WD official firmware update bricked WD external drive

I have a WD My Passport Studio. It never had any problems until yesterday when I decided to eventually use the e-ink display that so far only showed “Video 09”. I installed “WD SmartWare” on my MacBook Pro 2009 with the latest Mountain Lion 10.8.3. And I was able to use the E-ink display. But then "Smart"Ware started bugging, there is an update available. Eventually I gave in and downloaded the firmware updater for MAC here, as sugguested:


I followed the instructions carefully. The updater after a while came up with a message that it cannot find the drive anymore and I should retry the update. But the drive does not respond anymore in OSX. Then I found this forum here with a lot of similar requests. Some of the solutions suggested to try the updater from Windows. This one though only gives a message:

“WD Firmware Updater is unable to determine the appropiate firmware for your drive. Contact technical support for assistance.”

I contacted WD and guess what they tell?? “There is no means to recover that drive. Because it is down due to a firmware update, they cannot replace the drive. The case needs to be escalated.”

THIS IS A JOKE, RIGHT? These guys from WD have 1) software that constantly bugs to proceed with a firmware update 2) a firmware update tool that is not functioning correctly for YEARS bricking their on drives (read the forum here) and is still for download and then they tell 3) we don’t usually replace drives that are bricked by a firmware update.… ???

Though the funny processing from the support (they want to give me a call back on Tuesday), I was able to place an RMA request online. Let’s see what happens.

I would though still appreciate any helpful advice that could help recover that drive.


S/N: [Deleted]

It shows up in Windows-7 64bit as “Unknown device”, VID_0928, PID_8000

I assume the firmware update would probably be able to continue if it was possible to configure the updater with the version of firmware that needs to be updated. Of course, because everything is working so fine, the configuration XML file for the updater WinPidTable_e.xml is encrypted.

This might sound stupid but try running the firmware update on a Windows PC. Sometimes it will fix this. Make sure the Adobe Flash and .Net 3.5 are both up to date. Follow all steps exactly like turning off AV. Personally I don’t do the firmware updates if everything is working. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.


EDIT: Wow, they closed the support portal… Your best bet now is to call back and hope you get a better rep on the phone

I was gonna suggest the support portal…

I already tried the Windows updater (it’s in my text). The message “cannot identify firmware” is from that updater. Vendor ID and Part ID are indicated from Windows.

If I would get some support on how the low level stuff works during the update process and how this XML file is encrypted, I probably could tweak the update. Somehow the windows updater still seems to talk to the drive.


Tech support contacted me. They were not able to recover the data. They said they will investigate the current updater (Mac release A replacement drive is already on the way.