WD 3TB Elements - Can I remove hard drive and make it internal?

WD 3TB Elements External WDBWLG0030HBK-NESN:


Can I remove the hard drive and connect it internally to a Win 7 machine? If yes, will I lose the data or any partitions on it? Thanks.

Link to the drive:


Hi, the Elements has a standard 3.5" hard drive inside, but note that it will void the warranty if you open the case. Can you share why are you trying to connect the hard drive directly to the PC?


Thanks for you reply. I have had external drives before and they all failed at some point. It was always a problem with the case/interface failing and causing the drive to prevent the system from booting, becoming unreadable or corrupting some data. However, I was able to remove the hard drives and connect them internally or in a caddy to use them further. Sometimes that was enough, other times I could run recover software and then they would work ok again.

I expect that my new WD 3TB External Hard drive will fail at some point, too. Even if it’s in the first year I will still lose the data if you exchange or fix the drive under warranty.

All my previous external drives used the standard 512k byte sectors and were made before the newer 4K byte sector drives, so I was able to just remove the drives from the enclosure and connect them internally to a Win XP machine with no problems. However, the newer drives, including this WD 3TB Elements are different. I assume the new Elements has inside a 4K drive with a GUID partition. So I can’t just remove it and connect it internally to Win XP and expect it to work. Furthermore, I assume there is some proprietary translation by the interface in the external drive that allows it to work with Win XP to surpass the 2GB limit when using mbr partitions with 512k byte sectors. If this is the case, then it seems that not even removing the drive from the case and connecting it to a Win 7 machine will work to allow the data to be read correctly.

Can you clarify the above concerning the sector sizes, the partition type, and the function of the interface board and explain the internal workings of this drive? I’d also like to understand how it can with both Win XP and Win 7. Do you know the model number of drive inside? Is it just an internal drive that is put in the enclosure or is it a drive built special for internal enclosures. Is the drive inside built to run for as many hours as an internal drive?

**But most of all I’d like to be able to recover the data when the enclosure eventually fails. I’m sure I can’t just take the drive out and connect it internally to a Win XP machine. But can I remove it and connect it internally to a Win 7 or Win 8 machine and have it recognize the drive and be able to read all its data correctly? Or is there any other way, by reformatting the drive or something else, before using it the first time, to insure that I will later be able to remove it from the case and connect it to a Windows machine without losing the data?

Thanks for taking the time to read this long question and for any answers you can give to help me.


Please, is there any staff member who is willing to answer my question above? Thanks.

I don’t know anything about sector size. I have an Elements and a My Book that I used XP to format and they work fine on Vista and Windows 7.