My WD10000D033 (MBW white with blue rings) wont power on want to get data off

My MBW is set up with 2 x 500g drives in RAID configuration (drives mirrored).  I moved house and now when I press the power button for over 1 minute it definatley wont power up the drive(s).  It is getting power to the unit, just wont turn on.

I removed the drives, put them in a SATA cradle and in Vista Disk Management I can see that the dirves are both healthy.

Unfortunately, Vista wont assign a drive letter to the volumes/partitions on the drive.

Can anyone advise what I can try to recover my data that doesnt involve paying hundreds of dollars to a data recovery company?

Thanks for your help


It’s Linux based OS + custom GUI. Please start a Live CD such as Knoppix in order to be able to see the drive !

Reason is disks file system is certainly EXT2/3/4 and Vista can’t read it.


Drives are pre-formatted with the EXT3 file format. So Windows will not assign the drive letter nor File System to these drives when they are connected to the SATA port/Cradle of a PC. If you like to extract the data from these drives, then you have to put either one of the drive or both the drives in the New Case. (Excact Same Model Case).

Unfortunately, there may not be much you can do, without going to data recovery.  Fortunately, you mirrored the drives.  But whether you can find a linux machine that will read them may be doubtful, especially for the old blue rings drive.  If you can’t find anything that will read one of the drives, then you may be stuck with data recovery.

Mohamed -

I’m having a similar problem.  A couple of evenings ago access to my WD10000D033 slowed to a crawl and then later stopped altogether.

I got it to shut down, but then it would not boot back up.  The rings flash briefly, and then nothing (I can hear the drives spinning).  Initially I thought it was a heat issue; when I looked inside the unit the drives seemed hot and the rear fan was not spinning.

I contacted WD tech support and they suggested plugging the unit directly into the wall (I had it going into a UPS) and disconnecting the network cable before attempting to boot.  I was not convinced, but to my suprize it appeared to work; it booted up.  The rear fan even spun for about 10 seconds.  I even placed a CPU fan on top (the drives were still exposed) to draw heat out.

I was able to access from a Windows box with Explorer, I was even able to expand the Public folder.

When I tried to copy data off, things went south.  The copy staus window hung at “preparing to copy” for a long time and then it came back with something like unable to access the folder.

I closed that out, but the blue rings were still constantly spinning like the unit was being accessed.

I was able to attach through the Management Console and logged in (took a while to get in).  Drive status was OK, but I was still unable to copy off any files.

I got the system to shut down (though not until I disconnected the network cable).  Now it will not boot.  As before, the blue rings flash, I can hear the drives spin up and access briefly, and then nothing; the drives just spin.

Yesterday I found a WD10000D033 (without hard drives) available on eBay, so i bought it.

My question to you, since you mentioned it in the post above is:

I had my array cofigured RAID 1 (mirrored).  I seem to recall that the default for these units is RAID 0 (striped).  Is the configuration carried on the drives or held in some sort of static memory in the unit.  In other words, do I have to worry about this thing coming up in RAID 0 if I move the drives over?

Also, you mentioned just plugging in one drive.  Will that actually work?  Will it boot assuming a good drive?  Would that be a safer way to start out?

At this point I don’t really care to try to revive this unit.  I really need the data though, so all I care about is accessing the data.

So, another question:

Assuming a good drive and considering that these two drives were RAID 1 clones of eachother, if I were to mount the drive on a Linux box (the WD10000D033’s file system is EXT3, right?) could I theoretically access the data that way? Could it be that simple? Are there any dangers in trying that?

Thanks for any light you can shed on this. 

Well, WD tech support came through, and what was wrong was not what I thought it was.

They suggested I wait 24 - 48 hours and then try bringing it up again, and if it came up to be prepared to connect to it and get as much off as I could.

Well, it booted and I *WAS* able to get to the data. However, it was S-L-O-W and very quirky. Sometimes it would fail to copy a file, and then be unresponsive for 30 seconds to a minute and then I could get it to copy that same file that failed before.

I was in the process of copying a medium-sized file when all progress stopped for several minutes. I finally looked at the Blue Rings, and they were blinking in an alternating pattern - *THAT’S* the blink code for a broken mirror.

I felt the drives; I could feel that drive A was spinning and drive B was not.

So I brought it down, disconnected drive B and booted it back up. It came up and started serving up files at normal speed.

I was able to get all my data off and I’m leaving it on for now but have no intention of using it or fixing the array. At this point I’d be better off getting another NAS; this one has lived a full life and it’s time for it to go to a server farm up state where it can run and play (grin).

As near as I can tell, the problem was that drive B was going bad but had not yet failed. It was bad enough to drag performance to a near halt but not bad enough to out and out fail.

Once it did fail and I removed it from the array, drive A was able to serve data up like normal.

Hopefully, if anyone else out there runs into a similar situation this post will prove to be of some value.

And if you are running one of these things with RAID 0 (using both drives as one big 1TB drive): YOU ARE SITTING ON A TICKING TIME BOMB!! This is the second drive failure I’ve had with this unit in the four or five years I’ve owned it; none of the original drives have survived.

At the very least, back this thing up regularly.

Good luck all.

toolsmythe wrote:

And if you are running one of these things with RAID 0 (using both drives as one big 1TB drive): YOU ARE SITTING ON A TICKING TIME BOMB!! This is the second drive failure I’ve had with this unit in the four or five years I’ve owned it; none of the original drives have survived.


At the very least, back this thing up regularly.


Very good advice. If you’re running *anything* with RAID 0, you’re sitting on a ticking time bomb. Hard drives are mechanical. Mechanical devices fail. Even RAID 1 isn’t safe. It’s better, but I would still make sure to keep copies of anything you can’t replace on a second system.