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 the tools reported by users as a 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 26 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.

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