Prevent Data Loss. Data is LOST forever if WD drive enclosure fails even if hard drives work fine

Western Digital WD drive enclosures do not give the user the actual “Encryption KEY” that is used to encrypt the user’s data.

Currently, for example, if you WD My Book Duo drive “enclosure” takes a fall in an earthquake lets say and breaks, but your hard drives did not get damaged at all, you are still out of luck, you’ve just lost access to ALL your data!


Amazingly, this is the case even if you never enabled a password on your WD MyBookDuo, since these have hardware AES-256 encryption that is “always” enabled, with no way to disable it. And that user “password/lock” thing is just a lock your kid out toy, its not used at all for the actual encryption of your data, you are not given a way to choose your own security pass-key for the actual encryption, and you are also not given a way to “save” the WD generated key. So basically you will end up with encrypted perfectly working hard drives and a broken WD “enclosure” and NO WAY to access your data. Of course WD would be able to easily decrypt and access your data, but you won’t be able to, and they won’t do it for you either. This is a pretty huge problem and there really isn’t any technical reason for it.

WD should provide SOFTWARE to run on Windows/Mac/LINUX that can decrypt hard drives that were encrypted using WD drive enclosures. More importantly they should provide the end user the “ENCRYPTION KEY” that was used to encrypt their data on the hard drives.

The encryption security pass/key should be considered the rightful property of end users and the key should be exportable so we can save it for safe-keeping and use it to decrypt our drives / data in case the WD drive “enclosure” has any issues or fails completely for any reason.

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Has this been addressed? Or is there still a single point of failure that nullifies the dual backup value?

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This is so incredible that I have spent the last hour making sure that it’s as bad as it sounds. It is.

I will be ditching a perfectly functional MyBook Essentials because I don’t care to expose myself to this. I still have all the data, so fortunately I’m still in a position to put the internal drive into a new enclosure and format it. The enclosure’s electronics go to eBay for the more unfortunate people that will need to salvage their failed MyBooks.

The really ironic thing is that I got a MyBook because I had problems earlier with a no-name enclosure. I figured that with the MyBook I was getting both a good enclosure and a good drive, backed by WD’s name. Ha! Alas, no; given this encryption problem, the enclosure is a time bomb. This was a bad move.

If anyone is in this same situation: I’ve read reports of enclosures with ASMedia-based chipsets being good.

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That is exactly why WD really should bring back the large volume of Element! Just do the hard drive job, don’t try to push more to the customers like Micro$oft has done, sigh, wish WD will listen to the customers’ voice. I am going to buy Seagate 10TB internal drive with any brand of enclosure now, can’t wait longer~

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I was just 1 click for ordering it in Amazon, but I stopped because when I pay I do not want hidden secrets.
I like WD products and in my home PC I have 4 * 4TB in RAID5 heavily hammered by Emule. they have been working for 3 years without any issue.

I think im under this issue right now. I cant access my data. i think the chip is already damaged and it wont let me access a fully functional HDD. years of photos gone.

Sorry to revive a month-old thread. Just wanted to confirm this is occurring with a 4TB easystore drive as well. I thought I was getting a good deal on the drive, thinking I could pop it into my PC. Can’t use it internally and it’s not recognized with a different enclosure for my Mac or PC. But if I connect it to the enclosure’s adapter, it works perfectly fine. To add to the fun if I connect it to my PC while booting up it’ll get stuck on the BIOS/UEFI splash screen.

Not sure if the BIOS hang is the result of the drive’s encryption or not. Even still, the encryption is enough reason for me to return this drive to the retailer I bought it from. Wouldn’t recommend this model to anyone else.

Good for dswv42, well stated. Right on target! I called the WD tech support and got a guy who could hardly speak understandable English. Finally I gave up when attempting to communicate and resolve my My Book problems. Western Digital should be ashamed of the image they are sending. No more Western Digital for me.

I am dealing with a MAJOR data loos on their crappy My Cloud EX2 Ultra.
Their tech support that hardly speaks english is a joke and not really there to help, more like avoid answers and give you the run-around.
I personally find it beyond ridiculous that a company that’s been manufacturing Data Storage hardware for decades does no provide solutions for data loss/recovery while they have ALL the experience and knowledge to do so.
The amount of users on this forum that complain about Data loss on WD products SPEAKS VOLUMES!
Shame on you Western Digital. On your poor dysfunctional products and worse customer support and problem solving capabilities!
Shame on me (and everyone else) if I ever purchase any of your products again.

Is This a problem if the HDD are initially formatted for the Mac OS?

2020 and still the same. I have received the 20TB model, and was testing it before start using for data backup… just to find 1-the drives inside are WD101EFAX instead of WD100EFAX so I have hotter and louder drives, and 2-this unavoidable hardware encryption that kills your data if enclosure dies…
The user guide tells nothing about the issue.
"256-bit AES Hardware Encryption and Password Protection — The My Book™ Duo drive comeswith 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption with WD Security™ software built in to help keepprivate content secure. Set a personalized password to activate hardware encryption and data protection. "

I’ve come across this articles:

  • * A hard drive removed from a hardware RAID enclosure cannot be read from a computer*
    A hard drive removed from a WD RAID enclosure cannot be connected to a Mac or Windows computer, in order to access the data contained on that drive.
  • * WD External Drive Hardware Encryption Compatibility Matrix*
    WD provides hardware encryption as a feature on some DAS products. This feature is built into the device and is not user configurable. Hardware encryption and password protection are separate, independent features. Setting or removing a password on a device does not enable or disable encryption on that device. If a WD DAS enclosure fails, the data on the internal hard drive(s) may or may not be accessible when used in another enclosure. WD single-drive enclosures are not user serviceable and removing the internal hard drive will void the WD warranty. Please refer to the Western Digital Warranty Policy for specific details.*

I think it would be fair to include this text in the user guide, and also in the datasheet of the drives so it would be clear before spending time and money in the purchase.