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I bought brand new WD Caviar Green hard disks and put them into My Book World Edition II White Light case but… surprisingly it doesn’t work or even start! Only top LED is blinking/flashing and MBWE doesn’t appear in my network environment! Similar situation is with WD My Book World Edition I White Light or with my previous HDD that has stopped working.
How to recover or rebuild firmware of bricked WD My Book World Edition White Light or install/replace brand new hard disk(s)?
Also following questions will find here their answers:
- Which disk to buy for WD My Book World Edition White Light?
- How to increase/upgrade WD My Book World Edition White Light capacity to 3TB (MBWE I) or 6TB (MBWE II)?
- How to downgrade WD My Book World Edition White Light firmware version?
- How to clean personal data (completely erase to the factory defaults) WD My Book World Edition White Light in purpose of sale?
What’s going on?
If suddenly your MBWE stopped working, firstly decode your MBWE situation by LEDs state/action and refer to the My Book World Edition User Manual on page 10 (LED Indicators). Maybe nothing serious happened there but only something unusual.
Anyway, MBWE is booting from NAS OS written on disk, so you can’t start MBWE:
- with brand new clean disk(s) or
- when your current disk(s) has broken boot partition or master boot record (MBR).
There is no user procedure provided by Western Digital to repair MBWE or start brand new disks. You can only return complete MBWE (with disk(s)) to Western Digital to recieve new one, if you have void warranty (for warranty conditions see: support.wdc.com).
I couldn’t agree with this, so I decided to make it on my own and here it is…
This is linux bash script solution to restore MBWE White Light (install firmware once again) with a FACTORY STATE and CLEAN DISK:
- Works with both MBWE White Light (I and II) with any size of disk (even 3TB HDD)! but only WD Caviar Green!
Be aware also that not all WD Caviar Green drives may be MBWE compatible! (see WARNING below for details).
- Designed to auto download & install always the latest MBWE firmware directly from wdc.com (manually available here and fw revision info is here). But you can also install any firmware since & including ver. 01.02.06, that I’ve tested on 2011-04-20. If you encounter any problems with the latest version, just pick ver. 01.02.06 (mirror) and use it in step 3 of procedure below, then upgrade to the latest firmware using native MBWE management interface any time you want.
- Full install takes less than 1 minute! excluding firmware download.
- In MBWE II only 1 disk needs to be prepared! – the second one (clean) will be adopted by MBWE itself.
- Config with only 4 lines to adjust: disk label, serial number, model type, MAC address.
- 1 script to fire! and little wizard will guide you.
This solution WILL ERASE ALL YOUR DISK DATA, if you connect your old disk!!!
If you want to rescue data on bricked MBWE, contact Western Digital on wdc.custhelp.com or go to data recovery guide to make your data copy before this operation (4th partition is DataVolume partition) and move them back to your „new” MBWE. This should be possible if you got MBWE I or MBWE II with RAID 1 (Mirrored) or JBOD array mode. In other case, you shoudn’t do anything but call Western Digital if you care your data and you don’t know what to do.
Don’t buy new WD Caviar Green disk without being sure this model works with your MBWE!
As Western Digital online customer support says, Advanced Format Drives are not compatible with MBWE but they don’t say which one particularly is advanced/incompatible (more about Advanced Format Technology). Particular WD Caviar Green disk models with MBWE compatibility statuses are (for specs go to wdc.com or Specs Sheet):
- EADS, EAVS, EACS (SATA II 3Gb/s) are definitly compatible as WD says.
- EARS (SATA II 3Gb/s) are compatible as tested on my own and by the community.
- EARX (SATA III 6Gb/s) compatibility varies as community report success (3 cases) as well as failures (1 case). WD support says it may or may not work due to relatively older MBWE SATA II interface. If you’ve encountered any issues, try different jumper settings as a last hope (see pic).
- EZRX (SATA III 6Gb/s) is compatible as tested by the community (here is the proof of 2x3TB WD30EZRX).
- EADX, EZRSDTL (SATA III 6Gb/s) compatibility unknown yet.
Even though some of the users report success with WD Caviar Blacks, I don’t recommend them due to higher work temperatures than WD Caviar Greens. Bear in mind, that MBWE is passively cooled and excessive temp. can shorten HDD live or even damage MBWE electronics.
NOTICE: If you buy new disks to your MBWE II, it would be better (if possible) to take both disks of the same type and the same part (production series) due to RAID performance and conformance. Therefore, you should buy both disks from the same retailer at once (at the same time).
If your HDD contains any data or structure (isn’t brand new), you must wipe it out before (unallocated space = no partitions, unformatted – just raw). This can be done using Computer Manager > Disk Management under Windows or using Disk Utility under Ubuntu.
- 1 Boot Ubuntu
from CD/CDRW/PenDrive/HDD. How-To on ubuntu.com in Download Ubuntu section.
If you have problems with other linux distributions/versions simply use Ubuntu 10.10, because I tested it.
DO NOT USE ANY VIRTUAL MACHINE – it can cause many additional issues.
- 2 Wire your computer
to the Internet (wireless connection is often not possible due to lack of many Ubuntu CD WiFi drivers and it’s not our goal to play with it here).
- 3 Extract mbwe.tar.gz
(right click and choose Extract Here) on Desktop (all files should be placed in folder mbwe – if not, correct this). If you pre-downloaded firmware image manually, place it in mbwe folder and rename it to fw.img
- 4 Connect your hard disk
directly to the computer, using SATA-to-USB adapter (or any other hot plug way, e.g. FireWire, eSATA).
- 5 Edit mbwe-config.sh file
in folder mbwe and type your HDD and MBWE parameters (
MAC_ADDRS) according comments.
- 6 Open Terminal
(CTRL+ALT+T) and type:
sudo bash ./mbwe-install.sh
- 7 Listen carefully
what is Terminal asking you and obey its commands. If you need some screenshot hints, go to the Polish version.
- 8 After Safe Remove disk
using Disk Utility (click Safe Removal button), place it in MBWE bay (any bay in MBWE II). Remember to unplug MBWE from the wall (electricity) before.
- 9 Plug MBWE to the wall
and wait 30 seconds until MBWE initialize and shuts down (all LEDs go off). Then hold Power button for 3 seconds until bottom LED goes on and wait 3 minutes for MBWE to boot up. Then go through the first start procedure in MBWE web GUI (provide MBWE IP address in the browser and log in as admin/admin).
- 10 For MBWE I that’s all.
For MBWE II go further:
- 11 Shutdown MBWE
by holding Power for 3 seconds and wait untill all LEDs are off, then unplug from the wall and put your second clean disk in an empty bay. If your second disk contains any data or structure (isn’t brand new), you must wipe it out before (unallocated space = no partitions, unformatted). See Prerequisities.
- 12 Power MBWE on
That’s all folks
If this saved your life, you can express your happiness by your little donation.
Thanks in advance!
Regardless you had issues or not, please leave your feedback:
- Your MBWE version?: MBWE I or MBWE II.
- Your hard disk description?: WD Caviar Green WD20EARS or other.
- Your linux distro/version?: Ubuntu 10.10 Live CD or other.
- Your firmware?: installed automatically by script or downloaded manually ver.01.02.06-010411.
This will help maintain script validity and help people to resolve their issues.