However, with most hardware level encryption systems, everything – including the low level partition and disk structures – is scrambled. trying to find a used one on ebay. Rick. I have used a WD Mybook Essential 3TB since 2014 without installing any of the WD softwares which came along and likewise dont remember setting up any encryption using the provided softwares. Hi, Joey Smyth. These 32 bytes are protected behind a default “key” which is the empty key. I have connected the HDD directly to the motherboard but the computer stops at “Starting Windows” screen. Second drive failed in 13 months. If the Enclosure fails … then simply remove the hard drive and put it in any other enclosure or SATA USB adaptor and you can easily recover and see your data. Great blog going on here. previous pc was vista.. Natalie, I think the partition on your hard drive was accidentally erased due to an improper dismount/disconnect. Does it mean that it is encryption free ? What B.S. For this reason, I highly recommend not using the hardware-based encryption unless you have a solid off-site backup plan, such as Backblaze. It’s a reliable drive, although it isn’t quite as fast as our top pick. The encryption systems used in Western Digital's portable hard drives are pretty pointless, according to new research. If you encrypt your drive, data recovery is even more difficult, so I strongly recommend using an online backup service. However I already ordered the ORICO enclosure, hoping this help to expand the possibility of formatting the HDD. I included this in the post and gave you credit. Ive read that to format a WD encrypted drive, you have to go through the original hardware chip. I am unable to view any of the data on the device. Both will be about the same, so id get the cheaper of the two The WD My Book and uses encryption in its enclosure that is not possible to get rid of. The My Book drive’s built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption with WD Security™ tools helps keep your content private and safe. I have the same disk, same problem but without the second controller, unfortunately. To my knowledge, using third-party drives is not possible. Its spinning fine and it’s much more difficult to de-solder and re-solder chips than it is USB or Power connectors. Just found this article, and it has a lot of usefull information. On top of that, it's fairly safe to say that WD My Passport is a more popular external hard drive, based on its 5,000+ reviews. Its combination of solid performance, hardware encryption, and useful utilities makes the 5TB WD My Passport a strong contender for … Good morning Carlton! The Western Digital Elements drive will not let you do this and the Western Digital My Passport will. Is there some software to format wholly the hardware encrypted drive, I don’t mind losing the data.Can the jumper setting also aid in resetting just like we would reset the bios by adjusting the jumper settings in computer motherboard. For external hard drives, it’s every bit as secure as the hardware encryption and, if the circuit board or enclosure fails, you can remove the drive and attach it to a computer/different enclosure and still decrypt and access the data. Western Digital MyBook Elite external hard drives use hardware-based encryption chips to (optionally) encrypt drives using 256-bit encryption. I am at the point, where I extracted a 4TB Mybook, from the enclosure and jumped through many hoops, trying to get it to be recognized. I haven’t seen any details of breaking the encryption. You are basically left guessing the key (not your password). I see the LED light flashing every now and then. 1 Like You need to get the key back out of the flash and put it into a new one in order to decrypt the drive again). I had the 2TB one nearly full when the USB bridge failed. List of all WD firmware and software available for download. As I see it, the primary purpose of the encryption is not security but rather keeping external drives from being easily converted to internal drives – protecting those two separate pricing structures. If I have never set a password or encryption on the 3tb drive, will the data on it still need decryption when the bare drive is connected to a computer? This desktop hard drive measures in at 5.5 by 1.9 by 6.7 inches and weighs 3 pounds. Toys, Kids & Baby. All the data I “moved” to it is now held hostage. 4) Delete whatever partitions your favorite partition manager sees Thanks. Thats what I am hoping. Compare the main Features, Specifications, Prices and Select the Best Model. I can connect to the mobo via SATA, I tried once, but something happened. It will erase everything and start with a new, unencrypted volume. It can help you save all your music, movies, videos and applications. Data recovery service is probably your best bet…. If a thief steals it, they get both the chip and drive. Buying a new MyBook Elite enclosure, removing the new drive, and installing your old drive may allow for data recovery. WD Elements. Once I set a password, I unmounted the drive, and sure enough, in order to mount it again I needed the password… however the pre-existing data on the drive could not be encrypted since I wrote it all when the drive had no encryption set. On top of that, it's fairly safe to say that WD Elements Desktop is a more popular external hard drive, based on its 5,000+ reviews. Besides the shell, WD My Book comes with some software tools for backup and drive checking, while WD Elements doesn't come preloaded with anything. A Deep Scan with Data Rescue 3 found nothing but various forms of .Gzip archives. You can attach it to a computer to confirm, but all of the newer Western Digital enclosures appear to encrypt the drives automatically with an internal chip. Password Protection with Hardware Encryption — The My Book drive’s built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption with WD Security™ software helps keep your content private and safe. * A “low level format” is a very special hardware level format that works at the extreme lowest level of a drive. Some external links are affiliate links that help fund the site. I expected to be prompted that all my data would be erased, but I wasn’t. WD My Books have Password Protection and Hardware Encryption. lesson learned – do not buy name branded external storage units! But I want to get rid of the encryption nonsense. My Book (RWDBFJK) (Recertified) | Western Digital Store a 3TB should be reporting a total capacity of 2794.45 GB. JoeySmyth I’m pretty sure that It supports 3TB HDD. 4 1TB USB2.0 disks as well as 1 3TB USB 3.0 Disk. Such a format is sometimes available as a function within the BIOS of the drive which you control with a special program that accesses the drive’s BIOS functions. In open air, spin and seek noise seems to be better than a now-neighbouring Seagate drive, appearing to be very similar to some of my older WD Green drives (which I think these newer Blue drives have largely replaced in the last few years). If anything happens, you can move your data and still recover it with your password. I have chosen the MyBook series because I really like the design and I trusted Western Digital. 5) If your PM has the function (doubtful), do a low level format* Thank you for your time. WD External Drive Hardware Encryption Compatibility Matrix. Here’s my general work flow for how I’d convert a HW encrypted drive to a completely standard, non-encrypted one: 1) Backup any data already on the encrypted drive to another device. I have a similar problem, with two (1TB&2TB)My Book Essential drives. I’m considering to download an Ubuntu Live USB version and try to see If I can load the OS with the HDD attached to the motherboard. As you mentioned, I don’t care about losing data. Massive capacity. Yes, just put the drive in a generic enclosure and reformat it. Yes JoeySmyth. Thank you, I really appreciate it. Since I had the new drive I went ahead and used it to store the contents of my HD which included all my family pics for the past 30 years. They can be purchased through any Wester Digital distributor or VAR across the globe. I’m going to get my data off here ASAP and never use WD drives again! Hardware Encryption is somewhat more secure than software-based encryption because both the password and the encryption chip are needed to decrypt the drive. WD Elements is more popular. – Controller Board? Ordered a new one, the HDD works like a charm. © 1996 - 2021 Carlton Bale So if your external drive fails, or in case of a catastrophic event (fire, theft), there is still a secure copy of your data. I had a tech resolder the usb and aside the drive powering up, thats it. Depending on the hardware you use, this encrypted data may or may not be stored on the drive (some enclosures have a flash that stores the data… this can REALLY screw you as the OP stated. Is is possible to use other drives with the MyBook controller broad? That would explain why one user’s Quick Erase produces a very small volume. Secure your data with password protection. So I can use it as a standard HDD and use it in a external casing? Unless of course you don’t have a My Book, but have a My Passport. Luckily, I have an identical MyBook drive. Is it possible that if i fix the USB, that my data will work normal, since I formatted it in a generic enclosure without it going through the encryption chip?? 7) Allocate the formatted space into 1 or more partitions, as desired The Bottom Line. Hey, thanks for responding so fast! I was planning on getting a Mybook Duo 12TB for extra storage for video editing as well as a MyBook Cloud to try them out - but in this case I’m definetly NOT going to buy any further WD hard drives. The only thing I can think to do is to test with a blank drive. Recently I read that all the MyBook disks utilize a special USB to SATA chip with encryption so that the internal disk cannot be read on a computer if the disk is taken out of the MyBook enclosure and connected to the internal SATA port of the computer? ruckb May 7, … WD Elements do not. My Book Essentials has an annoying hardware encryption feature built in that would make me avoid it. See this article for various software encryption options. EM: Unfortunately, the drive is probably encrypted even if you didn’t set a password. So what does this mean? I definitely would not recommend it due to the encryption problems. However, I would like to add that WD hardware encryption issues has been one of the most reoccurring problems in data recovery industry. If possible, should I just use the normal Disk Management Tool from Windows? Big mistake. That’s it. The drive just stopped ‘existing’. I tried that Carlton, but It shows as unallocated space in the generic, because of the default encryption. I tried to xor it but without success. Today, we will be looking at the 8TB hard drive for each. At the time the problem was solved but this is just to make you acquainted with the situation…. As was mentioned in a comment here, a “Quick Erase” didn’t seem to work – resulting in a small drive. Access your files with blazing-fast USB 3.0 connectivity. The WD 6TB My Book Desktop contains a WD60EZRZ drive - a Western Digital Blue, 3.5" SATA III drive - 6Gb/s, 5400 RPM disk with 64MB Cache. I highly recommend CrashPlan from Code 42, which gives unlimited online backup space for $3.96/month (and free backups between you and your friends/family computers. If, then you should use some recovery programs afterwards. If you’ve enabled the hardware-based encryption, the data on the drive is completely inaccessible without the encryption chip in the Western Digital enclosure. Hey Carlton Greet info! 9) You should now have the entire drive’s space generically available. Just use encryption in your os, I would trust it much more than the included software. can you connect the HDD directly to your Motherboard via SATA ? I have a question regarding the WD MyBook external drive enclosure. A new control board is not enough. You can choose from a 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB, and a 14TB. I went through a similar diagnostic just now with a 2 TB MyBook Essential on a Yosemite iMac. So because of that I quick formatted, to get a drive letter. Both drives are suitable for backup … if you just need Basic Storage for backup purposes the WD Elements is the cheaper option. – Windows 7 OS? Go to popularity ranking. Did my research. Ive owned a My Book and a few Easystores and I think the My Book is harder to shuck but its still possible to do without destroying the case. Converted drive can either be imaged or fixed if firmware needs to be manipulated. Comparison of Western Digital My Passport vs Western Digital My Book External Hard Drives. So… after moving my data to a safe place, can I format this 2 TB Western Digital My Book Essential to a generic casing, generic everything! If I get it, Do I need some software or special instructions ?. You were surprised because the encryption depends on a random set of 32 bytes created at initialization. 2) Price If this really is the case I will backup my data and remove all drives an put them in aftermarket cases and throw the MyBook enclosures away. Difference is that WD Element is a basic plug n play external drive without any hardware encryption and software or tool. Password protection with hardware encryption, Easy to Use, Massive Capacity, WD Quality Inside and Out Thanks, Just not to an original Western Digital enclosure. ), 1) TrueCrypt doesn’t seem any more secure that WD hardware encryption, because the same thief who stole an encrypted WD drive and starts guessing passwords could do the same with a TrueCrypt protected drive. My Passport Go is even more expensive yet lacks the hardware encryption. The only other difference I know of is you can't reuse the external hardware with another spare drive I think its because of the encryption. In this part, we will show you 4 major differences – appearance, password protection, compatibility, and value for money. By default, the My Book comes pre-formatted in exFAT enabling modern PC and Mac computers to read the contents directly, and on the drive is the WD … Thanks Jose. WD's My Passport boxes automatically encrypt data as it is written to disk and decrypt the data as it is read back to the computer. For quick, convenient access, you can set WD Security to automatically PS: I have bill of the product that I bought this:). The PCB built into the drive's enclosure automatically encrypts everything wriiten with a unique key making it a huge problem if you ever need to pull out the drive and access it directly. If you do want to encrypt your drive, there are alternatives. So the drive is always encrypted. I had never once willingly encrypted the drive. I would like to know how wipe it and insert it into my PC because I tried with generic USB enclosure, but I couldn’t do anything. I think at this point of loading, windows try to do something with the HDD but It can’t do it because the HDD is not in windows conditions (I think) so It can’t finish the loading. is it possible that nobody figured out a way to decrypt it? I did not set a password or key. Assuming the drives used in WD HW encrypted drives have the same structure as regular drives, they probably have such a low level format routine in their BIOS. Hi, I am just enquiring about my “Western Digital” My Book Essential 1TB external harddrive. WD My Passport WDBYFT0040BWT - hard drive - 4 TB - USB 3.0 - Type Hard drive - external (portable) - password authentication, hardware encryption, automatic backup Capacity 4 TB Hardware Encryption Yes Encryption Algorithm 256-bit AES Interface USB 3.0 Data Transfer Rate 5.0 Gbps (USB 3.0) / 480 Mbps (USB 2.0) Features It wasn’t until I reattached the bridge card outside of the housing, that I could see all was well. This is because a “Quick Erase” only erases the data found within the confines of the existing data structures of the drive – like a massive “delete everything everywhere” operation. Western Digital MyBook Elite external hard drives use hardware-based encryption chips to (optionally) encrypt drives using 256-bit encryption. Hi Carlton, how do i know if I have enabled the hardware encryption ? It's fairly safe to say that WD Elements is a more popular external hard drive, based on its 100,000+ reviews. Nice help spot you have here, very useful and in some cases, life saving! If it works, it could be that the drive has started to fail and the encryption key isn’t accessible. The storage capacity is a major draw of any hard drive. When it comes to a heavy-duty and dependable external hard drive for your desktop, the WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive (WDBBGB0080HBK) is a game-changer. Yes, you should be able to reformat the drive and use it normally after attaching it directly to an SATA cable. See this article for instructions on how to open the case and remove the drive/circuit board. Hi Carlton! The problem was with the controller board, which is also the one to blame for encryption I assumed. Just confused on one point, if, after getting my data off, I reformat the drive attached via SATA as now an internal drive, would that rid the drive of the need for the USB to SATA bridge? 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