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?


  • If status lights are reporting Unable to Boot, just try replacing the battery on the controller board before attempting to recover data from the drive.
  • 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 35 komentarzy

  1. Robin Davies

    Just look for places to share this piece of knowledge. Before attempting to recover data from the drive, try replacing the battery on the controller board. After doing this, the My Book World booted successfully after having previously reported „Unable to Boot” on the status lights.

  2. Hello, Krzysztof

    Congratulations for all the hard work you did here, you really “iknowsomething”!
    I have to say that I found and red your stuff on this subject only after the problem happened.

    My question is about a WDC My World Book White Edition II that belongs to a friend of mine.
    I have no idea how it happened but I have now a “degraded” DataVolume after seeing first DataVolume “Resyncing”.

    As you wrote it somewhere, I probably interrupted the process because nothing happened and I didn’t really understood what the problem was and now I am stuck.

    I asked the WDC support, and here the very silly answer (support=0):

    “I regret to inform you that indeed, the only option to recover from a degraded RAID on the WD ShareSpace, is to replace the drive inside the enclosure.

    However, the World Book White Edition II is only compatible with WD Green HDD’s which are no longer produced.

    Since you mentioned that you are planning to replace the device with a newer NAS and since I was unfortunately not able to assist you, I took the liberty of generating a 30% discount coupon for you for our official WD Store (applicable only for new products)”

    I have 700 Go on the disks that I have absolutely to copy safe on another NAS and no word from WDC about that!!!

    You wrote: Don’t do anything if your data is worth to pay „any money

    I agree, I am in this case but if the solution is only to put a new disk and the system make a resyncing and repair the RAID structure I can do it myself. Because there are no more Green Disks available I would like to clean the second disk and use it as “new”. Just before the problem, the disks were “Good” but something happened the system could repair but probably I interrupted this process and now I tried to wait for 12 hours but nothing changed anymore.

    My questions at this stage:

    1. is there really no danger for the remaining disk 1 if I make a cleaning of disk 2 according user manual (see below)?

    2. What is to do after the end of the cleaning? Does the copy of data and rebuild of RAID start automatically?

    3. Did you already do that or have you feedback from people who did it?

    4. Or doing that with another new disk (WDC RED) but only to restore. I red your notice because the heat problem, I could use a external fan.

    User manual p.123:
    To clean up disk: If the hard drive is foreign or used, the Clean Disk icon appears on the right side of the Disk Management table. Clean Disk erases the previous partition to allow creation of a new volume.

    My goal is only transferring the data to another NAS. I won’t use World Book White Edition II anymore, it’s about 9 years old and I just had to recover World Book Blue Ring RAID1, 10 years old where the controller failed (capacitor “burned” on print)

    Many thanks for any help. Jean-Claude

    • Any RAID in degraded mode will still work and serve files over available NAS protocols (e.g. Samba). “Degraded” means there is no more RAID protection due some matrix error (one of the disks failed and needs replacement or repair). So, the easiest and safest way is to simply copy data from MBWE over network as long as the second disk didn’t fail. You can also replace failed disk with new one (RED should work – for backup time at least), but it has to be the same or bigger capacity as working one. And also there is some risk that the first disk can fail due to extensive syncing work, so it’s not so safe. I can’t remeber now, but to start repair procedure you need to go into MBWE GUI (probably status or disk management page) and click some command like “Repair”. Anyway, as long as you don’t plan to use this MBWE anymore, it is better to copy data as fast as possible.

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