If someone loses their password on an encrypted drive, and they can prove ownership of the drive, you should be able to generate either a one time use or master password based on the serial number of the device to unlock it.
Sometimes the password gets corrupt, or a blank password gets corrupted and the drive starts asking for a password where there shouldn’t even be one. There should be a mechanism for you to help users unlock their drives.
Possibly a drive unlocker that blanks the password sector of the drive that is keyed to the user’s serial number, and emailed to the user so thye can retrieve their data themselves.
Encryption happens on the USB to SATA interface. If this interface fails, you should offer to replace the interface itself, not the whole drive, thus restoring access to the data on the drive, rather than forcing the user to lose all their data if they want the drive fixed.
Drive decryption soft driver so that in the same event, a user can mount the drive into a SATA dock, or connect it to the motherboard and retrieve the data from it. As it is, the drives are always encrypted even if the password is blank, making the drive unreadable without the USB interface to decrypt it.
STOP ENCRYPTING THE DRIVE BY DEFAULT. If a user doesn’t want drive encryption, then DON’T ENCRYPT IT.
Yes, this can mean hours of time used to encrypt the drive if the user decides to later, or hours of decrypting if the user wants to remove their password - but at least people with no password set can get their data in the case of a USB board failure.
Basically your security “features” make it way too easy for a consumer to lose all their data and most of the time not by any fault of their own, and you cannot, will not, or just don’t care enough to help users in these situations.
The message we get loud and clear is “We at Western Digital could care less if you lose all your data, and will in fact provide you with more ways to do so without any attempts to help if you do”.
This is NOT a message you should be sending!