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Western Digital Encryption Recovery

Western Digital EncryptionFor those who have purchased Western Digital 3 terabyte external USB 3.0 drives in the past three years or so, there is something that you really need to be aware of in reference to the safety of your data. These drives, by default, are encrypted. Normally, data encryption would be a good thing. Drive is encrypted, data is safe, and no one can get to my data, etcetera, etcetera. However, these drives use Western Digital Encryption by default from the factory without the end user intervention. Why is that a problem?

Drive manufacturers make many assumptions about the customer who purchases their hard drives. They assume the client understands that the drive is a sensitive piece of equipment and unless cared for properly will fail. They also assume that when they sell a drive that is not mounted to anything, and not fastened down that you will be extra careful to not knock it over or drop it. An external USB drive, especially one as sensitive as a 3 terabyte drive with multiple platters is susceptible to every bump, knock, or vibration. They are extremely easy to damage and movement should be kept to a minimum.

That being said, every end user should take care and mount their 3 TB USB 3.0 drive in a place that is well ventilated, since the enclosure does not have a fan. Place it on a solid table or desk that will not be exposed to vibration like what is caused by typing on a keyboard.  Finally, a constant stream of power that will not have any surges or spikes is necessary, so make sure that you have it hooked up to the best UPS and surge suppressor you can find. In other words, by virtue of their design these drives will fail, it is inevitable.

However, let us say that by some quirk of fate your drive does not fail by itself, but by plugging in the USB cable you push too hard one time and the cable pushes through the enclosure and cracks the interface board. No problem right? Just buy another enclosure, pop your drive in and off you go. Sounds simple. Except, your Western Digital 3 Terabyte USB 3.0 drive does not mount. You get messages like ‘data corrupted’, ‘no file system’, and the worst, ‘Drive not initialized, do you wish to initialize?’.  All of these messages are generated because your drive has been encrypted as a factory default and the tiny little board you cracked by just plugging in the cable has a chip on it that works as the encrypter/decrypter.  This board no longer works, and cannot translate the encrypted data on your drive. So, how do I get my data off of a perfectly working drive that has been encrypted through no fault of my own without the encryption key, password, or even the chip on the now cracked board?

The key to this situation is to have a working encryption board that matches the one you broke. Yes, they are not all the same, there are many different types out there with different keys. Of course there are!  Encryption would not be very good if all of the drives were encrypted in the same manner. Crack one, you crack them all. There is really only one way to get data from a perfectly working Western Digital 3 terabyte drive and that is to have a method to decrypt the drive without the USB interface chip.

DTI Data has a set of tools and a methodology that will allow for the decryption of virtually any Western Digital encrypted hard drive.  This includes not only the 3 terabyte drives, but all of the WD My Passports, and 4 terabyte drives.

Any hard drive that has Western Digital encryption using the default factory method can be saved by DTI Data for as little as $295.00.

So before you have some data recovery company tell you it is going to be thousands of dollars to recover your perfectly working drive simply because it is encrypted, give DTI Data a call and allow us to recover your data.


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