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Never ever buy Western Digital external hard drives again, or

Unrecoverable hardware encryption, what the fuck?

Just last sunday, a WD mybook 4TB drive failed spontaneously- I switched my PC off on friday, went visiting friends, returned sunday, and the stay at home drive simply wouldn't boot up anymore.

Nothing, no movement or sound...

So, I thought to my self "easy fix, I'll put it in my docking station tomorrow"

Well, the drive still works.. but apparently, WD uses a damn hardware encryption, without any prompt for a password, or any way to recover my data.

Has anyone successfully recovered data from such a drive? Maybe without buying another and breaking it for the circuitry in the hopes it's the right revision?

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    slurpeepoopslurpeepoop Registered User regular
    I've gone through a few Mybooks, and from my experience, unless you're buying the Mybook solely to rip out the hard drive and slap it in your computer because it's cheaper than a bare drive, it's a huge pain.

    The little chip-on-a-card that plugs into the hard drive inside the enclosure is what encrypts the stuff you put on the hard drive. They are shoddy and infamous for having poor connections that cease to work at the drop of a hat. The special USB connector that plugs in the adaptor card is especially bad at functioning. I've had Mybooks that never got bumped, moved, or touched, and that USB cord would just....stop, or the card would no longer recognize that it's connected to a computer.

    The first time that happened, I was so scared that the hard drive died, but the hard drives are perfectly fine.

    The upside is that you can rip the hard drive out of the enclosure, unscrew then remove the little adaptor card, and the hard drive will work like a champ.

    The downside is, if you can't get the custom made USB connector to register enough to transfer your data off before you remove the card, you're kinda screwed. If the data is really, really important to you, you might want to reconnect the adaptor card and try spending $8-$10 on a new special USB cord.

    Alternatively, I could send you one or five.

    Any externals I keep in their enclosures are Seagate only. When their cards fail, you can slap the bare drive in a computer and everything is fine.

    As for the hard drives themselves, I've never had one go bad, Seagate or WD, so don't let the negative reviews scare you, and this is coming from someone typing on a Frankenstein filled with 24TB of drives. It's the cheapass adaptor cards/cords that come with the external enclosure. When you sell the external hard drive and all of the parts for cheaper than just the bare drive, you tend to manufacture the enclosure and everything else with the absolute cheapest, crappiest junk you can get away with.

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    useless4useless4 Registered User regular

    every single failure in an external has been the case not the drive, I think I am up to ten in 15 or so years. I guess the motto is to buy drives that aren't encrypted and can be pulled out and salvaged data intact? Sorry I can't be more help.

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    autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    I didn't even activate any encryption - the data is encrypted by a pre-set key in all cases.

    Setting a user password only encrypts this key.

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    autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    I'm thinking it might be a shoddy USB connector.. I'll check the connections later and try re-soldering

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