How to fix bricked WD My Book World Edition White Light or install brand new disk?

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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/4TB (MBWE I) or 6TB/8TB (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?


If you just want to upgrade your healthy MBWE II to 2x3TB HDDs or more, try this simplest solution. I haven’t tested it but it sounds like you can also preserve your data.

What’s going on?

If suddenly your MBWE have 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:

I couldn’t agree with this, so I decided to make it on my own and here it is…

What’s this?

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 4TB or 2x4TB)! It fully supports only WD Caviar disks! It means that you can use other vendor disk like Samsung or Maxtor (this solution is prepared for this) but forget then about: updating firmware, replacing disk, reformatting or changing RAID mode. Full support of other vendors requires wide firmware hack against this operations except firmware update which cannot be hacked (new firmware can simply overwrite these hacks). If you are interested in hacked firmware, ask in comment – I can do this but for a fee. Anyway, I strongly recommend to use WD disks only – it’s free and safe.
    Be aware also that not all WD Caviar Green drives seem to be MBWE compatible! (see WARNING below for details).
  • Designed to auto download & install always the latest MBWE firmware directly from (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 problem 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 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 shouldn’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 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 (2 cases). 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) compatibility varies – some users succeeded (here is the proof of 2x3TB WD30EZRX and 2x4TB WD40EZRX) and some report failure. There is a suspicion that revision R/N B3D (labeled on the bottom, right under WD logo) is not compatible with EZRX (report) but results also varies.
  • EADX, EZRSDTL (SATA III 6Gb/s) compatibility unknown yet.

Sometimes connecting HDD directly to the computer SATA controller instead of using external SATA adapters can help (see Troubleshooting below).

Even though some of the users report success with WD Caviar Black or Red, I don’t recommend them due to higher work temperature than WD Caviar Green. 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).

Quick How-To

  1. Prerequisites
    If your HDD contains any data or structure (isn’t brand new), you must wipe it out beforehand (unallocated space = no partitions, unformatted – just raw). This can be done using Computer Manager > Disk Management under Windows or using Disk Utility under Ubuntu.
  2. 1 Boot the latest Ubuntu
    from optical drive or flash/pen/USB drive (USB is far faster than optical), or direct HDD. How-To on in Download Ubuntu section. Choose Try Ubuntu (it will boot directly without any changes on your system drive).

    If you have problems with other linux distributions/versions simply use Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS, because I tested it (screenshots below were taken long time ago on Ubuntu 10.10)
    DO NOT USE ANY VIRTUAL MACHINE – it can cause many additional issues and mostly does not work in this low level operation.Ubuntu Try
  3. 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).
  4. 3 Extract mbwe.tar.gz
    (right click and choose Extract Here) on the Desktop (and 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
  5. 4 Connect your hard disk
    directly to the computer SATA controller (if possible) or alternatively using SATA-to-USB adapter (or any other hotplug way, e.g. FireWire, eSATA). Find your disk label using Disk Utility ( go to top bar menu System Administration Disk Utility) as shown on the picture below (here it is sdc but yours can be different).
    Ubuntu Disk Utility
  6. 5 Edit file
    in folder mbwe (right click on the file, choose Open in another application and select gedit editor) and type your HDD and MBWE parameters (DISK_LABEL, MBWE_TYPE, MBWE_SERIAL and MAC_ADDRS) according to comments. Save file (CTRL+S) and close gedit.
    Ubuntu MBWE Config
  7. 6 Open Terminal
    (CTRL+ALT+T) and type:
    cd Desktop/mbwe
    sudo bash ./mbwe-install.shUbuntu Terminal
  8. 7 Listen carefully
    what is Terminal asking you and obey its commands.
    Ubuntu Terminal
  9. 8 After Safe Removed disk
    using Disk Utility (click Safe Removal button), unplug MBWE from the power supply and place HDD in MBWE bay (any bay in MBWE II).
    Ubuntu Disk Utility Safe Removal
  10. 9 Plug MBWE to the power supply back
    and wait 30 seconds until MBWE initialize and shuts down itself (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 your web browser and log in as admin/admin).
  11. 10 For MBWE I that’s all.

For MBWE II go further:

  1. 11 Shutdown MBWE
    by holding Power for 3 seconds and wait untill all LEDs are off, then unplug from the power supply 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 Prerequisites.
  2. 12 Power MBWE on
    and voilà.

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 MBWE revision?: R\N B3D or other (labeled on the bottom, right under WD logo).
  • Your hard disk description?WD Caviar Green WD20EARS or other.
  • Your linux distro/version?Ubuntu 12.x 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.


1. MBWE still does not boot

Instead of using USB-to-SATA adapter (or any other external hotplug way) try to connect HDD directly to the SATA controller in your PC before starting the procedure.  This can help as reported by user Jack.

As you power MBWE first time, it should go off after a couple of seconds. Then power it on again, holding power button for 3 seconds.
Make also sure that HDD SATA connector sits closely in SATA MBWE socket. I know it’s hard to check, but it’s a lousy construction and can fail. I would even disassemble the case to see better that connection and to be 100% sure before the final give up.

2. Second disk failed

If you’ve encountered Failed to create volume or missing after second disk was installed (only SPAN is available), here is what you can do:

1. Clean second disk before installation.


2. Change manually RAID type in file /proto/SxM_webui/admin/config.xml, editing at md2 (DataVolume) tag <level>s</level> to <level>1</level> (explanation: 0 is for RAID 0, 1 for RAID 1, j for JBOT, s for SPAN). You can access this file during FW installation procedure (there is pause point after NAS OS is installed) or any time later, mounting disk under Ubuntu in a manner described here but finding icon called ‚1’ (OS partition).

MBWE config xml

Discussion (474)

  1. This solution worked for my 1tb MBWE-1 that was stuck with one LED (bottom one) on. It had worked just fine for years and I ended up purchasing a 3tb MBL. I left the older 1tb drive powered down and unhooked for quite some time. I decided I wanted to add that 1tb back to the network again but ran into this issue with it not responding to the power button or reset button.

    I ran through this tutorial and was able to get the drive back up and running again. I was able to hook up the drive with a SATA USB 2.0 hard drive enclosure to my Vaio laptop and boot Ubuntu via a USB stick. My laptops wireless drivers were automatically picked up and I was able to get network and internet access in Ubuntu.

    *** NOTE: I diid have to run through steps 5, 6 and 7 twice to get my drive to respond. The first time I used the latest MBWE firmware and I hooked it back up in the original enclosure and it responded differently than it did before. This time when I hooked it back up it had two LEDs on, the top and the bottom. The second time I went through steps 5, 6 and 7, I used the Ver. 01.02.06 and it did start showing network traffic on the green light at the network jack. Before, it would show solid green on the one side indicating that it was plugged into the router but the traffic light never showed anything.

    I had to give this drive quite a long time to boot up. Since I saw that there was activity going on with the network traffic indicator, I let it go to see what it would do. I was able to bring up something in the browser under the drives IP address, it would show that it was „Partitioning Disks……” and „Creating data volume….”. The messages took a VERY long time to load up in the browser but it was showing signs of life so I let it continue.

    Once it was finally done, I was able to bring up the login in the browser. I could look into the settings but every click would take minutes at times to respond. I updated to the current firmware directly with the drive in the browser. Once it got the most current update and was power-cycled, it did seem to work as it did before. I have had it running now for about a week and have had no further problems with it.

    Thanks for the tutorial and the info, it gave me what I needed to be able to get this drive back again. Hopefully if any of you are having trouble, you may find something in here that will help. Mainly just that if it seems to be doing SOMETHING, anything, let it keep going. It may come up again in time. Patience is the key here…

  2. This solution work for my MBWE ii too. It took me two tries. First with the automatic Firmware which for some reason didn’t work, but I downloaded the newest version 01.02.14 and after that it booted up perfectly.

    My second drive did not work with the setup. When I put in the second drive the buttom LED stays on forever and I can’t connect to the device. The second drive is a Seagate so that could be it, but I don’t know, I just read that „Only WD Caviar® Green™ hard drive assemblies can be inserted into the My Book World Edition enclosure”.

    Western Digital My Book World Edition ii
    WD Caviar 500GB
    Firmware Version 01.02.14
    USB Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS 64bit LIVE
    HDD to USB
    Custom MAC: 00-90-a9-‚xx’-‚xx’-‚xx’

    Something fuck’d up my System HDD on my Laptop which suck, but.. whatever, the MBWE ii works.

    Thanks for the solution!

  3. This tutorial worked for my MBWE II (white leds strip) too.
    I have to say that I made a former test-try with 2 Hitachi HDs. Boot disk was ok and NAS came up but MBWE software refused to use second disk.
    No way in any mode (mirror, jbod, spanning) because both of HDDs weren’t WD disks. So, for real use, I preferred avoid any headache or wizardry buying two WD10EZRX.

    Everything worked well at first shot. New EZRX disk prepared with firmware has been recognised by MBWE II without any problem and ready to go in 2 minutes.
    I’ve then shutted down NAS, unplugged from power and inserted second disk.
    After turning it up and logged in, I’ve set mirror mode and in 2 minutes the volume was properly prepared and system ready to store data.
    After that everything was just a matter of setting: users, groups, sharings and so on.

    Technical specs:
    MBWE version: MBWE II white led strip.
    MBWE revision: R\N B3D .
    Hard disk: 2 x WD10EZRX WD Green 1 TB 3,5 SATA III 6 GB / S buffer 64 MB 7200 RPM with intellipower
    Linux distro/version: Ubuntu 15.04 Desktop AMD64 Live CD.
    Firmware installation: downloaded manually and installed by the script.
    Firmware version: 01.02.14 with MioNet
    System used for installation: MacBook Pro booted from Ubuntu LiveCd.
    Interface used: SATA2USB 2.0 external adapter

    Thanks for help!

  4. Seems to work perfect. Thx

    Your MBWE version?: MBWE II
    Your MBWE revision?: R\N B3D
    Your hard disk description?: WD Purple WD20PURX-64P
    Your linux distro/version?: Ubuntu 14.04.3
    Your firmware?: installed automatically by script ver.01.02.14

    Only thing, Partitioning of the disk likes strange:

    ~ # fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 2000.3 GB, 2000398934016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 243201 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 18446744073709527469 18446744073515582552+ ee EFI GP T

    Disk /dev/sdb: 2000.3 GB, 2000398934016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 243201 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 1 18446744073709527469 18446744073515582552+ ee EFI GP T
    ~ #

    But in the web GUI the 2 disk are recognized and the volume works in mirror.

  5. Hello,

    Thank you very much for the information!! But i have a problem, i can’t go further than ‚package configuration’ ‚configuring mdadm’ . I need to type an ‚answer’ but I don’t know where.

    This is the message:

    If the system’s root file is located on an MD array (RAID), it needs to be started early during the boot sequence.

    Please enter ‚all’ , ‚none’ , or a space-separated list of devices such as ‚md0 md1’ or ‚md/1 md/d0’ (the leading ‚/dev/’ can be omitted).

    Please help me out guys.

    • How do you boot Ubuntu (and which version): Live CD, USB or another way?
      Anyway, try to type ‚none’.

      • Hi,

        Thank you for your fast response. I found out that i had to hit ‚tab’ button to select ‚ok’.
        I’m running kali linux and that screen was to install mdadm. I’m dual booting it with windows 10.
        I hope it will work now. :)

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