Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How to open the Western Digital My Book 500GB

Do not be stupid and leave the unit plugged in or plug it in during disassembly. And you are about to void any warranty you may have.

Model: WD5000C032

Step one

Identify the corner screw that is painted black. It is located by the lock hole. Scrape it clean and unscrew it. The two clam shells that form the My Book are very snug.


Step two

Put the My Book up on its end, the long rubber feet down. Locate the locking tab (See step four). It will be visible through the grille. Push locking tab down with screw driver (pink) and insert another (red) to torque the two clam shells apart. Be gentle, the plastic is soft and chances are it will get marred. Torque the clam shells apart just enough to prevent the tab from locking.
Step Three

Flip it over and do the same. But just enough to get the locking tab to not lock. Flip it over, and continue to repeat steps two and three until you can pry the clam shells apart with your fingers or a soft instrument.

Step Four

Note the locking tabs; it will help you visualize what is to be done in steps two and three. Step the outer clamshell aside and lay the hard drive caddy flat. Observe the white transparent LED button that is used to power the My Book on and off.

Step Five

Do not attempt to remove the hard drive. There is much work yet to be done. Notice how the drive screws are inaccessible.

Step Six

Unscrew the three screws that hold the LED PCB in place.


Step Seven

Remove the LED PCB. It is connected by pins, so wiggle it gently until it disconnects.


Step Eight

Now this is the second hard part. The first was opening the clamshell I’m sure you will agree. The power supply PCB on the bottom of the drive caddy must be loosened so that the LED PCB connector can clear the plastic clamshell. Loosen the two screws nearest the LED connector. You may have to remove some aluminum tape that holds the HDD connectors in place.
Step Nine

It can’t be explained. Just keep manipulating the HDD caddy until it comes out of the plastic clamshell.
Step Ten

Now remove the other two screws from the power supply cage. This is necessary so that the HDD screws can be removed without damaging the sheet metal that forms the power connector housing.

Step Ten

Now remove the other two screws from the power supply cage. This is necessary so that the HDD screws can be removed without damaging the sheet metal that forms the power connector housing.

Step Twelve

You should screw the power supply cage back on at this point: the posts that are inside it are going to float around and impact components and traces as the other three HDD screws are removed.

Step Thirteen

Remove the HDD cables.

Step Fourteen

The HDD may be removed by wiggling it free of the rubber shock mounts to which it is attached.

Congratulations. Enjoy replacing the drive.




200 comments:

Anonymous said...

can you give some more information?
I'm was going to get one from Costco but wanted to be sure.

Is yours an Essential (USB only)?
what is the buffer?
how hard is it to mount another HDD and close it back?
is it something you would do as an swap enclosure or one time thing?
does the HDD vibrate a lot?

Rich Andrews said...

I think it is an 'essential' as it has only a barrel type USB connector. As for the HDD, it is a SATA WD5000YS WD Caviar RE2 WD5000YS-01MPB0.

DO NOT use this as a swap enclosure - it was built to basically be thrown out on failure.

It doesn't vibrate and the shock mounts on the inside are quite impressive. It runs a little hotter than expected.

I have not yet mounted another HDD since I was caught of card on the SATA. Figured it was EIDE or something!

Anonymous said...

I see it has a molex connector. Mine has a typica sata connector.
Used your 'mod', but no succes, the hard drive is dead. But i was before so not the fault of the removal.

Now have to get the thing inside again :s

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the guide, I did have to loosen 4 more screws in step eight though, those who keep the metal-part to the plastic case. So that is 6 screws in total in step eight.

Felix said...

Thanks for the guide! I finally got this sucker open, and fortunately it seems there was "only" an electronic failure, and the disc itself was ok.

Anonymous said...

Thanks mate, I really needed that...

Anonymous said...

hey thanks 4 that, i was near to ripping the thing open. thats external HD number 2 that has died on me in the last 6 months!

Anonymous said...

I'm using "My Book Essential Edition" with 160GB. I don't think mine is same as yours. I couldn't open mine because of the screw that is at inside of the case.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I bother......After a Firmware Upgrade, my Western Digital Premium Firewire simply stopped working! I'm desperate, I have all my music on it!! More than 1500 Cds Ripped....I don't know what to do...Is there a way to fix it? I just downloaded a damn "Firmware Upgrade" from Wd site, because Windows Vista continued tio recall a Driver (oxemi or something) but warning me that the driver wasn't a proper one, to be careful installing it...so i Went to Wd site (support) and I founded out there was a sort of driver that fixed Firewire issues...So I did: i installed it, and ofter the installation process My Book simply went off!! I tried to make it work again but with no results...Tried everything actually. I'm desperate, I need what's in it.....
Any suggestion?
Thank you very much in advance.

Ps Sorry for my bad english, but I'm italian :-))

Guillaume Portes said...

Thanks alot for your nice photos, I've just bought one 750 GB Essential version and wondered if the drive was IDE or SATA inside!
Now I now.
By the way, where has the step six photo gone?
I mean the big one of course...

Anonymous said...

I had the same firmware upgrade problem - disk does not work (I guess, that disk is OK, but firmware screwed only the "case"). I have 320 GB Edition, do you think that it is the same?

Don Insalata said...

For desperate guy from Italy with his 150 CDs ripped:

Cheers, if the disk does not work after performing firmware upgrade - that is NOT ok, but you had not lost your data!!!

The disk INSIDE the case works like a charm. What got screwed was the chip on the "case" tiny motherboard (black/white box), because the upgrade deleted the firmware and after that it had written error and new firmware was not loaded to that tiny motherboard (I guess they have buggy firmware upgradere).

So if are a man of action, you can use your screwdriver and open that case (for example the 320GB version did not have that screw on the case as the one described here) and you can connect your disk via SATA as usual internal HDD. (The disk inisde the WD Mybook is standard WD Caviar Sata HDD).

Don Insalata said...

If you have 320GB version (which slightly differs to the 500GB) and you want to only save your data after applying the firmware upgrade 1.08a, you can read this article:

http://anotherdeadblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-to-open-western-digital-my-book.html

I used this article here as a reference guide - cause it differs only slightly - to save some time and work. Cheers.

The Source Show said...

After step 5 I just drilled two 1/4 inch holed into the side to get to the two other drive mounting screws. Much easier and it really doesn't look bad.

Daniel "Bioret" Padron said...

thanks for the guide. successfully did mine. Probably could'nt have done it as easy without a guide.

thanks

Anonymous said...

Ok for Step one I dont see any screw, infact its a hole now cause I scraped intil I can see into the casing

Anonymous said...

HI,

Very Informative piece of article but would you happen to know how to open a WD My Book Premium edition the one with the Firewire and USB connector bec I am trying to replace the HDD inside the enclosure.. I tried looking for the screw on the side but to no avail, I would greatly appreciate any assistance Thanks

Adrian,

Jonathan Austin said...

I want to put the HDD into another external case that I might pickup up from Best Buy or Circuit City. Can anyone tell me what kind of specifications I need to make sure and have when I buy the new external case.

I've got a My Book Pro 500GB. I think it is SATA.

Thanks in advance.

music technology said...

I got a 500Gb WD MyBook last year and it was a painful experience... it either stopped XP from starting, or took 20 minutes to detect if I plugged it in with XP already on. I eventually took the drive out of the case and put it in another enclosure, and it works OK now...

Anonymous said...

BEWARE ON LATE MODELS THERE IS NO SCREW, JUST PUSH CLIPS.

ALSO THERE IS NO BUTTON TO TURN IT OFF, JUST A LIGHT, SO DO NOT PUSH IT. IT WILL LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME AS BEFORE, BUT WILL BREAK IF YOU PUSH IT TOO HARD.

Turning it off requires removal of AC cable.

Anonymous said...

thanks man, it help me a lot.

Good job

Anonymous said...

For those wondering how to get the drive out of the Premium Edition (USB & FIREWIRE), it's not too hard.

First, remove the rubber strip from around the whole case (it's what's holding the case together), there's a few areas around the drive that feel like they could rip & WILL, you just have to be extra careful in those areas.

Second & Finally, apply a small amount of pressure with a flathead screwdriver, to both the top & bottom of the case (near the front), and the case should just slowly come out without resistance.

Follow the rest of the steps on the tutorial, to remove the hard drive.

For the 750GB models, it's an WD7500AAKS & will perform at double the speeds internally or in a case with an eSata connector, than in this case.

Why would Western Digital cripple their own drives like this?

LRS said...

Very good help, indeed. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

If you have model # WD5000C032-002, and/or maybe the other newer Mybooks, you just have to push the clips, no drilling or scraping to remove a screw. I opened it with 3 sturdy but thin butter knives. If you're looking at the drive like it's an actual book, and looking at the front cover, tilt it to look at the top, in the bottom left corner in the two line holes you can see the clips. Press both of them, each with a butter knife, then take the 3rd butter knife and start to separate the "binding" from the rest. But just open it a little bit. Leave the 3rd butter knife wedged in. Now flip it to look at the bottom (spine still on your left). In the upper left and corner there's two more clips in the line holes. Press them down and wiggle the case apart. It's not hard.

Sadly, my drive doesn't spin and I lost 50 hours of field recordings that I had just transfered (the original tapes were magnetically erased by sitting to close to my monitor). Then as I was going to back it up, the drive died. I had it less than 1 month. DON'T BUY WESTERN DIGITAL! and if you do have a mybook, PLEASE do yourself a favor and back anything important up to DVD's. From reading all the horror stories, your drive is likely to die also.

Anonymous said...

I lied, you really only need two butter knifes, and make sure one is thin and the other narrow in width. Maybe only 1 if you're really good. Fuck Western Digital!

Steve said...

mine isn't sata....

- said...

Gents,

I have a WD My Book Essential 2.0. Used it for 3 weeks and all the sudden the drive isn't spinning up. I just get a flashing blue light on the front. Interval is less than a second on the flashes. Is the device fried?

slidernyc@gmail.com

yong said...

yea, i got the same problem with my 250gb my book essential. my laptop recoginses it as a usb mass storage device but it doesn't read and the light just blinks. i hope that all my data inside is still okay. i don't want to spend hundreds just sending it to a data recovery centre -___-

Anonymous said...

Got some bad sectors on my drive and had to open it to try and connect it directly. Thanks for the guide. :)

Anonymous said...

to those with the flashing blue lights - did you ever find out if the data on the drive is still readable? I have the same problem with a Pro 500 and am thinking about taking the drive out and trying to set it up as an internal

Simon Mac Donald said...

Thanks for the detailed information on how to retrieve the hard drive from the MyBook casing. Mine just died today and I'm going to try and get it going as an internal drive but first I need a SATA to IDE converter.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the illustrated instructions :) Very helpful. I have the HDD out. Zdenek

kohai said...

Hi all, thanks for good advice on opening the hard drive.

However, a friend of mine used the computer's power adaptor to the My Book 320 GB and the hard drive is dead (a bit to much current and amps going in).

I have opened up everything and found that a diod probably got burnt. If anyone have a spare controllercard (sitting on the hard drive) for the hard drive it self, I am more than interested cause I can't find the component anywhere.

Thanks again for good pics and advice.

Anonymous said...

I needed to open my 250GB MDL:WD2500I032 (its IDE) because one mounting screws fell out and was rattling around inside.
Thanks for the help in this post, I was about to give up on figuring out how to open it.

James said...

Awesome tutorial. Worked perfectly for me! Thanks so much. I owe you a beer or two!

Jerry said...

I formatted this drive and lost the software CD that came with it. Where can i get that google backup software? Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Kohai, i've got a question. Will the drive work after that accident of your friend or the drive is affected as well?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just encountered the firmware flash problem with my MyBook Premium a couple days ago. Of course, the flash failed and made my drive (enclosure) useless...or so I thought. I just found a thread over at the WD Supports Forums in which somebody claims to have 'resurrected' their drive using a flash utility from Oxi Semiconductor. The thread is called "Flashing new BIOS My Book Premium DEAD". It can be found at:
http://websupport.wdc.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6056

I'm going to attempt resurrection as soon I get home!

Everybody cross their fingers!

-Brian-

Anonymous said...

The TOPIC_ID=6056. Not sure why the link doesn't wrap properly. Here it is again split apart though.

Flashing new BIOS My Book Premium DEAD

http://
websupport.wdc.com/forum/
topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6056

Hope that works now..

-Brian-

rmjb said...

Thanks for this

Steve said...

My 500 gb My Book Essential just (or so I thought) shit the bed after I installed a My Book Essential 2.0 500 gb.... luckily it was no big deal, I had just experienced a conflict between the two drives and when they we're booting up, etc.

What I will say, is that I will NEVER buy another one of these drives again, and am going to set up to bring a Drobo into my studio. The My Books have huge problems, as you can see on and review site, and they are a bitch to deal with. This was a backup solution for my studio, and I lost a ton of time.

Anonymous said...

There was no screw on my Essential 500GB. Only flaps. Also my drive was a AAKB (SE16) IDE one, not SATA.

Hope that helps.

Zach said...

I almost stripped two of the screws doing this :-/

do0g said...

If any of you are taking your MyBook apart because of a firmware update failure, I have posted a step by step guide on how to recover your MyBook to normal operation here:
http://do0g.blogspot.com/2008/03/how-to-recover-from-failed-mybook.html

tehJolly said...

Hey guys...

I came upon this site after having my dog knock this off the table while I was doing some work. After I picked it up the HDD was buzzing so I instantly cut it off and I am now in the process of opening it to see if it is damaged.
What can I do if it is damaged, and is it possible that I haven't lost any data?

Anonymous said...

How do you open the NEW WD MyBook 500GB Essential Edition? The one with the smooth rounded grille and a blue led on the front?

DJ Logix said...

Ahhh thanx for this so much. My 160 Book stopped workin all of a sudden after pluggin it into my friends laptop (which had Vista). Well it worked just wouldnt read. I looked for a while on how to fix it but never came across anything that worked. I finally decided I was gonna just open it up but at a decent glance and much pulling on it you want get it open or find out how to open it. So yeah after finding this its now working as an internal, and I've got all my files back. I think this experience with WD has really affected how I feel about purchasing their products again though, tho I'm not sure.

Lauren said...

thank you so much!!! mine was a WD 320GB Essential 2.0, so it didn't have the outside screw, but following along with your pictures gave me the confidence to bust it up! you saved my job!!!! thanks again!!!!

The Cerealistic Lama said...

Arrrgh I just fried a 500 GB mybook when I plugged in a wrong power cable into it .. I extracted the SATA drive and plugged it in and this horrid smoke smelling of melting circuit board billowed out of the SATA connector i was horrified... I am still in shock because I just backed up everything on this drive 2 months ago and now I no longer have duplicates of the files... so I am hoping all i have to do is replace the pcb on the drive itself and hopefully it will work correctly.. and I don't want to send the drive to a data recovery lab.. this sucks its only 3 months old.. sigh

Arvind said...

My 500GB MYBook Essential USB2 (older version) with a round green light was working fine last Monday. I powered it on yesterday and the green light flashes on and off - each flash is less than a second.
Could this be a power cord failure or is it some circuitry inside or is it a disk drive crash. I dont have a backup and your thoughts on what this would really help. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I have the 1 gig Book2, and what a load of shite the company is, like another twit like me I knocked mine to the floor after catching a cable. When its connected to the pc the drive runs and the leds flash, and the pc acknowledges there is a usb connection but neither read nor write to it, so I guess its the cct board gone, I contacted wd, but they refuse to assist as I bought it while in Europe and as I am at the moment in Asia, they will not accept responsibility for it, otherwords the portable drive does not have portable warranty, What a bundle of shite. Never, ever again will I buy WD.

Ralf said...

i bought a mybook 500gb, and everything was all right for a few months, after that i experienced trouble with delayed disc writing or something like that, after that, the drive suddenly went unrecognized for my computer, and after that, the on/off feature stopped working. I turned off the computer, and the case was still on, or when i turn on my computer, the disc was still off...

this drive is a piece of crap... i will never buy another drive from WD again. I took it off the case and i hope it still works as an internal hdd.

Anonymous said...

I an one of the dissapointed WD MyBook 500 GB owners.
It failed after short time and I lost all of my data. After sales service from WD is useless. Hence I never ever by again a product from WD

Anonymous said...

Very useful info. Thanks mate!

Anonymous said...

Lol.

I can't even get the first screw off.

wth.

Anonymous said...

Hello
Thanks for that. Saved me a lot of time too. On the WD10000H1U-00 there are only two tabs. One each under the front rubber feet. Carefully lift feet from front end and you can see the tabs. Push down and slide cover off!

chris said...

i was just wondering i dunno if this forum is dissused now but was wondering if its possible to take the hard drive out of this and use it as my main hard drive for my pc ?

Simon Mac Donald said...

Yes Chris, it is possible to put the hard drive into your PC and use it as the main drive. Of course you will need a SATA connection on your mother board in order to connect the drive. If you have an old IDE motherboard you will want to stick with the external solution.

chris said...

ah thanks for the speedy reply :) yeh i got a SATA connection using an asus m4n2 sli board :) so its all good just gotta figure out how to take the external apart :P got the mybook home 500gb cant see no screw holes : >

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I kinda stripped the screw off in the corner...is there any other way to open it?

Anonymous said...

I made it to the last four screws on my own. What are these? There appears to be a washer (?) locking each of these screws in place.

jason said...

I randomly but frequently kept experiencing a "Delayed write failure" error with my WD 500gb My book..

After googling this problem I decided to try removing the drive from the enclosure and hook it up as an Internal SATA drive, well its been 4 days now and the drive is running flawless plus all of the data was still present when I hooked it up internally. (Win XP SP3)

I guess the usb interface used in these my books is to blame? The thing is I have 2 other external USB drives (Maxtor) and never experienced this delayed write error before with either of them.

Its worth noting that although the 500gb my book I have looked exactly the same on the outside vs. the one in this article it wouldnt come apart the same way, I had to break internal tabs to get it open (Which arent even mentioned here other than the 2 tabs visible through the grate) also there was no corner screws on the enclosure as well as other internal differences, I basically had to break it open, WD ensured you'll be voiding the warranty if its opened but for me it was worth it.

Anonymous said...

ok guys i need EMERGENCY HELP, I have a problem, I own a WD 500gb Essential Edition (with the green round light), all of a sudden it started making this "click" noise. i tried connecting it to other computers and changed USB cable but it doesnt help anything.
the hd starts up, makes the click noise a couple of times, then it goes into a standby mode. it doesnt even appear on my computer anymore. Any suggestions on what i should, and what i can do in order to retrieve my info stored on it?

Simon Mac Donald said...

I'm pretty sure that 'click' sound you are hearing is the hard drive arm crashing into the platter. Stop trying to power up your drive and take it to a disk recovery specialist.

Anonymous said...

Good advice, has anybody had a disk recovery done and what the price was, and which location. I'm located in Carson,CA 90745, I would like to recover just about everything on my book approx 250gb (music, pics, docs, apps, videos, etc...).

Just of curiosity, on other sites people posted that I should try the freezing method (put drive in ziploc bag, freeze overnight, and then connect to computer) in order to access the book temp in order to move files out of it, has anybody tried this?

Anonymous said...

Rich, you said this box was meant to be thrown away upon drive failure. Why can't the box be saved and used with a different drive?

Ric said...

I have the same WD. No screws on the outside. Was able to pull the sides away from the middle and pulled it out. That's where my unscrewing began. Okay...here's the problem. My drive didn't make any strange noise. It just starts and stops when it wants. So I removed it from the old casing and put it into a new external enclosure. It does the same. The drive letter will blank in and out like it wants to stay. Some times it does. I can see how much data is on it and even go to properties. If it allows me to go into the folder I'll see all the folders that I made inside of it. But when I go in those...Nothing. What should I do?

Anonymous said...

I've had two WD drives die. Should have learned my lesson the first time. They BOTH died exactly 2 months after the cheesy 6-month warranty had expired. I'll never buy their brand again.

Anonymous said...

I won't be buying disposable external hard drives again, from any manufacturer. I had the one with the rubber around it, but I literally tore the thing to pieces to get at the drive inside. It helps if you don't care about putting the piece of junk back together.

WD SUX BALLS said...

Yes, I to am a casualty from this Western Digital WD5000CO32 my book rubbish drive.
Ive owned my Mybook for less then a year. It is full to the brim (500gb) worth of music files vids etc. The drive stil turns on but xp only recognises it as "WD M MODEL" external USB device.
I have tried almost everything and is deperesate to recover content on the drive any input would be great.

Dooze said...

Took my HD out on my WD 250gb due to the flashing light problem, managed to get a ide>usb connector, connected it.. windows reads the device but says 'device not starting'.. so basically does that mean my HD is dead? If so, ive lost everything :(

Anonymous said...

I had to open mine due to the firmware update problem posted here, however the case model I have does not have screws.
So, I used a precision screwdriver to force opening the case and it worked, without harming the case plastic.
I hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if anyone knew of a place to get a working board for a my book essentials 1TB drive. My data is fine, the USB connector jack broke off in a fall. I would also be satisfied with instructions to repair it if possible. The jack just snapped off the board. My primary machine is a laptop so I would prefer to keep this drive portable. :)

Simon Mac Donald said...

If the case is damaged but the drive is in working condition just go to any computer parts store and get a new USB hard drive enclosure. It will probably be cheaper or on par with getting a replacement part for the MyBook.

Daniel B said...

Hi thanks for the HowTo. It was nice with all the pictures that describe carefully how to get it done.

It didn't do it tough, but i intend to.

Rosie said...

This is a great site. Thank you for your information. I THANK YOU I SALUTE YOU IT,S A AMZING SITE.

Pit said...

Thanks for your great explanations even though it didn't help me much.. I’m wondering whether someone could help… 2 days ago my WD My Book 500GB Essential Edition USB HD stopped working with no reason at all.. I was hearing a strange sound when the drive was ‘trying’ to start up and right after that it stopped ‘trying’.. I followed the instructions above and opened it, hoping that the problem could be in the case…and I took it to a PC shop cause I just have a laptop, where the guy there told me that the disk head has a problem and that’s why I hear this noise.. Bottom line, I spoke with some data recovery companies who ask for a fortune to recover my data, if it’s recoverable… Does anyone know if there is a more decent way to find out if there’s any possibility to recover these data without spending these crazy amounts? I’m not a company loosing millions here, I’m a poor guy loosing some memories from moments that are not reproducible in any way if you know what I mean..
Thanks!

Jurjen said...

Thanks for this highly detailed crash course on opening a MyBook Essential! Although I didn't had to make it to the end (just a ratteling screw in the inside that mysteriously came lose a few months ago), it was pretty easy with the pictures. Here's a 320GB IDE-version (first version, with the button as seen on the pictures).

Anyone yet tried putting a bigger disk inside? I use it just for music and sound scapes, but it's getting to small for what I've got. (And since a single HDD is cheaper for a student than one with casing...)

No trouble what so ever with this drive, even after two years. By now I also have a 1TB drive (with FW800, woohoo, now only find an affordable PCI card for my pc), my father has a 500GB Pro drive and the office has a 500GB Pro as back-up. No trouble what so ever on Windows XP systems.

Keep up the good work!

Delan said...

Hey guys,

I did something really dumb last night, I accidentally plugged my WD MyBook home premium edition into my laptops power adapter (T.T). I heard some strange noise, so I quickly unplugged it. I didn't experience any strange smells or see any smoke, but I think I short circuited something, as it no longer works and the LED in the front just flickers if I plug it back in.

I would like to know if, in your experience, it probably just fried some circuitry in the case (and the actually hard disk is probably ok) or if there is a good chance I also trashed the actual disk component.

Im still under warranty, but the data is very important to me, so I didn't know if I should try and take it apart to place into an external case or not. Thanks for your time!

Simon Mac Donald said...

If the data is more important to you than the replacement cost of the drive I say you crack it open.

I have a feeling you just damaged the external drive casing and your hard drive is actually okay.

Delan said...

Ok, Ill give it a try, thanks for your input Simon :).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the instructions and pictures. You can actually take the HDD out without opening the poser supply screws, but there are 4 screws that hold the metal case to the plastic case before that's due able. Thanks again!

Andrew said...

This is insanity.

I have the WD 320GB Essential Mybook that is only 4 months old. I had about 200GB stored on it and I woke up this morning and I had the dreaded delay write error.

The drive still had a drive letter but when I clicked it it just hung my system up.

I unplugged the USB and plugged it back in. XP detected the USB drivers, and even that it was WD MyBook. The drive would not be recognized from windows at all. It was gone.

I needed the data off of it more than a RMA replacement so I googled, found this site, and got the drive out. Plugged it into my PC via SATA and still nothing. I have had the BIOS actually detect the drive but now it is showing up as 'unknown'.

This is rediculous that WD is having literally hundreds of problems with this one product. I am going to try the freezer trick tonight because I have had success with that before.

I used to buy WD exclusively but after reading these various problems and the volume of them I will stick with Seagate (which I have a 160GB hard drive that is 4 years old still kicking) and maxtor.

Just thought I'd post my experience.

DrLex said...

Jeez, this thing looks like it was designed to be complicated. It's almost easier to take an iBook G3 apart. I have an Icy Box external enclosure and it only requires unscrewing 8 screws to get the drive out, of which 4 screws can be unscrewed with your bare hands.

Delan said...

Shit, I think I'm out of luck :(. So, a few posts back I described accidentally plugging it into my laptop power adapter... and I've now taken it apart and tried to plug just the drive into the computer case. The computer would normally start, but when the drive is plugged in, it won't start. I think I fried the drive itself (T.T).

Is my only option then to try and get the exact same drive and replace the circuit board on the drive itself? That's kind of expensive...

Leonid S. Knyshov (web account) said...

Awesome instructions!

This may seem a bit like a commercial, but for those of you who have opened this case and found the drive is dead, please do contact me. It will still be expensive to get your data back, but less so than some of the other price quotes you'll see.

I own a website called www.harddiskcrashed.com

By the way, Acomdata PureDrive drives are extremely easy to open. If you are looking for a new enclosure, you should consider their products. I have a bunch of them in my lab.

tinfoiltuxedo@gmail.com said...

Has anyone tried any recovery specialists? I spoke to a few that WD recommended and they want a small fortune to recover my 500GB MyBook. It does the clicking noise everyone describes. Was quoted $1000-4000 depending on parts and damage. They all have a free diagnostic but if you choose not to use their services they end up charging you for it.

Please email directly if you have any info.

Kelstar said...

You rock.

I copied all my wife's important stuff to a MyBook so that i could rebuild her virus-ridden machine.

When i went to put it back, i heard the hard drive constantly accessing, almost like it was in a loop (but it wasn't the dreaded clicking).

With these instructions, I was able to take it apart and then use and external SATA to USB cable set to bypass the little controller board.

So.... you rock!!

Anonymous said...

This post has been very informative, however, I'm still at a loss to what I should do. My problem is the same as kelstar's (the looping). I have a 500G MyBook (WD5000DO32) and two more days on my warranty. The files on the drive are all backups and I still have the originals. I would be willing to return it for a new one but I have files on this drive that I would not want anyone else to have access to if the drive is still good. I don't think my older Dell PC will handle the 500G drive internally and I don't understand what kelstar did (external SATA to USB cable set to bypass the little controller board). Can anyone give me a suggestion on how to erase the files before I return it or what else I can do? I can be emailed at fotofanatk@yahoo.com and I will be checking this post. Thank you for any help!
PMcCoy

Kelstar said...

Hi Anonymous:

The Serial ATA (SATA) to USB connector that i used at my work was similar to this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812232002

If you are just looking for something to wipe your old drive, here are some free options from download.com:
http://www.download.com/1770-2001_4-0.html?query=disk+wipe&searchtype=downloads&filter=license=49|&tag=ltcol
Be sure to check out what each one does and read comments from people that have used it. You don't want any surprises when wiping disk(s). :)

pjuppi said...

hey, ty for this guide :D, i had to do something today because i´m sick at the moment.. :(.. needed to take something appart for a moment ;), mine wasnt exactly the same inside (have wd essential home edition something, 320GB) but the trix to open the box worked :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the opening instructions. I would have had to break the case open instead - not that it would make a difference as I think the USB interface is defective. The drive works perfectly connected by SATA directly. It started to show read errors (actually "inpage errors" and "device I/O errors") in the last week.

As the drive was still hotter after all that opening procedure (INCLUDING finding this page!) than the other drives inside the computer case, I assume the WD case has a temperature problem that either destroys the drive or the USB interface PCB after some time (was 18 months old in my case).

So: even if your drive is running, CHECK THE TEMPERATURE if you have a way. Or use it only a short time, then remove it.

Christian

Anonymous said...

I have the WD5000IO32 version, but the case is identical. The only difference is that there was no screw bolted in on the corner. Thanks for the instructions!

Anonymous said...

I HAVE A MY BOOK 500 GB, AFTER 3 MONTHS USIN IT, IT STOPS WORKING, WEN I CONNECT IT TO THE PC, NOTHING HAPPENS, AND THE PC,WON'T PICK UP THE DRIVE. AND THE LIGHT IS ON. I THINK I HAVE THE OLD ONE, CAUSE INSIDE IT SAID "WD5000AAKS". I DNT KNW WTF TO DO , AND I NEED HELP, SO PLZ, GIVE ME SOME INFO.

JBOYWER said...

I HAVE A MY BOOK 500 GB, AFTER 3 MONTHS USIN IT, IT STOPS WORKING, WEN I CONNECT IT TO THE PC, NOTHING HAPPENS, AND THE PC,WON'T PICK UP THE DRIVE. AND THE LIGHT IS ON. I THINK I HAVE THE OLD ONE, CAUSE INSIDE IT SAID "MDL: WD5000AAKS, DCM: HARCNV2AAB". I DNT KNW WTF TO DO , AND I NEED HELP, SO PLZ, GIVE ME SOME INFO.

Anonymous said...

Yay! That was relatively painless, thanks dude!

Anonymous said...

My drive clicks three or four time as it powers up and then my PC says it is connected but it is not showing up. It even worth trying to save the data?

Paul said...

Quck question to those who have mounted extracted mybook drive internally. I did this and it shows in hardware manager, but it has 4 different volumes, 3 smaller and then the 500K one, but XP did not assign drive letters? I assume these other partitions are associated with software for Mybook. What is best way to possibly delete them and get XP to assign drive letter? Thanx..

Kelstar said...

Paul,

OK, so if you right-click My Computer and select "Manage", then go to Storage -> Disk Management,
you should see the drive listed on the more-graphical part here as "disk (n)". To the right of that you should see each partition within that disk. Does the large one have an assigned drive letter? If not, you *might* be able to right-click that partition and assign one.

Paul said...

Kelstar,

I tried this but it wont let me assign drive letter because it is labelled an "unknown partition". I deleted the two smaller partitions and was able to format and assign drive letter to a small segment of unallocated space on the drive, but the roughly 500K portion of the disk, presumably where my files is, remains "unknown". Would you advise using another disk utility to try to mount this drive"? I am also considering using Knoppix, which usually is able to mount NTFS partitions...

Lyndel said...

Keep up the good work.

Rockstro said...

I spent last night trying to remove the two x hard drives from a dead Mybook 1 TB (I think it was called the Pro -- it was replaced by WD but, then, failed again with the flashing light symptoms). Try as I might, I can't get the drives out of the last bit of casing -- there's a lot of blue plastic and the eight screws (four each side) which you'd expect would free the drives, don't . . . Short of getting a pair of heavy duty wire cutters to get through the final lump of casing, does anyone have any ideas of how to get the drives out? This would have been a fat lot of use as a RAID if you can't even get inside the thing to swap out a failed drive. Grrrr.

Getting the rest of the thing apart was pretty easy -- and it wasn't the same as the documented, pictorial example given here. A couple of screw-drivers and a bit of patience was all that was needed. If all else fails, I can probably run the drives as they are as the connectors are now exposed but I'd like to get them out.

Many thanks

Anonymous said...

hi i have the same hdd but my problem is that when i connect it on the usb port after a little the hdd stops running i dont know what the problem is and when i try to open the case of the drive is was to hard for me and i say ok i stop it here... if you can please can you send me a message with a little information how to open olny the case? some more information i mean thx send me to symiakos1989@hotmail.com thx :)

Rockstro said...

This is the point at which I got fed up with ripping the thing apart . . . (sorry, for some reason it won't let me use the image)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3278/3071427562_1d75681cb9_m.jpg

Rockstro said...

Okay -- so the trick is with these older drives is not to unscrew the holding points for the individual disks but to do the opposite. There is a rubber mounting grommet and a piece of metal shaped like a spring. Once these are clear of the casing, then both drives should pull out of the case.

Paul said...

Well, after some pain and angst, problem finally solved. After removing the 500G drive, I was able to install it internally using a SATA cable. Windows, of course, would only recognize the large partition (there were two smaller ones) as "unknown partition" and would not assign a drive letter. So, I downloaded Knoppix 5.1, burned to CD, then booted computer into Knoppix. If you havent used Knoppix before, you may want to look into it. It was able to find and mount the large partition (dev/sdc1). When you boot Konqueror, a file browser, with root access (at command line enter su, then konqueror) you have full access to the drive. I then purchased a 1TB Seagate (not/not WD) USB drive, which mounted easily in Knoppix, and copied all contents to the USB drive. My wife is now happy as a clam, I have earned my keep as her CTO, and learned yet another lesson about how to back up a small business.....

amarshallart said...

Hi Rich, I have a question for you. I have a WD My Book 500 gb, wd5000c032-002 with a USB2 output. I have an old Mac Titanium and it only has USB and Firewire. My bright idea was to use a converter to go from USB2 to Firewire in the Mac to try and increase my speed to the WD. When I tried it the first time, the drive would come on, but the light would not turn on nor mount. I tried this on a PC and Mac and neither worked. There was no electrical burn smell... the first time. I tried it again and this time, I SAW smoke coming out of the HD. It worked fine until I tried to use the converter adapters in it. The convert I used was one of those universal swap the end travel type.

I have burned something up and pray that it was just the power supply. But if the drive would power up but not mount, I am afraid I lost my drive and info. Your opinion please sir.

Thanks,
Marshall Hoyle

amarshallart said...

Double Oops.... In addition to smoking the HD, I just discovered that I toasted the Firewire port in my Titanium PB G4. Guest it's time to ask Santa for a new MacBook...

andy cowley said...

Hi,
I have a mybook 500Gb External hard drive - as above, it's only flashing after my daughter plugged her laptop into it.
I Bought another one, and swapped over the internal PCB to see if I could recover the data - It wouldn't work, so I don't know if I've fried something deeper - there's another PCB inside the HDD outer cover.

My question is: How can I connect this as an internal slave drive?

Which cable will fit to it, as a SATA cable doesn't look like it would fit onto the bit where the PCB attached. It's more of a blade fitting than needle/hole fitting.

Are ther different cables available for this type. It is different from a normal internal HD cable fitting isn't it?

nicole said...

Hi i have the same problem as many of you. i plug in my hard drive and no power, no light, no noise or anything. i have a labtop therefore i cant make it an internal is there any solution to getting it working again to be used with a labtop... please help

Michael said...

Well, good news for all those that want to remove or replace the harddisk for whatever reason from the higher-end "My Book Premium ES Edition 500GB". It's really easy!

It has ESATA + USB2. I purchased it for a low price figuring I could remove the 500gb disk inside, replace for a 1TB and get a free external ESATA housing effectively, after selling the 500gb original disk.

It turns out WD made some major design changes, to simplify things.

1) Only a rubber strip and some plastic 'clicky' things holding everything in place

2) No screw!

3) The LED-on/off switch, when undone from its 3 screws (1 big, 2 tiny btw) just floats around on it's very long flatcable, no longer connected with pins. Perfect!

4) On the inside, you simply remove the 4 'top' screws holding the entire metal construction to the plastic.

5) Remove the 4 screws connecting the harddisk sideways to the rubber pads. These screws have the odd "metal spider" or spring-system connected to them.

6) Remove sata-power-combo connector

7) replace harddisk & repeate inverted !

I did it in about 10 minutes time, taking it easy.......really no swet. The only thing I dislike is getting the rubber edge back between the outer and inner housing. But you can do without, if you want to ;).

Marty said...

this ruled - thanks for the info. A couple notes of what I ran into: first, the screw was located under the rubber foot...not a big deal, and your picture showed me where it was. Second, there were some set screws (4) that attached the drive to the plastic clamshell. So no amount of wiggling would have freed it - but the screws were easy to see, and easy to remove. Once gone, the case came right off. Otherwise, your instructions were note perfect...and screw the warranty, Westrn Digital licks balls. This thing is about a year and a half old, and the enclosure ran hot as hell all the time. I am not positive, but have faith my data is fine - the I/O error i got is almost surely an enclosure failure. But this post gave me the stones to pull it apart, and man, I am glad I did. Thanks so much for this.

Anonymous said...

to all those wondering about reusing the enclosure: don't. These things fail, among other resons because they run so hot. Pull out the drive and remount it in a new enclosure - you can get an eSATA/USB at Microcenter for less than $50, and can get one that is much less problematic. I did this, and have not had another problem.

Jara said...

Hi,

I found your blog while looking for answers on how to revive my WD My Book Essentials 1TB...and you seem to be of more help than the WD Support.

Anyways, I just recently bought a WD My Book Essentials 1 TB (last Jan. 7, 2009 to be exact). I was able to back up all my files. It works just fine.....until I reformatted my computer this week. My external drive is no longer recognized by my computer, and doesn't show up in the "Disk Management" at all. All my other USB devices (My Passport, flash disks, PSP) are being recognized. I tried using different power cord (and plugged it on a wall outlet like they said), tried using different USB cords, but to no avail.

I'm nearing to getting it open (with the help of your instructions). But I would like to know (if you know) what the steady bottom light means? Do you think it's dead already...and that I should get my money back from the shop where I bought it. I'd rather get my files back (all 700+ gig of them) than get the money back.

I hope you can help because those files are my life's work...I'm getting desperate because I couldn't get any support from the WD support! :p ....I'm gonna bust in tears anytime soon!

Rich Andrews said...

Jara - if your data is that valuable, get someone who understands data recovery. Not likely you can lose data opening the enclosure, but there are ESD risks, then processes to get the data off the drive that are even beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for the article. That first hidden screw is what I was extremely confused about and wasn't listed on any other tutorial (since this is an older version of the My Book). And big thanks to the guy who referenced that its the older version in one of the comments (that's the only way I got the link thru the google search).

Anonymous said...

I am getting the same steady blue light, I got it today I have the 750gb mybook version. I think the power part failed, I need need to find a way to open it, so I can copy the stuff out, I got this drive since July so 6 month, I don't think HD can fail that fast, it must be the board/casing.

Anonymous said...

very usefull article about wd hard drive

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I am taking my 500GB SATA drive out to install in my ESX box. Currently my ESX box only has a IDE drive.

Thanks!
Cody
http://www.ticket-vault.com

Anonymous said...

Just in case people are still running across this very helpful page when their WD My Book fails (as I did), here's another angle. Like someone above, I had a hunch that the problem was a failed power supply. Even though the blue light would come on, the drive would never really get going. When I applied power to it, it would just make a "click-click-click" sound like the drive was trying to spin but didn't have enough juice. So I pulled the case apart and bought a SATA-compatible HDD case from Staples for $50. Probably could have found one cheaper if I weren't so impatient. Anyway, after peeling away some more of the foil wrap at the power supply side of the drive to expose an additional connector (for power), I slapped it into the new case which had SATA data and power connectors built in. Closed up the case, connected it to my computer and powered it up. The drive works like a champ and all my files are intact. Whew!

Jim Wrey said...

Followed the drive removal process (thanks for helpful photos) and used SATA to USB and the drive is fine. It seems that the controler was no longer working, did not get blue LED on front nor any spinning noise.

Thanks, Jim

José Quiroz said...

Kohai: I had the same problem a year ago, plugged my Dell AC transformer into my MyBook.. I tried the logic card swap, I tried swapping the firmware chip... the only thing that worked was send it to the data recovery guys and pay $1200. It may have been cheaper if I hadn't tried the home recovery. Try Kroll data recovery, they're WD approved and they'll give you 10% discount as a WD customer.

Anonymous said...

I had a fault with my 500Gb where it wasnt being recognised and then it kept saying it was unformatted.

However I did the following and recovered everything...

Open a cmd prompt and type
CHKDSK /F C:
i.e. against your main Windows hard disk

You will then need to reboot the PC, but it will detect problems, correct these and all will be well

Brett
South Wales

Ray van der Heij said...

New version, new way of opening!
I couldn't see anything peeping through the slits but I managed to open it without breaking.

Ok, my My Book has 2 pins snapping in place on either side on the bottom of the unit near the rounding, right under the rubber feet. It's coverd with plastic so removing the rubber feet won't do anything. I pried it open one side at a time and forced it open without breaking, but if you manage to prie upward on the bottom, you might release the pins.

Western digital hard drive said...

cool stuff Thank you man!

SeattleCOmputerFix said...

Thanks for the tip. For those are interested in disassembling the 1TB WD should go to the following site http://www.carltonbale.com/2008/01/western-digital-my-book-opening-the-case-removing-the-drive/

Anonymous said...

For as many of you who have had failures, you'd think this was a bad design or run of hard drives. I guess I am a "rare" success story. I have 7 500GB MyBooks (black) and 5 1TB MyBooks (silver) and not a single failure [knocking on wood]. The black ones were all bought from NewEgg as new and the silver ones were all from Office Depot as new. I built a "home grown" tray for my drives and I just slide them in like a removal, hot swap, RAID drive. I built a single, hi amp, power supply to power the whole tray so I don't have to chew up 5 (per tray) power plugs. System works great. I like the MyBooks for their uniform size and connector layout.

Damian said...

I just ended my battle with a Mybook 500GB premium as the firewire stopped working, said the device would not start.. I tried the USB and got it to recognize the drive but was getting I/O errors and things were behaving odd.. checked my warranty and that was expired.. so rip it apart.
The drive was hot, and it being warmer now I can only assume that had something to do with it. I hooked the drive to another USB/SATA interface (cheapy) and got the same I/O error. uh oh. well I was using the same little SATA cable that was int he case... a different sata cable fixed the problem. so that was the whole problem there.. the little red sata cable must have failed probably because of heat.

you can replace that cable and reassemble, but too bad that rubber moulding wont go back in right.

thanks for the guide.. this is my first WD problem.. and at least the drive is ok..

tigger5 said...

I have (had) 10 of the 500gig usb/firewire versions....2 are trashed...and had another dying..decide to open the dying one and one that was still working to swap drives ....noticed that they were NOT the same usb/firewire boards...the one dying has a board like the one pictured here...the other (working) is smaller and has a ribbon from the board to the blue leds...If others can verify the boards they have....Also...if possible (i know some drives themselves are finished) if anyone knows where to get or has extra usb/firewire boards???....

A little side note: Some of you may or may not agree with, but the way I see it...WD deserves this: If you are sure it is ONLY your drive thats finished...buy a new 640 gig usb version (in the morning) and GENTLY open it (Using 3 plastic cards works BEAUTIFULLY...DO NOT USE METAL TOOLS) ...swap your defective 500 gig drive for the 640 gig, reassemble it and return it at place of purchase (in the afternoon) for a full refund...I don't mind saying...I did this and will do it again if needed.

tigger5 said...

I have (had) 10 of the 500gig usb/firewire versions....2 are trashed...and had another dying..decide to open the dying one and one that was still working to swap drives ....noticed that they were NOT the same usb/firewire boards...the one dying has a board like the one pictured here...the other (working) is smaller and has a ribbon from the board to the blue leds...If others can verify the boards they have....Also...if possible (i know some drives themselves are finished) if anyone knows where to get or has extra usb/firewire boards???....

A little side note: Some of you may or may not agree with, but the way I see it...WD deserves this: If you are sure it is ONLY your drive thats finished...buy a new 640 gig usb version (in the morning) and GENTLY open it (Using 3 plastic cards works BEAUTIFULLY...DO NOT USE METAL TOOLS) ...swap your defective 500 gig drive for the 640 gig, reassemble it and return it at place of purchase (in the afternoon) for a full refund...I don't mind saying...I did this and will do it again if needed.

Vince said...

Hi, I was following these instructions to replace the HDD in my original 500GB MyBook, however, after scraping off the "screw cover" as noted in step 1, I discovered that there was no screw. In fact, I started just prying the cover off with my fingers and was surprised that it slid right off. Everything else was pretty similar. So I guess if you don't want to put a hole in your case, try to pry it open gently and see if it will give before looking for that elusive screw.

JT said...

2 years later, and your methods are still almost spot on :). I had my 5 year old ext. HD die on me, and needed to pull it out so I could use my backup cables to recover the info, and had almost reach the point of tearing everything apart when I found your directions. Nicely done, needs a little updating, but cheers dude, you done well!

Justin Christiana said...

The board that is attached to the hard drive started to smoke on me. Does anyone know what it is called or where I can find a replacement. Ebay? It is just hard to find something you don't know the name to.


Thanks for the write up it was very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Please help me, I can't open My 500GB WD My Book edition Drive, The Model is WD5000H1CS-00, I only found 2 plastic tips to push under 2 of the bottom to front rubber stands,
Please if you have any ideas post it here or send me an email to iulian.musat@globeground.ro

Thank you very much!

wd harddrive said...

many comment here 'cause this blog provide cool stuff thank you blog owner

backup solution said...

Not only did you have such useful tips, but you showed us pictures for each step! Thanks so much I really enjoyed your article

Anonymous said...

Great guide, it was extremely helpful.

While I (and I'm sure almost anybody else who has used this guide) was able to infer what step eleven should be, it might be helpful to any future readers if you fix the second step ten into a step eleven.
Other than that, this guide is great.

Another Western Digital victim said...

Fuck you Western Digital! Fuck you WD motherfuckers!

AWWFUL Product - Never Again! said...

The WD5000KS drive in my WD5000C032 (500Gb USB MyBook) died after 2.5yrs. In reality, the MyBook probably had less than 100 hours on it. Although the drive has a 3 year warranty if purchased bare/retail, it inherits the measily MyBook warranty.

As I cracked open the MyBook to replace the drive, following the instructions here (THX!), I couldn't help but think how OVER-ENGINEERED is this product. Sheesh! You can buy an enclosure that has an easy drive installation procedure for $30-50.

ALL in all, you are better off buying a bare drive and an off the shelf enclosure. NEVER will I purchase a WD product again!

Anonymous said...

The same thing happened to me. But I can use it on my PS3 but not my xbox360 or other computers. I'm so pissed, I have about 40gigs of music and a lot of animes.

Anonymous said...

My Book Essential Edition 2.0
WD10000H1U = number on case.

Hp Pavilion Vista X64 HP SP1

STATUS = Solid Blue Lights, Windows lables it as an unknown device.

NOTE: I WILL NEVER F!@#ING BUY
FROM WESTERN DIGITAL AGAIN.

QUESTION: What usb drivers are supposed to be loaded with Vista
x64 and a MY BOOK 1TB.

This thing is a few months old.
I used it to recover data from a corrupted OS configuration. Im so pissed. I'm going to see what WD
and Bust Buy will do without having to pay a GEEKtard. IF I LOOSE MY DATA I WILL FREAKING KILL SOMETHING. I think I'll end up tearing it apart and removing the HD.

To all those with the same Piece Of Shit WD MY BOOK... I feel your pain.

tigger5 said...

Well had another HD crap out...this makes 3 drives, 3 boards...so I decided to share with you how to get a NEW drive free...seeing how WD has a guarentee that isn't worth much...hopefully it is clear

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41905659@N03/sets/72157622161625032/detail/

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the useful how to. My Blog : earn money chao!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for taking the efforts to post the steps. It helped me open my WD 500G external drive. Dumb, how do I replace the disk... :)

Rich Andrews said...

Seriously? Hah - take the drive out, bring it to a computer store and ask for a replacement. Or does my post blithely ignore that part? It's been a while...

SEREGA said...

I NEED HELP. My WD Hard Drive yesterday stoped working and started blinking, but then it stoped blinking at all. So I thought to take it apart to get the hd out to connect to pc other way, but I dont have the adaptor yet as my pc is ide but drive is sata. So what I found out when taking apart the drive, that the control board works by itself, but when connect to it the hd it does not even light up. What could be wrong, can my drive be saved or is it dead for good.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the guide. I lost the PSU for a 250GB My Book so I just tore it apart to get the data.

tigger5 said...

Rich Andrews ....
Most places (here at least) require a receipt of purchase WITH the hard drive..so if I don't have a receipt, they do not just exchange the drive....hence the "other" method....

leo-on said...

Tnks, you save my day.

Delaware Computers said...

fantastic walk through..

Thank you. 8-D

Anonymous said...

Can't believe you guys are having so many problems with these WD drives. it's gotta be Windoze. I've been running the hell out of a 1TB Studio Edition I for years. Mounts-unmounts, no problems. Also a 1TB Home Edition II, works just fine. 2 WD 500 GB drives in my G5 dual 1.8 GHz Tower, added PCI cards for more FireWire 400 & 800 externals & optical drives. 17 hub ports for USB toys. (Never would I insult a Hard Drive by crippling it with USB)...

It's not WD brand that's bad. it's your clueless OS.

Not meant to be a slap, but that's the facts.

tigger5 said...

Anonymous said "Can't believe you guys are having so many problems with these WD drives. it's gotta be Windoze"..

Don't assume anything...I am running ONLY macs here...my drives were connected by firewire when they crapped out.....I have bought 8 drives since..2 different companys ...NONE are WD's...no problems so far

Your turn will come...

Anonymous said...

I took mine out of the case, bought a new HDD case and it started working, well, i bought another HDD and made a backup of WD, you never know when this piece of crap will stop working again.

Don´t buy WD .. period.

Ri-Q said...

Hi there... I bought the MyBook Essential 1 TB (new model with the capacity gauge) about 2 months ago... and the damn thing just suddenly goes undetected a few days ago, following a power outage 2 days before. And now everytime I connect it, the WD Smartware Virtual CD loads straightaway, but the partition took maybe 10 minutes or more to be detected. But I still can't access it because the system just freezes and I can't do anything unless I unplug it. I test it on Mac OS and Windows7 with the same problem.

And so I need to pry it open. And I stumble across this site. The problem is that holes at the top, back, bottom surface is different from the old one...I have a 750 GB worth of data in there. I need it. Please help me disassemble it without damaging the casing. Can somebody help me?

Thanks for your time.

tigger5 said...

Ri-Q....

If its like the 640gig my book essential, this may help...


http://www.flickr.com/photos/41905659@N03/sets/721

tigger5 said...

Sorry...for some reason the link changed..
here...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41905659@N03/sets/72157622161625032/detail/

tiderusher said...

@tigger5: thanks for your reply. The new models (like the one I have) has a different casing. But I've managed to disassemble it safely with the help of my friends. Unfortunately it's not the adapter, the HD was damaged and therefore it cannot be detected by OS. Dammit.

It seems that this problem is fairly common with the new models (you can take a look at the WD Community forum). No response from WD yet. I hate them so for selling such faulty products.

Anonymous said...

I have the 500gb, but Mine was a little different than yours... Mine had the power and data cable separate at the circuit board, but they were connected into a a black brick that plugged into the power/data port. Mine also had few components, It didn't have the first thing you removed from the inside..

But was a great help on opening it without destroying it!! haha, thanks!

emcee2 said...

Has anyone stuck a larger drive than was originally supplied back into one of these WD MyBook units?
I.E. I have a 500GB unit and the drive has gone flaky (bad sectors etc.) I was going to buy another (larger) drive, probably 1TB, and stick it in there, but when I spoke to WD support they said the Mybook would only recognize the size of drive it originally came with... I know that's not accurate as I have put a smaller drive in with no problem (they were surprised it worked), but I don't have a larger drive to test out my theory...

Anonymous said...

My WD MyBook 1.5 TB that I use to backup my data started randomly turning itself off. The only way to get it back on was to unplug the power and the firewire and then reboot Windows. The new enclosure is much easier to open. You just have the two tabs and then 2 screws once your get inside. I put the drive inside my computer and it seems to be ok. Hopefully the drive is not damaged but reading these comments doesn't give me much confidence for the future. I now have 3 of these 1.5TB drives inside my computer and I'm waiting for them to fail. Thankfully I backup my data daily. It seems that every drive above 1TB has reliability problems not just WD.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, if on a laptop you might want to make sure the power settings are not set to turn off hard disks after 5 minutes of no use..could be the issue.

Mayur Pawar said...

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razi said...

nice info.,

thanks

carlosalbertoteixeira said...

Dear Rich, greetings from Rio (Brazil)!

Thank you very much for your excellent tutorial. My two MyBooks died. Following your precise instructions I opened them and extracted the disks. They are working perfectly well, all data 100% safe. The disaster I thought it would happen did not take place.

My gratitude and admiration.

On service,

- c.a.t.
Http://catalisando.com

Anonymous said...

Model WD5000G032: no blue light anymore, out of warranty, no computer recognizes drive.

Followed instructions here, connected the SATA drive directly to my computer and I can see the actual drive in windows under computer management, but it shows it's not initialized. I understand these drives are formatted for Linux, and tried using a driver I found in this thread. (this is what is was: http://www.fs-driver.org/download.html)

I've also tried using Easeus Drive Recovery Program, and it sees the drive, but searches for files and partitions forever (like 24 hours continuous) with no luck.

Does this mean that maybe in my case the actual drive is fried? Or is there something else I could try (or am not doing properly) and maybe the data is still there somewhere? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you,

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Anonymous said...

These disks are extremely robust but they are prone to issues if they are connected/disconnected regularly.

if your own PC states it cant access it, but can see it then run a CHKDSK against your C:\ and then against the external drive

If your own PC cant detect it then plug it into a different PC and scan it via this PC

Or, if when you plug the disk in it allocates e.g drive E:\ then unplug your disk and plug a USB stick in and allocate the same letter. Issue a CHKDSK command for later (reboot), swap the USB stick for the external drive and reboot the computer

You usually find all issues with these drives can be solved via CHKDSK...you dont need to take them apart ! I have several of these disks and every time I have solved the issue using the above

Rgds

Brett

Anonymous said...

worked like charme. only the pcb was broken.hdd is fine. great tutorial :)

Anonymous said...

Started having problems with my WD My Book 500GB unit. Green light flashing and the drive not showing on the list of available drives.
Followed the advise on opening the case...thank you!
I have the older IDE variety of HDD. Luckily I saved my old PC with the IDE mother board connections!
Hooked it up and it worked...for a short while then it heated up it stop working or being recognized by the PC.
I did not see it written in here but what I did was take the HDD and place it into a freezer for about an hour. Took it out and connected it up and the PC found it and I was able to get some data off of it before it heated back up. It seems that disk warped and it stops it from spinning properly from what I understand. Freezing the HDD allows the disk to spin freely and you get a short window to recover your data.

Hope this helps some of you out!

Anonymous said...

Got the same model as in the photographs and replaced it with a 500 gig hitachi works like a charm thanks!


and for the people who have the later model here's how to open
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FlySnyJ0CQ

cialis said...

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Anonymous said...

This was a great help, thanks for posting. I was prepared to destroy the thing to extract my drive.

ikaros said...

I have a similar problem with MyBook home 1T, as the warranty expired I opened it and found the disk was SATA.

When connecting it directly on the motherboard or to another converter SATA-to-USB Windows report the disk is uninitialized and the disk is unallocated and I should format it.

If I use the PCB card (converter SATA-to_USB) that MyBook was connected, I can see the contents of the disk but cannot access them. Cannot even navigate inside the disk.

Tried different OS (Windows, Mac & Linux) with similar behavior.

Any idea so that I will not loose my data?

thank you

iosif

Anonymous said...

My WD 500gb MY Book Essential died recently after a couple years. Recovery service asked $600 to recovery it. Opening the drive, found it is a sata drive, so a $6 12" sata cable from Tiger Direct allowed me to put in in a drive bay and it came right up first time. All 500gb safe and sound.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the photos showing how to get a WD My Book Essential case open. My unit appears to be dead when reconnecting after not using it for 6 months or so. Some smoke actually came out of the case so I assume the electrics are cooked but hope that the disc is OK. If I get out the drive can i put it into a drive port unit or what? Thanks

Theresa said...

wd my book 500gb just stopped working - as i have all my pictures and videos on this drive - i really need to recover them - is not seeing the drive - rebooted same problem - light is on - changed adapters - still same problem - removed box and hooked up directly with sata cable and power connection - now computer doesn't boot up - any suggestions

Brad Fallon said...

How do I remove the file size restriction on a 500GB My Book External Hard Drive?

Anonymous said...

This guy is a HERO. Thanks for the detailed instruction.

Alan Odbod said...

I would just like to show some support for these WD essential drives as so many comments here are negative. I have had a total of 5 (3x500Gb, 1x1TB and 1x2TB). The first I bought maybe 3+ years ago I think, it was certainly expensive then anyway. 2 of the 500Gb have been replaced by the bigger models and removed from their cases in similiar fashion to this thread. All 5 are working just fine and are usually on 12 hours in a day average. The only problem I have ever had was with the acronis software that came with the 2TB device for " Aligning" the formated drive. It never worked and caused the drive to respond incredibly slowly and slowed the boot of the machine to a couple of hours. That was sorted by using win7 to format it. So maybe I'm lucky but hardware wise I can not fault any of my WD essentials and will probably buy the next big one when required. Great article.

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Carol said...

Great tutorial! I've been having difficulties trying to open my book for some time now. I needed to upgrade it but it would take a while if I bring it to a technician.

Anonymous said...

Great Tutorial! It just didnt work for me. ;) I had to shred the enclosure to get that sucker out. BUT... I was able to order a SATA/USB cable and when I attached the drive to my notrbook, my data was all there. Thanks for the help.

Anonymous said...

You buggered the case with your screwdriver. Nice.

jogja said...

thank you very helpful article

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E said...

Thanks for the write-up. I swapped a failed drive successfully. I didn't notice until the drive was bolted in that it didn't have a molex power connector. Thankfully there's enough empty space in the enclosure to fit in a molex to sata power converter.

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Anonymous said...

I'm glad to know that there are others out there that concur that this 500 GB My Book is a piece of shit. I went through many miserable months with it freezing, requiring a reboot, or not being recognized at all. It is junk, and WD should be ashamed for not having a recall. My solving the problem by taking the hard drive out of the shitty case, throwing the case away and installing it into my computer as an internal drive and it works fine now - so far. Worse piece of crap I've ever run across.

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circuit board said...

Wow! Great resource for me that' called DIY.. I will check it on my pc hard drive..

FlorioPhoto said...

My USB just pushed itself into the casing as I pulled out the USB cord. I had the my Hard Drive on my chair and fell on my floor when I pulled my Laptop and tugged it down. I didn't realize it broke off the USB receiving part until a few hours later. Hopefully your instructions will be help to get my casing off, but can you answer that the data on hard drive be able to be retrieved if I can get the hard drive out and into a new casing, or new USB piece of hardware? Hopefully I can fix this. Thanks for your input if anyone can let me know.

Tim C said...

Excellent description and illustrations! HDD is fine with data intact and accessible again - thanks!

Mike said...

Nice descriptions and info...

I've been relatively happy with my 2 WD MyBooks...both are the 500GB Legacy models. Both purchased in around 2005-2006. Recently, one started giving my trouble, so I did some searching and ended up hear.

I'm pretty sure my drive is just fine, and that the enclosure is causeing a problem...I'll have to disassemble to see. Recently though, one "sort of" stopped working...see, when I plugged it in to power, and the connected the USB cable to the pc/laptop, the enclosure would power up (like normal), and I could hear the drive start to "spin up", but, it would never seem to make it through the entire "spin up" process...and the drive would start clicking. A different clicking than the dreaded click of death. So, I left the drive powered on for a while to see what would happen, and EVENTUALLY, I heard the drive "finish" the "spin up". Then I was able to connect via USB and access my data. I ran WD Diagnostics on the drive, and the diags said everything was fine. But, next time my drive was powered off for an extended period of time, it took even longer to "spin up". But, it did come back to life again, and data accessible. I'm going to have to dismantle the thing and see what happens...sounds very reasonable.

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Anonymous said...

My model was a bit different, but your basic instructions were great! Now my daughter can recover info she thought she'd lost 7 years ago. You rock!

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Anonymous said...

I'm just bought a wd my book essential 1tb. I took out the 1tb hdd and replace it with a 3tb one but when I connect to my pc, it's only recognize 1tb. Any idea?

Anonymous said...

That was unbelievably helpful. I now realize what an outdated POS I hold in my hands !!!

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