Gave up my MyBook external drive

Had bought a USB2 external MyBook drive. It expired in 8months, failing SMART tests. WD replaced it under warranty. Bonus: The replacement drive is a USB3 drive.

However, on 3 occaisions in the last 2 months the drive has been recognized by the computer in Device Manager, but does not show up in the Windows list of disk drives. SMART and all other diagnostic tests are OK. Re-formatting solved the problem. Firmware updates made no difference. Drive is out of warranty (same expiration date as the original drive).

Today, I gave up on the drive. The case was pried open. The contents are a small circuit board (which provides the USB3 to SATA interface), and a standard WD 1.5TB SATA drive (WD15EARS, 64MB cache).

The drive will be installed inside my computer as an internal drive. WD Smartware software has been de-installed. Windows backup (or a third-party tool) will be used instead.

WD drives are good - but the software and/or the software on hthe embedded interface card has proven to be more than a little dodgy. 

If “Re-formatting solved the problem” and then it passed the test you did, then you provably had a data corruption problem. You always need to make sure that you safely eject the my book from the PC before disconnecting the USB cable.

Duh, yeah… indeed I had a data corruption problem. Three times.

The drive is not, and was not, unplugged from my computer - I used it as external storage, not as portable storage. There is no problem with not properly ejecting the drive - since it never got unplugged.

Fundamentally, the MyBook enclosure is junk. Don’t waste your money. WD drives themselves are, however, good quality.

Interestingly, I posted my experience on FaceBook - and received a flood of comments from friends who had the same experience. We’re all guys/gals with 20+ years experience in the guts of high tech, so the common problem is not likely “failure to eject”. 

Were you able to get your data after your drive died?

On the first occaisions, the MBR or the partition table drive was corrupted and the data was not accessible by Windows. I do not know if the data was accessible directly (through the SATA interface), but probably not. It didn’t matter, since it was a backup and I still had my primary data, so I recovered the drive and tried again.

It would have been available if using a tool such as TestDisc.

When it failed for the final time, I extracted the disk from the enclosure and found that the disk itself was in perfect condition, and the structure of the disk (MBR, partition table) were damaged. I am certain I could get the data out, if it mattered. Installed internally as an SATA drive, zeroed out (to make sure there was no problem), format, and no problems since.