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 Post subject: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 19th, 2010, 23:59 
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Joined: October 19th, 2010, 23:44
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Location: seattle, washington
Western Digital mybook essential data recovery

Ok, so I put about 130GB of data on a 1TB WD mybook essential usb before the usb connector broke off the small pcb inside the case. After removing the drive from the enclosure and connecting it to various systems (winVista, 7 and multiple linux machines) There is no visible partition and as of yet no file recovered........

any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 20th, 2010, 2:25 
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Joined: October 21st, 2007, 8:48
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More symptoms required?
Is the drive spin up ? can you hear the drive make strange noises? is the drive detects in the post screen ?


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 20th, 2010, 8:47 
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Joined: March 7th, 2009, 12:43
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Location: Angel Data Recovery
jerOplane wrote:
Western Digital mybook essential data recovery

Ok, so I put about 130GB of data on a 1TB WD mybook essential usb before the usb connector broke off the small pcb inside the case. After removing the drive from the enclosure and connecting it to various systems (winVista, 7 and multiple linux machines) There is no visible partition and as of yet no file recovered........

any suggestions?


You need more attention :

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 20th, 2010, 9:53 
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Joined: June 8th, 2006, 19:44
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The de-encryption is done on the same PCB that has the USB port. So you either need to fix the port, or replace the PCB.

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 20th, 2010, 12:02 
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Would replacing the PCB not change the KEY and not decrypt the data?
Best bet to tap into the usb port..?

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 20th, 2010, 23:12 
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If you didn't set a user password, it shouldn't matter. And if you did, I'm still not sure that it does . . .

We use "generic" PCBs all of the time to de-encrypt data from other drives.

Of course, the easiest -- and safest thing would be to fix the PCB. The USB port has tiny leads; the pads may be ripped off. We solder them using a microscope and a very fine iron. Some can do it; others may make a mess of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 20th, 2010, 23:52 
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Joined: October 19th, 2010, 23:44
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Location: seattle, washington
Hi all,
Thanks for all the replys. Yes the drive spins up, it wasn't dropped or anything and was working fine except for the connector issue. In windows it reports all unallocated space in disk manager. I wasn't using encryption so I thought I could just install the drive into an external enclosure and figure out how to mount the filesystem, not the case (so far). Can anyone explain why this is? Is it possible to replace the board? Western Digital said "no". I'm guessing I may have to get some super fine soldering equipment and practice a bit and just fix it..... But what's the deal with the drive? I haven't had lots of time to look into it and I couldn't get any more information out of WD about what kind of file system is in use and so on, anybody have any clues?

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 20th, 2010, 23:56 
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Joined: October 15th, 2010, 22:45
Posts: 80
Location: USA
The answer to your question has been given to you, re-read carefully, not being an ass, just giving a helpful hint.


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 21st, 2010, 12:17 
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Joined: October 19th, 2010, 23:44
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Location: seattle, washington
So replacing / fixing the board is the only solution? Any sources for a new pcb? It's hard to believe there's no way to re-create the partition table or carve the files out of the bit blob assuming there's no actual encryption.


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 21st, 2010, 12:22 
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Joined: October 15th, 2010, 22:45
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Check the hex of the drive out using WinHex, Acronis Disk Director, or such, does it look encrypted... ?


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 21st, 2010, 12:38 
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These drives encrypt the contents automatically whether you tell them to or not

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: November 8th, 2010, 11:42 
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Joined: November 8th, 2010, 11:10
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Ach ok. This is the most concise answer you're going to find on the internet for this one.

Dr-Kiev is correct. It is hardware encrypted. I signed up to this forum just to post this. Here is the story of what I went through...

A drive was given to me and they told me "I dropped it and the USB port is pushed in. Can you fix it. I means everything to me." I was given the Western Digital MyBook Essentials. Image Single usb port on the back is the only interface. I scoffed and said yeah sure. Firstly, I open the thing up. There are no special places to insert screwdrivers to losen it nicely. You pretty much pry very gently around the seam. The usb port has been ripped off the board and taken a lot of copper with it.

Next I separated the hard drive from it's controller and put it into a new hard drive caddy. Just a cheapy sata to USB dock. No dice. On my mac, OSX says the drive needs to be initialized. On windows a similar problem. I can see the presence of the drive in Device Manager and to some extent in the Storage Manager Snap-in, but that's it. Linux sees the device as well, but attempts to mount the drive under any of the possible filesystem types fail. None of the operating systems could format or partition or do anything to this drive.

So I go back to the board and decide to start trying to reattach the usb port. The copper it so badly damaged you need a microscope and incredibly fine detail soldering iron to even attempt this. But I give it a go with exactly those tools. No dice. I just didn't have a steady enough hand and there were a few surface mount components ripped off the board already so when it didn't work I figured it was cactus and went back to looking how to crack it.

Thats when I see this forum and what Dr-Kiev said. I take another look at the board and see the Initio IC on there. So yeah. It's encrypted via hardware as well as software. Even if I buy a new board, I'm fairly certain these things are uniquely encrypted. Now I'm not sure, so don't give up hope, but it would be pointless otherwise. I just didn't want to wait for delivery of a new board and neither did the client.

So I finally develop a method that I can redo the soldering with my hand tremor and still pull it off. I solder everything where I think it was supposed to lead to. Only 4 wires required. 5volt+ GND- Data+ and Data-. After the reattach, I put a spare drive onto it to test it before I try with the clients drive. No luck. On the mac, OSX tells me the drive needs to be initialized but also informs me of another drive being there and not being disconnected properly. So it's seeing the onboard firmware virtual CD drive as well as my hdd. But again, I can't format partition initialize or anything.

At about this point I took a gamble and put the clients drive back in and BAM. It came up. Accessible and everything. In my wisdom I assembled all this on the edge of the desk precariously balanced. I started it copying, the cat jumped up on my desk and knocked it all off and tore up the board so insanely much more. A few hours later I was able to put it back together but had badly burnt and destroyed the board. I'm copying the data off it as I type. It's ugly. Real ugly. But screw paying Western Digital $700 to "attempt recovery" or anyone else $1400 for the same.

This is what the control board should look like: Image

When I've finished copying the data off this board, I'll try to get a photo of it as it is now and post it. F*CK THIS THING! After I'm done, I will throw the board in the bin and replace it with a generic interface. Then reformat the drive and put data back on.

I would recommend to stay the hell away from encrypted drives. Especially hardware ones. NEVER BUY THIS DRIVE. EVER. STOP THINKING ABOUT IT!!!

IMPORTANT NOTE: I don't know if changing the board for a new one would have worked. No one on the net has done it yet. I didn't have time to wait to try it. I don't think it would work (just because of how the thing behaved when I tested it) , but please someone try it if thats your only other option and let us all know. If you know the interface board is dead, don't run those data recovery tools on the drive (I don't think they could actually do any damage, but best be safe). If it's just the USB port that's ripped off. Get it put back on by someone much better than me. It took well over 10 hours of my life. Explain the problem with the hardware encryption and how important it is that you get THAT EXACT BOARD repaired.


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: November 17th, 2010, 11:44 
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Joined: November 8th, 2010, 11:10
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Additional info from my last post. Here's the photo of the 3rd repair job after the multiple screw ups. http://i.imgur.com/0AdUk.jpg Yes I know the board is horribly burnt and mangled. My first attempt was clean and neat, but ended in tragedy. This worked anyway. The board seems to work fine with some missing components etc. So I think they're probably to do with the advanced controller features.

Also, the reason I couldn't put a new hard drive in this is because you need to write some specific info to the master boot record or some crap (going off a hazy memory but I think it was the Master Boor Record) for the controller to accept the new drive. If you don't you get "drive not initialized" type errors and can't format or initialize or even see the virtual CD partition. The info you have to write to it can't be made up. I had to steal it from the original drive manually then extract it back out to the new drive using the DD commands in OSX. There's ways to do it with windows, but I can't remember at the moment. It's very late at night for me. Oh an linux too.

Anyway, still no word as to whether or not the drive and encryption hardware are married by a unique key. I would assume if you really wanted to save your data from a dead controller board, you could do the following:

1. By a new MyBook.
2. Take the hard drive out of the new MyBook.
3. Extract the Master boot record or wherever that magic data is to an image file.
4. Blind read the contents of your broken drive to an image file (by blind read I mean there are programs that copy the 1's and 0's verbatim regardless of the data or location of it. This will give you a 100% exact copy)
5. Blind write the newly created image of your data to the new hard drive.
6. Extract the master boot record you extracted in step 3 onto the master boot record of your new drive.
7. You should now have your data on the new drive with the magic master boot record from the new drive to match the new controller.
8. Put the new drive back in the plastic case and fire it up.
9. Pray this worked.

I can't guarantee it will work, but it's better than paying between $400 and $1400 for someone else to attempt it.

In case anyone is wondering, my drive was a complete success and I got paid. Once again, my recommendation is to stay the hell away from encrypted drives and the companies ability to hold your data for ransom.


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: November 24th, 2010, 7:09 
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It seems you can find the answer here:
http://computersciencelabs.blogspot.com/2010/11/256-bit-based-hardware-encryption-on-wd.html

Without the original PCB, it is impossible to retrieve data from WD Mybook.

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2011, 22:12 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2011, 22:00
Posts: 4
Location: Canada
hi, im having this same problem with one of these drives.


Ive been trying to reconnect the broken USB jack but its getting to the point where the connections that are on the board are getting too damaged.

I would like to attempt to solder a new cable directly onto the board like in species287' pic, but its a little hard to see exactly where they all go. Does anybody have more info? Or if you could take a better pic species287, that would be incredible and very much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2011, 23:10 
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Joined: September 7th, 2011, 15:00
Posts: 30
Location: texas
I have a my book essential 500 gb. Same scenario as yours pretty much.To the poster saying without original usb controller you can't access data. Not true. Bought exact same drive off ebay. Original usb controller is rev ae ( on back in white bar). New drive had rev AA. This usb controller would not decrypt data on my original drive. So, I bought replacement controller that WAS rev AE and it decrypted new drive. So , they are interchangable. Unfortunately, I am still trying to recover my data but I hope it has shed light on your situation...


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 5th, 2011, 4:23 
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Joined: September 8th, 2009, 18:21
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Location: Australia
navlag2007 wrote:
I have a my book essential 500 gb. Same scenario as yours pretty much.To the poster saying without original usb controller you can't access data. Not true. Bought exact same drive off ebay. Original usb controller is rev ae ( on back in white bar). New drive had rev AA. This usb controller would not decrypt data on my original drive. So, I bought replacement controller that WAS rev AE and it decrypted new drive. So , they are interchangable. Unfortunately, I am still trying to recover my data but I hope it has shed light on your situation...

Thanks for that.

Can you tell us whether there is any obvious physical difference between the AA and AE boards?

I suspect that the difference may be in the firmware within the 8-pin serial EEPROM chip. Can you see any difference in the markings of the two chips?

Hopefully the following page will help you identify the EEPROM/flash IC:
http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/HDD/HD ... Flash.html

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 5th, 2011, 21:37 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2011, 22:00
Posts: 4
Location: Canada
i know im digging up an old topic(unintentionally actually) and i know im total noob compared to you guys. I also know that any other method of getting my data back besides being able to put the USB connections right onto the board is probably beyond me. If it were my HDD i would have multiple backups but this is a very close friends and she has put ALL important data shes ever had onto there. =(

OK so most of you dont have access to the board and cant tell me where to precisely put the connections, i think i can guess. The middle connection on the USB pins is damaged beyond repair, the tiny conductive strip peeled off into oblivion. That is one of the data connections which I should be able to connect further down the line where it zig zags about. I have no microscope and my soldering iron is not precise....but I am. So, Im wondering, how many tiny strands of the USB wire really need to touch the board for data transfer??? 2 of them for each data connection perhaps???

The biggest problem is that the base of where the USB jack sat is really abused now from my attempts at fixing. But just today, right before one peeled right off, I was able to freehandedly hold it long enough for the PC to detect the drive and SEE the data.

I digress...basically, I need to run the individual USB connections to somewhere on the board preferably other than where the original jack had sat.

Any input would be very much appreciated. I can donate the board with any hex info required from the HDD to anyone else that requires it after I recover my data. Drive works fine and will go into a proper enclosure.


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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 6th, 2011, 1:29 
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Location: Australia
I suggest you use fine, solid-core, wirewrap wire.

You could also use a larger USB "B" connector, but you need to be careful with the pinouts.

http://pinouts.ru/Slots/USB_pinout.shtml

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 Post subject: Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery
PostPosted: October 6th, 2011, 15:00 
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Joined: September 7th, 2011, 15:00
Posts: 30
Location: texas
It appears that the original usb controlller is SST 25VF010. At least of the others is Winbond 25x20 AVNIG. Sorry I am cloning my first drive onto new drive. So,I am unable to see what those chips say on them at the moment.


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