External 3.5" drives refuse to work in new enclosure

Hi there,

I have two older external My Book drives - both are WDBFJK models - that don’t work in a new enclosure that I bought (Link).

The drives are:

  • WD Green WD30EZRX - Date is 28 August 2014
  • WD Blue WD30EZRZ - Date is 17 October 2015

One of the drives shows up when it’s inserted in the enclosure, but needs to be formatted before it can be used - and then transfer speeds are slow and fluctuating between 25 - 50 MB/sek. The other drive doesn’t show up at all.

I have tested the enclosure with a WD drive from 2019 and it works fine.

I am not aware of any limitations to older SATA drives in this regard. Do you guys know of any reasons why they won’t work?

Br David

Edit: I’m using latest Windows 10

Were the drives encrypted with the old enclosure?
Does the new enclosure support the same encryption?
Did the old enclosure do a 4K sector conversion?
Does the new enclosure do a 4K sector conversion?

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WD MyBooks are hardware encrypted

So, if you remove the hard drive from the MyBook enclosure you won’t be able to access the data on it.

If you don’t care about losing the data, then go ahead and format it and it will/should work fine

If you do care about the data then you’ll need to decrypt the drive. I’ve never done it myself, but apparently it is possible using Linux.

Foirum post about the subject here

did that drive come out of a MyBook enclosure ? probably not, i’m guessing

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Thank you for your reply RecoveryForce.

I’m not aware that any of the drives were encrypted - if so, it’s not something that I’ve put in place.

Don’t know this, but I noticed that when I plopped the hard drives back into the WD Sata/USB board - where one showed up directly in file explorer in Windows (but needed formattting), and the other didn’t - I was able to detect the both drives in Mini Tool Partion Wizard where they had gone from GPT to MBR (after having been formatted in th new enclosure). However, I am pretty sure that both drives had the full 3 TB capacity in the new enclosure.

Again, thanks for getting back to me.

Thank you for you reply JoeySmyth.

Oh, I wasn’t are of this. The drives had nothing on them that weren’t backed up elsewhere so I just went ahead and formatted them. However, the thing is that I was getting really bad transfer rates to the drives after this, and this weird behaviour where the transfer rate would constantly fluctuate between 25 and 50 MB/sek. I will check out the link you sent me, thank you!

It actually happens to also be a WD My Book external drive. I kid you not. This one is a WDBBGB model like this one.

Again, thanks for helping me out.

if you but the drives back in their original enclosures what’s the transfer rate then ?

have to establish if it’s something quirky with the drives or the 3rd party enclousure

i realize you said the 2019 drive works ok … but, i would still put the others back in there original cases, just to sort out if the drives are ok.

also, when formatting the drives make sure you delete all partitions … including any hidden ones (3rd party partition tools are better for job than anything built into Windows)

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Open up Disk Management and handle the disks with that tool. Given you evidently already formatted them any data will be hard to recover at best.

3TB disks should be GPT to allow the full capacity to used in one partition. Windows 10 can handle 4K format disks easily.

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Hi JoeySmyth. Thank you for your reply. The reason why I bought the new enclosure is that the SATA-to-USB board on one of the drives broke. So I have just been using the one board that’s still working for both drives. I have, at this point, inserted both drives into the new enclosure twice and formatted them to work there - and both drives have also been moved back to the original board twice, also followed by formatting them (they need formatting to work with the old board again, after having been formatted to work in the new enclosure). When I use the original board again they appear to be working as they always have, and I get transfer speeds of around 110 MB/sek - without fluctuations - depending on the size of the files being moved.

Oh, and besides the newer drive just working in the new enclosure, it also gets normal transfer speeds straight away.

Ok, I haven’t explicitly checked for hidden partitions - but I have just now opened both drives in Mini Tool Partion Wizard and there doesn’t seem to be anything hidden. There is nothing there besides the GPT and a single large partition.

Just to clarify, I read through all the talks about the My Book drives being hardware encrypted to only work in the enclosure they come in - thank you - but am I right to think that I should be beyond this when I really just want to strip the empty drive from the old enclosure and move it to a new - without the need to preserve the data on the drive? Because that is really all I want to do, I just want to be able to use both drives without the need to swap the old board back and forth between them.

Hi Vegan. Thank you for your reply. The first drive I formatted to work in the new enclosure, was formatted using only Windows’ own tool (right click drive: Format…). I am now just using MTPW because the drives don’t show up in Windows properly when they return to the old board. One shows up in Explorer but is not accessible before I format it. The other is only visible in Disk Managament, and also needs formatting.

Yes, that’s also why I found it weird that after having been formatted in the new enclosure and having had the full capacity available (I know this because I moved a 2TB+ backup folder to the drive first thing) - GPT had changed to MBR when the drive was inserted back into the old board.

some older hardware may have done some funky formatting for backwards compatibility

in disk manager you can clean the disk partitions off and start fresh

To Clarify: the hardware encryption only effects the data stored on the drive

the drive will work outside the enclousure.

A friend of mine recently shucked about 6x My Books (ranging from 2012 to 2017)

and put them into an IcyBox JBOD Enclosure … and they all work and perform fine.

To be honest, i think there’s something wrong with the Enclosure you bought.

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I think you’re right. I’m going to send it back. Thanks a lot for helping me out, though.

It can be done but requires modification of the controller board, here is an example in the below link

You need to google your specific model for the correct procedure.

No surprise that WD has some DRM in the ROM chip to mess with users.