WD My Book Duo 12TB (Year 2016) - Enclosure Cannot Power-Up; How to Retrieve / Access Data in the HDDs

#1

Dear all,

Unit Detail

  • Unit: WD My Book Duo 12TB (i.e. 2 x 6TB HDDs)
  • Year purchase: 2016
  • Configuration: RAID 1 (mirrored to capacity of 6 TB)
  • Password: None set
  • Product Number: WDBLWE012xxxx-00
  • Running on OS: Windows 10 (64 bit)
  • Warranty: WD has agreed to replace the unit but will not recover the data (hence replacing the unit will mean losing all the data)

Problem Faced

  • Unit was working fine where I store most of my family picture and videos (using about 2.5TB)
  • One day the Enclosure did not power up (i.e. cannot switch on – no LED lights)
  • I have checked the power adapter for the unit and its working fine, hence it’s not the power adapter issue
  • With the spoilt Enclosure, I am now unable to access my stored files in the unit’s HDDs
  • I believe my 2 HDDs (in the Enclosure) are working perfectly fine as they had no prior issues
  • From recent readings I understand WD will hardware encrypt all the files; a technician had directly connected one of the HDD to a PC and the PC asked for initialization of the HDD, which he did not perform and unplugged it from the PC
  • The data recovery services providers’ charges are expensive and they did not give assurance on the ability to recover any, in part or the full data in the HDDs

Resolution / Assistance Sought

  • A) How to access / retrieve the data in the HDDs?

  • B) And can I purchase a similar (WD My Book Duo) Enclosure and plug in my 2 HDD to access the files? If yes, (i) must it have similar Product Number (or what product numbers are comparable); and (ii) Same Storage Capacity (of 12TB)? [PS: I am currently seeking information on a 4TB Enclosure – no details on Product Number yet]

Any assistance is very much appreciated, and thank you in advance.

Warmest regards

#2

I’ve been testing this lately while troubleshooting another issue, and here’s what I’ve found.

If your drives are still good, you can put them in another similar WDBLW enclosure and read them. The capacity of the enclosure shouldn’t matter; a 4TB (2x2TB) vs a 12TB (2x6TB) should be the same enclosure with different size disks installed.

Normally, I’d recommend putting in one drive at a time to isolate any problems, but after doing that on my WDBLW 2x2TB, it wouldn’t rebuild the array or let me get my data with both drives in. Either drive reads fine by itself, but both together are now unreadable.

You can’t just connect one of the drives to a USB adapter and read it due to the built in encryption.

Here’s a link to a compatibility matrix:
https://support-en.wd.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1837/kw/replace%20failed%20drive%20duo

#3

Hi Maxlcon,

Thanks for the prompt reply; based on what you said:

  1. I have to find a used Enclosure with similar Product Number - ie WDBLW. This may be difficult considering the product is no longer in production, but will certainly try.

  2. Noted that

  • the size of capacity of the HDDs that used to reside in the Enclosure does not matter
  • will try to extract information with one HDD first as you have mentioned. In fact, if I can access the files with just one HDD I will immediately copy over all the files into a separate external HDD
  • yup, as tested by a technician, directly connecting the HDD to a PC does not work due to the encryption.
  1. On the link you sent, I read this online as well, but I noted that my Product Number WDBLW is not stated on the table. Not sure if this has any relevance to my case, or whether my HDDs will run on another Enclosure with similar Product Number.

Now it appears the next challenge is to find an Enclosure with a similar number.

Anyone having such an Enclosure if is willing let go of it please feel free to let me know.

Also if there are other advise from anyone, please feel free to share. Much appreciated.

Thanks again and best regards

#4

I see that the link doesn’t include WDBLW drives, but it worked on mine. I have 2 WDBLW drives at my desk, and am troubleshooting a different problem, so switched drives between the two enclosures. Both sets of drives worked in both enclosures.

Here’s a link for an empty 16TB Mybook Duo enclosure that looks like the correct one, but you’d want to verify the WDPN with the vendor. They have warnings that it won’t work with drives below 6TB, so you should be OK. I’ve only used 2TB and 3TB drives in mine, but it might be worth a try.

There are also units available on ebay. Always a bit of a gamble…

#5

Hi MaxIcon,

This is good information, thanks.

Will try to search for comparable Enclosures in the market. I checked, my WD My Book Duo uses Red NAS HDDs, which I believe is what the sellers have stated as well.

Best regards

#6

HI MaxIcon,

May I know if you are on RAID 1 configuration? Thanks.

Rgds

#7

Yes, I’m on Raid1 on both enclosures, using 2 x 2TB WD Reds in each.