How to replace HDD in WD MyBook External drive?

I’m looking to replace the hard drive in one of these with a 3TB HDD. I deleted the partitions on the 3TB disk leaving it blank and unformatted and put it in the enclosure but it refuses to initialise in Windows. I then put it in my PC and created a primary partition & formatted it as NTFS but it still wouldn’t initialise. The WD Data Lifeguard utility shows the disk as having a capacity of 0. Can anyone point me in the right direction?


Hi dwl99,

Drives in My Book, is not a user serviceable and hardware encrypted which doesn’t allow to remove drive from its enclosure. Due to Hardware Encryption feature, other drives can’t be use in My Book enclosure.

Hi, I have the same issue, the 8TB HDD in MY Book is failing and I bought a RED Plus 8 TB to replace it and this was suggested to me by the WD Tech Support, after doing the necessary change over I cannot Initialize the drive, I did put the drive in an external reader and it works fine, is there any way for this work ? Thanks

Depending on model it can be done, here is an example, you may have to google it for your specific model


Thanks!!! It works for MacOS as well! I used a multimeter to verify pin 8 was disconnected from the pad.

Update:Now my Mac will not boot up while the external hard drive is attached. I’ve also noticed the hard drive doesn’t fall asleep when I eject it or turn off the mac. The mod might work but there are comprimises and I don’t want delve into troubleshooting the above issues. Clearly this mod is not as simple as “cutting a wire”, at least on MacOS.

Greetings from the USA! So far so good. Replaced the defective WD 3.0 TB Green HDD (mfg 2013) with a spare Seagate Ironwolf 4.0 TB (mfg 28 May 2020.) Using this with a Windows 10 PC, ASRock Z270 Killer/ac MB, Intel I7-7700 CPU. Will provide feedback in the future. - Danke!! (my grandmother was German descent, Anna Ernst !)