Inherent Design Fault in ALL My Books - USB solder connection faulty!

The USB connector is inherently faulty on ALL MY BOOKS due to the cheap and nasty way it is manufactured. I was horrified to find this out after buying my 2TB My Book 3.0

This is NOT a slamming post at WD - just bringing this to the fore as I think it is disgraceful that Western Digital have not implemented a design fix years ago.

100’s of thousands of peoples Data is at risk - cos many of the MY BOOKS versions SECRETLY “hardware encrypt” your data whether you ask it to or not!

If the weak USB connector breaks at the solder joint you are all screwed!

Just to add - I have loads of WD hard drives that have given me 10’s thousands of hrs reliable service - praise indeed!

Here is a post from the internet


My Book 3.0 Connector Failure ,

March 6, 2011

By  James R Young

I purchased a 1TB my book 3.0 and used it for about a month and a half until the connector pulled off the PCB. This seems to be a recurring problem with these drives. Fortunately I backed it up the night before this happened but I did add more files the next day. I decided that getting the content off the drive was more important than dealing with the warranty so I took it apart to re-install the connector. I am an electrical engineer with access to a microscope and experience re-working fine pitched electronic assemblies so temporarily fixing the connector isn’t much of a reach. I am also experienced in inspecting electronic assemblies for causes of failure.

I found that the connector came off due to cold solder joints. The connector is soldered to the PCB and several locations to provide support. Unfortunately the pads are connected to the ground plane and there isn’t sufficient thermal relief requiring a significant amount of heat to make a good solder joint.

The solder joints on my drive were never heated enough so they broke with very little force applied. The poor soldering in combination with the stiff cable provided were the cause of the failure. The poor quality of workmanship makes it inevitable that many other users will have the same problem.


Thank you for addressing this problem which I hope will be escalated to the attention of top management in order to keep the reputation of Western Digital intact!

Thousands of folks back-up data is being lost due to this unfixed, not fit for purpose, USB socket manufacturing design fault! which is NOT fair!  :cry:

This is a Users forum and things don’t go to to management in here, the few WD staff members that do check the boards will tell you this. I’d suggest you call them and tell them directly if you have something they need to know.

Speaking for myself, I have 4 copies of my data on 4 separate locations and another one will be added soon, so my drives can fail 2 million times and I don’t lose a picture since I have backups. Just replace and move on.

What you can do right now is to backup your data, so it won’t happen again to you or to anyone else. Like most experts and amateurs alike regarding data security concerns will tell you: Never trust your important data to a single device, no matter who makes it and its reputation. At the end of the day, having a backup of your data is your sole responsibility.

Thanks matey!

But luckily I found this out as I researched my new purchase - no data loss.

Just can’t believe the £100 Sterling I just spent was on a cheap, chinese TAT-soldering connected box with easily breakable USB connector with a top notch hard drive inside

I also had a look thru some other posts where irate (ex?)customers have discovered the hardware encryption (with no real warning of consequences) problem on most of the My Books versions.

The drives that come with encryption (Essential, Elite and Studio) are advertised to have a 256-bit AES Hardware-based encryption. By definition it means intentionally unrecoverable, as it is what the US government uses to encrypt data, most people should know that before they buy their drives, as no one from WD will be on the store giving you suggestions

It’s like when you buy a car, the car dealer can tell you if the car as an automatic or a mechanical transmission system. But how it works, what it implies, the benefits or disadvantages to any transmission is something you should know on your own before you buy the car with that transmission.

I got my drive knowing before hand that when it fails (Because it’s going to fail) or gets stolen, no one will be able to touch what I have in there. No one.

Anyway, it would be more direct if  you tell WD directly how you feel as the board is not the best place to get their attention, here’s the phone number.

Thanks again for info!

The WDC customers are obviously not getting the message that if the usb connector fails/breaks they are screwed. It is only after this point they find out their data has all been encrypted! The web is littered with their cursing!

That’s Western Digitals’ fault for not explaining this to Joe public clearly (either in instructions or onscreen when you set the drive up for the first time) especially as the H/W encrypted My Book Essential is aimed at a low price point for mass-sales!

Do some of the Western Digital management have large amounts of shares in that data-recovery company that gets recommended by WD tech support? :stuck_out_tongue:

Who knows? Everything is possible in the business world.

Then again, if the encryption is really as advertised (256-bit AES), then not even the recommended company should be able to break it.

Both the boxes and the web documentation do clearly say that the drive has Hardware Encryption.  With the number of people who don’t read specs and manuals anyways, how are you expecting WD to make Joe User understand?  Is there supposed to be one WD representative at each cash register to explain what the encryption entails, before the purchase can be rung through?  What about online sales?

Just look at the number of people who use the WDTV devices and don’t know about the 10-minute jump feature.  It’s clearly in the “Playback” section of each manual for each device, but nobody reads the manual, and then they complain that it takes too long to FF/REW in a long movie, and ask for WD to add a time-jump to the device.  Even the Gen1 does it, let alone the Live, Live Plus and Live Hub, and yet nobody knows about the feature.

You can lead folks to the information, but you can’t make them think.

1 Like

Agreed!

I agree with U 2!

BUT

Don’t forget - 50% of a country’s population are BELOW average intelligence!

If you visited your Doctor and they say they’ll gave you a magic cure box for ‘nasopharyngitis’ - what would they be treating?

This is what “Hardware Encryption” means to well over 50% of a country’s Population! This is the point where everything unravels.

Add in the WD My Book badly designed, easily broken USB socket connection and it’s a recipe for disaster! Western Digital’s complacency over the faulty USB design and non-geek customers = irate messages on t’internet when the ‘inevitable’ disaster happens!

Am I getting thru to you geeks?   :wink:

Well, it’s more up to the vendor to explain things that it is for WD to do it… as I said, WD can’t really have someone in every store worldwide to break things down to managable levels.

And that’s the problem.

The clerks generally don’t have a clue what they’re doing/talking about.  Although it has been resolved now, you should have seen the furor over the WDTV Live Plus and Netflix Canada… despite the box saying “U.S. Only” for Netflix, people would ignore that warning (or not look at it in the first place) and ask the BestBuy goons if Netflix would work in Canada, and 99 times out of 100 (if not more), the clerk would tell them “yes”, only for them to come home and find Netflix wasn’t supported in Canada on the WDTV devices.  People would complain to WD (and to Netflix) that BestBuy had told them it would work.

And go back a few years to where there were equal numbers of IDE and SATA drives on the shelves.  Was it up to WD to explain to Joe Customer which bus their MOBO had?  No.  They just marked the boxes.  If the customer didn’t know which drive they needed, they had to hope the clerk would be able to help them… or just buy one and see when they got home.   How many people even know what IDE, PATA, SATA mean?  Let alone know what their PC has inside?

Your opinion may vary, but I see no difference here.  If WD expected the consumer to know what they wanted/needed, and just sold (and labelled) PATA and SATA, and it was up to the consumer and the store to work out what the right choice would be (if the clerk even knew the difference), then I see no issue with WD expecting the consumer to know what they want/need in this case as well.

If you don’t know the difference between a Passport and an Elements Portable, or between a My Book Essential and an Elements, then I still see it coming down on your head if what you grab off the shelf isn’t what you want/need.  The information is available (even if not from the clerk), so there’s no reason to make an uninformed decision.  The stores have both drives – there’s no excuse for buying a Smartware-equipped drive if it’s not what you want/need.

And I don’t see how WD can do much to change people… it doesn’t matter what you put on the box or in the manual (again, the whole Netflix - U.S. only issue)… people still have to know what it is they’re buying, and take the responsibility themselves to know what they’re doing.  Other than not selling password-equipped drives, it’s physically impossible for WD to prevent Joe User from buying the wrong drive.  The whole Netflix thing could have been avoided if people knew what the device could and couldn’t do before they blindly grabbed one off the shelf… then they wouldn’t have had to rely on the BestBuy goons to feed them wrong information.  The fact that they even had to _ ASK _ is the root problem… not the fact that BestBuy was giving wrong answers.

The bottom line is (in my eyes), if you even have to ask/wonder/question/ponder what “Hardware Encryption” is and/or might entail, then you’re not ready to be shopping for external hard drives.

Your mileage may vary. :wink:

I am no computer guru, I have no formal training in this type of technology, but the post above, in a short little sentence, provided me the information i needed to understand the encryption. Remember, these items are being sold to the general public that may be very intelligent, but not computer savy or have a degree from MIT to understand coding or encryption. A simple statement that says, your data cannot be recovered, would be very helpful, but it could be harmful for revenues. It has taken three weeks to get this short, clear and precise answer that this kind person shared with us. Yes I am computer dumb one you get in to more techinical aspects of these systems, but as a consumer, a simple message would be greatly appreciated. I wouldn’t trust my last breath to the belief that anyone from WD reads these messages or that they could even care. The problems haven’t been fixed yet. Do not knock these poor people for not knowing what mess they got in to when they went to their local Wal-Mart or shopping center and purchased a product that is suppose to be user friendly. To the kind member that presented the soldering and encryption problem, thank you so very much for helping me understand. It truly is appreciated.

I purchased the 2TB My Book because the Seagate forum is loaded with failed drive customers complaints. Drives are failing only days after they got the drive. They offered rebates on a few of the larger drives and that made me a little suspicious. When at the big box retail store they aimed me away from these certain Seagate models. Since I’ve had a Passport for years with no problems I didn’t even think of checking WD. It seems there’s a bigger problem with these large external drives. I wonder if they share the same manufacturers. After reading all this I will get that external storage system that includes several drives, backs up itself, RAID, etc. I think you get what you pay for.

I bought a 3 TB MyBook Essential a few weeks ago, and I clearly had no idea what I was getting myself into.

FWIW, I did read the entire box, as well as the (minimal) online documentation, but nowhere did I see it explained that the wonderful “encryption” is

  1. not an option, happens whether you want it or not;

  2. means you cannot remove the drive & plug it in another machine/enclosure to recover the data, should the MyBook enclosure fail.

I have had an enclosure fail repeatedly on another external HDD, so I can’t see how the mandatory data encryption is in any way a Good Thing or a “feature.”  Really boneheaded design IMO.

I’m far more knowledgeable than the average person about things computer-related (and that isn’t saying much, sadly) but I got “fooled” too, at least temporarily.  Mostly because it never occurred to me that WD would use such a problematic design, given the truism “it’s not whether something will break, but when.”

The upside to all of this for me: I got a SMOKING deal on a Western Digital 3 TB HDD.  For what I paid for the entire MyBook device, you can’t even buy a WD 3 TB HDD by itself.

So I’m going to crack that ■■■■■■ open, and install it in a “dumb” enclosure that I purchase myself, which does not perform silent encryption or any other dirty tricks.

I really wanted a USB 3.0/eSATA enclosure anyway, an option not offered in Western Digital’s external HDD product line.

hphotography wrote:

I am no computer guru, I have no formal training in this type of technology, but the post above, in a short little sentence, provided me the information i needed to understand the encryption. Remember, these items are being sold to the general public that may be very intelligent, but not computer savy or have a degree from MIT to understand coding or encryption. A simple statement that says, your data cannot be recovered, would be very helpful, but it could be harmful for revenues. It has taken three weeks to get this short, clear and precise answer that this kind person shared with us. Yes I am computer dumb one you get in to more techinical aspects of these systems, but as a consumer, a simple message would be greatly appreciated. I wouldn’t trust my last breath to the belief that anyone from WD reads these messages or that they could even care. The problems haven’t been fixed yet. Do not knock these poor people for not knowing what mess they got in to when they went to their local Wal-Mart or shopping center and purchased a product that is suppose to be user friendly. To the kind member that presented the soldering and encryption problem, thank you so very much for helping me understand. It truly is appreciated.

You are Welcome

It got my Back_up when I did the legwork & research then realised my data is, if anything, even more at risk on these USB external drives!

Luckily, I bought an unencrypted My Book 3.0 2TB

I have also learned loads from other kind fellow posters on here in the week or so that I participated. Don’t have the time for repeat visits here.

Best Regards from

‘backup’ researching in the UK