I purchased this drive for storage only and I don’t intend to create a password for the drive or install the Backup/Security Software that came on the drive. After reading about “if the drive enclosure fails” and not being able to recover your files due to both enclosure and drive having the encryption key, plus info if another same enclosure was attempted, so I decided to cut to the chase and send an email to WD Support and find out what was true.
If the enclosure fails and the drive is ok, would I have access to my files if I connected my drive to a SATA/IDE Adapter if I didn’t and what if I did install the Backup/Security Software and create a password for the drive.
Below are 2 WD replies to my case. I tried to get more information from Support a 2nd time but the 2nd reply sounds like WD is answering part of my question, saying that data is not recoverable because encryption is on both the Software and the enclosure board when you install the Security Software. I had to read the 2nd reply a few times to understand what they were saying. I don’t understand why this is so difficult to answer. Oh well.
1st reply From Western Digital Customer Service and Support
For warranty purposes, the drive itself is encrypted to work only on that enclosure. However the access to the files you may have on the unit is not encrypted, unless you download the application WD Security and create a password for the drive. If you only install the backup software this feature will not be enable since it uses the other application mentioned. Hope this information helps you, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.
2nd reply From Western Digital Customer Service and Support
In the event that the enclosure fails, and you don’t have the files on another location, we will recommend a data recovery service to extract the files, since if the drive is connected using SATA or another adapter it will not be accessible due to the hardware encryption or if it has the software encryption. As well this will void the warranty provided to the unit.
It looks like encryption is only on when you install the Security Software and create a password for the drive. Also the encryption would not be on the drive if you only downloaded the Backup Software.