WD black2 How to use on non supported OS

through trail and error found out how to use a black2 drive on a mac OS and windows server.

all you need is a windows 8 or 7 computer.

hook the black2 up through sata connection

install the black2 software 

once the 1tb partition is active you can then unhook it from the sata connect and plug the drive into another computer/OS and it will see both partitions the 120gb and the 1tb.

the other OS like mac or windows server do not need the software installed. cause we all know its not supported.

all the software does is activat the 1tb partition.

so WD, why not just have both partition active from the factory?

sorry for the double post…

SkyyLander. You are correct about the software. It doesn’t have to be present on a system for the drive to work. The software only unlocks the 1 TB portion of the drive and set the partitions correctly on the “gap” between the SSD and the HDD. The drive can be used in another computer or with a different OS and just re-format the partitions, do not created or move them.

The drive is locked from the factory so that the OS is installed to the correct portion of the drive. If the drive was shipped unlocked a partition could be created across this “gap” and there would be errors when Windows tries to save data across the gap.

I included a link below to the FAQ section for the Black2 that talks about some of the information that I talk about above.


IIUC, after the 1TB HDD is “unlocked”, the two physical drives then become a single pseudo-physical drive. Is this correct? If so, then how do tools such as CrystalDiskInfo identify the combo drive? How does it show up in Device Manager?

When the drive reports its SMART data, what do we see? For example, if the drive reports that there are 10 reallocated sectors, say, how can we know if these are on the HDD portion or the SSD portion?

Does the combo drive identify as an SSD or an HDD? How can we be sure that the OS is optimising the SSD portion, eg by implementing TRIM support?

If we attempt to defrag the drive, will our software be able to warn us that we are about to defrag an SSD, or will the software see the combo drive as an HDD?

Some of these questions are answered in the FAQ link that I provided in my last post.

The drive will show as physically one unit with 2 volumes, one volume represents the SSD and the other represents the HDD (there may be more than one volume if the PC has a recovery partition, etc). You can determine which volume is on which part of the drive by the size of the partition. The Black2 software puts the volume on the ‘gap’ between the SSD and HDD. Therefore, Windows will show about 111GB for the SSD and about 931GB for the HDD. From the FAQ link in my last post click on “OS Questions” tab and you can see what it will look like in Disk Management.

SMART is supported on the whole disk. Since it is a single physical unit, there isn’t really a way to know where the re-allocated sectors are unless you know the sector number that was re-allocated and the sectors the partitions are on. There really isn’t a reason to know where a re-allocated sector is anyhow. Only if there is too many of them, which would be flagged as a failed SMART status and at that point, the unit should be replaced.

The drive will be detected as an SSD and TRIM is fully supported. Because of this, the OS should automatically enable TRIM. If not, Windows has some KB articles on how to enable TRIM if the OS doesn’t automatically enable it.

It is not recommended to defragment an SSD since it can cause performance degradation and cause unnecessary read/writes to the SSD. Since the drive is detected as an SSD, Windows will typically disable defrag. However, the unit does have an HDD that may need to be defragment. For that, you will need to find some type of defragmentation utility that can defragment drives on a volume level and only defragment the HDD portion of the drive.

@LB_WD, I apologise. I did visit the FAQ URL, but I didn’t see the stuff beyond the “General Questions” section.

However, neither the FAQ nor WD’s documentation address the question, or the observation, that the OP has raised. That is, what does the installation software actually do? My examination of the hardware reveals a JMicron SATA port multiplier which splits the SATA port between the SSD and HDD devices. A port multiplier will only provide access to the first drive unless a driver or suitable software is provided. WD’s ambiguous documentation would imply that the OS-specific installation software includes such a driver, and this would then explain why the combo drive is not supported on other platforms. There is no hint in the docs that this software is merely a tool that flips a switch in the drive’s firmware, and that once this switch has been activated, the software is no longer required.

The fact that the drive appears as a 1.12TB physical device in Disk Management is also inconclusive. We could just as easily be looking at a spanned volume or a JBOD or a RAID. In fact my first impression was that WD’s software may be presenting the two physical devices as a spanned JBOD via a driver, in much the same way that a RAID controller and RAID driver might present two 1TB physical drives as a 2TB RAID 0. Once you remove the RAID controller, Disk Management sees the individual physical drives and a broken file system.

The drive uses a regular storage driver that is built into the OS, just like any regular hard drive does. I mentioned that the WD Black2 software just enables the 1 TB portion of the drive and properly partitions it so the partitions don’t cross the ‘gap’. The drive is not supported on other platforms because the Black2 software is not available on those platforms to ‘unlock’ the 1 TB portion so it would work but it would only be an SSD drive.

The drive has no internal RAID and does not support RAID.

I have a WD Black 2 Dual drive also preinstalled on My Origin EON17-SLX Laptop. When I run out of space - I bought another of this WD B2 Dual Drive and now I cannot access the 1 TB option of it. The Computer only shows the 120GB of it.

What is the problem with the SSD here??

I have tried reinstalling the software but nothing works.

WD — Help wanted please!!

Hello sunny911,
I had to install 6 of the black2 drives into a single tower and came across this issue the black2 software will only detect one black2 drive.
To access the second black2 1TB partition you need to remove the first black2 and then re install the black2 software.

Come WD this software feels like a low blow.
It should have you select which black2 drive the user wants to active…

When I reinstall software, it works perfectly but the 1 TB does not show up.

And I cannot uninstall the software, it gives COMPLETION CODE:27.

What does it mean??

Please give me details of how to do it!!


so you have two black2 drives in one computer? 

if so you need to remove the first installed black2 from the computer (physically remove it) to get the second black2 1TB partition active with the software.

SkyyLander wrote:

Hello sunny911,
I had to install 6 of the black2 drives into a single tower and came across this issue the black2 software will only detect one black2 drive.
To access the second black2 1TB partition you need to remove the first black2 and then re install the black2 software.

Come WD this software feels like a low blow.
It should have you select which black2 drive the user wants to active…

The WD Black2 was targeted for the single bay market like laptops and All-in-ones. That is why the software just unlocks a single drive when it is detected.

@LB_WD, I understand how the drive is configured, and how the OS sees it … now. I was merely pointing out that, prior to your clarification, and in the absence of the OP’s observation, WD’s documentation would lead a reasonable person to believe that the software incorporates some kind of driver that enables the 1TB space to be seen as a kind of virtual physical drive. Furthermore, by using the term “uninstall” to refer to the process of locking the 1TB portion, WD is compounding the confusion.

I respectfully suggest that the contents of this thread should constitute FAQ #1.