My Book controller broken, encrypted volume not visable in another My Book enclosure

Afternoon all,

I’m wondering if the My Book encryption is locked to not only the drive, but also the controller card in the My Book enclosure.

Here is the situation. A My Book drive took a tumble off the desk while plugged in. The fall partially tore the power and usb connectors off of the PCB inside the case. I haven’t been able to solder that back on properly yet (out of warrrenty) so I borrowed a friends My Book drive and swapped the hard drive in. The drive spins up, SMART and quick diagnosis are clean. But the software does not ask to unlock and shows the drive as not encrypted with 100% capacity free.

I’m going to take a shot at repairing the controller card from the original enclosure this weekend, but I’m wondering if I should put the time in. If the encription is not locked to the drive and the card, then another controller should be able to decrypt or at least set an ecrypted volume, even without looking into it, right?


Happy Turkey Day if you’re Canadian. Enjoy the weekend everyone else.



A drive that gets dropped is frequently beyond do it yourself recovery because of physical damage. You might try using some fine wire to solder the USB port to the card. This post explains a bit about matching the boards up you might find one on Ebay.


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Thanks. The drive is reporting physically ok. And I’ll take another shot at the controller.

But is anyone able to answer my question? I’m wondering if the encryption used in the WD SmartWare suite is locked to the controller as well as the encrypted volume, or if I should be able to replace controller cards and have it read an encrypted volume.

For example, can you take an encryped hard drive from one My Whatever enclosure, hook it up to another one, and use SmartWare to decrypt it?

If the specific controler card is not part of the equasion, then the drive may not be as ok as it’s reporting, and we may have lost our data there.


Got the power connector working again, and now the drive spins up with it’s broken controller card. The CD Volume for WD Ulocker shows up, and WD SmartWare sees a encrypted volume. However, when I go to unlock, it throws a window saying “This drive is not locked.”

Do I need to be doing this from the same computer that it was encrypted on originaly?



Going through the WD SmartWare software, as opposed to the mounted CD unlocker software volume, I’m asked for the unlock. Sucsess!

I’m copying all files off of the drive now. Should only take over night. After that, I’ll test this again with the controller from the loaned drive. Then I’ll have an answer if anyone ever needs to ask the same question.



And thank you Joe_S, the post you linked does have an answer to my question. I had missed it on first reading. As long as the crypto accellorater chip is the same, you should be good. Just have to match up the board. And worst case, do some pretty intense soldering on SMD componets.

“If the bridge board incorporates encryption, then you will need to find a replacement board from an identical product of the same capacity. If this still doesn’t work, and if the drive is otherwise OK, you can overcome any incompatibility by transferring the 8-pin serial flash memory chip from the patient’s bridge board to your donor PCB.”