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  Home :: Blog :: The Infinite Wisdom of Western Digital Skip Navigation Links
The Infinite Wisdom of Western Digital      
  1/10/2014 4:58:32 AM

At around Christmas time, I bought 2 Western Digital 3TB My Book USB 3.0 drives from Target. (They were on sale, and were cheaper than Amazon.) I installed the first drive on my server, and copied all my data onto it. It was going to serve as my primary data storage. After a while, I finally got over 1.5TB of data transferred. I proceeded to the second drive. My intention was to use the WD software, and backup the first drive onto my second drive. I tried and tried, but was not able to get the server to recognize the second drive. It was a Windows Server 2003. After several days of trying, I decided that the second drive was defective. I took it back to Target and got a new drive. To my surprise, I ran into the same problem with the new one. This new one already had new packaging, and new external casing. At this time, I decided that I could not be so lucky to have gotten two defective drives. I started to dig deeper.

To my surprise, the problem was with Western Digital! In their infinite wisdom, they have given ALL 3TB My Book drives the same Disk ID. That means at any given time, only one drive can be connected. This also means I cannot use the WD software to backup from one WD drive to another. Ironically, that's what the drives and software are made for.

At first, I looked into changing the ID. Googling will result in using DISKPART. The problem with DISKPART on Server 2003 is that it cannot assign a new Disk ID. I then came across VolumeID 2.0. For some reason, it did not work for me. After a bit more digging, I discovered that the ID was associated with the partition. Which meant that WD imaged their drives instead of formatting them. I decided to simply delete the partition, and recreate a new one. That took me for another ride. As soon as I deleted the 3TB partition, Server 2003 decided that I cannot have a new partition greater than 2TB. Since my primary PC is now a Mac, this made things a bit more complicated. I had to connect the new drive to the Windows 7 VM running on my Mac. From the Disk Manager, convert the drive to GPT, then created the partition. This new partition now has a new Disk ID. I can now move it back to the server. Glad to say that the WD software is doing its job of backing up the drive. I really hope someone from Western Digital can see this so these types of problems do not keep happening.

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