Monday, 10 September 2007

How to open the Western Digital My Book 320GB

As a reference (with photos) I will use this article from the user who opened his 500GB version. (it slightly differs). This is not written for the purpose of exchanging the drives or making it internal forever, but only when you screw up your disk with the Firmware Upgrade 1.08a and it is dead (disk is NOT dead, disk works like charm, but the mainboard of the external device is dead, i. e. without any firmware at all). !!!And beware that you can lose your warranty when you open the case!!!

Step one:
No need to identify the corner screw, because there is no such thing in the 320GB Premium version. So the step one would be very carefully (milimeter after milimeter) putting out the rubber straps off the disk. (At some points - up and down parts) you can not put it off, because it is really sticked with some kind of glue. But you can strip it from the rubber at the corners and then (the glue is every where, but not that much) when you see the hole (where the rubber was) you can put some screwdriver inside.

Step two-step five
The construction of this version is different, so you really need to use the screwdriver centimeter after centimeter until the case just pops out.

Step six
You can unscrew only one of the screws in here. That one in the left upper corner. Your goal is to save the data, so it does not matter, when you can not unscrew all the three screws.

Step seven.
Who cares abotu the LED, you need the disk. Leave it alone.

Step eight and step nine.
Only unscrew those four screws from the bottom. Then remove the SATA cables. (Over the sata cables is aluminium strap, so put that out carefully before).

Step ten-Step Fourteen
No need to do that. Just unscrew the four another screws from the TOP of the disk. And then you can put it out of the plastic shell. Disk is now accessible to the SATA connectors in your PC (it does not matter, that it has some kind of metal-shell-crap on it). And the disk is now fully working internal WD Caviar version.

Now save your data to another disk (and money, too, because those authorized recovery companies of the WD charge really shitloads of money for this easy crap) .

After saving the data, you can reformat it (why returning back internal working disk with your personall data). You can even use Hiren's Boot CD and run some proggy like Killdisk to safely erase all your data and then format it... (cause there is nothing easier then recover the data from formatted disk)

And now do all the steps in reverse. First of all put that rubber strap on the plasic shell where the disk is seated - it is easy (sometimes little tricky, but nothing impossibble). You can use the screwdriver before and screw all those eight screws (from the top and the bottom) and the ninth little screw for the LED control.

Now only click the case back on it and you have a dead non working external MyBook again. It is much easier to put that rubber straps on before clicking that case back on it.

Now you can try your luck, if the reseller grants you exchange of the disk for the working one (because you void you warranty with opening the case).


Morgan said...

Hi. I recently installed the WD firmware update for my MyBook Premium Edition II (2 TB RAID) to fix the fan problems. Of course, it failed half way through and now refuses to be recognized by anything. I'm wondering if you have any knowledge about how to correct this situation, main problem is getting information off the drive. Can I open it in the same way you described in your blog or do I need something more to get the data off as it is a striped hard disk array between two drives?

Many thanks for any info you have!

Don Insalata said...

Hi Morgan, problem with this firmware update is, that IT CANNOT BE FIXED any how... unless you know, how to reflash bios without using windows system etc.

The bios on the drive CASE just gets deleted and afterwards, there is no bios (because it stops half-way through the update and no new bios is written).

But if you have some precious data on the actual DISK, you did not lost them, they are OK. But the cool-looking CASE is now worth a crap.

Too bad it has not some advanced BIOS as a motherboards on normal PCs (that you can go back... here you have only one shot, and apparently, you are ANOTHER guy who screwed his disk, too.

Don Insalata said...

And Morgan, if you want to save your data, you can use this walkthrough, but beware, that you can lose you warranty, if you screw something there.

ddouglas said...

Hi, I have been using a My Book Pro 2TB from around 12/07 with good luck. Until, in the dark and tired, I plugged the firewire 400 cable in backwards, opps. It seems to have fried the 2TB board. My LaCie is just fine! Western Digital will not ship another case or board as they claim that the changes in the firmware will just further damage the drive, and everyone already knows what a hugh expense a recovery agency is. I wonder if I can access the disk by removal or by using another board, even if the firmware is a bit different, what damage may occur? I did not change anything else, so, the current configuration is the same as "out of the box".
Any suggestons???


Sven said...

Thanks for the walkthrough. I could recover 1 disc (500GB Studio Edition) already. Seems like it is a Sata disc, so tomorrow gonna buy the good connectors...

I also have another one from 500GB (Essential Edition) That one is gonna go tomorrow after work...

No more Western Digital for me!

Phantasma25 said...

Hi I boght a WD 1 TB hard disk (essential Edition) from Western Digital I accidentally plugged in the wrong adapter (laptop universal Charger) and now mine just won't power up. I was informed that I can buy a new casing (I've been told it comes with the pieces that were burned out) and that could solve the problem. OR I'm thinking I could dismantle it and hook it up via SATA (If the WD 1TB is built like the others in this guide.) Is this true?

Are there any other option I could resort to?

Don Insalata said...

Hi phantasma, it depends on what you actually want, if you want to save your priceless data, then buy the casing and use the intact drive from inside (if the drive is ok) (e.g. I have casing from the Therlamtake with a fan and it is great), if you do not care about the data you have there, then you can give it back to the shop and try to use the warranty, so they might give u money back - actually what kind of product goes wrong if you use wrong cable... I would tell them to stick it up their assess, actually. cheers.

Don Insalata said...

i obviously mistyped the brand is called thermaltake

Mark said...

Last Week I purchased the WD My Book Home Edition 1 TB from Costco. After converting the drive to NTFS and loading it with data, I attempted to upgrade the firmware and wiped out the existing firmware instead. My Desktop Computer did not recognize the drive using either USB or Firewire. I tried the Oxford Uploader software to upload the firmware as suggested in this BLOG, but the software would not recognize the drive. I also called WD, and they suggested returning the drive for an new one, but I wanted the data on the drive.

Therefore, I removed the MY Book drive from its enclosure and installed it in my desktop second bay, replacing a WD 160 MB drive used for backup in the desktop computer. Prior to installation, I put the jumper on pins 1 and 2, same as the old 160 MB drive.

When I booted up the computer, it recognized the new 1 TB drive in control panel/hardware devices, but it did not appear in MY Computer. I went into the computer BIOS and set the drive to LBA, and when it booted up the drive and all of my data files appeared in MY Computer. I have an older desktop computer with a PCI Bus. Problem solved -- no external drive any more, but I now have a 1 TB internal Drive replacing my 160 MB internal drive and all of my files are intact.

When I talked to Western Digital Support, I suggested that, on their website, they advise customers NOT TO UPDATE FIRMWARE unless absolutely necessary to repair a non-functioning unit.