which was not powering ON. WD Call center told that no guarantee on Data. So I follwed your instructions here, even though it is different, i got an idea to open it. Now I have managed to get my 1TB SATA drive out and connected to My desktop Windows 7 with SATA cables. My Windows 7 recognised the hard drive and installed the necessary drivers, but hard disk was not showing up in My computer. When I opened computer management, it was showing DISK 1 Unknown, not initialized and a window comes up saying initialize disk with MBR and GPT option.

    I am afraid of losing my data if I do anthing. I have not done anything so far. There is around 600GB of data on the drive which I was collecting since when I bought my 1st computer in 1999. Pray you help me here to do this without losing any data.

    Sarat U

  474. Russell says:

    I have a MyBook Studio 1TB drive that has failed. A data recovery company have removed the drive from the enclosure and found that it is mechanically OK. However, the data is scrambled because the data is automatically encrypted by a circuit in the enclosure. Does anyone know a solution to decrypting the data? I could buy a new MyBook and try swapping the old drive into it. Do all Mybook Studio 1TB drives share the same encryption circuit, or is the encryption unique to each individual MyBook?

    If I knew that MyBook Studio drives had compulsory hardware encryption I would have steered well clear of them.

  475. Max Bridges says:

    Hey, great guide here. Though WD keeps changing their stupid casing everytime, its helpful to have something to guide you even with different casings.

    For my part, I’m having a similar problem with Sarat U, whereby I tore the HDD out from the casing and set it up to my desktop, only to find that it is not showing at all on My Computer. Seven has made sure its installed properly, and it is showing both on Device Manager and Computer Management, and in my case mine is showing that it is online but unallocated with the full 1tb empty.

    Now I had close to 1tb of miscellanous files in there, and am lost as to what step I should take next. Will continue trying some stuff, but if anybody knows of a way around this please do share =)

    Much obliged

  476. Max Bridges says:

    To Sarat U

    Solution on this website:

    I tried it out by connecting the HDD internally at first, it didn’t work. So I tried it with the HDD connected to the MyBooks usb adapter(?) and it worked perfectly. I suggest you do that, backup all your stuff, and just use your MyBook as paperweight

  477. Russell says:


    Some newer MyBook models feature 256 bit AES hardware encryption. A chip in the enclosure encrypts data as it is written to the drive and decrypts data as it is accessed from the drive. Encryption is automatic and it cannot be disabled.

    If your MyBook enclosure dies (which seems to be very likely) and you take the drive out, your data will remain encrypted. The amount of data will show but it will be completely scrambled and data recovery software will not help. As the encryption is unique to each enclosure, mounting the drive in a new MyBook enclosure of the same model will not decrypt the data.

    Many retailers and some WD support staff do not even know that certain MyBook models feature encryption.

    WD support eventually recommended Datamechanix, a data recovery service in California. Datamechanix confirmed that they have a solution to the MyBook encryption problem and have a high rate of success. They need the drive and the original enclosure so they can read the code off the chip. The cost is estimated at USD $500 – $1000.

    In my case the problem had an unexpected solution when a data recovery service in Australia were successful in accessing the decrypted data via the USB port of the original enclosure (the drive would not power up at all using FireWire).

    My hard drive is a MyBook Studio 1TB, apparently MyBook Elite are also encrypted and possibly other recent models. If you are using a MyBook that has hardwear encryption, I strongly recommend that you back up all important data. Once the data is backed up I would consider removing the drive from the MyBook enclosure and initialising the drive without encryption. Then break the enclosure and the troublesome encryption chip into tiny pieces for recycling into something less dangerous, like plant pots.

    These encrypted drives are still quite new. I have no doubt within 2-3 years we will see a large number of people struggling with data recovery from encrypted MyBooks. I would love to see a class action against WD.

    Thank you to Scott and everyone who have contributed to this forum. WD support would be wise to learn from your example.

    I am not a computer expert, but it seems very clear that scrambling your data via a chip in a cheap enclosure is a recipe for disaster.

  478. Mike Mc says:


    I am a tech/network admin…and I gotta hand it to ya – you are da man!! I had a 500GB My Book 1st gen and I thought the heads went on the HDD – so I was almost crying about losing 10 years worth of data that I never got around to backing up!

    Turns out that it was the crappy power supply in this My Book external USB drive…we do get a lot of power surges here in FL…so…I guess the fault may lie with me as well. Point is – your guide helped me get the casing off and figure this out and I am very grateful!

    Shoot me an email anytime if I can return the favor…


  479. nami says:

    i did what you told but i have mybook world edition en if i connected to my pc of Mac i see one drive whit 4 partition but i can’t see the data
    Can you help me

  480. Lance says:

    Your “handbook” has been very helpful to me, thanks a million.
    One question: In my case the internal circuit board of my MyBook Essential external drive ceased working and has to be replaced. Where do I find this little board? Where can I possibly buy this?
    The HDD survived and is still in working condition as I tested it as internal drive on my computer.

  481. Chris Ng says:

    Hi Scott,

    I should I do if I have the My Book Pro II it is the 2TB with two hard drives inside. Can I recover the files individually or they have to go together as one volume?

    Thank you so much.


  482. Fred Oudendijk says:

    how I open the case off a WD10000H1

  483. Mike says:

    You are brilliant..! Thanks a ton for this information. My external WD harddisk stop working a couple of weeks ago and like many, I thought all my family pics and videos were gone. The light came on the drive, but wouldn’t spin – just a solid blue light that wouldn’t circle like it did in the past. Also, I kept hearing a constant ticking sound, every second or so. The harddisk wasn’t recognized in disk management, no traces of the data – it was pooched.

    I read you post and bought a SATA to IDE converter, not knowing that I had SATA capabilities on my motherboard. Good thing, too, as I couldn’t get the harddisk to be a slave drive – plugged it into the SATA plugins on the motherboard and I now have all of my data once again.

    I’m going to keep it as an internal drive, sitting on the bottom of the box until I get a replacement.

    Thank you once again Scott. I really appreciate your post and everyone’s feedback.

    Just for reference, my WD harddisk is WD5000AAJS, 500gigs.

  484. Mike says:

    Scot, is there any reason you didn’t go further and remove the extra casing containing the firewire / usb / power plugs, as well as the failed circuit board with the ribbon cable coming off from it?

  485. Deber says:

    My WD 500 GB My Book mdl WD5000P032 failed. I bought it in 2007 and used it hard for 3 years. The power seemed to be working but the drive would not spin up or mount and it was not recognized in computer management. My backup was 6 months old so I was very happy to find your site. With help from posts I was able to open the My Book case and extract the HDD. I placed the HDD in a older SATA external case that I had stashed in a misc computer parts box. The power cable was not with it so I had to hunt a bit to find one compatible but the results are that I now have my data back. I am ordering a replacement drive as soon as I finish typing this. Thank you all for sharing.

  486. Jim Cooper says:

    Hi Scot (and others)…

    Incredibly fortunate to have Googled “WD hard drive not recognized or boot” and finding this post. Mine was clicking and not booting. Before that was a telltale start and stop spinning disk often.

    I followed the directions to a ‘T’ and inserted the bare HD into my Mac Tower Pro. Boot up, fingers crossed…. Voila!

    I had already bought a 1TB HD and immediately transfered my data over. Just in case.

    Here’s a toast to you! 🙂


  487. Jim Cooper says:

    BTW, to all who are pulling their hair out over losing data:

    Even though I was one of the lucky ones to have recovered mine, I had 50gb of my most important files on an online backup server (Amazon WS/Jungle Disk). You can’t completely trust electronics, and even still the possibility of a home fire is real.



  488. DeadPoet says:


    Thanks for this great article!

    Seems like I’m one of the few people where the drive is actually broken (tore my 500GB MyBook FireWire800 (WD500H1Q) apart and hooked the drive to a PC – didn’t work as well) but the enclosure is fine.
    As FireWire800 cases are quite expensive, I’d like to re-use my one and ordered a 2TB WD (WD20EARS). Did anybody had luck installing a new drive in an old enclosure? I read the post by Fisslefink, but I wonder how the board would be reset by using the screwdriver short circuit but w/o power attached to the board.


  489. Sam Roitman says:

    Data Recovery, Honesty, Medical Science & Plumbing

    Five years ago, I decided to go into the Data Recovery business. Prior to entering, I had more than twenty years of computer experience. I did nearly everything there is to do in computers, including owning my own computer store. One of my clients, at the time, returned from a trip overseas and brought back hundreds upon hundreds of digital pictures. He transferred them to his computer, lost his camera and then his hard-drive suddenly died. Without any backup, he frantically called the most advertised data recovery company – Ontrack – their prices started at $2,000. That was beyond the amount he wanted to spend. So, that’s when I decided to take a crack at it.

    I searched online and saw that Ontrack sold their own software program for do-it-yourselfers for only $100. I downloaded a free demo and ran it. No dice. Some pictures came out, but the majority was corrupt. Fortunately, there were at least three more programs to try. I downloaded another program and after two hours the results were perfect. I decided to buy the full version for $200 and re-ran it.
    I asked my client for $1000 – he was ecstatic. That’s when I decided to go into data recovery business. And after five years I’m still in it.

    This was my FIRST DISHONEST MONEY I EARNED doing data recovery. I spent only an hour of my time ONE HOUR for $1,000? That’s not honest – that’s highway robbery! But at the time, I thought there was nothing wrong in it – my client was very happy. Most of all, I was more than happy and I discovered a new career!
    Of course a lot of things have changed for the better over the in the past five years …But still, it is so easy to be taken to the cleaners in data recovery.
    I like to compare data recovery to medical science. Sometimes we use similar vocabulary. When we need a matching hard-drive for parts to repair a “sick” one, we call a “donor” drive. Why? Because a “donor” has to “match” in many parameters, it is often impossible to procure.

    In reality, data recovery is probably close to plumbing. Remember, Vincent Gardenia in “Moonstruck”? He explains to every potential client that “pipes are made of copper and brass” and then he raises his finger and says with great meaning: “AND I ONLY USE COPPER!”… That’s just like data recovery! Some people are so afraid of their computers and for their data, that they are totally lost when something out of the ordinary comes up on their screens (other than usual Windows or Apple).
    The first thing most people do is panic. Then they’ll call their friends, a friend of a friend, Dell, HP, the nearest computer store, Craigslist, etc. Then they get an earful. Here’s the usual scenario phone call:
    Does your drive click?
    What freaking drive? Where is it? Why should the thing click?
    Do you have a “Blue Screen of Death”?
    What the F…k Is that

    Do you know how to run the drive diagnostics? And so on…
    Actually, data recovery is nothing like plumbing in one very big respect because you’re never hit by a fountain of feces. There is so much one can do on his or her own, even someone who knows nothing about computers (only how to turn it on and off). That’s why I decided to put it all on my website – just a few pages: www.RescueYourData.com I haven’t decided how to title it though.

    “Naked Truth about DATA RECOVERY” or
    “Questions about DATA RECOVERY you never thought of asking” or
    “Tips and Tricks about DATA RECOVERY” or
    “Read this to save $$$ on DATA RECOVERY” or may be
    “Issues in DATA RECOVERY you should know about”

    It was so easy in the beginning to charge hundreds of dollars for jobs requiring very little time. To my great shame, I admit taking money for something that didn’t even qualify as data recovery, for instance, virus infection or something of that nature.
    When I talked about this to my friends, all I heard was approval and cheers. But it bothered me more and more. Luckily, those situations became less and less frequent as more people went into the data recovery business. I think that some of these data recovery guys hoped for those very cases to make quick an’ easy money. So, one day, four years ago, I just gave myself my own word – no more.
    Despite easy justifications like: “What about this guy when I had to give it away, and what about that charity case…”. From then on, it became very simple. Eventually, it became fun to watch a client’s face clearly say, “You could’ve screwed me and you haven’t. Thank you!”

    Sam Roitman
    Certified Data Recovery Professional

    Rescue Your Data Corporation
    353 West 48th Street, 3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10036

    866-460-4518-toll free


  490. Shannon Poulos says:

    You saved me a ton of time. Thanks!!

  491. Bram says:


    I have a My Book World Edition that worked great over the past few years. Now I’ve openend it up, hook it up to my computer with a sata cable, went into the bios and the drive was automatically detected.

    Good thing I thought, I then fired up the pc only to see that the drive is installed by windows. But it doesn’t show up in “My Computer”.

    It’s the same problem as this person has:

    nami says:
    September 9, 2010 at 2:14 pm
    i did what you told but i have mybook world edition en if i connected to my pc of Mac i see one drive whit 4 partition but i can’t see the data
    Can you help me

  492. Pingback: My Book World Edition – BIG PROBLEMS | First-gear.be

  493. tolo says:

    genius!!! thanks. I got my data back! never buying an “external desktop” drive again and certainly not from WD.

  494. Hanson says:

    I have no plans of opening up my external hard drive without an expert’s guidance… but now I do, thanks for the info!

  495. Karl says:

    My WD 1TB 2007 drive just stopped working and locks up shortly after power on so i took the case apart and installed the drive into my sata PC to get the data only to find the drive format is linux so a quick download of (Ext2 IFS for Windows) allowed me to mount the drives partitions on my Windows XP machine and recover ALL of my data.
    Google Ext2 IFS for Windows it works great and saved my A** from the wife 😉

  496. Roger Dodger says:

    Thanks so much for this site! I have a WD 320GB external drive (long out of warranty) that died after I merely unplugged it, moved it over to a new desk, and plugged it back in! I removed it from the WD enclosure, put in in a new external box, and still got the dreaded “four clicks of death.” But following a suggestion on this site, I put the drive in the freezer for a few hours, took it out and turned it back on and presto! working again! Am now sucking all data off the WD onto a new Seagate! Thanks again!

  497. Tarek Siala says:

    I Have Western Digital MyBook 1TB USB 2.0, and when power up the led is light and i can hear HDD Motor Engine, but when i put USB cable in my PC the PC can’t see USB!

    i think i must eject HDD and try it with SATA, right?

    any one have same problem ?

  498. Josh H says:

    I am having the same problem as Tarek, only I have a WD My Passport Elite 500GB drive. The light comes on for about 10 secs, then starts flashing at roughly 1 flash/sec.

    It doesnt show up under My Computer any more and occasionally spins up; but when it does, it will spin up for roughly 10 secs then stop – with still not luck be recognized.

    I even had WD send out a Y USB cable to increase the power supply to the drive; however that didnt work. I’ve taken my drive apart, tried plugging it in to several different computers, even using the shortest cable possible – but still no luck. I should also mention there is just a Micro USB connection(when you take the case apart) on the bare drive with several pins next to it. I might send it back but I want the data! Any thoughts? Sounds like Tarek and I have similar issues and help would be appreciated!!!!

    Also, this sucker is a pain to open but it can be done without breaking tabs, I found the key was to gently wedge in a thin yet wide surface area tool all around the seems starting from the right side long edge if looking at the drive from the top down, I used a thin steel engineering ruler, if anyone needs help let me know

  499. Max Bridges says:

    Another WD died, much older one… Managed to recover my files using the same method as the one I posted above. Time to kick the bucket for WD products hey?

  500. Martin says:

    My Passport Essential SE 1TB with not luck be recognized. Flashing after few seconds. Same problem as Josh etc.; Does anyone know what the 12 PIN connector is once you take apart the My Passport Elite external 2.5″ harddrive?

  501. Steve says:

    I found this site a few months ago after my Western Digital 500 GB external hard drive quit on me and I was desperate to recover my data. Some where I have a commet or two that I left. I took apart my drive and vowed that when I got the chance I would put it into a new enclosure. Well I did and I have all my data back and it works just like new!(Sabreant brand enclosure) The model WD I had bought thankfully had no data encryption. I will never again buy any prepackaged external hard drives(WD customer support is a useless joke)….especially with data encryption because once the enclosure PCB dies your data is inaccessible. I will upgrade to a 1 0r 1.5 terabyte drive by buying the drive and enclosures separately and putting them together. And mad thanks to Scott Cramer for telling me how to do this so I could save my data!

  502. Joshua Turner says:

    THANKS. This article just saved my life. I had all of our wedding pictures backed up to this WD-500. Thanks again and great work.

  503. JN says:

    thanks so much for the guide, pics and all the comments. i was able to get my drive open – it had no screw but two extra tabs on each side on the back – get the drive out and it’s now a functioning internal drive.

  504. BFisch06 says:

    Your guide was the first I found online that showed there was a screw in the case. I can pulled most of the tabs away but couldn’t figure out why the case wouldn’t come off. After 10 minutes of intense scrutiny I determine I saw the underside of a screw, but the “sticker” covering it didn’t seem like any sticker I had ever seen. Googling pointed me to your site, confirming the location of the screw. Thanks again for the great write up – clear, concise and excellent pictures. Oddly enough I needed to disassemble to have a SATA to USB interface – both the drive and the USB board still work.

  505. Dark-Otaku says:

    Thanks a million!!!

    It really help me a lot. (Finally I managed to open up the damned thing!!)

  506. rob says:

    I followed the instructions to the letter and when I powered up my PC the WD drive just made a series of clicking sounds..just like it did before I took it out of it’s enclosure. It did show up in the BIOS listed as Unknown Device. 🙁

  507. Theresa McCloskey says:

    followed directions – hooked up drive with sata cable and power and now pc does not boot -need to recover all my files from the wd my book 500gb any suggestions

  508. Jim Cooper says:

    Your PC is trying to boot off the *new* hard drive. Someone smarter than I will be able to tell you how to change this back in the bios setup. Do a Google search on ‘Bios setup’ on your model. Idiot question, but I’ll ask: Did you add or switch cables?

    Good luck.

  509. Theresa McCloskey says:

    i tried all cables first usb and power connections – still didn’t work

  510. Jaclyn Belarde says:

    That sounds fine though i’m just still not too sure that I prefer it. Nonetheless will look far more into it and decide personally! 🙂

  511. Elmer says:

    Inspired by this tutorial I also opened my Mybook Essential 1 TB. My type is a bit newer, so there is no screw in it anymore. Just pry it open at the edges on the back with a screwdriver and push it forward. It’s hard but it’ll open up eventually.

    I’ve now installed it on my other pc as a sata-drive, I’m going to test it in a few minutes and see if I have my documents back 🙂

  512. Sirlansa says:

    This is a great forum (although becoming a little long)!
    My WD 5000H1CS died last night (no light, no sign of life); I’m hoping it’s just a solder joint as mentioned near the top of the forum.

    My problem is getting the case open. It’s still under warranty I think and I’d like to get the data off before sending it back, if the solder fix doesn’t work.

    This case has no screw and has 4 rectangular black feet on the case bottom — mfg’d 2/16/08. I’ve pried all over this thing but find no tabs or anything that will release, or even break!
    Could someone post pictures of where to pry? Please!

  513. Cian says:

    Worked for me. Same drive, same problem. Removed drive and ran with an external adapter and different power supply, was able to recover my data. Thanks!

  514. Kaj says:

    You guys are so lucky. I have a 2TB mirror editioin WD MyBook piece of crap.

    It has a RAID controller (since it can mirror or stripe the TWO 1TB disks).

    So me taking them out and putting them in my PC does nothing since I need the same raid controller that’s in the crappy WD case in order to read my data 🙁

    WD’s support is so bad. Their external disks are the most unreliable pieces of crap I’ve ever come across. I know lots of colleagues and clients that have the same issues with their WD myBooks… DONT BUY THEIR CRAP…!

  515. Greg Perreault says:

    Scott, YOU DA MAN ! I have an old MyBook 160GB that quit, and I was going to put in a 320GB I bought at a garage sale. But in the 320GB box was an 80GB EIDE, and the box+drive is SATA. I found the screw under the tape, and then pried and broke a few tabs. My second WD failure is a 500GB USB+Firewire that is “corrupted and unreadable”, hangs XP before I can get to CHKDSK. Just ordered 1 each Rosewill RCW-608 and VANTEC CB-ISATAU2 USB to SATA+IDE adapters from New Egg for $20 each. Thus I can connect the liberated drives without “getting under the hood” on the computer, which is going to get a new Seagate 1TB internal to fill that slot. Each drive was for Acronis backup, and did not have any unique data to require recovery, so I was not “stuck”. Sympathy to some of you posters above who are. Thank You Scott for being a Team Player. Nominating you for Captain ! Seconds ?

  516. jennifer says:

    thank you sooo fucking much! I’ve spent so much time trying to recover my data but no use. finally i came across to your web site and at least i can connect my drive internally. great job scott!

  517. Leo says:

    Thanks for the info but my new 2TB 3.0 My Book Essential didn’t find any screw positions. WD needs to fix their damn external drives, truthfully not just them other brands too I had issues with their external drives.

    I trust WD I really do but their externals are crap. I recently lost all data in 1.5TB MyBook. What frustrated me was that drive bought 7 months and only switch on 10 times! That is it! I never use it almost new. When my old pc was dying I quickly bought it to backup everything 1.2TB worth of data on it. Didn’t even unload it into new pc before the damn drive died. 🙁 Those data are totally gone since it can’t even boot up.

    I wish my new pc has space to put more internal drives but this is new cheapo Acer don’t even have space to screw more than 2 drives into it forcing me to rely on external drives.

  518. Russell says:


    Have you tried connecting the drive by the various connectors – USB, Firewire – with the drive in the original enclosure? If one of the connecters has failed the other may still be functional. This happened to me with a similar drive.

    Your drive may be encrypted, in which case it cannot be read once installed in another enclosure. If you dig hard enough on the WD website you may find out if your model is encrypted or not. Encrypting cheap drives, and not clearly disclosing it, is madness and I hope WD get sued all the way to bankrupcy.

    I posted on this forum about encryption and a data recovery option on August 23, 2010. DO NOT TRUST CRITICAL DATA TO ENCRYPTED MYBOOK DRIVES!!!

    I hope this helps.

  519. JMB says:

    So I have a WD MyBook 400gb. Heard the clicks of death and then read EVERYTHING I could about if online (Including this entire post and every comment). Was able to open it up and get my HD out. Bought the SATA cord and my macbook still does not recognize it and it still CLICKS! When I restart, it says drive is not recognized and then allows me to go to disk utility but it does not show up. The HD also starts/stops spinning when I turn my computer off/on…Any help or am I just screwed?

  520. vc says:


    Thanks for doing this, although i have not tried it yet it is a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dreary situation. I was wondering if this process can be done using a lap top – i ask because i don’t have access to a desktop comp. just wondering and thanks!


  521. SteveC says:

    Beware of cheap replacement enclosures! I bought a lower end one several months ago and it died on me after not even three months. I never liked the fact that the enclosure did not secure the drive in place and it shifts when moved. I also learned that even if the enclosure has a power switch that you still must safe eject it like any other USB external memory devices(the enclosure I had was so cheap that it made no mention of this in the “instructions”(if you even want to call them that) I now bought an enclosure that has a 3 year warranty on it. That’s a whole lot better than WD’s crappy 6 month warranty or whatever it is(about a year but still crappy)

  522. ScottW says:

    We have a Western Digital “My Book” Essential Edition 640 GB external hard drive that we purchased several years ago, model # WD6400H1U-00. Within months of purchasing it, it was knocked over and now it will not power-up. it’s clearly out of warranty, so we’re not worried about destroying the housing, and we requested a quote for data recovery – to the tune of $700 – ouch. I’m leaning toward opening the case to retrieve the hard drive, but know very little about computers. Your instructions seem straight forward, am I as likely to be successful following your steps as someone who knows a lot about computers? Are there any computer “common sense” things I should be aware of so that I don’t damage the data while removing the casing? Thank you!

  523. WDsuX says:

    Bottom line…Western Digital products suck! Everyone I know that has had a “My Book” has always had problems with it within the first few years of using it. I just got the clicks of death on my 250gb My book after having it for 3 years. I’m one of the lucky ones that has had it running longer than the average 1 or 2 years (judging by the posts and referring to friends that have had theirs crash within the first 2 years). Never again will I purchase a Western Digital anything!!

  524. RoboMac says:

    Thanks for providing wonderfully detailed information about uncasing your WD drive and for providing a place for others to share their experiences. I lost one external WD5000AACS-00ZUB0 drive years ago. Another, a WD5000H1CS-00 failed after two years service as a clone.

    I learned a lot here but have not yet been able to open my case. Fortunately, I’ve lost no data. All my losses have been the backups of data on internal drives. Ironically, the backup drives failed, never the drives they were protecting. I intend to buy a replacement, but never again a Western Digital. I have two Maxtors running four & two years respectively. My next purchase will be another Maxtor.

  525. Brian Forbes Colgate says:

    Scott wrote,
    “Love to get the terabyte drive – but I can’t imagine it crashing on me. Argh.”

    Don’t be so certain, Scott …

    I bought a WD 1TB MyBook and it died on me. Bad drive. It was my backup. It failed only once … of course, that was the time it was critically needed.

    More than $1,000.00 for recovery. That would pay for several years of Backup to the Cloud via Livedrive Pro Suite.

    I learned my expensive lesson. 🙁

  526. geoge says:

    8ir2wt http://fnYwlOpd2n9t4Vx6A3lbk.com

  527. Tim says:

    I have a WD My book 1TB HDD that went of the edge of my desk a few months ago and broke the USB port right off the board. I tried to hook the HDD up to my computer and get all my data off but all i get is the computer saying its RAW and wanting to format it. Does anybody have any ideas on how to get my data back cause i could care less about the drive.

  528. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for this information. My son-in-law recovered all my files from my external hard drive using your great instructions. I was especially happy about retrieving my many pictures stored on My Book. Can’t sing your praises enough…Thanks a bunch!

  529. Chris says:

    Just had to say thanks for these instructions. I salvaged some valuable data from an ancient MyBook 250GB that I had almost given up on. Cracked that case open, liberated the drive and put it into another enclosure…success! Data is transferring to a new drive now. Thanks!

  530. Rob says:

    My old 500MB MyBook quit powering up. I took it to a data recovery specialist who informed me that the power module was shot and there was damage to the platter. They estimated $650 to $850 to recover what data they could. I said no thanks. Found your post and retrieved all my data. In fact I went one step further and bought an external 3.5 hard disk enclosure and remounted the WD Drive. Works like a charm. Total cost $29.99. Thanks for your post!

  531. webcrea says:

    Your drive may be encrypted, in which case it cannot be read once installed in another enclosure. If you dig hard enough on the WD website you may find out if your model is encrypted or not. Encrypting cheap drives, and not clearly disclosing it, is madness and I hope WD get sued all the way to bankrupcy.

  532. webcrea says:

    I learned a lot here but have not yet been able to open my case. Fortunately, I’ve lost no data. All my losses have been the backups of data on internal drives. Ironically, the backup drives failed, never the drives they were protecting. I intend to buy a replacement, but never again a Western Digital. I have two Maxtors running four & two years respectively. My next purchase will be another Maxtor.

  533. IT OPS says:

    The internal contacts oxidize. I have had this happen at least 4 times on 5 drives that I use.

    Open the cover. File down the plastic catch hinges so you can easily slie the covers off when it happens again.

    Then unscrew the drive and use erase to clean off all the contacts. Works all the time.

    I am going just dedicate a PC with 8 TB with internal drives and sahe on LAN next.

  534. Larry says:

    Thank you Scott… this definitely worked!!!

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  536. DuaneBidoux says:

    I have a question: I bought a new case for my MyBook hard drive and that didn’t solve the problem. Does that mean that the problem would not be solved by your procedure of hooking up to another desktop?

    I am still unable to access the info on my MyBook.

  537. wayne says:

    Well, I spent a fair bit of time reading this site, and others, so now I’ll tell you what I did. Scott’s post inspired me to start thinking about what I could do, and the one by carltonbale.com, too, above I’m sure, also energized me. He’s on youtube taking apart his WD external.

    Here’s the long survey–a shorter (IT WILL–just scroll down, dudes and dudesses) will follow at the end!! (but it took a long time to figure out):

    My WD 2tb – western digital elements 2tb – in case anyone is surfing for keywords on the internet – crapped out after very little use. Not one chance in a million Western Digital is going to back up their product or help you out. I got the blinking white blink of death–a blink every .5 sec. or so, and my computer (desktop) would not recognize that ext. drive anymore.

    At first I did not believe that my hard drive had been cracked or ruined, but then I did come to believe that it had been. However, I just couldn’t imagine the money that it would cost to recover my data. I had just paid a lot of money to have my computer repaired. If you absolutely must get your hard drive recovered, shop around if you can. It need not necessarily cost 1000s, though it will cost 100s. Would everyone please stop saying “oh, it was all my photos of my family.” Please give me a break. In my case, it was most of my music, many films I cherish, and, yes, alot of nudity. When I had my computer done over, that involved exposing all kinds of financial information and so on, but if I had to spend 1000s to get my ext. hd. back, and expose my gathered nudity (and Human League videos) that I had not even seen to others, well, that’s a problem. What is it about porn you download but never look at–it becomes the more precious for never having been seen, perhaps, like a relative who died in a war. It took me all that time not to know!! And I still don’t.

    One thing we need to be clear on is that Western Digital external hard drives are absolutely bottom of the barrel. I, and anyone who has bought one and wound up like me, knows the deal. I was at my local dealer, that tried to shove all that WD crap out the door as fast as they could a little while back. Just junk offloaded off the back of a truck without even a plank. Such crap they wouldn’t even stock it again, and even WD won’t touch it. Pure garbage that was foisted on consumers. WD is red meat for class action, if you ask me. WD would say, “hey, it’s a competitive market; we need to provide items at the lowest price.” I get that, but when you shove out total crap that the whole world is dissatisfied with, well, it becomes another issue entirely. I have noted that, around me, WD offers a 1, a 1.5, a 2.5, a 3, and so on, but, oh, not a 2. Mm.
    Funny, that, but I guess that’s what WD pays the lawyers for. WD loves the fact that there are DIY people out there like Scott b/c they keep WD in business; unofficially, Scott and Carlton are executive VPs of customer service for WD. They don’t get paid, but in a sane world, they would be paid. The store I was at the other night had a WD box taped up and crushed like the garbage it was–how many people and refurbs had it gone through?–and still they wanted a couple hundred. When I opened my own WD, I found odd screws, one pre-stripped, and greasy marked components, as if I’d gotten some leftovers for full price.

    I’ve had a handful of external drives in my life–well, only by three brands. About 10 years ago I got one by LaCie, and man, that thing, that thing is a tank. Solid steel, sings like a chainsaw at the toughest knot–unkillable. I could throw that thing into the parking lot–I probably have–and it would not die. That thing has suffered more hard/cold boots than Alaska but it keeps on. They made things better, in those days. I always thought my Hitachi was dodgy, but dodgy didn’t know what dodgy was until it met Western Digital. What astonishing cheap crap. You really know it when you open it up.

    The solution I recommend below involves paying yet more companies for the first company’s incompetence–a kind of sick capitalistic parasitism Americans in particular love.

    So if you get the blinking white blink of death on a Western Digital 2 TB WD Elements 2TB like me, and you just can’t see your way through to pay WD, already rich from you in the first place, then listen to me:

    Carlton/Scott show you how you can use SATA-USB cords for low cost to plug in to your motherboard etc. Sounds good to me, and I bet it works. I was a little worried about it. I couldn’t even get one; I would have had to go to a store called Memory Express (xpress, whatever, it’s a chain–Best Buy or other chains may not stock them where you live–the universal adaptor/uptake thing Carlton talks about may not be available in your area–phone ahead–but if it is, by all means, check it out. Way back on this thread, I think, I heard someone say “I’ve tried everything, rocketfish, it all dosen’t work!!,” or something like that.

    Well, I was in a store, and I saw a thing called rocketfish. I did not think it would work, but after I was assured that I could take it back, I bought it.

    So HERE is the short version:

    1) WD Elements 2tb stops working after brief utility
    –light starts blinking white at roughly .5 sec intervals.
    2)Aggrieved owner reads up, and reads up, and reads up, on the web
    (and is really frankly disappointed by all the dickheads on the web who think they’re funny when they’re not–it’s a long life to live, pals, and you only shorten it by being assholes).
    3)Owner gently opens the back of his WD 2tb ext hd. Chickens out, time passes, blah blah. Anyway, it’s incredibly easy to open it up. People kept talking about on the web “is it black??” “is it blue??” “what kind of caviar is it??” Ugh. The case isn’t very sturdy. Just work it a bit with your hands. Press it and work it and loosen it up a bit. Press it; don’t leave it stiff. Once you’ve sensed its malleability (even a stone is malleable), insert a sharp-ish tool btwn the cover and the backing–maybe start at the back, where the lights don’t shine. Once you’ve worked your tool in there, work around a bit. You’ll hit something, so back off and pry a bit. Really, it’s the easiest thing in the world.
    4)Don’t worry too much about the rubber or plastic brackets holding the drive in place. Just peel them back and gently remove the entire unit, probably from the back end. By now you can see what junk WD is putting out, and you can even see how easy they’ve made it for their own technicians to get in there and try to deal with their own problems. What scandal. It isn’t too hard to lift it out, just as it wasn’t too hard to go around the seams and lift the backing off.
    5)now you are going to have to shell out, unless you do like Scott or Carlton advise above. I just plain chickened out and got the “rocketfish 3.0 3.5 SATA Hard Drive Enclosure” for abt 80$ US. You probably just do need a SATA to USB connector that could cost you much, much less, maybe 25% of the price, at a place such as Memory Xpress or whatever. You could also use what you buy once and return it in perfect order. There’s a degree of honesty about that–WD wouldn’t understand it, but there’s a degree of honesty about it. Even if you do get things working, sooner or later, you will probably need to make up a new enclosure of some kind.
    6)Look at the very end of Carltonbale’s video. He remarks that you have to get the four screws off the business end where the plugs go in–this is so. In order to move that ext. hd., you need to take those screws out (remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty), and you should start with the screws nearest the end of the device, b/c those have the least grounding or purchase–loosen those front ones first and then go back to the others that are more wired into the drive.
    7)Once you’ve got that off, then all you have to do is slip the freed hard drive into the rocketfish (as I have it) or, if you’re following other instructions, maybe just the sata. The rocketfish provides a sata plugin (just as you would need to buy if you didn’t have one, a sort of …… …. type plug). The rocketfish also has a power cord connector and a usb. You can probably manage the usb from defective external to computer easily enough–using the old defective cord, maybe. You might need an adaptor such as I think Carlton recommends, or others on you-tube do. You do need a usb, a sata, and a power connection. In my case it *was* just a case of a different enclosure, although I thought it was a cracked hard drive.
    8)The silly and really annoying part. I’d done all above, but such was my fate that I had Vista. Methusaleh was old when he met Vista. I tried and tried and tried to to get Vista to recognise, or re-recognise, my drives. No go. This is where WD, that I am always complaining about, came in handy. I got an SES driver for my specific ext hd from their site, and things seemed to start to work. In other words, don’t hope on Vista, and don’t hope much on the web–go to WD, where they are supposed to have garbage that supports their garbage and, lo,’ they might.
    9)Am I out of the woods? Not a chance. But I am trying to back up whatever I can. Ask me in a couple of days. How much can you back up, anyway? Back up far enough to hit a general? I don’t know. One crucial lesson: when your computer reassigns drive letters, let it. Do not be stuck on old habits; the habits of computers have weapons vastly more advanced than yours. Resist at all costs the temptation to reconfigure as you would like things.

    Ok I think I’m done now. Fire away, you tirds, (quoting another brilliant essayist I met online this evening) but don’t do so until you’ve heard the Bloody Hollies first!

  538. Red Indian says:

    Cheers! Really helped me a lot. Prevented me from breaking it apart.

  539. Scott says:

    To anyone still monitoring this thread… Seagate and WD cut hard drive warranties dramatically. See the link below:


  540. Chris Potter says:

    Not thinking I plugged the wrong power supply into mybook WD500032 (500). I’m almost positive I cooked controller board PWD2060-701477-001. I’m having trouble locating a replacement board and need the data on the hard drive. Is there anyway to hook up the hard drive with out the boards. I’m considering buying a new one and swapping the hard drives. Could the hard drive itself be damaged also?

  541. Robert says:

    Ok, I’m not sure that anyone is still following this very old thread, but I’m tired of Googling so here goes.

    A couple years ago I received a WD My Book Studio 1tb for Mac as a gift. I am an amateur video editor, so I have loved the FireWire 800 port. Over Christmas 2011, the drive said that it needed a firmware update. Stupid me allowed it to install said update. In the middle of installing, installation failed. After that I could not get the drive to be recognized by my Mac at all, not in Disk Utility or System Profiler. After searching the Internet, I went ahead and took apart the enclosure. The bare drive can be seen via USB on my Mac, but it sees it as an unformatted drive that needs to be partitioned. I have not erased or formatted in any way, so I think that the data should still be there. How can I get the data off?

    I don’t need all 800gb, just about 250 that is irreplaceable. My options currently are a USB sata cable which I own, and a 2010 15″ MBP. Linux options are fine, as are $100 data recovery programs. I just need to know what to do next. Thanks.

  542. Russell says:

    All data on Mybook Studio Edition is encrypted!!!

    “The bare drive can be seen via USB on my Mac, but it sees it as an unformatted drive that needs to be partitioned. I have not erased or formatted in any way, so I think that the data should still be there. How can I get the data off?”

    Hi Robert,

    You are most likely suffering from WD’s illogical and dangerous data encryption. On the Studio Edition the data is encrypted/decrypted by a chip in the enclosure. Once you remove the drive from the enclosure the decryption is not happening. Your computer may identify that there is data on the disk but will not be able to understand it. Each enclosure has unique encryption so it does not help to install the drive in a new WD enclosure.

    So, somehow you will have to get the drive working in the original enclosure. Check each of the ports to make sure it is not simply a failed Firewire port. Once the drive is back in the enclosure check if it’s possible for yo or a data recovery service to load the original version of the firmware.

    Alternatively below I have listed details of Data Mechanics in California who can decrypt WD’s scrambled data for $500 – $1000.

    If any lawyers are reading this, someone should initiate a class action action against WD for the criminal stupidity of their sneaky mandatory encryption.

    Phone support was hopeless, no-one at WD seems to be aware that the Studio drives are encrypting ALL of the data, or how to recover data in situations like yours.

    Below is an email correspondence I had with WD support, note that most of the information coming from WD is wrong and misleading.


    email: westerndigital@custhelp.com

    From WD:
    Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and Support. My name is Paul B.

    I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you; we do not have software or a method for data decryption, however; one of our authorized data recovery companies in the US is Data Mechanics, they are familiar with encrypted data and they are very successful at recovering the data, they will not charge you if they cannot get your data, see the link below to contact them about their services.


    From me:
    Hello James,

    Thank you very much for your detailed response. The data recovery process
    would have been much smoother if myself and the data recovery company had
    access to this information from the first contact with WD support back in

    I appreciate your offer to refund the MyBook drive. I have an electronic
    receipt from the Apple store that I can forward to you. Please advise me how
    to proceed.

    To clarify the operation of the hardware encrypted drives, I would
    appreciate your response to the following observations:

    1. There are no tools for encrypted data recovery. These drives use 256-bit
    > ASE encryption. Although from an end-user standpoint if no password is
    > applied, there is still a password on the unit, it is just the default
    > password. Although recovery at that point is still more difficult then a
    > standard drive, data recovery is similar. The issue arises if the end-user
    > has applied a password as even if they are able to retrieve the data they
    > are unable to break the encryption

    It seems like you are suggesting that if the end-user has not applied a
    password, there will still be a default password on the drive but the
    hardware data encryption is not activated. I do not recall setting a
    password when I installed the drive, nor do I recall needing to use a
    default password to access the drive, yet the data is definitely encrypted.
    I expect that the hardware encryption is applied to ALL data transferred to
    the drive, irrespective of any password settings. I agree that a drive with
    an encrypted password would be a useful security feature, but in this drive
    I cannot see how password settings could effect the function of the hardware
    encryption chip.

    > 2. … The encryption on the drive must be done at the time data is
    > transferred for the reason, if someone activated the security feature all
    > data would then need to be encrypted. If this were the case, it could take
    > several hours or even a couple of days to encrypt all the data contained on
    > a drive depending upon how much data was on that drive.

    I understand that hardware encryption is done in real-time as data is
    transferred, and that is more efficient than applying encryption as a
    secondary process. The problem has been that the data was encryptred
    automatically by the drive, although I have no need for encryptioin and
    there does not seem to be a possibility of disabling the encryption. I
    cannot see how the security feature can be “activated”. As I said above, I
    believe that encryption is always applied during data transfer, it is not
    optional. If my understanding is wrong, I would appreciate a link to
    documentation that describes how to enable/disable encryption.

    > 3. Concerning the hardware encryption on this drive. The encryption is
    > provided for customer safety and security. The box does state 256-bit
    > hardware based encryption. I do apologize if the technicians you spoke to
    > were unaware of this and I have forwarded this to our training staff to
    > address with all of our technicians. Unfortunately, we do not have control
    > of other company’s employees or training. Western Digital does offer a line
    > of drives that do not have encryption. This is the WD Elements drive line.
    > These drives have no included software or encryption.

    I recently checked the product information on the box of a new MyBook Studio
    drive in a computer store. The box states something like “password protected
    with 256-bit hardware based encryption.” It is an ambiguously worded
    statement, in small print on the rear of the box. Both myself and the data
    recovery technicians I have been using took that statement to mean that the
    password itself is encrypted, it does not clearly indicate that all of the
    data that is transferred to the drive will be encrypted. Since the drive
    failure I have found product information on the WD website that more clearly
    states that the drives “include 256-bit hardware-based encryption to provide
    a high level of security.”


    If my understanding is correct, the hardware encryption is applied to all data transferred to the drive, and there is no end-user control to disable this feature.

    (p.s. I was right, all of the data on the Studio drive is automatically encrypted.)

  543. Robert Cavanaugh says:

    I’ve got a G4 Mac, dual 867 MDD. I had a 750 Gb Western Digital external HD that died–no clicks of death, just stopped mounting and a couple days later the blinking light (“standby”) went out. Tried both USB and Firewire connections, different sequences, etc. and nothing. After reading a bunch of forums, it looked like my best bet was ordering a new enclosure from OWC. I did, and yesterday I installed the HD mechanism. I hooked it up with Firewire. Nothing–no blue light on the OWC unit, no HD appeared on screen or in disk utilities. I had a chat with your tech support, and he suggested I remove the drive and see if the blue light on the OWC enclosure would come on without the drive inside. I removed the drive, and the blue light came on. I experimented a bit, and as soon as you push the drive into the pins, the blue light goes off. What does this mean? You can’t do disk recovery if it doesn’t mount, right?

  544. Auberoun says:

    Tired of searching under Google, got here, and it seems there is a wealth of information regarding taking MyBook apart, but not sure how it will solve my dilema. So I hope someone is still following this thread that can help…

    I have a 750Gb MyBook Essential that I use with my laptop, I have had it for about 4 years without any problems. (It was a good price at the time, and I use it more like a portable drive.)
    Now the problem is the micro USB port on the back is broken. I have about 500Gb of irreplaceable data on it, and can’t afford to use a data recovery service. (Who can?)

    Is there any way to buy an inexpensive case and swap out the drive in order to use w/ my laptop again? Someone on the WD community suggested http://www.amazon.com/Vantec-NST-300S2-BK-3-5-Inch-External-Enclosure/dp/B0015LURY2/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1329273729&sr=1-1
    Not sure where to go from here…

  545. Tom says:

    Auberoun –

    I had some problems with several MyBook external drives recently. I followed the above instructions and took the case apart. Rather than install the drive inside a desktop computer (since I am using a laptop), I have another solution. There is a great must have product made by NewerTech. It is called the “USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adaptor” – the Swiss Army Knife of Disk Connectivity. This is a must product which enables you to connect pretty much any drive (other than SCSI) to your computer via USB. All cables, power supply, and adaptors are included. I have used this for several years to clone drives, to snag a files off of drives that have been removed from computers, etc. It is one of those few products that is a must have. It’s also quite inexpensive. I highly recommend it. Works with Mac or PC. So to recap, open the case, unplug the cables that to the drive, and use the adaptor to connect the drive to your computer, and you’re good to go. It’s a piece of cake and a very quick way to hook up most any drive to your computer. The included adaptors can handle 2.5″ HD, 3.5″ HD, 3.5″ SATA HD, DVDROM, CDROM, DVD-RAM, etc. It’s a handy tool!
    Hope this helps –
    Good Luck!

    their website is http://www.newertech.com – haven’t checked it lately, I bought my unit a few years ago from New Egg.

  546. Tom says:

    By the way – an addendum to the above note. It turned out that the reason the drives were not working was not the WD drive, or any components in the case, but the problem was the power supply. This was a big surprise to me, as the first thing I did was check the power supply voltage and it was correct. However, under load, it didn’t deliver the proper current. The odd thing is that this happened with TWO of four of the power supplies. Both were plug into surge protectors, but they failed anyway. So, if you have several MyBooks, and one seems to fail, you might try switching power supplies and see if that’s the problem.

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  548. WEEX says:

    Hello. I’ve got a big trouble with my WD10000, seems like your model.
    It does not mount anymore… and i nee to get the data’s back !… absolutely, since they are rushes from a movie we did… oops.

    Then i was thinking to open it, take the drive and put it back in a new WD case…
    But does it have to be the same exact model case ???

    LIke WD10000H1 ? it can mount in a WD10000E or from same generation ?

    Thanx for your help !

  549. Jason says:

    Really great post on recovering from a hard drive failure. I will note, however, that this fix is something that is mainly going to work when there is a problem with the hard drive enclosure. If you’ve got a clicking hard drive, though, you’ll probably either have to go to a data recovery service, or just scrap the drive!

  550. Ben says:

    Thank you so very much. I was wondering how to open that case. I have had my MYBOOK for over 6 years and on today it started the not booting thing. The switch is the problem. So I opened it, and to my surprise, the hard drive was IDE. I just happen to have an external IDE case. So I screwed it into the case and powered it on, and I am up and running. Now I can complete rebuilding my wife’s computer. All of the software was stored on this device. Thank God you had these instructions posted. Not being funny. But my next step was going to be a hammer to get the drive out of the case…smile.. Good save…

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  552. Patrick Gariup says:

    Finally some hope…I won’t vent on the negative….I will try the step by step and cross my fingers and hope that 6 years of un backed-up pictures will be recoverable..I have 6 hard drives and now will back everything up…you trust technology till it shafts you..

    Thanks for now..

  553. Akim says:

    Here is my story, I wish I read your blog before I bought a WD! Already posted this post on Carltonbale’s, and then his blog leads me here.

    I have a WD external 1T Book Elite. Couple of days ago, I needed a file from it, after using it, I didnt remove it from my pc, I just turned off my pc normally and went for a nap. After napping I turned my pc on and found out I couldnt access my WD any more. From “my computer”, I can see that my pc can see the WD, but can’t read it normally. As I clicked to the WD, it asked me to “format” the disk. I didn’t format it because I know it would destroy all of my 500Gb data.
    Also from “my computer”, I could see that my pc can see the WD, but when I click to “properties” it says, “free space, 0 byte; occupied space, 0 byte”. So to me, it simply means my pc cant read the WD any longer.
    I brought my WD to a kinda repair shop, desperately asked them if they can save my data? My WD has no physical damage, neither ‘formatting damage’. They said they can save 100% of my data, but the price is INSANE!!!!! And they said to me that it would take them daysssss to take out my data since they would have to take them out byte by byte! If this is true?
    Furthermore I have private data in my WD, I dont want them to be read by shops.
    I have some questions for you, and you might know what I wanna hear, but please just tell me the true. My data mean everything to me. I’d pay that insane price to save my data, but hoping that my brother can help.
    My questions are: by any chance, the failure is caused just because “the circuit board inside the enclosure”? If so, just simply remove the case and take out the data normally by using other cables?
    You said in your blog, that you connected your HD to another pc mainboard. If it’s possible to connect the HD after removing the case via USB gate and take out the data? I’m not very good in this field but I saw my brother used some kinda cables to take data outta old HD via USB gate before. Is it more difficult to take out the data from a WD in this case?
    Please let me know. I’d ask my brother to remove the case, and have my data saved. He is an IT guy, and I trust my brother. The problem is he lives hundreds miles away from me.
    Thank you!

  554. Akimi says:

    Sorry, my name is Akimi, its typo!

  555. Rosette says:

    Thanks so much for this post. I have a WD My Book Premium II which has two 1TB drives inside. It stopped mounting to my iMac so I took them out of the enclosure and connected one to my PC as you did above. However, I could not see the data at all even after rebooting. Like an idiot, when I had first configured these drives to my Mac, I set it as Raid 0. I’m paying for it now. So I downloaded and ran Partition Recovery from Disk Internals on the drive. It was able to find a bunch of files, but they are all not showing their original filenames. I’m guessing this has to do with the RAID config I chose and the other parts of the files are on the 2nd disk. I’m not a technical person especially when it comes to RAID, so what are my options? If I were to buy a SATA to USB cable for the drives, could I reconnect them to my iMac and the data would then be seen again or should I try and use a RAID Recovery software like ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery and run it on each of the drives? All of my music and movies are on these drives. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

  556. Akimi says:


    My friend used File Scavenger to save my data. It took us 2 days. We didnt take the hd outta the enclosure yet. Good luck to you!

  557. Szasz says:

    Mine model has the same appearance (model no.: WD5000C032-002). However…
    Where you got your screw I got the same plastic cover like in every corner. No sticker, no painting.
    It is definitely a screw there because the casing fits more tightly there but I have no idea how can I remove the plastic cover without doing damage.

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