Data recovery from WD My Book with destroyed MBR

Hello everybody, 

A few weeks ago while backing up photos from my WD My Book the power supply to the enclosure died (all 5 other drives visible in OSX). Not knowing about WD’s encryption (until a few days ago), I used Partition Magic to rebuild the MBR (as suggested by someone who knows more than I on the subject). On OSX I got the “initialize disk” message, I did not initialize it. In Windows I got the same message. After rebuilding the MBR I was able to see the partitions in Disk Management, but they were listed as “RAW/other” in terms of their file system. I have neither initialized nor formatted the drive, it sits in it’s raw state. It does show up when I list the drives in terminal and I have the device name, just can’t access it.  

I’m trying to follow the tutorial provided by a user on the WD forms for decrypting the drive via Linux (Ubuntu Studio) and cannot open the file system of the drive in question. “Bad magic number in super-block while opening the file system”. I have no clue what that means??? This is the first time I’ve ever used Linux, but I’m determined to learn if that means I can get my data back (total noob here). I have back ups, but the last 5 years (out of 13) is missing, that’s what was being backed up to a raid array when the enclosure’s power supply died. 

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. I don’t have much in the way of cash to offer, but I have a lot of cool photos (fine art) that I’d be more than happy to print (a pic of your chosing up to 13x19), mat, frame and ship to say thank you. I am desperate to get these files back!!!

Thank you in advance, 


Hi! Thanks for asking this question.

First, I need to know,

  1. What kind of encryption were you using?
  2. A screen shot of your lsblk with the disk plugged in to the computer

It may be possible to recover some blocks of the drive, and thus, your data.

As far as data safety, highly suggest making a server drive array on a VPS such as DigitalOcean and back up everything there.

Hope we get your data back.

(just reply to this thread)





Hello Kyler, 

Thank you for the reply, very much appreciated!!! 

The encryption is WD propriatary for My Book enclosures. It’s a few years old and I do not recall setting a password on it, nor do I remember anything about any kind of encryption. I attached the lsblk as requested, not sure if it’s what you’re seeking. I did try restoring the super-block, but was presented with an error about the block size not being correct. Not knowing what that meant, I did not go through with the operation. 

Thanks so much for your willingness to help out, I can’t express my gratitude enough!!! 



PS. “sdb” (1.8tb) is the drive in question. 


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These are the links to the tutorial I’m trying to follow. 

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Ouch. If it is really critical, WD suggests this website:

A friend of mine used to work at WD.

Can you post the output of this?

fdisk -l

Hopefully the drive has not been overwritten or zero’d out. We need to figure out if the volumes are intact. Then, WD can probably take care of the drive, and get your data back.

Good Luck!




I don’t think it’s a case of being zero’d out. There’s t the list of partitions on the disk (sdc 1-4), the 667.8g partition is what free space I had left on the drive. Something has got to be there…I hope. The problem with sending it out is, I’m kind of the “starving artist” and can’t really afford what data recovery centers charge. I’m cloning the bad disk now so I can stop messing with it and work from the clone. I know something can be recovered, but I lack the technical know how to do so. 

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Hey, I had the same problem a year ago, my VDMK file was corrupted, I did not have access to it, and my important project for work, googled for a long time, until I came across recovery/how-to-fixrepair-corrupted-vmdk-files-effortless /, can help you too, because I was repaired with VMDK files and everything was in place and I managed to pass the project.

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Hi, I am not sure whether it can help you, I thnk if your files are not overwritten, you can still have them back. You can recover your data with the data recovery tool like the Easeus and Bitwar Data Recovery program.