A fairly significant number of external drive failures are because the USB-to-SATA bridge failed, and not because the hard drive failed. With these proprietary WD units, you can’t just extract the data yourself or get a friend to do it, like you would do with any standards-compliant HDD.
The evilness and beauty of this scheme is that most people won’t even see it coming until it’s too late. That’s why it’s on you to be an educated consumer and vote with your wallet. I’ve only seen WD drives with this design, but if other brands are doing it too, please do tell.
TheRealGunn: I appreciate the heads up, but could you be more specific? What models or types? Are the Mycloud units amount those?
ilive2lift: I have no idea what most of what you said means
awkreddit: Any way to diagnose if a harddrive you’re using has that technology?
DropKickedAtBirth: Might I recommend
Not exactly 300 dollars based on the situation, but cheaper than the cost of a car. My colleague recommend them when I couldn’t get data from a friend’s PC. Fast service and they keep you informed of your data recover every step of the way. Best part , they send you a link and have you verify that they were able to recover your data before you sign off and pay them. They’ll also send you back the old drive.
NOTE: I am in no way affiliated with this company. Just a recommendation as I found their services beyond my expectations.
dominant_driver: Why can’t you just get another identical drive and switch out the bad circuit board?
ShadowPouncer: If you only have one copy of your data, it must not be very important to you.
But yeah, with drives like these, that’s even more true than usual.
captainthor: That’s why you should have copies of important files on multiple devices. I have two external hard drives for this, plus three cloud backups, and for critical things will email copies to myself on a web email service too. I also have a personal web site I upload certain content to, once finished. When I complete a book, I publish it to Amazon. When I’m close to completion, I upload the file there too, as a draft, and an extra backup.
I used to use flash drives/thumb drives too; but every one I ever tried, from every manufacturer, failed catastrophically, with the data on them unrecoverable. So they were a total waste of money.
Lady_badcrumble: You probably just saved me a bunch of dough and trouble, thank you. Any recommends for a good, long lasting hard drive? I had to get away from GTech after on of their power supplies melted.
unvaluablespace: I just ordered two 8tb WD external hard drives from Best buy because they were on sale. Most forums I’ve seen online have stated that these use WD RED drives as the drive, and that they just shuck the casing and install them into other computers. I’m just trying to understand: so your post is telling me that should be wrong, and that I can NOT, in fact, shuck the external drives if I want to use them in another computer as an internal drive?
p3dal: Any tips on which models? Ive shucked a few drives and never run into this.
skidmark-steve: We need to compile a database of units that are built in this way. It’s not as though the manufacturer wants you to know that is how they designed things. 🙂
So it is on us to educate the public and stop this from becoming an industry standard practice.
BannedStoner: well that’s why I have six back up HD’s, all 1TB WD… wait
DaSHmith: I believe this is my current situation. Bought a 1 terabyte WD external hard drive about four years ago. It was fine until about six months ago. Now, when I plug it in and connect it to a computer, nothing happens. All my music and photos are stored on this hard drive. Ironically enough, when I bought it, I was so proud of myself for adulting properly (by thinking ahead” and backing up my files). I am thinking of taking it to Geek Squad or something out pull the data out.
FryGuy9000: My Toshiba Canvio 2 has this. Feels weird.
couchdive: Shit ass old person who use to be savvy doing c+ and basic days but now is dumb as shit warning:
What external drive is most dependable? I got like tons of pics needed to be stored. I got cloud backups but would like a local storage solutions. Talking like 300 gigs but would love expansion room
NilacTheGrim: Just to underscore this point: When a hard drive physically develops bad sectors you can usually see it coming, at least theoretically. It starts to report errors internally and a good OS or a sysadmin can tell it’s on its way out.
But when the logic board goes — it’s pretty much a binary condition. One day it works.. the next it fails.
So yeah — it’s harder to see it coming.
jabl16: Ok what if I take the drive out of the closure and plug directly to motherboard?
Michaelmrose: So basically just always buy a standard sata HD plus an enclosure plus a drive instead of an external hard drive.
If the external enclosure fails you won’t lose access to your data, you can pay another 20 bucks instead of a hundred for a whole new drive.
Furthermore when you eventually need more space you can pop a bigger drive in the existing enclosure.
dougbdl: I have had this very thing happen.
sabertooth66: Yep, this happened to me and I was boned.
I took the enclosure apart to investigate, figured I’d find smaller HDD in there and troubleshoot it. It was much more complicated than that.
It’s all good though it was just a porn drive XD
Imronburgundy83: I’ve got 2 of them, but I also use desktop PC. Can’t I just shuck the enclosure, plug up the drive to one of my sata ports and get my information that way? Maybe I’m not understanding.
balance07: yay i buy WD Reds for my internal drives and Seagate Expansions for my external (backups).
i am very smart.
vexon13: could you not just swap the board on it yourself ? ( the HD’s one that is )
jdgrazia: if you get a new enclosure for your wd drive, now you still have the risk of that same circuit failing, and you’ve spent $20 on a new enclosure.
Henry788: Well shit man what kind of a used car? Are we talking prior year model caddy with 12k miles or a 1996 Dodge Stratus that doesn’t have power steering anymore?
BigManBuddha: So if I was going to use a WD external HD for my ps4, should I just not now?
TotesMessenger: I’m a bot, *bleep*, *bloop*. Someone has linked to this thread from another place on reddit:
– [/r/datahoarder] [Don’t see this article in here. WD externals with USB logic embedded in the drive’s board, NOT a separate USB-to-SATA board.](https://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/comments/7ftgvo/dont_see_this_article_in_here_wd_externals_with/)
*^(If you follow any of the above links, please respect the rules of reddit and don’t vote in the other threads.) ^([Info](/r/TotesMessenger) ^/ ^[Contact](/message/compose?to=/r/TotesMessenger))*
airwr3ck: Very true, work at a computer repair shop, sucks when we have to quote 1500+ for clean room because of a company’s design.
seweso: An educated consumer makes sure his/her data is on multiple drives. Plus paying for devices with high failure rate is just bad for your wallet anyway. So….YSK to buy quality hardware.
dmarko: So, is it better if I buy an ordinary HD and an enclosure, and use this combo as an external HD?
beaqbeaq: I will probably sound as dumbass, but here it goes:
I have a 2TB WD MyCloud that I use for important stuff and non important stuff, with no secondary backup. Every evening I unplug the power supply to the drive.
From what I’ve been reading I am doing everything wrong. What would you recommend for a new setup for 2TB of important and 6TB for unimportant stuff? (Willing to pay for quality as recommended)
libertynow: I can confirm… This happened to me.. Cracked open the enclousure ready to poo the drive into my hdd dock and low and behold… Usb board where SATA interface should be…. I was lucky out was just a back up drive, but that could have been bad!
WishYouTheBestSex: About two years too late for me. This happened to me and I had my life stored on this 3T Hard drive. Eventually couldn’t find any info online and reformatted the drive.
dreymatic: Solution: if you’re storing data that is of such importance that you’d be willing to pay any amount of money let alone a significant amount (anything more than the storage solution) then please do not use a hard drive that is targeted at students and people who do their work on a laptop constantly.
If you need to store data for professional use, please for all things good GET A COMPUTER OR DATA SYSTEM, if you really *really* need to access data on the go just use a cloud computing solution not one of these cheap half assed external hard drives
greenkiweez: So… we should read the factory specs before buying the drive? Or is there a way to tell just from reading the device description?
Pork_Chops_McGee: This is precisely the reason why I have two external hard drives and an online cloud backup service. 4tb drive holds photos, music, videos etc. 6tb drive is the backup drive.
* Internal computer drive: bootable backup ➡️ 6tb drive
* 4tb multimedia drive backup ➡️ 6tb drive
* 6tb drive backup ➡️ online service
Mutjny: I mean I was already _not_ buying WD drives for a myriad of reasons. This is just another one.
Boboblah780: I was gifted (borrowed, forgot I had, tried to return it and got laughed at and told to keep) a USB drive adapter. It could do IDE, sata, and… fuck I can’t remember. Firewire, I think. I haven’t had to use it in a while.
I borrowed it on a lark, having some old hard drives I wanted to take a look into. Since ~~owning~~ stealing it, I’ve had so many opportunities to use it. And the look of appreciation on someone’s face as you salvage their “laptop,” is great.
So is their glazed over look as you take the opportunity to discuss your lord and saviour, Backups.
Zenen: I actually dealt with this problem recently. I had a WD internal drive that was laying around for over a year because the circuit had been broken until I finally got annoyed enough to figure it out.
If you mount the HDD directly onto a SATA port, you can run the [TestDisk](http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download) utility on it, which should be able to navigate the hard drive well enough for you to pull all the data off of it onto a different place in your computer.
UrFavSoundTech: So if you bought a new wd hard drive and swapped the bridges. Would that fix it?
Nadia_Rising: Could you just pull the hard drive out of a bum computer and stick a case on it for a more reliable external then?
mr_sinn: There’s nothing evil about it, it’s a backup. Everything mechanical/electrical will break and even native SATA drives are rarely repairable. If you run a drive with the intention of trying to repair it after a break as the only means of getting your data back I have bad news for you.
thekindred: Going to play devils advocate here… but why should we just take your word for it? Do you have statistical or engineering/schematic data to back up this claim or is this going to be a another anecdotal YSK/PSA?
TheNASAguy: The thing is WD is more reliable than Seagate, as they have Good Quality Read Heads that have Even Survived a 3 feet fall while transferring data to it, but they have Poor Data Recovery options and Proprietary Components, While Seagate is Better on this front, Offering a SATA to USB adapter on every external drive, They are notorious for Shitty Quality Drives that constantly Fail.
Hellisahalfpipe00: i have a wd mybook duo with 2x 3tb HDs
its on raid1.
am i ok if one fails?
midir: I don’t understand why it should be the case that “A fairly significant number of external drive failures are because the USB-to-SATA bridge failed”. I feel like the electronic circuit should be much more reliable than the drive mechanics. But if what you say is true, then surely Western Digital’s method is *better*, because it has one fewer circuit to go wrong: only one interface, instead of two.
On the other hand, I like the flexibility of knowing I can swap a hard drive between external and internal. I was going to buy one of those “My Passport” drives because it was cheap, but now I’m torn…
ssps: The internals of the drive don’t matter. If they can save $5 by integrating the SATA usb bridge – I’m all for it.
Hard drives are consumables. Any brand hard drives will keep failing and needing to be replaced while under warranty.
Hard drive shall be removed from service and destroyed when warranty expires (factor that into your costs).
Hence how precisely it fails is irrelevant. everyone shall have implemented tired backup structure and stop worrying about hardware failure. It’s 2017.
landob: LPT – Backup your data and none of this matters.
Carocrazy132: Ah the dreaded WD drives. Right down there in hell with the Sanza Cruzr flash drives.
Idk if there’s any good way to get people to stop buying these but I’m glad this is front page.
Vakieh: YSK not be be a fucking moron and keep important data on an external hard drive. They are for pirated tv shows, pirated movies, and pirated porn.
Back your shit up properly or pay like a dickhead.