Monday, November 5, 2012

My WD MyBook Live Crashed

Well, we had a bit of a power hiccup last week and when I got home my WD MyBook Live could no longer be recognized on my home network. Nothing I could do would get the drive working again so I had to assume the power outage fried the ethernet chip on the board of the enclosure. Googling around the internet showed other folks encountered the same problem that I have.

This is the second time a WD enclosure has failed on me. Why, oh why, do I do this to myself. I guess it is because I'm cheap and the WD products offer a good price/functionality ratio. However, what they do not offer is reliability. This is a good lesson for us all not to skimp on quality when you have an important piece of your home setup.

I guess I should explain that I use the MyBook Live to host my iTunes library. As a result it is just packed with shows for my daughter and I really need to get this fixed before she wants to watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua again. As well this drive is setup to be the receptacle of the Time Machine backup on the Mac. I get antsy if my backup isn't running daily even though I also run Carbonite to backup to the cloud.

Anyway, the drive in the enclosure is just fine. I pulled it out and popped it into SATA to USB which works great except for the fact the drive is formatted as XFS. It's a typical Linux file system which predictably isn't recognized by Mac OS or Windows. Luckily there is a great free program called Linux Reader from Disk Internals that you can run on Windows which will allow you read only access to the partitions. I've got it setup on an old Windows laptop now and it is busily copying away.


Costas Constantacopoulos said...

Hi Simon, nice article...i need your assistance if possible, your problem looks similar to mine...After a massive rainfall and the worst case weather conditions i've ever seen to the place i live , i'm facing now a problem with my MyBook Live 2TB drive. Probably striked by a lightning i found my router, modem and WD drive not working. For the MyBook drive i tried to change the power supply and i see that the disk is working (i heard the noise of the disk rotating and sounds like starting up itself) but there is no indication on the led indicators in front and at the back (ethernet port). I really don't know what is the next step should i it to install the drive in a new case? I'm really desperate, there is a lot of data inside that i don't want to lose...
Thanks for your time....any advise or assistance will be really appreciated..
P.S. > i am a PC user (not mac like you)

Simon MacDonald said...


Well I'm no expert in these matters but if it sounds like the drive platters are still spinning you can probably remove the drive from the enclosure and put it into a SATA to USB enclosure. The problem you will have when you plug it into your PC is that it does not recognize the XFS partitions.

It may be easier for you to get a Linux Live CD to boot your computer into then mount the external drive. Copy everything to your PC and then format the drive and copy everything from your PC back onto the newly formatted external drive.

I can tell you that the Linux Reader from Disk Internals program did work for me on an old PC laptop I had and I was able to recover 100 GB but it took 1 week for the copy to finish. I've currently got the drive setup to a LInux VM Ware image on my Mac to copy over the other 400GB I care about. I think it is almost as slow as the PC approach.

Hope this helps...

Costas Constantacopoulos said...

Thank's a lot for the quick response,
i will try soon to connect my drive and hope that everything will be ok...Best Regards!