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Solved External hard drive shell broke, salvaged internal drive


AiO

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#21
STOP!

Sorry for shouting, but if you want to have a chance to get your data back, please stop what you are doing. I hate to say it, but most of the advice given here so far is dangerously clueless/wrong. Also, formatting your drive will NOT improve your situation, don't do it!

And whatever you do, never ever just randomly use "tools" on your original drive that you want to rescue, especially if you don't know exactly what you are doing. ALWAYS make a sector image (i.e. DD) of the HDD and only work on that copy!


In regards to your problem: Have a look here (which is a better place for data recovery question), this seems to adress exactly your problem:

Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery : Hard Disk Drives: data recovery and repair


Good luck!
Okay, so the drive is apparently encrypted and will only be unencrypted if I can get it hooked up back to the original PCB, only problem is the USB connector fell off.. Last night I tried glueing it back on like an idiot, it glued but still won't recognize the HDD connected to it... So it looks like if I can get the USB detached and soldered back on I can re-attach and copy off data?

The Circuit board (PCB) still turns on fine, I plugged it up and the lights come on and everything, it's just the USB connector that's messed up.

Can anyone tell me what to do next?

edit: pics of board: WD - Imgur the drive slides directly into the SATA slot on the pcb.
 

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Coke Robot

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#22
STOP!

Sorry for shouting, but if you want to have a chance to get your data back, please stop what you are doing. I hate to say it, but most of the advice given here so far is dangerously clueless/wrong. Also, formatting your drive will NOT improve your situation, don't do it!

And whatever you do, never ever just randomly use "tools" on your original drive that you want to rescue, especially if you don't know exactly what you are doing. ALWAYS make a sector image (i.e. DD) of the HDD and only work on that copy!


In regards to your problem: Have a look here (which is a better place for data recovery question), this seems to adress exactly your problem:

Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery : Hard Disk Drives: data recovery and repair


Good luck!
Okay, so the drive is apparently encrypted and will only be unencrypted if I can get it hooked up back to the original PCB, only problem is the USB connector fell off.. Last night I tried glueing it back on like an idiot, it glued but still won't recognize the HDD connected to it... So it looks like if I can get the USB detached and soldered back on I can re-attach and copy off data?

The Circuit board (PCB) still turns on fine, I plugged it up and the lights come on and everything, it's just the USB connector that's messed up.

Can anyone tell me what to do next?

edit: pics of board: WD - Imgur the drive slides directly into the SATA slot on the pcb.
Then solder it. If the PCB board is fine and the USB port broke off kind of cleanly, just reseat it and solder it.
 

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AiO

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#23
I don't know how to solder anything. Are there any places I could take it like Lowes or any online places?

Or, would it be possible to connect the drive to the PCB but using a splitter and with a separate cord connect it to the computer? Because when I plug it in to the PCB I hear the drive spinning but the USB connection is broke so I cant get anything off it.
 

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topgundcp

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#24
I just don't understand why you would want to use the USB. An external Hard Disk is just like an Internal Hard Disk with a USB interface board attached to it. All you have to do is take the Hard Disk and connect directly to one of the SATA port on your MB then it becomes an internal Hard Disk then you can go from there. Don't try to solder, you might short something if you do it wrongl and as incognitus said, don't format it.

In the past, I had exact same problem with the external Hard Disk, Now it might appear to you the USB interface still working but you might have fried some components on that interface board when you broke the connector. Just connect directly to the Sata Port on your MB and boot up the PC.
 

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labeeman

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#25
I don't know how to solder anything. Are there any places I could take it like Lowes or any online places?

Or, would it be possible to connect the drive to the PCB but using a splitter and with a separate cord connect it to the computer? Because when I plug it in to the PCB I hear the drive spinning but the USB connection is broke so I cant get anything off it.
Look for a TV shop or a electronics shop and see if a tec will help you or look for the exact model on Ebay and hope that the drive will be able to be read. Do not know where you are located.
 

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AiO

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#26
I just don't understand why you would want to use the USB. An external Hard Disk is just like an Internal Hard Disk with a USB interface board attached to it. All you have to do is take the Hard Disk and connect directly to one of the SATA port on your MB then it becomes an internal Hard Disk then you can go from there. Don't try to solder, you might short something if you do it wrongl and as incognitus said, don't format it.

In the past, I had exact same problem with the external Hard Disk, Now it might appear to you the USB interface still working but you might have fried some components on that interface board when you broke the connector. Just connect directly to the Sata Port on your MB and boot up the PC.
The usb interface has encryption keys that make it impossible to read the data unless through the usb, I already tried connecting it directly to my MB and it showed up as unallocated, my problem is the mini USB on the circuit board broke off, it still receives power if I plug it into the drive, but I can't get anything off it due to the USB being broken, so I have to either:

1. Solder it back on (only if I can get someone to do it for me, I have no idea how)

2. Somehow use a splitter, hook the drive up to the circuit board, use another cable (via splitter) and connect to PC (not sure if this will work, but worth a shot).

Are there any splitters or anything I could use to do the latter?

I don't know how to solder anything. Are there any places I could take it like Lowes or any online places?

Or, would it be possible to connect the drive to the PCB but using a splitter and with a separate cord connect it to the computer? Because when I plug it in to the PCB I hear the drive spinning but the USB connection is broke so I cant get anything off it.
Look for a TV shop or a electronics shop and see if a tec will help you or look for the exact model on Ebay and hope that the drive will be able to be read. Do not know where you are located.
I called RadioShack, home depot, and Lowes and they can't do it/didn't know of anybody. I live in Tennessee. Any places I could mail it into?
 

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topgundcp

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#27

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AiO

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#28
If your PC is a laptop then my suggestion above will not work, in that case you can go to Fry's electronic or any PC store and get a USB adapter for as low as $10 bucks.

Here's is what you need, just dont solder it:
Amazon.com: Vantec CB-ISATAU2 SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter Supports 2.5-Inch, 3.5-Inch, 5.25-Inch Hard Disk Drives (Black): Electronics
I tried using an adapter even from another wd drive, but it still shows up as unallocated, I read online the usb adapter has encryption and I need to use the same adapter
 

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topgundcp

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#29
Sorry I did not realize that the firmware on your PCB contains encryption code, so scratch what I said earlier.
Yes, you'll need to either have some professional soldering job or just call up WD and ask them if they have that PCB board model available.
 

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AiO

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#30
Sorry I did not realize that the firmware on your PCB contains encryption code, so scratch what I said earlier.
Yes, you'll need to either have some professional soldering job or just call up WD and ask them if they have that PCB board model available.
Even if they have that PCB available, how would I decrypt the drive with it?

Edit: I just contacted western digital, they don't even sell the parts, every time I call they keep trying to refer me to data recovery companies, I would be willing to buy the same model drive again just to get the part but will it be able to decrypt the drive?
 

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topgundcp

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#31
Encrypt/Decrypt are being done with the firmware, that's why you could not use different brand PCB. so if you get the same firmware PCB board then it should be fine.
 

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AiO

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#32
Encrypt/Decrypt are being done with the firmware, that's why you could not use different brand PCB. so if you get the same firmware PCB board then it should be fine.
Okay, I found the drive on eBay for $140, I'll buy that and when it comes in and I test it I'll report back.

I can't think of a single situation where " hardware encryption" wound be useful to the customer unless we get to set the password, after calling Western Digital multiple times and before I can breathe two words they start talking about their " data recover" partners, I'm certain that western digital only has this feature in place to hold your data at ransom and make you pay in excess of $700 to get it back.
 

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AiO

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#33
Guys, I finally got it fixed, my circuit board came in after about a month and a half from China.

about my External Hard Drive that was showing up as Unallocated when the connector broke and I plugged it directly into my PC..

..After several hours of trying to recover and digging, and help from the local forum members, I eventually found out that Western Digital has "Hardware Encryption" on their external drives, what that means is, if the circuit board or connector breaks, you lose access to the data with no way to recover it unless you buy the exact same drive and salvage it.


I called Western Digital and they wanted $800 to ATTEMPT to recover the data, heck no.


I searched and found the PCB on eBay from a guy in China for around $23, after nearly a month and a half it finally arrived, I hooked it up to my drive and it works!





This is also a reminder to make a backup of your data! I am doing so now. I would also NOT recommend Western Digital drives, they basically hold your data captive and you must pay extremely high amounts of money to recover it. At least the external ones.

I was going to post this in the old thread, but I figured no one would ever see it, I would also like to thank everyone on this forum that responded to my original topic, you guys were extremely helpful and without your help I probably would of never recovered the data.




Thanks again!
 

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