[GUIDE] How to unbrick a totally dead MBL

Wow that wasn’t supposed to happen and I do apologise. WD does have a list of recommended data recovery companies on their website. Gimme a sec and I’ll throw you the link. I don’t think all hope is lost just yet

Barry, here is the link and I pray they can restore the data for you.


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Did you try testdisk after you repaired the superblock?

Here is a link to a guide that is similar to mine but it suggests trying to restore another superblock if the first one doesn’t repair correctly.



I did try test disk but it asked me to a choose a partition type for the repair funciton and there were none on the list that matched Linux so I was confused about that.  I just threw in the towel.  I spent 3 days on this due to my lack of Linux knowledge and I could have made a lot of money designing solar energy systems instead.  I’m just going to move on and re do my work a little at a time.  I’m doing a full factory restore on the My Book Live and will use it as a second backup in conjunction with the new one I bought.  I’ve also now got a new 3TB drive in my computer where I am going to keep the primary file copies as well so that will be 3 locations.  A monthly blu-ray backup will be the extra measure.

I can’t thank you enough for all of the time you gave me.  If you ever need solar design work or any other electrical engineering work, email me at bnwitt at yahoo dot com

As a foot note, I have ubricked, and done a complete factory restore and the unit is still erratic.  When I try to run a short or full diagnostic, it comes back with a server internal error.  A reboot is sometimes successful and other times never gets past the yellow led OS loading mode.  I am beginning to believe the controller is malfunctioning.  I guess the next step is to remove the HDD and install it in my machine so I still have some value from the unit.  Oh well.

You can try the image from my v2 debrick guide. I imaged a brand new 3TB drive I just bought a couple of weeks ago. The recovery stuff we tried could have messed something up that even a factory restore won’t fix.

Please hold for link (This guide is SUPER EASY) Guide 2 is for a 3TB MBL


Barry, BTW The steaks were great the other night :slight_smile: Of course you can’t grill without a cold beer as well :wink:

Has anyone had success with this on a Mac? I’ve been trying to follow the instructions running Windows 7 on the Mac via Parallels but it doesn’t seem to recognise the System Recovery CD as a valid boot CD. Any suggestions? Apart from get a PC of course. This is driving me mental.

Google around a bit, you should be able to boot some Live distribution of Linux on a MAC directly. I wish I had a better answer for you but I haven’t used a MAC since High School back in 1987-1990

Hi all,

I have a MyBookLive 2TB and my son dropped it from just 30/40cm high last saturday…It was working perfectly but after the fall it just showed solid yellow led then a blue and cycling in a loop between solid yellow and blue. It’s no more detected by my laptop, my TV or by my router. My first priority is to recover my data. After quite a bit of reading for help on this forum and others, I have decided to follow instructions from this post. So I have open the unit and plug the MBL hard drive to my PC (windows7 64bits) with a SATA to USB cable. The PC couldn’t detect the MBL drive. I have then downloaded DiskInternal Linux Reader and R-Linux. DiskInternal Linux Reader detects the disk showing a disk icon with a question mark and describing it as “empty” and when I try to open it tells me “Can’t open disk. Check the disk and try again”. R-Linux just detects an “empty” Virtual disk.

So I am stuck right now.

Any idea if the drive is fully dead or if there is anything else I could try to recover my data?

Many thanks

Was the MBL powered up at the time it was dropped?   

If not, do you hear anything when you power up the drive?  Does the drive spin up?

If you can’t hear it spin up, then if I had to hazard a guess, the shock of the drop knocked the heads off the parking ramps and the platters can’t spin up.  

This usually results in an unusable drive.

There are ways to recover the data, but unless you’ve got a cleanroom setup, you’ll probably need to send the drive to a professional.

Thanks Tony.

Yes the MBL was powered up when it fell.

I can hear the drive spinning up and then some kind of click, but it looks like it’s trying but doesn’t manage to start. So probably not a good sign.


In you post you said


Make sure your thumbdrive containing the two files is plugged in, your MyBookLive hard drive is hooked up to your computer via e-sata to sata or sata to sata cable"

I have a Laptop with esata connector, can I just connect the HDD (2TB which I removed from MyBook Live) to  Laptop with esata(laptop) to sata(HDD) connector directly without a separate power source for HDD??

Or does the HDD also needs a separate power souce also to power up.

Depending on that I can place an order of connector on ebay.

Can you post a pic of your setup in the guide thread, that will be very helpful.

Thank you.

It will need power from some source. I use a Thermaltake BlacX esata to sata dock but I don’t think it comes with the esata to sata cable. I THINK it just comes with a usb cable and results vary over usb.

It works. Easy and fast. I think the UI is a little bit slower as before

Is it possibly indexing all of your media again? Or did you destroy the data partition

Data is not destroyed. I can index. The HDD is working the whole time

I can not seem to mount my drive

I get the following message

root@sysresccd /root % mkdir /mnt/usb

root@sysresccd /root % mount -t vfat /dev/sdb /mnt/usb

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdb,

       missing codepage or helper program, or other error

       In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try

       dmesg | tail or so

any help please?

Is your thumbdrive formatted to FAT32? Are you mounting the right drive?

I’ve also had the “yellow LED of death” show up on my 3TB MBL.  During boot, the LED is blue, but then changes to solid yellow and does nothing.

Checking Disk Internals, all of the data is there and is all intact; Win8 even reported all partitions as healthy.

I went to the debrick.sh script following the instructions, and it is throwing a few errors.  Here is what I saved from the terminal window:

root@sysresccd /root % mkdir /mnt/usb
root@sysresccd /root % mount -t ntfs /dev/sdd1 /mnt/usb
root@sysresccd /root % cd /mnt/usb
root@sysresccd /mnt/usb % dir
Acer\ V551\ Drivers boot debrick.sh rootfs.img setup.exe support
autorun.inf bootmgr efi rootfs.md5 sources upgrade
root@sysresccd /mnt/usb % mdadm -S /dev/md0
mdadm: stopped /dev/md0
root@sysresccd /mnt/usb % ./debrick.sh rootfs.img /dev/sdb


script will use the following disk: 

Model: ATA WDC WD30EZRS-11J (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 3001GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags: 

Number Start End Size File system Name Flags
 3 15.7MB 528MB 513MB primary
 1 528MB 2576MB 2048MB primary raid
 2 2576MB 4624MB 2048MB ext3 primary raid
 4 4624MB 3001GB 2996GB ext4 primary

is this REALLY the disk you want? [y] y



everything is now prepared!
device: /dev/sdb
image_img: rootfs.img
destroy: false

this is the point of no return, continue? [y] y

mdadm: /dev/sdb1 appears to be part of a raid array:
    level=raid1 devices=2 ctime=Wed Jul 17 13:12:52 2013
mdadm: size set to 1999808K
mdadm: creation continuing despite oddities due to --run
mdadm: array /dev/md0 started.
mke2fs 1.42.7 (21-Jan-2013)
Filesystem label=
OS type: Linux
Block size=4096 (log=2)
Fragment size=4096 (log=2)
Stride=0 blocks, Stripe width=0 blocks
125184 inodes, 499952 blocks
24997 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user
First data block=0
Maximum filesystem blocks=515899392
16 block groups
32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group
7824 inodes per group
Superblock backups stored on blocks: 
	32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912

Checking for bad blocks (read-only test): 0.00% done, 0:00 elapsed. (0/0/0 errdone                                                 
Allocating group tables: done                            
Writing inode tables: done                            
Creating journal (8192 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done 

mdadm: cannot find valid superblock in this array - HELP

synchronize raid... done

copying image to disk... 
dd: writing to ‘/dev/md0’: Input/output error
1+0 records in
0+0 records out
0 bytes (0 B) copied, 0.00718786 s, 0.0 kB/s
mount: /dev/md0: can't read superblock
cp: cannot stat ‘/mnt/md0/usr/local/share/bootmd0.scr’: No such file or directory
./debrick.sh: line 359: /mnt/md0/etc/nas/service_startup/ssh: No such file or directory
umount: /mnt/md0: not mounted
mdadm: stopped /dev/md0
read: Input/output error
read: Input/output error

all done! device should be debricked!

root@sysresccd /mnt/usb %

 Interesting that the drive is showing as having RAID partitions.  I don’t know if that is part of how a 3TB drive operates in the MBL, so I did not touch anything in GParted.  

I’m going to go back again and read through this thread.  Worst case is that I go buy a 2nd 3TB drive (just an external USB drive) and back this thing up, and try to RMA it if I can’t debrick it any other way…but since I was able to access all of my stored files with DiskInternals, it appears the drive itself is OK.

I’m at a loss as to what to try next…I’d try anything, but am afraid of losing the data.

EDIT:  my MBL drive is connected directly to the motherboard via SATA.  I have the script and image file on a USB card reader using an SD card–I wonder if I should change it to a thumb drive (if I can find one around here).  I can see the contents of the SD card, and I can read (and edit) the debrick.sh file using Midnight Commander in the terminal window.  So it looks like the SD card is being read OK.