How to recover data from bricked WD My Book World Edition White Light hard disk?


How to copy/save my files from WD My Book World Edition White Light I or II (further as MBWE) hard drive(s) when:

  • MBWE doesn’t boot up at all or
  • MBWE shows failed DataVolume and is not accessible anymore?


  • This guide is intended only for copying data from MBWE that can’t boot anymore. If it does boot but MBWE shows failed DataVolume then go to… (guide in preparation).
  • In case of MBWE II (2 disks array) guide works only for RAID 1 (Mirror) and JBOD modes. Other array modes like RAID 0 (Stripe) and Span (Linear) are not covered here.
  • For RAID definition and its modes refer to the MBWE User Manual (Manage RAID, page 126).


This operation will degrade your MBWE II RAID structure, so you MUST NOT disassembly your healthy MBWE in any case. Once you have already done that and connected one of the hard disks to your PC, follow to this guide to repair your mistake (it’s for WD ShareSpace but works for MBWE too except RAID 5 mode).

Don’t do anything if your data is worth to pay „any money” – go then for the professional recovery services at

Quick How-To

  1. 1 Boot Ubuntu
    from CD/CDRW/PenDrive/HDD. How-To on in Download Ubuntu section. During boot choose Try Ubuntu.

    If you have problems with other linux distributions/versions simply use Ubuntu 10.10, because I tested it
  2. Connect HDD
    you want to backup directly to the computer, using SATA-to-USB adapter (or any other hot plug way, e.g. FireWire, eSATA).
  3. 3 Open Nautilus window
    simply clicking on Examples folder on Desktop (Nautilus is analogous linux app to Windows Explorer or Mac OSX Finder)
  4. 4 Start Multi-disk Drive
    clicking in Nautilus on (1) Computer icon, then (2) find HDD icon called 2 and right click on it, and (3) from context dropdown menu choose Start Muti-disk Drive option.MBWE bricked backup 1
    In popped up requester click Start Anyway button.MBWE bricked backup 2
  5. 5 Browse HDD
    called 2: X.Y TB Filesystem (where X.Y is your HDD capacity) and copy your files to another device. Folders represents your MBWE Shared Resources, so you should easily find yourselfMBWE bricked backup 3
  6. Stop Multi-disk Device 
    when you are done.
    MBWE bricked backup 4

That’s all

Now you can install fresh MBWE firmware following How to fix bricked WD My Book World Edition White Light or install brand new disk? guide.

Other NAS files recovery tools

These are also tools reported by users as helpful (see comments):

  • Remo Recover – recovers data from formatted WD My Book.
  • USF Explorer – recovers lost or deleted files from all types of XFS-formatted storages, including storages of Linux desktops, servers and network attached storages (NAS).
  • Captain Nemo – access Novell, NTFS and Linux drives or images from any Windows based computer.
  • NAS Data Recovery – recovery for XFS- or EXT2FS-formatted NAS devices, e.g. Buffalo, Seagate, Western Digital, DLink, or Iomega. Supports single-drive, RAID-0, RAID-1, and RAID-5 configuration.

Discussion 30 komentarzy

  1. Thanks for this info. I’ve tried a lot before this finally helped. Apparantly this only works after having installed mdadm and xfs-tools into Ubunutu. Rebooting the Ubuntu and plugging in the MyBook disks via USB showed the contents of the disk immediately.

    Thanks again!

  2. I had a WD My Book World Edition II and the box/CPU died (2nd unit, so NEVER again), the disks were fine. So I had 2 drives mirrorred that I needed to get data off one of them. Just needed one to work, both fail the check.

    Booted Unbuntu and installed xfs_check and xfs_repair

    sudo apt-get install xfsprogs
    sudo apt-get install xfsdump

    xfs_check /dev/sda4
    xfs_repair -L /dev/sda4
    xfs_check -L /dev/sda4

    mount -t xfs /dev/sda4 /media/nas1

    Rebuilt the SuperBlock and partition and made it then mountable to the OS so I could harvest the files off

    All I needed to save the day. I did SpinRite both drives to make sure the drives were repaired and functioning.


  3. Stéphane


    WDMBW II white works fine.
    Can I use this guide to backup files from one of the 2 mirror disks and put the disk back in after ?


    • Theoretically – yes, but this going to invalidate the matrix, which can be repaired later by MBWE after putting HDD back. I guess you want to shorten backup time, but it’s better take this time than risk the data.

  4. Hi
    I’ve got the same problem with my old MWBE II. I connected one of my HD from MWBE into PC via SATA. Launched Ubuntu and ….that would be it. Can’t even see my RAID disk.

    Would above procedure work with new Ubuntu (16.04) and if so how to get this working pls ?

    • I haven’t tested it with newest Ubuntu but you can do it – nothing to loose until you commit any write operation on it.
      On the other hand, I’m not sure if I get you correctly: did you connect this HDD via direct SATA or SATA-USB? Some of SATA-USB adapters doesn’t work this way. Try then connect HDD directly.

  5. Hi

    I connected directly via SATA. Also tried other solutions with Ext2fsd. Once Ext2fsd is installed I can see OS files from partition 1 and 3 but I cannot see any of my data on partition 4. Strange.

    Just to give you full story, whole mess started with „volume degradation” message coming from my MBWE disk B . I pulled out the disk and connected to my PC (via standard SATA) to test with Lifeguard tool. Test results reported „too many bad sectors”. So I cleaned the disk completely (Erase command from Lifeguard tool) and put it back to my MBWE. Unfortunately MBWE stopped working or I should rather say that it doesn’t boot anymore. The top LED is dimmed and bottom is on but it is not accessible via web interface.

    So I pulled out second disk (disk A still with data) and now trying to recover my data but as said before, I can see all other files (OS files etc.) except my data. Or maybe I could restore OS boot file somehow, make WBWE booting again and access it normal way?

    Any thoughts or ideas how to get out of this mess?

    • If your A disk is still working then put it back into MBWE and do your backup via SAMBA (as you normally manage your files). Degraded mode shouldn’t be a problem here. If your wiped disk B does not experience any bad sectors (or you’ve decided to put a brand new one), you can also put it back into MBWE and start RAID repair procedure via MBWE GUI. In case MBWE does not boot up anymore, this means you have broken MBR or worse. Then there is nothing to do but trying to recover files using tools described at the end of the post and then reinstall firmware using this guide.

Give your feedback