512e on Shelled 4TB MyBook?

Hello all,

I purchased a pair of MyBook 4TB drives about a year ago to be used for Windows Small Business Server 2011 (Similar to Windows Server 2008) backups, using the built in utility. That utility assumes the presence of 512 sectors and will fail on 4k drives. After receiving the drives, I succesfully used WD’s “Quick Formatter” utility to convert them to 512e and began making backups, rotating the drives once per week, and have continued to do so for the past year.

This past weekend, I attempted a server storage upgrade. My plan was to pull the old drives, install two brand new ones, create the appropriate RAIDS/Virtual disks and then restore the most recent backup from the MyBooks. Well, it appears that SBS also has issues restoring from USB 3.0… In this case, I was forced to share the drive over the LAN (which is only 100Mbps…) for the restore, which then worked slowly, but OK.

In the future, I would like to avoid this extra step/slowness. If I pull the MyBook drives from their casing, I know that I will lose the information on them (its apparently encrypted/decrypted on the fly), but could I just pop them into drive caddys, insert those directly into the server and backup to them that way? This will only work if the bare drives themselves are capable of 512e, so I guess that is really my question.

Thanks in advance!

Hi, there’s two things to keep in mind.

  1. There can be any version of hard drive inside of the My Book, as the drives inside the enclosure can come from any of the WD family of drives.

  2. You will not only lose the data inside of the disk, but also by opening the enclosure you will also lose any warranty that is left.

If you go about opening the enclosure, please let us know what is the model number inside and we will let you know if they are 512e sector size capable.

Hi lluna, thank you for your reply! I’m not particularly concerned with the warranty, so no problems there. It might take me a week or two to get around to shelling the drive, but I still plan on it and will post back here with the model number after doing so.

Hello Luna,

It was a WD Green drive, model number WD40EZRX-00SPEB0. The drive is in fact 512e capable and was successfully used to backup a Dell Poweredge T320 running Small Business Server 2011 (really just Server 2008 R2) using “Windows Server Backup”, which only supports 512k native/emulated sector sizes. The drive was installed in a Dell drive caddy and inserted into an empty front mount hot-swap bay that connects to a PERC H710 RAID controller. It was then set up as a new “RAID 0” virtual disk (card calls all single disk virtual disks RAID 0 arrays).

Hope this helps somebody else in this situation!