MyBook Studio data recovery

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by raftr, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. raftr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #1
    I have a MyBook Studio 1.5GB. One beautiful day it just stopped working. It spins for one second when I try to boot it and then it switches itself back off.

    I tried to rule out possible failure points:

    I borrowed a MyBook power supply from a friend – my MyBook did not boot with it either. So I guess the PS is ok.

    I took the drive out, put it in a different (non-WD) enclosure. Good news, the drive works. The system (10.6.4) shows it as not initiated though, no data to be seen.

    I combed it through with Data Rescue 3. In 14 hours it only found the WD partition and proprietary WD files. My partition wasn't found.

    My question is:

    Is my data not visible with the disk inside a different enclosure likely because…

    * it needs MyBook Studio enclosure electronics to be read properly
    or…
    * my partition is completely bust?

    I am not sure whether I should look for better HFS+ recovery software, or buy another MyBook Studio set and swap the drives across so that I could read my data via the new enclosure.

    Any info appreciated.
     
  2. fluffyx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #2
    Wow, that sounds miserable!

    You don't need MyBook Studio electronics to read the drive properly. However, if the "good" enclosure that you put the drive into was actually an enclosure of another external drive, there's a small chance it just won't work. Some external hard drives have enclosures that seem to only like the drive they came with from the factory. Using a "hard drive dock" or generic "hard drive enclosure" would be a better troubleshooting step than using a case that might not be interchangeable.

    As far as software solutions go, Data Rescue 3 is quite excellent.

    Based on what you described, it doesn't really sound like your drive has a mechanical failure, but there's still a slim possibility.

    Get a real enclosure from your local electronics store and let us know how it goes!
     
  3. raftr thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    The enclosure I used is a generic USB/eSATA case.
    I know those MyBook drives aren't organised normally, ie. they won't allow you to remove the WD automount partition. This is what made me think original WD hardware is needed for my data to be visible.
     
  4. fluffyx macrumors 6502

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    Oct 25, 2007
    #4
    Western Digital has made a strange choice by including that automatically mounting virtual CD on many of their recent drives. However, it won't prevent the drive from working and mounting normally if removed from the WD enclosure.

    If Data Rescue took several hours to run, it sounds like your computer was able to talk with the drive and attempt to read the data off each block of the drive. However, if the drive tells the computer that the sectors on the drive are unreadable, Data Rescue won't be able to do anything.

    As far as I know, Data Rescue doesn't tell you when the drive is failing, unless you peruse the Data Rescue error logs. Do you still have the logs that Data Rescue made?
     
  5. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Was this drive under constant usage or was it simply used for long-term storage, i.e., fill it up and put it away, maybe use it once every couple of months?

    Just curious. I just picked up a 2TB Mybook Essentials, disabled the VCD, and am currently halfway done transferring 1.6TB of data to it. Once that's done I'm putting it away and using it only occasionally. It should have no reason to fail anytime soon under such circumstances.

    But now I'm a bit worried. WD *should* be a reliable brand. I've seen WDs from 10-15 year ago that are still chugging along.
     
  6. raftr thread starter macrumors regular

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  7. raftr thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    I only turned it on occasionally. I have a suspicion something happened while plugging in/unplugging the FW800 connector.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    I'm offering the following experience with a proviso: DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    In my case, I had a drive (not a WD drive) that had a partition "go bad" on me. It wouldn't mount, no matter what, even when the _other_ partitions on the same drive mounted without problems.

    I had Data Rescue, and couldn't "reach" the damaged partition because it couldn't be mounted on the desktop, or was otherwise "unaccessable" to DR.

    My solution was a radical one:
    I completely RE-INITIALIZED the drive into a SINGLE partition.
    This WIPED OUT _ALL_ previous directory and partition info on the drive.

    But guess what? After doing this, the newly-initialized drive appeared on the desktop (albeit as an "empty drive"), and now Data Rescue could "reach out and touch" ALL of the drive, including the portion of the platters that had previously been "un-reachable" because the old, damaged partition could not be mounted.

    I was able to recover most of the data I was trying to get at (archived .mp3 files).

    The reasoning is this:
    Data Rescue doesn't try to "repair" a drive with a damaged directory or damaged partitions. Rather, it "bypasses" the directory, and goes right to the sectors of the drive itself, scavenging whatever data it finds and then reconstructing that data into files again.

    When you re-initalize or re-partition a drive, what are you really doing? You aren't actually "wiping" the data that is on the drive (that is only done with a "zero-ing out" of the drive). Instead, you are clearing the drive's _directories_ and partition map. NO data resides in the directories or partition map -- rather, they only contain the "pathways" to the actual data that is on the drive.

    If those pathways to the data are damaged, you can't get at the data under normal circumstances.

    However, remember that DR doesn't care about directories -- rather it looks directly "at the drive" -- provided the drive and partitions are "visible".

    So, the only way to enable DR to reach the data on a damaged (and thus INvisible) partition, was to get rid of the partition info by re-initializing the drive.. Now, with a single partition, ALL of the drive's sectors became "reachable" to DR and it was able to scavenge the data I was looking for.

    That's my take on how it worked.

    Again, DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK.
    But it worked for me, when nothing else would.
     
  9. fluffyx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #9
    Fishrrman, I'm glad that you were able to access your data after repartitioning the drive. However, Data Rescue is able to access the "raw device" even if it couldn't mount the partition. Sometimes this isn't obvious in the Data Rescue interface, but it is always possible.

    When you lose data, it's a great idea not to change (repartition, etc...) the device that is having trouble.

    •

    rafalski, from the look of the log, it seems like you did a Quick Scan, not a Full Scan. Please confirm. If you did a Quick Scan and it took 14 hours, your drive is mechanically failing.
     
  10. raftr thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Thanks, I guess I'll try this on the copy after cloning the drive to another disk.

    Actually, Quick Scan gave me no results at all. Full scan estimated the work to be 34 hours, then finished with a report after 14. I think I should try this again.
     
  11. raftr thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    I have a conformation from WD: those drives are hardware encrypted, even without a password set.

     
  12. fluffyx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #12
    Yikes! It seems I was giving out extremely inaccurate information.

    Data Rescue, generally, does not make changes to the media it scans, but the operating system may have tried to change the filesystem to get it to mount.

    I'll ask our data recovery team to chime in.
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    "Data Rescue, generally, does not make changes to the media it scans, but the operating system may have tried to change the filesystem to get it to mount"

    I don't believe that DR does _anything of this sort_.

    It "changes" nothing on the source volume.

    It just scavenges "what is there", and then tries to rebuild it on a "target" volume.

    To the original poster: DR could well require 14-31 hours to "get at" your data, depending on the condition of the source drive.

    You might also consider setting up DR to NOT try to "recover" ALL the data on the drive, but rather, to recover selected file types (or folders?) where you believe the data you really want is.

    For instance, I asked DR to scan and recover only "mp3" files, which were all I really wanted from a damaged partition. It was able to do just that in much less time.
     
  14. fluffyx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #14
    DR does not make changes, but the OS will sometimes change the partition when it runs fsck to convince a partition to mount.

    After speaking with our data recovery team, it's very safe to say that:
    1. The OS changed nothing on your drive. (The encrypted partition looks nothing like a partition to your Mac, and so the OS would not try to change it.)
    2. If you can find an exact match My Book Studio (same capacity, same design), the encryption hardware will most likely be identical and the drive should decrypt correctly.

    So it looks like this could be a DIY fix after all!
     
  15. MacTech68, Jul 7, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68020

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #15
    When you select the drive in DataRescue3, go to the "Expert" menu, select "Set Drive/Volume parameters". Leave everything as is BUT, ensure that the "File System" pop-up is set to what-ever you recall the drive is formatted as.

    "HFS Plus" is probably what I'd expect the drive to be formatted as. Can anybody that owns one of these enlighten us as to what the format is from the factory?

    DataRescue3 does NOT make changes to your source drive.

    And encrypted? I'm not sure I'd believe everything that a company representative tells you.

    If the drive is making any repetitive, rhythmic clattering sounds when scanning, it is either suffering from bad blocks or intermittent read failure. Patience can be a virtue in these circumstances and these are what data recovery tools are often best at. Having recovered drives going back to 80MB, the only thing I detest about new high capacity drives (say 500GB-2TB) is the amount of time it takes to fully scan a corrupted drive. :eek:
     
  16. fluffyx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #16
    Our data recovery team confirms that many recent WD My Book Studio drives are hardware encrypted, even if you didn't turn password protection on. This is, at best, a questionable decision on WD's part.

    Our price for recovering data in the situation you described is $449, and this includes the cost of shipping and the cost of a new drive.

    However, because the drive is not having a mechanical failure, professional recovery is not mandatory. Get another identical WD My Book Studio drive and try it out. It sounds like the drive should mount with no trouble, and you won't even have to run Data Rescue.
     
  17. MacTech68, Jul 8, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68020

    MacTech68

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #17
    Hmmm, that is interesting and valuable information. I agree that this is a questionable implementation, especially if it isn't mentioned in original documentation. I wonder if this is a matter of building a bridge board that will eventually support a "fingerprint" security mechanism?

    It would appear that the encryption is not applied to all partitions. I'm curious to know what partition scheme is used or has been used on this particular drive.

    Are you aware of any other bridge boards with hardware encryption?
     
  18. raftr thread starter macrumors regular

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    Ireland
    #18
    Thank you guys for all advice. I am still waiting for the official confirmation on the WD forum that hardware keys are not unique, then I am ordering a new WD Studio set for box replacement.
     
  19. fluffyx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #19
    In fact, on WD drives that have a partition with WD tools, this partition is not actually stored on the magnetic media, but rather on a ROM chip on the drive's printed circuit board. If you format the drive, the WD tools partition remains!

    The only other drives I personally know of with hardware encryption are ones that specifically advertise it. I was surprised to learn from this conversation and our cleanroom technician that some recent WD drives are hardware-encrypted, even if the encryption is not turned on!

    Fortunately, drives of the same model use the same hardware key, and possibly drives of different models may use the same hardware key.
     
  20. raftr thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 18, 2007
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    #20
    Funny that just when I want to avoid MyBooks altogether I must buy another one. Good thing is you can open them easily without breaking any seals and I should be able to return the original one to to get it fixed under warranty.
     
  21. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #21
    "Thank you guys for all advice. I am still waiting for the official confirmation on the WD forum that hardware keys are not unique, then I am ordering a new WD Studio set for box replacement."

    Hmmm ... let me get this straight.

    You had a first WD drive that is giving you fits, and then...
    ... you order a SECOND one just like it?

    I wouldn't do that.

    I'd get something ELSE that has a better chance of working, than another of something I already had that DIDN'T.
     
  22. raftr thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    I know, I am only doing this as a remedy for the failure, I'll swap the drives across in order to access the drive whose enclosure died. There are files I need to get out of it (talk bad backup strategy).
     
  23. Peak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    #23
    Have you solved the problem? I've got the exact same one - and I cannot decide whether I should buy another MyBook, try another option or just forget about those data..
     

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