Western Digital (WD) hard drives are just as susceptible to data loss as any other brand. When your hard drive is affected by a data-loss event, you’re left panicking and scrambling to find ways to get your precious data back. Thankfully, there are ways you can do so.

This article will outline various methods you can use to recover data from your Western Digital hard drive. These solutions will cover everything from a single WD hard drive to a complete RAID array.

What Are WD Hard Drives & WD My Book NAS Hard Drives?

If you’re familiar with computer hardware and hear the name Western Digital, your mind automatically thinks about hard drives. Western Digital is one of the leading manufacturers of hard disk drives, as well as SSDs and flash storage. Their hard drives are classified by color, with different colors having different specialties.

  • 🔵🟢 WD Blue and Green – General purpose storage. Blue is slightly more reliable, while Green is more eco-friendly.
  • WD Black – Increased performance for content creation, media streaming, and gaming.
  • 🔴 WD Red – Exclusively intended for NAS systems.
  • 🟣 WD Purple – Often used with surveillance systems that require constant operation.
  • 🟡 WD Gold – Commercial-grade hard drives intended to be used in data centers that allow multiple users to access it over the network at any given time.

The My Book NAS units are sold as a personal cloud storage solution that you can keep at home and store backups and files. It can also be used to stream media to your other household devices. Having NAS (Network Attached Storage) at home allows you to access your data inside and outside of your network and allows you to upload large files without being bottlenecked by your internet upload speed.

Why Did We Include WD My Book NAS in the Article?

WD My Book NAS systems function using internal hard drives, meaning they’re not all that dissimilar to computers. In fact, when connected to a network, they’re just as susceptible to malicious attacks as computers, as evidenced by the time hackers were able to take advantage of a vulnerability and cause a widespread attack that resulted in countless WD My Book NAS users losing their precious data.

The below product lines were affected by this breach:

My Book LiveWDBACG0030HCH
My Book LiveWDBACG0020HCH
My Book LiveWDBACG0010HCH
My Book Live DuoWDBVHT0080JCH
My Book Live DuoWDBVHT0060JCH
My Book Live DuoWDBVHT0040JCH

This attack was made possible due to a bug that allowed users to remotely connect and quick format the NAS using the IP address. In response to this, Western Digital offered to cover the recovery of data through Western Digital-selected vendors, free of charge. While this is a great response to the situation, customers were still inconvenienced by the need to pack their device up and send it away for recovery

Luckily, the data was deleted using a quick format. Why is that lucky? Because quick formats are much easier to recover data from. The data is still on the disk, it’s just inaccessible using the operating system unless you use specific software. Until the data is overwritten, it can still be recovered.

How to Recover Deleted Files From a Western Digital Hard Drives

We’re going to show you different ways you can recover data from a WD hard drive using Western Digital data recovery software to get your data back.

Case #1: How to Recover Specific Files from a Western Digital Hard Drive

If you don’t want to recover the entire drive, you can use a data recovery tool like Disk Drill to hand-pick what files you want to restore. Disk Drill is a reliable data recovery tool that’s trusted by many for its track record of successful recoveries and robust functionality. It can perform hard drive recovery, as well as external hard drive recovery, in situations where your data has become lost, damaged, or corrupted.

The below process is identical if you are planning to recover data from a Western Digital external hard drive.
  1. Download, install, and open Disk Drill.
  2. Select your Western Digital hard drive and click Search for lost data.Starting the Disk Drill scan.
  3. Click Review found items when the scan has finished.Reviewing what items were discovered.
  4. Select what data you want to recover from the WD drive. The Recovery chances column will indicate how likely it is that the data can be recovered. When ready, click Recover.Recovering the selected files.
  5. Choose a recovery location. It’s best if you recover these files to a separate physical storage device.Finalizing the recovery.

Case #2: How to Recover Data from WD NAS Hard Drives After Factory Reset

If you were using a WD hard drive in your NAS, you can recover data from it just as easily. Recovery cannot be done over the network, however. Instead, you must disconnect the WD hard drive from the NAS system and connect it to your computer, where you can perform recovery using Disk Drill.

  1. Connect your WD hard drive to your computer.
  2. Download, install and open Disk Drill.
  3. Select the WD hard drive that was used in the NAS. Change All recovery methods to Deep Scan. Then, click Search for lost data.Starting a deep scan.
  4. Click Review found items when the scan is complete.Reviewing what Disk Drill discovered.
  5. Choose what files you want to recover. Use the Preview panel to see exactly what data you’re recovering. Click Recover when you’re ready.Preview panel alongside the marked files for recovery.
  6. Select where you want the files recovered to.Confirming the recovery of these files.

Case #3: How to Recover Formatted/Wiped WD Hard Drives

Even after your WD hard drive has been formatted or wiped, there’s still a good chance you can recover your data depending on how long ago it happened. The data will remain intact until it is overwritten with new data, but it’s not accessible through traditional means like Windows Explorer. That means you’ll need to use Western Digital recovery software to recover it.

We’re going to show you how to do this using Windows File Recovery to give you more options. It’s free, but a little bit different from Disk Drill considering it uses a command-line interface. Like Disk Drill, it can also be used for WD external hard drive data recovery (as long as the external hard drive is visible).

You must have a separate physical partition to recover to, as Windows File Recovery doesn’t allow recovery to the same physical partition at risk of overwriting your data.
  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account, then download the Windows File Recovery tool.Downloading Windows File Recovery.
  2. Type winfr C: E:\DataRecovery /extensive. Change the C: drive letter to your own, as well as the path for recovery from E:\DataRecovery to your own. This will be an extensive scan to pull as much data as possible. If you want a faster, but less thorough scan, you can replace /extensive with /regular. Press Enter.Entering the winfr command for recovery.
  3. If prompted to continue, press Y.Confirming the execution of winfr.

Case #4: Recovering Data from RAID 1

It’s important to note that RAID systems aren’t viable backup solutions. While RAID 1 does include mirroring for redundancy, it’s not protected against copying the same corrupted or damaged data to both disks. That being said, it’s much easier to recover data from disks in a RAID 1 configuration than it is from RAID 0/5/10 as they use striping.

For this RAID recovery, we’re going to use R-Studio. Since RAID 1 just mirrors the data to the other drive, you can perform recovery using Disk Drill or Windows File Recovery on each disk and compare the data afterwards.

  1. Download R-Studio and install it. Open it.Downloading R-Studio.
  2. Select the RAID array then click Scan.Starting the R-Studio scan.
  3. Ensure Rescan the entire disk is selected, then click Scan.
    Confirming the parameters for the scan.

  4. Click into each volume you want to recover data from. Select all the files you want to recover, then click Recover Marked.Recovering the marked files.
  5. Select an Output folder, then click OK.Specifying where to output recovered files.

Case #5: Recovering Data from RAID 0/5/10

Recovery is more challenging from a RAID 0, 5, or 10 configuration as the data is striped, meaning it spans across multiple disks. If the data loss is a result of a failed RAID controller or a break in the RAID configuration, recovery chances are much higher since the issue doesn’t sit with the actual disks.

This solution will also include the use of R-Studio. Not only does it have comprehensive support for RAID recoveries, it allows you to virtually rebuild your RAID setup and automatically determine the RAID parameters to encourage a more accurate recovery.

  1. Download R-Studio and install it. Open it.Downloading R-Studio.
  2. Before proceeding, it’s highly recommended that you make a byte-to-byte image of your drives in case mistakes are made. Do this by clicking on each volume or drive and clicking Create Image.Creating an image of your drive.
  3. Click RAIDs, then click Create Virtual Block RAID & Autodetect.Establishing a virtual RAID for recovery.
  4. Drag the disks/volumes from the left panel into the RAID set in the right panel. Make sure the RAID type dropdown reflects the type of RAID you’re recovering from. Click Auto Detect to determine the RAID parameters. This can take a very long time, so you can walk away and come back to it when it’s finished.
    If you already have the RAID parameters, you can input them manually instead.
    R-Studio automatically detecting the RAID parameters.
  5. When R-Studio has finished detecting the RAID parameters, click Apply.
  6. Select the RAID block and click Scan.Scanning the virtual RAID.
  7. Ensure Scan the entire disk is selected and click Scan.Initializing the RAID scan.
  8. When the scan has finished, click the Show Files button at the top of the window. From here, you can select the files you want to recover and click Recover Marked to restore them.Recovering what files were discovered.
  9. Choose the location for recovery, then click OK.Specifying where files are recovered to.

FAQ

Conclusion

WD external hard drive recovery is definitely possible, as is recovery from internal WD hard drives. Your chances of success depend on how long ago the data was lost and whether anything has been written to the disk that could overwrite your data.

Using the methods included in this article, you can recover the data from your WD hard drive in no time.