How to decrypt a WD MyBook drive after its removed from the enclosure?


Hi there, how are you? It seems we have the same issue. I tried with three different casing (PCB) and the drive would appear to be uninitialized and can’t be uninitialized due to errors. Could you show me a picture of how you connect the drive to the computer with different data and original power source? Thanks and appreciated.


thomas…i have an older WD wd wdbaaf5000ebk-01 0311d external drive that worked with my older work computer. when i was issued a new laptop with Windows 10, it said to download the latest software which i did. I changed the old password on the drive to an easier one. When i went to log in, it remebered the new password hint but it says the new password and the old one are invalid…it has 13 years of work and personal pictures from my family…is there a way to recover the info? i dont care if the the external drive is damaged as long as i can get the info off it…let me know, Sean


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How to decrypt a WD MyBook drive after its removed from the enclosure?
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Jul 12
I am currently downloading and preparing a USB for Ubuntu as a live stick to boot from.
Do you have directions in Linux to recover as a SATA connected drive?

Jul 13
Hi Thomas
I decided to go with a local data recovery company.
They charged AUD$150 and were successful at recovering all 1.0 TB of data … phew!
I will have extra backups offline of all this data in future.


Aug 7
Hi All,

I have a WD hdd here from a friend who has said that the usb bridge has failed.

It is an inic 1607e chip

How would I go about recovering the encrypted data?

Aug 7
A first step, could be to write to:​3

But everyone must remember that any hard disk (or anything else) may
finish, anytime, its life and therefore backup are a must.


Sep 8
I put my tutorial here.


linux-mybook-tools - tools for decrypting some WD My Book drives in linux


  • If you connect the bare drive to Windows, it will automatically corrupt the MBR and partition table.
  • Tools for password recovery are not included.
  • I am looking for more JMS538S keyblocks for a project. If you have such a drive, please send me your keyblock (and password, if any) and a copy of your sector 0.

Hello Sir, I am new here so forgive me if this reply is in the wrong place. I took my mybook drive out and used a sata adapter and hooked up to my laptop and even renamed it/to a different drive letter I have used several diff data recovery software and am confident the data is still there but the file is raw and shockwave files dont translate themselves…PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me be your guinea pig to try and fix a fools mistake. Also this also statted by frying the usb controller by inserting the incorrect plug and then trying to recover data myself rather than to take it to a pro. Thank you for any consideration!!


New here, but have the same old problem as everyone else. The power supply on my WD My Book died while I was backing up photo files from it. I took the normal steps, unplugged the power and USB, then reconnected them and got nothing. There’s 3 other docks on the same power strip and all were running, no “improper eject” messages from OSX, except for the My Book. Took the drive out of the enclosure and inserted into a dock and was asked to initialize, I did not do it. I hooked it up to a Windows 7 machine and the same thing. The only thing I did was rebuild the MBR with EaseUS Partition Master which allowed me to see partitions in disk manager. I spent 3 weeks using various recovery programs to no avail. Then, I see this business about WD drives being encrypted (that’s a bad thing, the consumer should make that choice). As a last ditched effort before sending out for recovery (yes, the files are that important) I installed Linux on a laptop after seeing these posts.

Will this method help despite all the above? It’s 5+ years old and don’t recall making a password for it. It doesn’t mount in Linux, but it sees it when I looked in the terminal (this is my first Linux install).

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!!! I’m dying without those files, 5 of 13 year’s worth of work is missing and they’re photos I won’t get again.

Thanks in advance,

PS. I’m not a tech guy, I’m an artist, but have an IT buddy who’s helping me.


I put a PDF with the instructions here:

Because you “rebuilt” (i.e. destroyed) the MBR, you will have to use the loop-device method described near the end of the document.

If you have a problem, open an issue in the github project.


Thank you Thomas. Your reply, time and link to the instructions are all appreciated very much. Thank you!



Hi, Thomas, sorry to bring up an old post, i have the same issue with my 2Tb wd drive, and i have zero knowledge on using linux, but i’m willing to learn , ill try get linux running then they simulate the controller chip like u do, i’ll try read up on your page first if im stuck can i pm you for a guide? thanks in advance.

ps: which linux distro do you recommend? xubuntu or linux mint?


I don’t recommend any particular distribution. If anything goes horribly wrong, I have an emulator with ubuntu 16.04.x where I can try to figure it out.

If you have a problem, do not PM me. Make a new issue on my github project, so that others can see it.

Just so you know, I don’t have the time to teach linux right now. There are plenty of guides online, though.


great news i manage to make my hdd work , turn out all i need is loosen the pbc screws and dont plug in too deep in. manage to back up the whole thing.


Hi Jumma! Can you tell me what software and hardware your software company used in order to decrypt the wd drive?


Hi HeiderMF! How you doing! I read your post in the wd forum about your wd drive wich have the same onboard chip symwave6316 and harddrive is a WDBACW0030HBK-00 as i have. Now my harddrive is not accesable anymore since the password i enter is wrong. It starts up the drive and it says it contains data but i want to access it u know in smartware… it has valuble pictures and stuff. How do i do this? I have installed that linux ubuntu and trying that reallymine software but i dont know how to do it now. Can u remember how you did this bcs i need to get into my harddrive… and i only get “reformat drive” answer from wd… yeah but that destroys my data lol. Thanks again!


Hi andyace! From what you said I imagine that you forgot your password. In
that case I don’t know how Thomas Kaeding method could help you. As far as
I know, I think this method works only for people that did not define any
password. This is just to avoid buying another external case to decrypt the
disc, if the original case itself dies (causing the computer to not detect
the disc). In your case, it seems the computer is detecting the disc,
right? You just can’t see its contents due to the wrong password. If that
is the case, I wish you luck on trying to remember the password.



Hi Andyace

I don’t know which software they used. They were a professional company. I figured it was worth the cost to recover such important Data. i now keep multiple backups and an archive.

I know they did say it was the easiest to recover but they did it. They recovered 100% of the data also.

I guess if they told everyone how they did it they would be out of work.




Hi again Jumma thanks for your answer! Do you think you could remember the companys name i would get in contact with them you see!



Hej HelderMF! So you think thomas kaeding method is only for non password protected harddrives then… ops… i read that pdf file that thomas made but it dont make it easy… i have to think about this so i dont mess upp that harddrive and yes its password protected. I did read you could break some encryption anyway but it looks complicated… expecially since im not into therminal linux commands and stuff… yes the computer detects disc and in wd software see that it is files on the harddrive yes. Any suggestions or other methods to us?


How to decrypt a WD MyBook drive after its removed from the enclosure?


Hi, @thomas_kaeding. I have followed your pdf guide accurately, but I’m having problems with the very last step of mounting a loop device ( my pops tried to put the HDD in a new enclosure and i Win messed the MBR up ).

The error is :

mount: /mnt/wd: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/loop0, missing codepage or helper program, or other error

Could you please help me with this problem? Thanks in advance, your knowledge and patience are precious to all us!


I got your email and sent a reply.


Hi, I am experiencing the bridge board failure of the Symwave Chip 6316 as well. I’ve removed it from the case and taken the bridge board off and wanted to just ignore the data that’s on the drive as I don’t need it and wanted to just install as a secondary HDD internally on a windows 7 / 64 Bit tower. Can this be done with not much difficulty, or has WD encrypted it to the point it can’t be used this way? Can you offer steps to go about partitions/Formatting for it to be used as just storage only, no OS will be installed on it.


I know no one will likely make it this far into this thread but there is a solution to this.

You can replace the failed enclosure with another WD enclosure using the same chip (at least I have had success with this method with the “initio 1607P” chip)

If the drive has been initialised or re partitioned, you will need to scan for deleted partitions but data should be relatively accessible.

I would just like to add, this encryption from WD is 100% BS on WD’s part. It add exactly nothing to security - If someone is going to steal your hard drive, they aren’t going to remove it from the enclosure to steal it, they will just take the whole external drive and so will never encounter the encryption and have complete access to your data. Further more, if they did just steal your drive from the enclosure, they need only replace the enclosure with a matching one and they have full access.

I wonder how many of WD’s customers have had their data protected verses how many have lost their data due to WD’s deployment of this encryption?
In my last 10 years of providing IT repairs and services I have not once been able to recommend a Western Digital hard drive. With high failure rates and bad practices, WD are doing a disservice to the industry and users of technology alike.

Good luck to all who find this post!