Securely erasing encrypted WD My Book before RMA


Sep 21, 2013
I have a WD My Book that is already dying after a few months of usage, bad sectors, access issues, very slow reads, etc and I will RMA it. But I want to make sure the data that is on it cannot be accessed before returning it. The drive has always been run encrypted with password protection using WD security.
Anyone know if I can simply choose “Erase Drive” in WD Utilities, then reset the current password and then set a new password afterwards? Or am I better off trying to do a low level format?
Since some sectors cannot be accessed at all and the drive freezes completely when those files are being accessed, I’m afraid trying to low level format might fail halfway through or something (not sure my reasoning is completely correct either!) - this is why it would be helpful to make sure whether erasing and resetting then changing the password would be secure enough.


Dec 1, 2004
Er, if the encryption is any good, then simply not giving someone the password is functionally the same as giving them a blank drive. That's kind of the whole point to encryption.

You can go through the procedure you're referring to if you like and it should be effective, but assuming you haven't shared the password with anyone and there are no backdoors on the encryption then it should be unnecessary either way.

I'm not 100% certain who you are worried about intercepting the data - third parties snatching your mail or WD themselves - but either way I think you'll be fine.