Things you want to know about the EX2 but nobody had the answers... until now

This is brilliant…and I wish I knew all this before buying my EX2! Thank you for putting it together.

I’d be interested in whether the 12TB gold drives will actually work. I’m running out of space and thinking of next steps…

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You are an absolute saint. WD explains things pretty well, but I feel like there still isn’t quite enough hand holding and their message boards are somewhat inactive

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Thank you for this. I was just about to post and ask the question when I happened across your very informative post.

Does the drive that will contain the ‘mirror’ copy have to be empty and unformatted? I have a 2TB red drive from a single-drive WD enclosure that failed. What would happen if I tried to use that?

Cheers, and thanks for all the great info.

It will get erased and reformatted.

If any of the data on it was important - you need to get it off first (others have more experience than I on how to do it)

perfect! that’s exactly what i was hoping. the data that is on it is also on an external drive that i used to populate the new EX2 Ultra.

For anyone reading this post, remember to back up your data to a separate drive before doing any migration or any changes. I cannot stress this enough that when-ever you have only one copy of data whether it is mirrored or raid 5/ raid 10 where the data is redundantly duplicated or quad-triplets, duplicated according to Murphy’s law, it will fail spectacularly.

Costco is great for buying and returning drives although I don’t do this anymore, but you can buy a few drives for backup of the backup… yes do that. Keep a backup of your backups, and when you have done what you need to do, you can return the open drives. Go ahead and say to the customer service person on why you are returning the drives that you only needed it to backup your backups while you do a drive conversion. :stuck_out_tongue:

However I have multiple backup drives of my data that is perhaps a year out of date, but one day I’ll synchronize my data and my backups will contain the most recent copy. Trust me when you play with any NAS systems, it may not be the software that corrupts your data but rather your fault for not doing it right. Such as the time I tried to migrate from 2TB to … 2TB and the programmer didn’t expect that thereby it is my fault for trying to migrate from 2TB to 2TB… I mean who in the world would do such a stupid thing? eh?

Backup your data… then do the migration from jbod to raid 1, then… write up a long winded post on how surprisingly easy it was and it only took 12 hours or something like that…

Without Backup? I would expect to see a long winded post on how WD EX2 is the last product that you would ever use.

Good luck… and may WD be with you…

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WARNING: use this at your own responsibility and risk!

How to recover your data from WD My Cloud device drives

  • Get a PC running Ubuntu (or any unix you like) or another NAS (WD, QNAP, synology, … doesn’t matter, just ensure it doesn’t auto wipe the drive) with a free slot. A USB SATA 2.5"/3.5" SSD/HDD Docking Station would work as well.
    Some commands may require sudo.
  • List all drives to know the old status
lsblk -d
  • Insert the data drive in a free slot of the NAS / HDD docking station.
    For RAID1, a single drive is sufficient.
    For RAID5, you’ll need to insert all drives (evt minus 1 to run in degraded mode).
  • Refresh drives/partitions and list them again.
    Note down the newly discovered drive
    Let’s assume it’s /dev/sdd here
partprobe   (evt add sudo)
lsblk -d
  • Get mdadm, the software raid manager. Usually your NAS will already have it.
apt update
apt install mdadm
  • List current raid arrays
cat /proc/mdstat
  • You may need to stop the arrays when they are related to /dev/sdd and inactive.
mdadm --detail /dev/md127
mdadm --stop /dev/md127
  • Examine the data partition on the WD drive. It’s the second partition, we’ll use /dev/sdd2 here.
    Note the UUID.
mdadm --examine /dev/sdd2
  • Assemble the array of the data partition again (use the UUID from the previous command) to /dev/md1 if that array name is not used yet.
mdadm --assemble --uuid d0775eb8:f5ea9272:ea011ff7:a0861f7f /dev/md1
  • Check if all is well
cat /proc/mdstat
  • Create a mountpoint, mount the data partition and recover whatever you need.
mkdir -p /mnt/wddrive
mount /dev/md1 /mnt/wddrive
rsync -a --progress /mnt/wddrive/whatevershare  /someotherlocation
  • When done, unmount and cleanup
umount /mnt/wddrive
mdadm --stop /dev/md1

How to recover encrypted volumes

Coming soon.


Just wanted to comment that plugging RAID1 encrypted drive to my linux PC box immediately picked it up, and I was able to use my encrypted volume password and then use the drive as normal.

( I guess expected as the WD My Cloud EX2 is running Linux inside it).

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Wonderful!! that is good news! Thanks for posting up that info!!

It didnt ask for the volume key file or hash? Just the password worked? Also what distro. Guessing Ubunto, what flavor, server/desktop. dev/release… etc…

Hi there, I can’t transfer single file over 4GB, can you tell me how to fix it? thank you

Piggybacking to agree that drives removed from the EX2 can absolutely be read in any modern Linux environment, mounted via LUKS for encrypted ones using the original password; but I’ve only ever tried JBOD-configured disks because, frankly, I don’t trust RAID mode on this thing – having had the volumes config just go blank more than once, for no apparent reason besides a firmware update

Had to take a min to thank you for one of the most AMAZING postings have ever read. Truly thoughtful and helpful. Thank you so very much. I signed up for this forum just to thank you!!!


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Great info THANK YOU.
I have a EX2 Ultra.
I swapped out the stock 2 TB drives with two 10 TB Red Drives.
Using it for my Plex music streaming of my FLAC music collection and
personal docs/data/photo backups.

Hi, I have a question, I mistakenly bought the My Cloud EX2 Ultra to replace My Book Duo and I didn’t know I wouldn’t be able to use it as a external drive as well for my light room work. Do you have any experience pulling these drive out and placing them into another enclosure and being able to reformate them to be used as usb external drives? I don’t have anything saved on the drives so there’s no worry of losing information.

These should be standard WD Red drives (probably Red Plus). You should be able to just yank 'em and put them in a USB drive enclosure. Plug into a PC, and “format”.

Real question: WHY?

If it’s not what you want. . . can you return it?

If not. . .as a NAS, the EX2 Ultra is a swank little unit (if a bit obsolete with OS/3). Plug it into a router, and it can be used just like a USB hard drive. . .but accessible by every computer on your network.

Plus it can serve a media server using standard DLNA and programs like Plex.

If you are a privacy nut (like me) don’t enable cloud access and don’t upgrade to OS/5.

One why is because I trashed all the packaging so I cant return

The bigger why is because I cant use it like a usb drive with Lightroom, Lightroom does not allow the use of a network drive. Apparently from what I read the usb on the my cloud ex2 ultra enclosure is host only? so they don’t work like a typical usb connection.

I mostly use my externals for photo and video editing work and archiving work. Since I mostly use Lightroom this enclosure isn’t working for me unless there’s another way to configure.

I might try to just sell it local and get something else. I’m also thinking of going to a different manufacturer since it seems difficult and problematic when these enclosures fail (which my other my book duo starting to do hence this purchase) because of the encryption.

If anyone has thoughts on using these with Lightroom let me know.

Huh. . . I use Lightroom (V6; with perpetual license) all the time. I did not realize that it did not like using network drives (what a silly restriction - - I bet they are concerned about network latency)

I actually use lightroom with a USB drive myself. . . .so I know where you are coming from. I use the NAS for backup of both the image files and the catalogues.

A suggestion - don’t know if it will work -slick if it does - have the catalogue on your PC/Laptop HDD and the image files on the network drive.

FYI: I gave up on lightroom when they went to the subscription model. I used the perpetually licensed V6 until I got a new camera at the first of the year; then switched to Capture One (with perpetual license) and have not looked back.

It is a silly restriction. I had no idea.

That’s a good idea, I will try that.

Oh same, I hate the adobe subscription models. I’m still using cs6 suite and Lightroom 4. I’m so paranoid about losing these I limit my windows updates as I’ve had issues in the past with minor updates that aren’t security related doing weird dumb things to some of my software.

Thanks for the input