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Windows 7: External HDD Not Working - Computer Recognizes but wants to Initialize

17 Apr 2015   #11
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by maxtechno3 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MightyMiroWD View Post
You cannot access the files if the drive is removed due to the hardware encryption, so that's why the best thing is to consult with a data recovery specialist:

Support Answers
How is even a specialist going to get to the files if the drive is encrypted...?
ha ha ha .....I shall tell you how.

The key to decrypt the drive is shared with only certain "Specialists" authorized by Western Digitals. These are the specialists listed by the Support Answers page given by MightyMicroWD.

Contact them, and knowing fully well that they are the only ones who can successfully recover the data and no other Specialist, they will demand an astronomical sum to recover data and of course they will do it in a jiffy because they and only they have the key so "benevolently" made available to them by WD.

Look what you have got in return for buying a Western Digital HDD.

How does hardware encryption benefit the user? Practically nothing.

When working, any body who steals your external drive can just plug it in and see all your data as if it is not encrypted. Why? Because the key is built-in into the interface.

If the interface fails, you are effectively locked out of your data - even if the HDD itself is OK - unless you are willing to pay only those "Specialists"


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17 Apr 2015   #12
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I cannot see any merits in WD's hardware encryption for their external drives and I now use basic sata drives (still WD) and a docking station.

Have you tried something simple in Disk Management - right click on drive 4 (in your screenshot) and see if it gives an option to put the drive online. I would consider burning a lightweight linux distro to a CD/DVD and see if it can read the drive. Puppy linux is a very light weight linux distro.
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20 Apr 2015   #13
maxtechno3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
I cannot see any merits in WD's hardware encryption for their external drives and I now use basic sata drives (still WD) and a docking station.

Have you tried something simple in Disk Management - right click on drive 4 (in your screenshot) and see if it gives an option to put the drive online. I would consider burning a lightweight linux distro to a CD/DVD and see if it can read the drive. Puppy linux is a very light weight linux distro.
I attempted to use Knoppix (no experience with linix) and it didn't seem to pick anything up...
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20 Apr 2015   #14
maxtechno3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

It seems that Western Digital designs their portable external hard drives in a way that makes it unnecessarily difficult and cost prohibitive to attempt data recovery.

A local technician attempted to open the enclosure and remove the drive so he could connect to a computer directly via SATA. Unfortunately, Western Digital decided to design the drive in a manner in which what would usually be the adapter from USB to SATA is *directly attached* to the drive itself. In other words, the drive can't be separated at all and no attempt can be made to connect it to the computer in another way. The only next step is an expensive professional service.

I got an guesstimate (since they haven't seen the drive) of between $500 to $1425. I asked them about this odd external hard drive design (since the guy from WD didn't seem to have a clue) and was told that this was something that he has only seen on WD designs.

It is bad enough that hard drive companies can get away with "limited" warranties that don't cover the data (which is tantamount to saying "our safe can withstand fire, but if doesn't, we'll replace the safe, but not the contents inside that melted/burned because our safe was crap"), but it is at least somewhat common knowledge that this is done throughout the industry. BTW this drive is still under warranty, being less than a year and a half from the date of purchase and being under said warranty until the first days of 2017.

If this thing with the WD -physical- design is true, I've never heard anything of it and I highly doubt it is something they readily disclose. I don't think this is part of the "encryption" that I have seen mentioned and that jumanji also talked about several posts above.

When I have a diagnostic done of the drive (which is free, thank goodness), if I find out that in any way that this design or their "encryption" forced me to undertake expensive professional data recovery, you can be certain that I will be having a "nice" chat with WD about the bill. None of these possible "features" and their potential adverse effects are disclosed (as far as I know), and I wouldn't be surprised if this is illegal in some way, shape or form - and if isn't and WD was taken to court, I wouldn't be at all surprised if a judge found them liable for consumers' costs because many of these costs may have only incurred due to WD's hidden "features".

I purchased WD drives because of their supposed greater reliability compared to the competition, but if and when they fail, the cost of recovery in almost all circumstances will be astronomical, then I might as well take my money to a competitor (btw any recommendations?). If others are made to realize that the downside risk of owning a WD drive is huge, I doubt they would continue to purchase them.

I'll be making sure to backup -everything- now, but I'm not so certain that it will be with WD drives. Can anyone also direct me to ways to ensure that everything from multiple sources may be backed up easily and quickly? I can search, but if anyone who responds has any suggestions off the top of their head, it would be appreciated.
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20 Apr 2015   #15
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Western Digital Hardware Encryption - Prosoft Engineering, Inc.

Data Recovery of Encrypted Western Digital drives.

Note: I do not promote the authors or the firms they represent except bringing out how the hardware encryption on the Western Digital portable drives is a farce and a cruel joke on end users when it comes to data recovery due to failure of the electronic hardware encryption interface in those drives.

If at all, buy only Western Digital Elements Portable drive which does not have hardware encryption.But again I do not know whether this integrated Interface is there on this drive that precludes attaching the drive only as a secondary drive for data recovery..

Due to all these hidden things, I have long back decided that I will never never buy a Western Digital portable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2015   #16
maxtechno3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
Western Digital Hardware Encryption - Prosoft Engineering, Inc.

Data Recovery of Encrypted Western Digital drives.

Note: I do not promote the authors or the firms they represent except bringing out how the hardware encryption on the Western Digital portable drives is a farce and a cruel joke on end users when it comes to data recovery due to failure of the electronic hardware encryption interface in those drives.

If at all, buy only Western Digital Elements Portable drive which does not have hardware encryption.But again I do not know whether this integrated Interface is there on this drive that precludes attaching the drive only as a secondary drive for data recovery..

Due to all these hidden things, I have long back decided that I will never never buy a Western Digital portable.
The USB 3.0/2.0 interface is directly soldered onto the drive. In other words, if there is something wrong with that specifically, you can't separate the drive and connect it via SATA.

See this video of the drive being taken out of the enclosure to see what I mean https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GGTQF6oE3E
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2015   #17
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

The passports are 2.5" and I believe all of these WD size portables have proprietary non sata connections. Some of the earlier Elements did have the sata connector. I have a number of the 3.5" WD MyBook Essentials and these have Sata internal connectors but also forced hardware encryption. These drives also have the commonly used USB 3 micro B connectors that can become a problem themselves.
Take away viewpoint: Have more than one backup drive and lean towards a docking station if portability isn't a big issue.

I wouldn't be put off by not knowing linux (I'm not that knowledgeable in linux either). It is still a windowed environment and you can stumble around it with a bit of commonsense. This may help:
https://www.winhelp.us/recover-files...ppy-linux.html
It is actually even simpler in that you can drag drop and select copy to get your data off a disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2015   #18
maxtechno3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I got a diagnostic back and was told "read/write heads damaged, PCB damaged, bad sectors, possible minor scratches on internal platters" with a recovery price of over $1200. I am a bit skeptical about all this given what it is currently doing... also, the drive had absolutely no issues prior to just going kaput suddenly - is it possible (reasonably... almost anything could be possible I guess...) that when it went kaput all those problems happened?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2015   #19
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by maxtechno3 View Post
I got a diagnostic back and was told............
How was the diagnostics performed? By whoever is charging $1200 recovery? If you can live without the data I'd just write it off as a valuable lesson - keep more than one backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2015   #20
maxtechno3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
How was the diagnostics performed? By whoever is charging $1200 recovery? If you can live without the data I'd just write it off as a valuable lesson - keep more than one backup.
I can... but I'm getting a second opinion. After talking with them, they said it's a possibility that the PCB can be switched out and it might work and referred me to a place.
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 External HDD Not Working - Computer Recognizes but wants to Initialize




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