My Cloud dead, how to see content on Windows 10?


#1

Hi!

I don’t really know if this is the place to post this, but I would really really need some help.
So one day I woke up and realized that my My Cloud 3 TB was glowing all red in the front. I didn’t think that is was such a big deal, however after trying to get it to connect through Wifi several times (for about 6 hours), I couldn’t get it working. I was so frustrated. My whole life is on the My Cloud.

What I did notice under the procedure was that the Ethernet light didn’t blink at all. When I plugged in/out the power cord it would sometimes blink green but go away just seconds later.
The fact that my warranty had expired I thought that I would take it out from it’s case so that I could connect it through SATA/USB to my computer. However, when I did that the screen was all white (the computer was running Windows 10).

So today I went to a store and asked for some advice, and there was this guy telling me that I could buy this:
https://www.kjell.com/se/sortiment/dator-natverk/datortillbehor/harddiskkabinett/plexgear-harddiskkabinett-3-5-usb-3-0-p98713#ProductDetailedInformation

and put in the hard drive. It is compatible with Mac OS X and Windows only. After reading on the WD community I’m seeing a lot that people only have been able to save their content with Linux. I have never worked with Linux and I’m really scared that, that is the only way.

I hope that someone could help me because the content on the My Cloud is everything for me, and I’m really sad that I could have lost everything:(

Also sorry for my English, I’m from Sweden and their aren’t so much about the My Cloud and it’s problems on the Swedish sites.

I would really really appreciate your guys help!

Thank you in advance!


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#2

If you have already removed the hard drive from the My Cloud enclosure then you can do one of two things. Attach the hard drive to an external USB enclosure/docking cable or docking station. There are many low cost USB devices to attach to an SATA hard drive. Or if you have a desktop computer that has an SATA port, connect the hard drive to the desktop computer’s SATA cable/power cable.

The problem with using Windows to attempt to read or write to the bare My Cloud hard drive is the hard drive is partitioned and formatted for Linux. Windows does not have the appropriate drivers to read Linux drives. There are third party programs one can install to read Linux hard drives, but it is generally easier to simply create a Linux boot disc or use a Linux OS computer to read the hard drive. One can create a Linux boot disc and boot their computer from any one of the many Linux Live CD distro’s. Here is one such popular distro: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/burn-a-dvd-on-windows

Using Linux one can read the various partitions on the My Cloud hard drive. Generally there is one partition that is dedicated to user data files (the Shares). If one can read the user partition they can copy the files off that partition to another hard drive or location.

If one doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive in their PC they can create a USB boot media. Here is one such way to do so: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-ubuntu

There are a number of “unbrick” procedures that one can attempt to recover their My Cloud hard drive. Here is one such thread.

https://community.wd.com/t/guide-how-to-unbrick-your-2tb-3tb-4tb-my-cloud/93336


#3

Well, the HDD is simply a SATA drive, formatted as ext4, with a number of partitions.

So you will need an ext4 utility for Windows. You could try the free trial version of this:

You may not need a USB enclosure: you could simply open up a modern desktop PC, and connect it to a spare SATA socket on the motherboard. But! DO NOT LET WINDOWS FORMAT IT! It will not be recognised. Hopefully, if you have an ext4 utility, it may detect the ext4 drive.

You might also search the forums for ‘recovery’; there have been discussions of this sort before.

https://community.wd.com/search?q=Recovery%20category%3A105

I’m assuming you have tried the usual 40-second reset and other debugging steps, and disassembly is the final resort.


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#4

Hello @cpt_paranoia!

Thank you for your reply!
I have I couple of questions.

  1. If I don’t have a spare SATA socket on the motherboard, should I buy the thing the guy at the store suggested?
  2. When you say “Do not let Windows format it!”, does it do this automatically? or is it something windows suggest?
  3. Should I install the ext4 utility before I plug in the hard drive?

And yes, I’ve tried the 4 sec + 40 sec restart.

Thank you in advance!


#5

Well, if you want to permanently house the HDD, then an enclosure like that should work.

But, if all you want to do is get data off the HDD, then you can buy USB to IDE/SATA cables for about one tenth of the price; I use one for pulling video files off a Humax SATA HDD. You will need to provide power, though; my cable also came with a standard Molex 4-pin disk power socket to SATA power plug cable, which I connect to a spare disk power cable in the old desktop.

Windows should ASK you what you want to do with the unrecognised disk. Do not accept its offer to format it.

Yes, install the ext4 utility before connecting the disk.


WDMYCLOUD No IP address
#6

Is the content encrypted somehow? Do you know that? Or is it like how it was when oneself organized it on the My Cloud (with your own folders and such…). I thought that it might be because of the fact that it is in fact compatible with Linux systems and not Windows.


#7

Is what content encrypted? The /DataVolume/shares folder on partition 4 of the ext4 formatted HDD in the MyCloud?

No, it’s not encrypted. It’s simply a different file system that isn’t natively supported by Windows.

The MyCloud is a Linux computer that acts as a file server. So it uses a Linux file system. It is not simply an external hard disk drive.


#8

The user data partition on the My Cloud is not encrypted. As far as I have seen when unbricking a My Cloud, none of the partitions of the My Cloud are encrypted.

When one mounts the My Cloud hard drive in a separate computer they will see several partitions. In the case of the v4.x firmware My Cloud’s the user data is located on partition #4 (for example in Linux: sdb4) which is formatted for EXT4.


Hard drive replacement
#9

So, I’ve read through both your post, and I can’t thank you guys enough! ^^

Just to be clear, I want to explain step-by-step how I’m going to do this, and I just want a confirmation, from one of you guys.

  1. First and foremost I have a Surface pro 3 that I’ll be using.
  2. I’m going to buy that hard drive enclosure because I think it’s neatest (both power and USB-port)
  3. I’m going to put the hard drive inside it, but before doing that I will download ExtFS for Windows by Paragon.
  4. When installed I’m going to start up the thing (hard drive cabinet) and also open up the program.
  5. By the things you guys said, I will be able to see the content on the hard drive the way I used to (like folders and stuff) and nothing will be encrypted (?).
  6. Moving the content to another safe hard drive and I will toss the ■■■■ thing (My Cloud) hundred miles away.

Am I on the right track? (Sorry if I’m a bit of a noob on all of this, but It’s the first time^^)


#10

You may wish to save the data from the drive onto another disk (borrowed?), and then format to NTFS, and just have it as a normal Windows-compatible USB HDD. Note that the trial version of Paragon ExtFS only has a 10-day trial period, after which it degrades the data transfer rate.

I haven’t used ExtFS, so I don’t know how well it integrates into Windows; i.e. does it work like a device driver, allowing the disk to appear transparently as Windows disk, or whether it needs ExtFS to run as an application. My original suggestion of Paragon was based on the concept of temporary use for data recovery, not regular use under Windows.

Or sell it on eBay. With a note saying it’s not working, of course. I’ve been thinking of looking out for MyCloud enclosures on eBay, with a view to making a ‘just to play with’ box. One with a broken network port, I’d hope to be able to get working again (possibly rather optimistically…).

The other possibility is to recover the data, and then try to resurrect the device using one of the ‘unbricking’ procedures to restore the operating system and file system; it may not be a hardware fault.


#11

http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/78760.html
when reading this article, it seems that you can actually see the files, or am I lost?


#12

Not sure what your asking. From Paragon’s website: https://www.paragon-software.com/home/extfs-windows/

Paragon ExtFS for Windows®
Fast and easy read/write access to Ext2 / Ext3 / Ext4 under Windows
Free trial with unlimited read and write operations*The latest Ext4 features support
Read/Write support for LVM (Logical Volume Management)
Supports Windows 10

Can you “see” the files? Yes once the Paragon program is installed one will be able to read (or see) and write files/data to the My Cloud hard drive that is attached to a Windows computer.


#13

That article appears to answer my question: it seems that ExtFS allows you to mount a Linux file system partition as a named drive letter, which can then be used just like any other local or network drive, by any Windows program.

That’s what I wasn’t sure of: I was sure that it would let you access the data on the drive, but I didn’t know if it would only allow access via a Paragon GUI (rather like the WD Desktop app allows access to the MyCloud), or whether it would allow ‘mapped drives’, available for use by all Windows programs.


#14

I just really really really want to thank both you @cpt_paranoia and @Bennor!! :smiley:

I succeed! I did like I told you I would and everything worked fine! I found all my files and I’m now transferering them to another external hard drive!!

I give you guys long cyber hugs! You just saved my life!

Thank you!


#15

Glad to see you were able to get your data off the drive. :smiley:

Obviously there is a lesson to be learned here. If your data is irreplaceable or mission critical then have multiple avenues of backup and data recovery.

Once the data has been recovered from the drive you could try one of the unbricking procedures (like the one linked to earlier in thread) to see if you can rebuild the My Cloud drive so it can be used again within the My Cloud enclosure…


#16

Nice to hear that. In future I recommend to offer a disk for a safepoint. Data in this are saved as NTFT data on windows and data can easily be transferred


#17

this thread saved my life, thank you !


#18

You guys are amazing. I thought it was lost forever!


#19

thank you so much my friends!! extremely useful and deserving to be on top of rank


#20

Thank you so much! This saved my marriage!! :slight_smile:
ExtFS didn’t work for me, I tried DiskInternals Linux Reader…