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Windows 7: External HDD showing full but it is impossible

14 Jul 2015   #31

Debian Custom

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post

I have to intervene.

As I said in an earlier post your Western Digital Passport external drive is hardware encrypted. The hardware encryption chip as well as the decryption key is in the Interface electronics inside the enclosure. The hardware chips encrypts the data and writes the encrypted data into the HDD. If the Interface card inside fails - which I presume is in your case - there is absolutely no way to get your data back since the decrypt key is also in the interface card.

Even if the HDD inside is by itself good any data recovery software can get you only the encrypted data which will be absolutely useless for you.

The only people who can decrypt and recover your data is the Western Digital patronised Data Recovery agencies to whom only WD has made available the decryption key.

So don't waste your time and money buying a data recovery software.
Thank you for this post - I stand thoroughly corrected. Reading up on the subject I will now refrain from purchasing one. I found this site that had some interesting information though.. Ľ Western Digital MyBook Drive Lock Encryption ? Failure and Recovery

Major problem with these drives is also the fact that when integrated sata drive (usually low quality like wd green) starts developing bad sectors, the usb bridge doesnít handle it well. It simply freezes. So you can not get good data because the drive freezes after trying to access data on bad sector area. I can confirm that you can remove the drive from usb/encryption bridge, connect it directly to sata on mainboard (it handles bad sectors much easier), sector clone it to a new/good drives using a tool like ddrescue, connect the new drive back to usb/encryption bridge and your data is accessible. You will loose the bad sector data but you could at least access all other data/disk area. Well, if your file system metadata hasnít been on bad sectors areas. If, then you should use some recovery programs afterwards.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2015   #32

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

I have read CottonBale's post many times and If I remember correct have even mentioned it in many of my posts here before.

Now there are two assumptions in what he says.

1. The interface electronics inside is Ok. It is only the HDD that has bad sectors and it is unable to read..

2. The HDD inside is a conventional HDD with SATA connectors and the interface electronics is a separate block. So you can take the HDD out and connect it as a SATA drive in another computer.

Now the OP had run Datalifeguard Diagnostics. If the interface Electronics is OK it should be able to get the drive's capacity and show its correct capacity. It should also run the extended test and try sector by sector to find any bad sectors and repair it if possible. It did not happen. Though the OP is yet to confirm, I believe the extended Test did not run taking hours to complete. It finished off in a jiffy within seconds because it could read only 0 sectors. So point No. 1 is off from my radar.

Many of the Western digital external drives now sport an integrated interface card. The drive has no SATA connectors. It connects directly to the electronics. You cannot take out the drive and connect it to another computer.

Considering all these things, If the OP is intent on Data Recovery he should give off the whole unit to those WD authorised recovery agents. Free consultation. The OP can get a quote from them.CKWD had given the link.

If he has no such intentions, then he can break the unit and try his luck in whatever way he wants, if he finds that he has a conventional HDD inside.

For the time being I have just stopped him from buying any data recovery software. Freeware can do it for most part. ddrescue can clone the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2015   #33

Debian Custom

You're an impressive man, Jumanji. No doubt, if sending this unit away is affordable or even better - under some warranty, why not do exactly that! This specific model has turned out to be a lesson compared to what I thought I already knew about.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Jul 2015   #34

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Jumanji, when I ran WD DatalifeGuard Diagnostics, I did the quick scan only. It took over 20 minutes to give a result. I decided against an extended scan because the program warned it would take several hours for larger drives. Going by my previous experience with Partition Recovery's quick scan, which we abandoned after waiting several days, I felt a few hours would have been an understatement.

The WD drive, which is still connected to my other PC, is showing in Disk Management as drive F: in RAW format, with 9048 GB available and healthy. Is that good news or not? WD's Unlock device is shown as drive E: (a screenshot has been taken, if required). I have tried to eject the drive but it won't allow it so I am going to shut down the PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2015   #35

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

As already mentioned, and very thoroughly by Jumanji, the best option in this case is to take the drive to a Data Recovery company, here is the link again:

Support Answers

WD's partners in that field should be able to help you with your information. If you decide you don't want that data after all, just reformat the drive, as this is the typical way to deal with RAW format.

Still, I have to ask, have you tried again the WD Unlocker, as described on page 40 of this WD My Passport manual? It is supposed to look like this, as it is a virtual CD.

Support Answers

I just want to make sure if you have used it and if it was properly. Also, do replug the drive, what happens then?

Try and call for a professional data recovery and look around your options there. :)

Best of luck!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2015   #36

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I'm afraid to use a professional retrieval service for 2 reasons:
1. the cost is supposed to be very high, and
2. some of my data is of a sensitive nature.

After unplugging and re-connecting the drive, WD Unlocker is still working correctly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2015   #37

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 7leagueboot View Post
...After unplugging and re-connecting the drive, WD Unlocker is still working correctly.
That was a very vague answer that doesn't take anyone anywhere.

From the My Passport User Manual which CKWD has provided in his last post

"Depending on the software configuration of your computer, there are three ways to
unlock the drive, using either the:
• WD Security or WD Drive Utilities software
• WD SmartWare software
• WD Drive Unlock utility"

Which method are you using to unlock the drive?

Because I don't know anything about all the above WD software, I had requested CKWD to look into it and check whether this installed software - whatever you had installed, which again you have not specified till now - is being used correctly or there is a problem with it ( your drive).

Please enumerate each and every step you take to unlock the drive from the moment you plug in the drive and post the screenshots of each screen also.

Only that can enable CKWD to determine whether you are doing everything correctly. If it is a correctable problem he may give you a solution. If it is not a correctable one because of a hardware defect - read faulty interface elctronics inside the enclosure which may have the Virtual CDROM drive, Hardware encryption chip and also decryption key - then you will have no solution except data recovery by Western Digital partners only.

After you unlock the drive, post screenshots of how that drive looks in My computer, Device Manager, and Windows Management. Also explain clearly as to what happens when you try to access the drive after you unlock the drive.

Only complete information as above will enable CKWD to analyse the problem and give a verdict. Help him help you.

Note: You may also understand that if you have forgotten the password or input the wrong password, you cannot access the drive. There is generally no way to defeat the password protection at the user level.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2015   #38

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Thank you Jumanji, I agree that we still cannot gain a lot of relevant information. That is why I specified OP to look at page 40 of the manual linked above, where the procedure to unlock the drive is described. Perhaps we've mismatched in our posts.

We know the HDD is in RAW state now, which still suggests either an attempt to recover the file system, or directly use Data recovery services, but I wanted to see if OP could follow (or has followed) the procedure described on that page in detail.

7leagueboot, if you could please follow the steps described on page 40 of the manual, take screenshots alongside and post them here and describe how you have used the Unlock feature before.

Also, the Data recovery companies and people that work there are professionals, they have contracts and should also posses a sense of confidentiality, you would not be the first nor last person to get his data extracted through their services.

Please post back soon!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2015   #39

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I am using the "WD Drive Unlock utility" however, the first time I used it on this particular PC (my wife's machine), I checked the option to autologin so I only needed to enter the password the first time.

So, step 1, plugin the drive via USB. The WD Drive Unlock utility appears in Windows Explorer (see screenshot 1).

Step 2, launch the WD Drive unlock utility and up pops the WD Drive Unlock window showing the drive is now unlocked (see screenshot 2).

Step 3, open Drive Manager to see the current state of the drive in RAW format. Note the drive is shown as being in a healthy state (sain). I should add that it takes at least 2 hours before Drive Manager will finally display anything. This is because the WD drive in RAW format is causing real trouble for readability (see screenshot 3).

Attached Thumbnails
External HDD showing full but it is impossible-screenshot1.png   External HDD showing full but it is impossible-screenshot2.png   External HDD showing full but it is impossible-screenshot3.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2015   #40

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I would suppose you mean you checked the Enable auto unlock for user box, which makes the WD software remember your password, after the first time.

Still, from everything shown I could conclude that this problem is not caused by the drive being
locked. It has damaged file system or partition table, thus is lagging the system (Device Manager).

You could check if by right clicking on the RAW drive in Disk Management you have the options to format etc. Just check that, don't do anything!

If you need your data, please contact one of WD's Data recovery partners to recover your files. I am positive that they would be discrete with your personal data because, as I already mentioned, you won't be the first or last person to have his data extracted with their professional help.

Then just reformat the drive if possible and continue using it.

I wish you best of luck and I am sorry there isn't much else we can do!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 External HDD showing full but it is impossible

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