Reformat 4 TB HDD?

Hello everyone, first time posting.

I’ve had a WD My Cloud 4 TB HDD for quite some time now, past the warranty period. Yesterday my girlfriend (bless her…) dropped it… Ever since then whenever I plug the power cord I get a solid red light. I’ve tried the 4 second and 40 second reset to no avail.

There is no warranty at this point so I decided to open it up myself and see what I can learn from it. It’s out of its shell now and connected to my computer. Windows 7 won’t recognize it at all, it’s not even under Disk Management. Does anyone have any last effort suggestions?

If I could see it for a brief moment (and if the firmware is available) I could try to reformat it, however I can’t see it. Any input is greatly appreciated, this is the first time I am messing with an external HDD.

How is it connected to your PC?

If one uses the forum search feature, magnifying glass icon upper right, they’ll see this question has been asked from time to time.

The My Cloud hard drive is formatted for Linux. As such unless one installs special drivers to Windows, a Windows PC will not recognize the contents of the hard drive. Instead its best to use a Linux Boot CD/Live CD and boot the computer with that Boot CD/Live CD where by one can generally access the My Cloud hard drive (if it isn’t damaged) that is connected to that computer using an external USB hard drive (not the USB port on the My Cloud enclosure) or when the drive is attached to an SATA port on that computer.

Chances are good (having had the same happen, My Cloud dropped, red LED) the internal hard drive is damaged, possibly beyond recovery. If so and the data needs to be recovered then one can contact a data recovery service to see their pricing (usually expensive) for data recovery from the My Cloud hard drive. Or one can attempt recovery themselves using any number of recovery tools for Windows or Linux. Use the forum search feature to find many past discussions on WD My Cloud file recovery.

I have it connected directly to the motherboard, as if having 2 HDD on my computer.

Thank you Bennor. I did look it up but I am mainly wondering if there is something else I can do. I’m going to try to read it in a Linux environment, see if it comes up. I don’t care about data recovery, it was used as a backup, so all the data that is inside the HDD is inside my computer.

I was trying to find the firmware to install on the HDD earlier and couldn’t find anything. Is there anything out there? If I get this working on Linux, can I reformat the OS? Can I grab any HDD, put it in the shell, and install the firmware?

I fear that dropping it has caused physical damage. You may be able to recover data. DO NOT FORMAT IT YET. See this thread:

Thank you cpt, I did not see that post. I read it, it’s all good information, but not exactly what I am looking for. The data in the HDD is not important, I am trying to save this HDD. See if it’s broken for sure, if it’s possible to reformat it, etc.

Okay. Using an ext4 file system reader would at least allow you to see if the drive is working at all.

Are you trying to rescue the MyCloud, or just the HDD from the MyCloud? If the latter, and you don’t care about losing the NAS function, just plug it into a spare SATA slot in a PC, and format it with whatever file system you like. That will at least tell you if the drive is still functional.

If you want to try to see if you can resurrect the MyCloud, look up the various ‘unbricking’ guides, or one on how to replace a HDD in the MyCloud.

As indicated above use Linux to access the hard drive. If Linux cannot mount the hard drive to either view its contents, scan/repair the drive, or to format it, then changes are very good the drive is damaged.

If the drive can be mounted and accessed by Linux then you can attempt one of the various “unbrick” methods detailed in a number of other discussions that can be found by searching for “unbrick” using the forum search feature (magnifying glass icon upper right).

Try reading it with testdisk.

Testdisk is free, and available for both windows and linux platforms. It can read really badly corrupted/damaged volumes fairly well, and knows about EXT4 internally. (That’s how they get around windows not knowing how to use an EXT4 volume)

It is command line based, but has a text-mode gui type thing.