To recap: I have a very old (2010) My Book for Mac that I had not used for years. About a month ago I tried to use it and the light comes, I hear the disk spinning up, but neither my old G4 or my contemporary Windows 11 laptop can see it.

I finally opened the enclosure and took photos (Flickr album 13 photos):

It looks to me like the USB port has seperated from the bridge board? Especially the front left ‘foot’ of the female USB port looks like it has lifted off the board.

ALSO: when I tried connecting the 1TB drive by itself via USB-SATA cable, it would not spin up. Does it require the bridge board for its power? I am aware that the bridge board is the encrypt/decrypt device, but I would’ve expected the drive to at least spin up and be seen by one or the other computer as an unknown volume or such, but it didn’t spin up.

It does spin up however when the bridge board is put back on, but the computers still do not see it. Do I just need to have someone re-solder or replace the USB port? (its a USB 2.0 mini-B)

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Disks cannot store data for years so you will need to partition it fresh and use it as a new device

Archival media are CD/DVD/BD and tape

G4 Powerbook from 2004, turned on, 20 years later all the files there. Old WD1200 HDD from 2004, hooked up with IDE-USB cable, everything there. Old Seagate Barracuda HDD, hooked up via IDE-USB cable, everything there.

The problem is the My Book for Mac bridge board was built with a bad USB port, it came loose from the board. If and when I find the exact replacement bridge board, we’ll see if the data is there.

Lucky for you as hard disks have a propensity to lose data over time

The drive requires both 5V and 12V supplies. The bridge PCB generates the 5V supply from the 12V adaptor.

I’m guessing that your USB-SATA cable is 5V-only. You need an adaptor that provides both supply rails.

That said, your data are probably encrypted by the bridge PCB. If so, then you need to repair it or replace it. Your local TV/audio repairer may be able to reattach the USB connector.

Yes, thank you. I’d forgotten that a 3.5" HDD requires a powered sata-to-usb connector. So I hooked the bare 1TB HDD up to a powered sata-to-usb connector and I heard the drive spin up. At that point I did not try to connect the usb to the computer, since I’ve read that can cause trouble on the drive when windows doesn’t recognize the encryption. I’ve found a supplier on eBay selling the exact bridge board, even has the exact Initio INIC-1607E chip on it. AUD$110 (that includes shipping from US). Not cheap but I believe it will be less than a data recovery would charge. Possibly more than a solder job at the TV repair. I’m going to order the bridge, fingers crossed.

Usually I keep a USB box for 3.5" disks handy as occasionally these need to have files recovered

Replacing the bridge board might be an option, but it can be tricky. You’ll need to find a compatible board (potentially difficult for an older model) and ensure data compatibility, as some bridge boards handle encryption.
If your priority is recovering data from the drive, consider professional data recovery services. They have specialized tools and expertise to attempt data retrieval even if the bridge board or drive itself is faulty. However, this can be expensive.

There are free options for decrypting these drives.



Here are “tools for opening some encrypted WD My Book drives in Linux”: