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Windows 7: Problem With Hard Drive Freezing When Accessing Files

16 Aug 2016   #11
Brucex64

Windows 7 Pro SP1
 
 

That sounds like a scam! They make a drive that comes encrypted and if it fails no one but them can recover data.

I did not install any of their software so is it still locked?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Aug 2016   #12
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

If it is anything other than WD Elements, the data that goes into the actual physical HDD inside the enclosure is automatically encrypted by the hardware encryption/decryption chip present in the enclosure electronics whether or not you install any WD software like Smartware etc,. There is no way the user can defeat the hardware encryption that takes place.

Even in the case of WD Elements external drive, the Sata to USB bridge electronics inside the enclosure is integrated into the physical HDD. ( it does not have the conventional SATA connector) So you cannot separate the HDD and try to recover the data by connecting it directly into the motherboard - in cases where it is only the interface electronics that has failed and the HDD itself is still good.

I also understand that even other manufacturers may be adapting such integration to make the externals truly portable with size reduction.

Keeping all these in view, it is always better to purchase an enclosure and a conventional internal HDD to go with it.

Scam or not - I am nobody to pass any judgement except giving out the facts as I know as people have experienced and let me know .
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16 Aug 2016   #13
Brucex64

Windows 7 Pro SP1
 
 

What is the benefit of non-password protected hardware encryption? If someone steals the drive they can still get the data and if someone hacks into a computer with one of these connected they can still get the data. I doubt that anyone is going to go to the effort of prying the case open to steal the bare drive (which would render it useless).
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16 Aug 2016   #14
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

You are absolutely right. Perhaps you had read this write-up which I had quoted many times in this forum. Should you avoid external hard drives that boast built-in encryption? | Bald Nerd

At one point of time as the article mentions WD was using the same decrypt key for all the drives in the same batch. Later realising that it can be decrypted by procuring the same batch WD drive, they changed the decryption key to something like a random number. So each hardware encrypted WD drive has a random key generated by an algorithm which is embedded in the drive electronics.

Then how is that the WD Data Recovery Partners are able to decrypt the drive? My guess is that WD provides them with something like a Master key just like TSA has the master Key to open all TSA locks. ( Fortunately I have two TSA locks that can be opened with the same key. So I need not carry two keys )

Just at this time of writing, I have read that some Data Recovery Agencies have mastered the art/technique of decrypting any WD encrypted drive for USD300 Fee.( Just in case you need the service at anytime )
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20 Aug 2016   #15
Brucex64

Windows 7 Pro SP1
 
 

Well I may have spoke too soon. I think its bad again. And the WD Passport is useless with my configuration. I had to go out of town for a couple days. I discovered that the Passport will not be recognized by my Netbook because it is Windows XP and the WD drive is not formatted for XP. I could not format it because I moved some important stuff from my PC onto it. I was able to store new photos on the Netbook and putting them on my PC worked because I copied them from the original memory cards.

When I got home, I plugged in the original external hard drive and the Netbook did not recognize it! I plugged it into my desktop computer and its doing the same thing as in my original post. Can't read or copy anything from it.

At this point I do not think there's anything of value on it.

So I don't know what a good solution is for storing photos when I travel. Buy a new Netbook or mini laptop? But then how do I transfer stuff to my PC's internal drive? Other suggestions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2016   #16
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP
 
 

What kind of format is on the WD Passport that Win XP doesn't recognize it? All kinds of Windows recognizes Fat 32 or NTFS. And to be compatible to all OS normally external drives are Fat 32 formated. Is your WD a GPT drive?
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22 Aug 2016   #17
Brucex64

Windows 7 Pro SP1
 
 

I downloaded the WD SES Driver and installed it on the netbook. Now the Passport is recognized by Windows but won't come up. Under Device Management/Storage it shows it listed as GPT Protected but when I look at that on my desktop it does not say GPT, just formatted NTFS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2016   #18
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP
 
 

Not all OS's recognizes GPT. Win XP doesn't. Again, normally external drives are MBR and Fat 32 format. How big is your WD Passport drive? Found this on WD support WD external drive is not recognized or detected in Windows XP after installation and usage | WD Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2016   #19
Brucex64

Windows 7 Pro SP1
 
 

It is 1tb. So from that article it looks like if I reformat with a MBR it would work? Is there any difference to how this drive will operate (and with its encryption scheme) between GUID and MBR format types?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2016   #20
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP
 
 

GPT has the advantage to support drives bigger than 2T, but only UEFI BIOS will handle it. As your drive is smaller than 2T there is no need for GPT and you wont see any difference.
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 Problem With Hard Drive Freezing When Accessing Files




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