3 TB Western Digital drive, out of MyBook, inaccessible. Seeking advice.


May 13, 2021
Hello everyone,

I have a 3TB Western Digital MyBook drive that suddenly stopped being recognized.

This has the awful WD USB bridge PCB that's required in order to see the filesystem because of the block size translation. It has the ASM1051W chip, which, I understand, may or may not encrypt the drive.

However, setting that aside for a moment...

Even when the USBbridge PCB is removed, and drive is just plugged in to SATA power and data, it only gets recognized in the BIOS briefly upon a cold boot of the system. By the time any operating system tries to address it, it's gone. If I warm boot, the BIOS doesn't see it. This happens with both motherboard SATA and PCI card SATA adapters.

Whether the WD bridge PCB is present or not, the drive spins up, and just gives repeated three "gentle" clicks.

I've even tried a donor USB bridge PCB from another MyBook. There was no change in behavior.

When connected via USB, repair utilities like testdisk or ddrescue just error out, rapidly, on every sector. It's as if the disk itself isn't even attached. When connected via SATA, it doesn't stay present long enough to be addressed by any OS.

I'm most intrigued by how the drive just stops existing until a cold boot, is detectable again for some number of seconds, and how that's repeatable.

What's next? Would there be any hope in a hard drive PCB replacement and ROM swap? Or is it clear that the drive is damaged physically? If the latter, are there any reputable data recovery services that don't cost several thousands of dollars?


Aug 17, 2011
restore from backup or send off to data recovery company if this was your backup (that wasn't a backup)

when using USB HDDs have 2 copies of the Original data so technically 3 copies, 1 local 2 USB (vibrations or nocks can permanently damage them no matter how careful you are with them)