Lost all data on WD MyBook Duo w/ RAID 1

A few days ago I lost absolutely everything on a My Book Duo 20 TB configured to run in RAID 1, with mirrored drives and everything. The situation currently is that both hard drives appear uninitialized on 2 separate PCs.

TL;DR: how do I get my data back? Below is a more complete description.

What happened was that Windows would not recognize the RAID 1 cluster once I resumed the PC from hibernation, and the enclosure itself didn’t appear to have been turned on. Usually its LED would light up white (orange recently, but more on that later). Power cycling didn’t help, so, I turned off the enclosure, removed the first drive and attached it via SATA to my PC’s mobo and everything appeared to be there. I even played back some videos with no cause for concern.

However, as soon as the PC was put to hibernate, and resumed from that state again, the drive that was connected via SATA was no longer in Windows Explorer and Disk Management showed it as uninitialized. I tried with several different apps to recover my data from it, including scanning for partitions, recovering the MBR, even scanning for deleted files, and nothing turned up. The last method, showed a lot of large .SWF files, which I’ve never stored on any disk. They look like false positives.

Then I removed the 2nd drive from the enclosure and attached it via a SATA to USB 3 adapter to my 2nd PC, a laptop. The drive appears uninitialized as well, even though with the same adapter I successfully read the contents of 12 TB WD Gold drive moments ago.

There was one warning sign (I think): for the past few weeks my 20 TB My Book Duo had been blinking orange as soon as it would get recognized by Windows upon the PC powering up and would blink white and orange after the PC shut down. I checked the user manual for My Book Duo - no mention of an orange light blinking anywhere - though a Google search pointed me to was a thread on a WD forum about My Cloud drives blinking orange, suggesting the drives were too hot. I did a SMART checkup on the drives and everything looked fine. The reported temperature was 48 degrees Celsius, which according to the specs is within limits. No errors were reported by SMART either.

Again, my question is: how do I get my data back, if possible? What could’ve led to this situation? And how do I know the drives are still suitable for use? They definitely appear to be, but I don’t want to lose data again.

If your device is set to use RAID 1 and formatted, you can’t remove the drive and connect it to PC/Mac via SATA or any other bridge and able to see your data. When the LED lid as orange, it indicate there is a possible you have a bad RAID. You can try to have one hard drive in your unit, connect it your computer. Check if you can see your data. If you able to see your data with the device has only one hard drive. Then you can format the other hard drive from your computer attach it through the bridge or SATA. After you can put it back in to your device. Made sure to power of your device before you remove and add the drive to the unit. Once both hard drives are in the unit then you can use WD Utilities or WD Discovery to rebuild your RAID.

Yes, that actually worked. I put the second drive only in the enclosure and Windows recognized it. I decided to copy my data to the first one without it being attached to any RAID controller, because I like my data to be a bit more independent.

Crisis averted :slight_smile: