MyBook 2TB enclosure died

My MyBook 2TB enclosure was dropped and no longer receives power. I have disassembled the unit but of course I cannot read the drive in my computer, though the partitions are still showing.

What’s the easiest way that I can recover my data? Purchase a second MyBook 2TB and swap out the drive? Or does WD offer a recovery service?


I dont recommend buying another drive in order to swap the drives since the drives are hardware encrypted.
I recommend you contact a data recovery company and see if they can help.

Need more information.

-When it was dropped, was it operating? Was it connected via USB to an OS like Windows with power cable plugged in? Or was it turned off and disconnected from both power and USB?

-how far was it dropped? Off a table…say 4 feet? The height is important. It is never good to drop a hard drive at any time but they are designed to handle moderate vibration. A drive might survive a short fall of a few inches, or if it is tipped over, but if it’s powered up and subjected to a sudden, hard vibration the heads may contact the surface or even get bent. Even if it’s not powered up and falls 4 feet that’s not good.

Also, a long fall may damage the bearings in the motors that power the platters and the head positioner. Damaged bearings could jam the motor enough to blow the drive circuitry on the circuit board.

-When you disassembled the unit, did you plug both the SATA connector and the SATA power into a known good ‘desktop’ computer? You did not say what you are using to power up the drive itself when it is removed from the MyBook case.

Please note: the newer MyBooks use hardware data encryption and you won’t be able to read data when plugged into a a desktop SATA connector. All you are trying to do is hear if the drive is ‘spinning up’. It sounds like a quiet whine that increases in frequency and if the heads operate you will hear a slight ‘clunk’ as the heads leave the parking area.

You need an independent SATA power source and SATA data connector. Be very careful when handling the drive that you don’t touch the printed circuit board on the drive or allow it to come into contact with metal while the power is on. Also, keep it away from material with static electricity.

You can use the metal chassis from MyBook and attach the drive to it using the three screws so the PCB is protected.

If you have the drive connected to independent SATA power/data connectors, have you listened in a quiet environment to it power up? If you have other drives powering up at the same time you turn on the desktop computer you need to have your ear close to the drive or use a stethoscope or a piece of rubber tubing, with one end at your ear and the other end touching the case of the drive.

A damaged drive may start to spin up then it starts to click repeatedly. That means it cannot read the data on the track it is trying to access. That could be bad heads, a bad head data amplifier or a bad PCB. It could also mean the disk surface is damaged.

If you get that far, so the drive spins right up then remains quiet, without spinning back down, that may be a good sign. It also might mean you have a damaged circuit board in your MyBook case or the power connector is broken, especially where it meets the circuit board.

If the drive does power up successfully in a desktop computer, and your drive has no encryptyion, you may be able to read it on your desktop.

Look at the circuit board in the MyBook case carefully with a magnifying glass. Look for apparent cracks in the circuit board, especially around areas where external connector connect to the circuit board.

If you are desperate and cannot afford data recovery there are sites on the Net for hard drives that may offer assistance. I have seen people replace heads, platters, and so on in a minimal environment but you cannot expect amazing results. It’s more often hit or miss.

If you have success getting your drive to read, it is highly advised to get the data off the drive immediately.

Thanks for the detailed response. I don’t have the details of exactly what happened to damage the MyBook device. However, it appears that the logic board of the MyBook has failed while the drive itself is operable.

I have physically removed the drive from the circuit board and plugged it into an external SATA caddy. The drive spins up immediately and is detected by Windows. Four partitions are detected, although they are marked as “RAW”. I am assuming this is due to encryption.

The circuit board from the MyBook does not seem to draw power. No LEDs light up and the drive will not spin up when connected. I have tested the AC adapter and it supplies the correct voltage.

So, working under the assumption that the drive itself is in working order but the MyBook logic board has failed, what are my recourses for reading the data? If I were to purchase a new MyBook 2 TB and swap out that drive for this one, would that allow me to decrypt and read the data? Or is the encryption keyed to the hardware somehow?

I don’t know much about the encryption methodology but I cannot see the encryption being drive specific. There are articles on the Net regarding this problem. If you find a used MyBook with a similar model number you may be able to swap them.

The MyBook power adapter connection has been reported suspect in some units. If the unit fell and the power cord end was bent it could have created a micro-fracture where the power cord connector meets the MyBook printed circuit board (PCB).

The only way to verify that accurately is to use a digital voltmeter (DVM). You could buy a cheap one ($10 - $20) since the quality of the electronics is pretty good in cheap digital meters. Even a cheap DVM is preferable to an analog meter since they have a very high input impedance. However, an analog meter will work for this kind of troubleshooting.

If I place the red (+ve) DVM lead inside the power connector plug, with the plug disconnected from the PCB, and touch the black (-ve) lead to the long metallic sleeve on the outside I get +12 volts. That means the long metallic external sleeve on the plug is ground.

CAUTION: While working on a PCB live (hot) be absolutely sure there is no conductive material or metal lying under it. Place it on a magazine or a similar insulator.

I am using a DVM on the DCV (DC volts) scale on the 20 volt range.

I just looked at a MyBook PCB and I had my power supply available. When I plug the power supply into the connector on the PCB, the white LEDs marked D5 to D8 on the PCB flash and go off. Be careful to handle the PCB by its edges only. If you look at the power connector jack carefully (yours may be different) it’s like a square housing with a metal covering and tabs from the covering are soldered on the opposite side of the PCB.

Look at the end of the housing and you will see a separate metal piece that is separated from the metal covering with a piece of plastic. That end piece is the +12 volt connection. Touch the black lead of the DVM on the metal cover and the red lead on the end piece. You should get +12 volts. If it’s reading -12 volts, your leads are reversed at the meter.

To ensure the +12 volts is getting to the PCB look for a component marked L20 about 1/2" from the 12 volt connector. Hold the black DVM lead on the metal housing cover and very carefully touch the end of L20 closest to the connector. Be sure to place it precisely and not short anything. You should see +12 volts on the end of L20 closest to the power connector.

If there is no +12 volts at L20, there is a break between the +12 volt power connector and the PCB. You have to examine the PCB very carefully with a powerful magnifier. Try wiggling the power connector to see if it moved relative to the PCB. Hold the PCB by its edges only.

If there is +12 volts at the end of L20 there may be a break where the USB cable plugs in. Using the magnifier and a powerful light, turn the circuit board on various angles to see if you can spot an obvious break, where the power connector may have separated from the circuit board.

It may be another connector that has caused a break in connection with the circuit board. Go over the entire circuit board examining it closely at various angles under a powerful light, looking for cracks and breaks. If you find one, you will likely need a modern heat controlled soldering iron with a very fine tip to repair it but you might get away with a conductive epoxy or conductive pen designed to apply conductive material.

Look on Google under printed circuit board supplies.

PCBs have their copper traces covered in a green lacquer. It has to be gently scraped off in order to allow conductive material, including solder, to adhere. If you find a small crack in a trace, you can bridge it by scraping the lacquer off and using a fine piece of bare wire across the break, using solder or a conductive adhesive to bond it to the trace.