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Discussion Starter #1
I have, for many years, bought external Hard Drives, cracked open their cases, extracted the drive and installed them as internal drives. No problems :smile:
I've done it 4 times in the last couple of years with 8Tb Seagate drives. I just bought 2 more 8Tb drives but, this time, they were Western Digital!
My Disk Management doesn't see the drives :confused:
Is there something different with WD drives from Seagate drives I don't know about? :facepalm:
If I "Rescan Disks" DM "hangs" my system
I can put the drives back in their cases and use them as an externals but would prefer to continue using them as internals....
I noticed the WD drive has a couple of (separate) pins that my Seagates don't have????
Thanks in anticipation :thumb:
 

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Why don't you just buy an internal drive? You are paying extra for the USB Enclosure?!

WD and Seagate have been using proprietary controller boards on the HDD inside an External USB enclosure that have the USB Controller soldered onto the board on the bottom of the HDD and you would need a proprietary cable to connect it to a USB port. Other drives have a separate USB controller connected to the drive.
If you have the later, first boot into Setup (Bios) go to System Information, is your new previously External drive listed here? If not, it will not be listed in Windows Disk Management. Check the data cable and power plug make sure they are plugged in firmly to the back of the drive and into the SATA port on the motherboard, make sure the SATA port on the motherboard is Enabled. Try a different SATA cable, Try a different Power Plug from the PSU. If you don't feel or hear it spin up, then the drive is not getting the proper power and will not be recognized.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
An external drive costs about 66% the cost of an identical sized internal drive. in Australia an internal 8Tb drive costs about AUD350 whereas an external - about AUD230(bought from Amazon US with delivery included). I expect this is the case in the US too though I haven't actually checked Amazon US prices for internals....
And, like I said, I've done this before like, 7 or 8 times, successfully. I have an 8 port PCIe SATA card and I have 13 internal HDDs in my desktop so I'm not a novice to HDDs. The new 8Tb drives replaced two existing working 3Tb drives so I know the power cables AND the data cables work perfectly. The BIOS doesn't show drives on the PCIe SATA card. I have 6 drives on the card and DM only shows the 4 Seagate 8Tb drives NOT the 2 WD 8Tb drives. :confused::confused::confused:
At this exact time I have 4 other 8Tb drives extracted from externals, ALL working perfectly on the desktop I'm posting from.
Once you remove the drive from the enclosure and remove the interface the drives are EXACTLY like any other internal drives.
The only difference is, previously I only used Seagate external drives! This time, without realizing it, I bought WD externals :facepalm::banghead:
I'm surprised you, with all your experience, haven't done this too before? :ermm:
 

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If I find an External Drive is not working, I will disassemble the Enclosure and attach the drive internally or to a USB Adapter with a power plug.
Internal drives have always been slightly cheaper then USB External ones in the US.
What Type of WD drive is it? Certain colors represent different options. (ie) WD RED is designed for use in a NAS enclosure in a RAID setup and is not usually recognized in a computer by itself.
I would suggest you plug the drive directly into a SATA port on your motherboard. Eliminate as many variables in getting the HDD recognized as possible.
Also, is the PCIe card SATA III (6 GB speed)?
What is the Wattage for your PSU? Running 13 HDD's, Video Card, PCIe card etc must put quite a strain on the PSU.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Internal drives have always been slightly cheaper then USB External ones in the US.
What Type of WD drive is it? Certain colors represent different options. (ie) WD RED is designed for use in a NAS enclosure in a RAID setup and is not usually recognized in a computer by itself.
I would suggest you plug the drive directly into a SATA port on your motherboard. Eliminate as many variables in getting the HDD recognized as possible.
Also, is the PCIe card SATA III (6 GB speed)?
What is the Wattage for your PSU? Running 13 HDD's, Video Card, PCIe card etc must put quite a strain on the PSU.
To answer your questions quickly as I'm on my way out....
I'm considering 12Tb XHDDs ATM, price on Amazon US US$220 (AUD319) same on Amazon AU AUD741!!!! How's that for price disparity????
It's a white WD80EMAZ drive....
Can't put the drive on the MB as it doesn't recognise any drive > 4Tb :facepalm:
Yes the PCIe card IS SATA III 6Gb speed....
The PSU is 750 but the 2X8Tbs replace 2X3Tbs so I don't think power is an issue? (No video card, on board graphics)
Thanks for your response.... Off out now.... :smile:
 

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It is true that WD has been playing a hard proprietary game for a long time now. Don't be fooled into thinking that just because the WD drive inside the WD enclosure looks like any other drive, it will work out of the box/enclosure without issues. It's not uncommon for hidden partitions, virtual CDs and other proprietary features getting implemented on ordinary looking drives that make them not as readily usable out of the systems they were engineered for.

When I first saw this thread, I went looking and found an old thread that discussed similar scenarios. A WD drive extracted from a WD enclosure would not work outside of the case, without other workarounds, including a low-level format using a different enclosure/adapter. WD's proprietary games are exactly why I steer far from its external drives. It's easy for them to pair the drive and the SATA-to-USB bridge and prevent them from working with other enclosures or outside of them. Your experience with non-WD drives IS NOT experience with WD drives. The significant price difference between WD external and WD internal drives should get you thinking twice about the catch. Such a difference definitely has a catch attached to it. I'm wondering, why not buy an internal drive from Amazon US if the price in your region is that exorbitant?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The price differential is the same with Seagate drives internal/external. Amazon US shows the same price differences with internal and external drives (to my experience) with Seagate. I've looked long and hard for a while and concluded buying XHDDs from Amazon US and cracking them open saves about a third the price.... As I said I had NO problems with Seagate externals.... I didn't even realise I had bought WD XHDDs this time. I don't buy drives from Amazon AU because of the pricing disparity. I just wanted two more XHDDs to crack open! I didn't expect or realise WD were such pains!!!! I will NEVER buy anything WD again. I really didn't even look as I expected ALL XHDDs to be the same! An expensive mistake never to be repeated! I'll stick to Seagate from now on! But I worry (now) that Seagate might also be playing these games too otherwise I'd buy 2X12Tb Seagate XHDDs tomorrow without any hesitation. The price differential between 8TB and 12Tb XHDDs favour the 12Tb drives!!!! Then I worry if my PCIe SATA III card will recognise a 12Tb drive????
Could you please give me the link to the other posting about WD XHDDs? I'm curious if they got over their problems?
Looking at Amazon US today shows a lot of drives without a price for Australia with the over rider "Not for sale to Australia". I suspect Amazon US are trying to force us to buy from our local AU Amazon at our exorbitant pricing :banghead:
I wonder if anyone has, recently, cracked open a WD XHDD and got it to work internally? And if so - how?
When I bought the last 2 XHDDs I saw the some drives were a few US$s cheaper than the corresponding Seagates (US$10 or US$11 as I remember) so I fell into the trap!
I will try putting the drive back into the enclosure and formating and copying something onto it then try it internally again... Fingers crossed :thumb::confused:
 

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On some WD (WesternDigital) external drives, WD was able to shave a few cents off of their costs by adding the simple SATA-to-USB adapter circuitry right into the circuit board on the the bottom of the drive itself. (Instead of a separate removable plug-in part like they used to do).

In other words, since this SATA-to-USB circuitry can no longer be removed, the drive can no longer be directly connected to a motherboard like a normal internal SATA hard drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
On some WD (WesternDigital) external drives, WD was able to shave a few cents off of their costs by adding the simple SATA-to-USB adapter circuitry right into the circuit board on the the bottom of the drive itself.
Thankfully this is NOT the case here.... There is a small triangular board with the USB3.0 interface, the power adapter and a switch on it. This board then plugs into the SATA Power and Data ports on the drive.
Update:- I plugged the interface back into the drive and the two screws securing the interface to the drive. Connected the power and USB cable, switched on and the drive works a treat :smile: I was a bit worried initially as there was a plastic thingy I removed when I disassembled the drive and I feared it might be relevant to it's working....
Anyway, the reassembled drive is working fine so far.
I'll now watch the YouTubes Stancestans sent me links to and get back to you....
Thanks to all my responders....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for your reply but, sorry to say, the YouTubes linked to were quite old (latest 2016) and ALL talk about successful removal and recognition of the extracted HDD.... As you see from my post, DM doesn't recognise my extracted HDD :( So I expect this is a recent policy change with WD.... :facepalm::banghead:
I might try the WD Community????
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I had seen/read these links before but read them again hopefully. they are comments from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and one for 2017. A couple talk about low level reformats and one talks about rerouting/soldering power lines etc. All these actions are a bit beyond me for the moment so I'll see if an easier solution presents before taking that course of action. I imagine all the XHDDs these comments concern are a bit different to my 2020 drives. In fact I don't even see triangular USB interfaces like mine are.....
I've joined a couple of other communities (WD notably) and hope one may present with an easier solution.
Thanks for your response nonetheless :smile:
 

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I imagine all the XHDDs these comments concern are a bit different to my 2020 drives. In fact I don't even see triangular USB interfaces like mine are.....
I'm afraid that doesn't really change anything; old or new, same or different, it's still WD's game. If anything, newer drives may just get even harder to hack.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm afraid that doesn't really change anything; old or new, same or different, it's still WD's game. If anything, newer drives may just get even harder to hack.
I don't see it as a "hack" as such but a way out for when, inevitably, the USB interface fails (as they are prone to). So, with a Seagate (AFAIK), if/when the USB interface fails you "pop" the drive out and recover your data! But with WD you're stuck with paying huge amounts for data recovery. There will, NO doubt, be a simple method to access the data on the drive but that is a "trade" secret!?
Hopefully, when everyone stops buying their XHDDs they might take note????
In the meanwhile I'll just use then as externals with a reminder to myself NEVER to buy WD again.... :frown:
 

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I don't see it as a "hack" as such but a way out for when, inevitably, the USB interface fails (as they are prone to). So, with a Seagate (AFAIK), if/when the USB interface fails you "pop" the drive out and recover your data! But with WD you're stuck with paying huge amounts for data recovery. There will, NO doubt, be a simple method to access the data on the drive but that is a "trade" secret!?
Hopefully, when everyone stops buying their XHDDs they might take note????
In the meanwhile I'll just use then as externals with a reminder to myself NEVER to buy WD again.... :frown:
It is a hack nonetheless, and WD makes it clear that they don't want you doing that no matter your reasons. A simple method would be to replace the SATA-USB pcb, but simple to who? Not the ordinary end user evidently. Oh well, lesson learnt, I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, @fzabkar I did follow your links but I suspect your comments aren't relevant to my problem. The extracted drive gets warm and I'm fairly sure it's spinning so I don't think the power disable is happening. And as to your claim that the drive isn't encrypted I cannot comment as I CANNOT ACCESS the drive, and, believe me I've tried. I posted to The HDD Oracle and, apart from a note saying my post was going to moderation, I have heard NOTHING back from the forum concerned.
Quote "there should normally be no problem if you partition and format the drive via SATA and then continue to use it via SATA" - How do you partition and format a drive you cannot "see" via SATA.
All my investigations suggest to me the WD, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that it is more important to disable people from "cracking open and using the drives" from the WD Elements enclosures than to allow it for data recoverability. There is probably a utility somewhere for their "data recovery partners" to use to access the drives from failed XHDDs but the common man isn't given access to this utility nor the logic behind it. It is a "win win" for them as they can earn a lot for "data recovery" from their failed XHDDs. Because the enclosures will have to be opened that will void the warrantees too so another saving.... :(
I have a full size case so I'm considering building a small rack to mount my extracted discs and USB interfaces and external power and running USB data cables into my desktop. It will be annoying to have to switch on and off power to this "rack" but it has to be done.... I really don't like having external enclosures littering my computer desk....
Thanks for your reply....
 

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You seem to be unsure as to whether your drive is spinning. There is a feature called Power Up In Standby (PUIS) which is supported by some (most?) drives. However, I think that the drive would still identify itself if PUIS were enabled.

Can you retrieve the drive's Identify Device data with a tool such as CrystalDiskInfo? These data will tell us the drive's capabilities. You may need to invoke CDI's Text Copy options.
 
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