Disk Drill to the rescue on yet another crashed WD drive

I’m not sure what it is, but I haven’t had very good luck with Western Digital drives. This weekend was no exception as yet another WD drive has crashed, and in the middle of a file copy.

I’ve been using a portable WD Elements 3TB external drive on my MacBook Air for about a year now. By use, I mean about 100 hours of use, if that. It’s basically a way to transfer files back to my other Mac. In fact, the drive hasn’t actually been connected to anything for at least 8 months. Further, I haven’t used it as a portable drive so it hasn’t been jarred or dropped.

Over the weekend, I started a file copy of 50GB. After 5 minutes of successfully copying files, the drive was no longer recognized as connected.

And that was the end of it. The drive wouldn’t show up in Finder, couldn’t be seen in Disk Utility. It was on and spinning, but couldn’t be used.

Spinning up Disk Drill showed the drive was in a sad state. It showed up as a “Raw” volume with bad blocks and no file format. Thanks Western Digital.

A standard recovery didn’t work, and Disk Drill recommended making a byte-by-byte copy of the volume so the actual hard drive didn’t get any worse. Of course that means I need to have 3TB of space available to store this DMG image. Good thing I have an 8TB drive in the Mac Pro.

After many house, the copy has completed, but that’s only the first step. I still need to recover the data. The “Image” is just as broken as the drive. It has to be mounted within Disk Drill and restored. That process will take 25+ hours. Who knows how accurate it is, but it won’t be a few minutes that’s for sure.

Yet again Western Digital has failed me. However, I already had Disk Drill installed, so there is some hope of salvaging data. At least that’s the story I’m telling myself. Nothing has actually been recovered yet.

Moral of the story, don’t buy Western Digital drives. Install a disk recovery tool before you need one.

Thanks for reading you majestic sausage.
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