My Passport Wireless Pro - System Recovery or Hard Drive replacement


I checked partition table of 2TB wd hard drive from passport wireless pro, that’s how it’s created. From update script, can see there’re some hidden partition, so I just left 4GB space beside extFat one.

I just have a sandisk ssd, and I think Samsung EVO 860 SSD should work too.


At first I tried hard code vendor and model part inside updatefw, and also regenerate md5 for updatefw, then tar whole package and rename to bin file. While passport wireless pro doesn’t run the new bin file correctly.

Maybe you can try update it by itself to latest version, then update by ssd with new ssd.


Thanks, unfortunately it seems not to work for me with thee EVO 860. I just updated the firmware via the UI, created a exfat partition and left 4 GB of free memory, mounted the SSD but the SD update does not start, after about 60 seconds all LED start to flash.
tried another SD card but same result. Then I tried the update with the factory HDD and this was working.
I mounted the original HDD to a PC to see which partitions exist and gparted could only detect one IMG_7780|666x500 How did you detect the other partitions?
the partition size looks a bit weird to me because the whole HDD has 1TB.
can you imagine why this is not working?
I’m thinking about performing a complete reset and try the steps again.


Sorry to hear that, I thought this way should work for most ssd replacement. i suggest you connect with serial debug to see what happen. PuDLeZ already explain how to connect serial debug port.

BTW, I found a issue for updated wirless pro by other brand SSD, which mount the exFAT on SSD as readonly disk, so I can only copy files from computer but not from sd card or USB drive. I don’t know why yet.


Yes I know there has some time passed since you posted your note, but I got my MPWP some days ago, not some years ago…
Has anybody ever tried to clone the original HD to another one (SSD or simply a bigger one)? Does that work? I’d really like to replace with a Samsong 860 EVO 4 TB, but the dissappointment would be as huge as its price if it doesn’t work in the end :frowning:


I’ve been having troubles with making a custom firmware image to replace the drive with a SDD. Weirdly, it works perfectly with a HDD of several different manufactures. It’s like the firmware image can’t see the SSD (500G Samsung Evo 860) at all in recovery mode. I made a lot of debug statements that write logs to the SD card when it runs the recovery and it doesn’t list the drive which is why I say it can’t see it. I’m not sure when I will get a chance to try to manually create the replacement drive in Linux but I’m planning on trying to do it that way to see if it can be detected at all. Hopefully it works that way so I can at least put up some instructions.

I don’t find the manual way ideal since many don’t know Linux or have it installed. While it can easily be booted from a flash drive or cd/dvd without installation, it’s also extremely dangerous in the sense that if you’re not executing the commands against the correct drive you can break your OS (Mac/Windows/etc) installation. This is the reason why I prefer the custom firmware image.


I wonder whether I need a 960gb x600 Sandisk or an Ultra II 960gb Sandisk would work. Could you tell me which model have worked for you @George2018?


That’s this one “SanDisk Ultra II 960GB SATA III 2.5-Inch 7mm Height Solid State Drive (SSD) with Read Up To 550MB/s- SDSSDHII-960G-G25”

BTW, I don’t have time to solve the problem that SSD mount as readable disk when running as NAS. While it’s ok working as USB drive, can be read and writen normally.


Excellent @George2018! Thanks for the info! Anytime you find how to solve the “NAS bug”, tell us please!


It appears the My Passport Wireless SSD has a Sandisk X600 inside it. Does anyone know if it would work if we put a X600 in the Wireless Pro?


@macfrap it is a fact that it is going to work. The question is whether it is going to have the “NAS bug” (being “only readable” when running as NAS) informed by @George2018


@eduberth the drive @George2018 used is different from the one I mentioned. Teardowns/disassemblies have indicated that the drive in the in the My Passport Wireless SSD is the SanDisk X600. I’m just wondering if anyone has tried to use this exact model in their MPWP. I was thinking that would mitigate the issues with vendor and model issues that @PuDLeZ had described.


Yes, this would be very interesting to see if one could use the x600 instead.


Yeah, the SSD version does use a SanDisk X600, at least that’s what ‘hdparm’ is reporting when I ssh into my beta unit. I will order a X600 (512G sata) from Amazon since none of the local stores carry it. Says it should be here on Monday and it seems like I’m always at the end of their 8/9p delivery time. Since it’s a holiday week next week, my work shouldn’t be too busy so I should be able to try it in the MPWP Monday night if not for sure Tuesday.

Funny fact: I have not opened the SSD unit yet since I know it’s the same hardware. It’s just a different shell and of course, the drive…


Awesome! Thank you for doing this, I really hope this works.


So… it installed the OS and I was able to boot off of it but I encountered the nas bug @George2018 mentioned. I connected via WiFi and enabled ssh so I could get into the device even though I was connected with uart/serial… Anyway, once inside I noticed the partitions where weird sizes among other weird things. It’s weird since I used an unmodified firmware image but I guess one good thing is that it changed the UI to the SSD version. Anyway, I’m going to have to research it a bit more but I felt like I had to provide an update since I said I would.


Thanks for the update! Such a shame that it isn’t as simple as swapping in the same drive as the SSD version. It’s starting to feel like the gnarbox 2.0 maybe a good investment after all.


That gnarbox 2.0 looks interesting, especially since it’s NVMe and IP67 rating.

Yeah, kind of disappointing that it’s tougher to make a simple firmware image that will let replacement drives be used. I actually started rewriting the update script so I learn it better, make it easier to read, better logging on the SD card, and hopefully get past the issue of it not working on other drives. Plus, I don’t want to keep erasing and flashing to the onboard ROM when testing things out… This custom update script should at least fix the issue I’m experiencing with the X600 replacement drive.

P.S. If you’re familiar with Linux, I can tell you how to manually create a replacement drive with all of the hidden partitions. I haven’t shared these instructions since not many know Linux and if you specify the wrong drive you can break your current OS installations/lose data/etc. on your computer. My goal is to have a simple process of putting the image on a SD card and booting the device while holding the sd/battery button. I’ve tested manually creating the drive on HDDs but haven’t done it on any SSDs since I didn’t have any sitting around before I decided on the simple method. Pretty sure the manual method will work on a X600 drive.


If the Gnarbox 2.0 can do what it promises in terms of previewing RAW files and applying star ratings, it would be perfect for me. I’ve really only been using my MPWP for backing up photos on location, but I’ve recently found that it could be beneficial to be able to preview and rate photos on location without having to lug around my MacBook Pro. However, the MPWP doesn’t seem to be able to handle the wireless transfer to my iPad. I’ve been trying to import 400 or so JPGs (4-8MB each) in Lightroom CC, but the process chokes after 100 or so photos on both my iPad Pro and my iPhone. So if the gnarbox 2.0 works, it might be a better solution for backup, previewing, and rating on location. Storage could be extended by pairing it with a 1-TB Samsung T5 since the gnarbox is supposed to be able to read from and write to attached USB drives.

As for Linux, I’m not comfortable enough with Terminal/command line to mess around with drives like that.


@PuDLeZ Did you notice a wrong ssd size while you where in the terminal or from the web app? There has been a bug (that affected me and others) where the web app reports wrong size of the HDD. I have a 2TB version and it showed up as 4TB in the web app /iOS apps. A reset of the drive did the trick.

I have not modified my WD, but I’m very interested in doing so.