Recycling Element caddies - TWoFTaE?

Short Story Long - a while ago a relative of mine acquired a couple of 5 GB 107C Element external drives, and ended up gutting the large hard disks out of them to bolt straight into her computer when she ran out of desk space. Been working fine since Day Dot.

Recently passed the empty shells over to me to “recycle” by dropping other drives into them.

Now the obligatory Dumb Questions.

After mucking about with multiple drives, Windows and the WD Digital Data LifeGuard Diagnostics utility, can anyone sanely tell me why the utility will cheerfully pull SMART data and serial numbers off any orphan drive, but refuse to acknowledge the correct drive capacity (which always sits as 5001 GB, btw) or allow the drive to be usable in any manner except as an electric doorstop?

Windows 7 and 10 see the USB interface fine, Disk Management and Device Manager see the USB interface fine (forget the drive Properties and/or playing with Formatting etc…), the WD utility pulls mostly correctly info off the non-original drives… even DISKPART can do a fair few operations on the hard drive(s) but not enough to result in a functional external storage device any more.

Oh, and the WD Drive Utilities utility? Don’t ask…

Drop the drives onto a SATA interface or another generic caddy, they’re fine. Back into the caddies, continuing TWoFTaE (which stands for Total Waste of Time and Effort, by the way…).

Am I to assume the WD are being petty enough to “lock” their caddies to the factory-fitted drives, so these shells now have to go to the scrap/landfill if/when anyone dares to open them up. Or perchance there’s a magic incantation to “unlock” them before that happens here?

I’m not sure that the limitations of these enclosures are to intentionally keep someone from using them they way you are. Basically it is a waste of time.

Can note though that after some experimentation (retired and bored…), the caddies can be recycled somewhat with some mucking about within Disk Manager.

If nothing else potentially handy for using those accumulated smaller-capacity orphan drives that clutter up the bottom shelf in the workshop.

I’ll register my displeasure at WD not bothering to comment so far elsewhere in a more public arena.

edit - and having just received an email from someone representing themselves as a “WDStaffer” (who also needs to go thru’ other Posts within the Forums here from other Users btw…), I’ll ask another Publicly Embarrassing Question of WD.

After twiddling thumbs for near 5 days, will I actually get an official response from Western Digital that actually addresses the issue?

And after a week, still zero response.

Thank you for the utter waste of time asking for assistance from WD in here. I’ll be sure to advise my customer base to avoid disappointment looking for WD Support in the future.