Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a WD Western Digital My Book Essential 1TB Hard Drive which comes with WD Smartware software. I had put a password in it without a hint and now I have lost the password. This hard drive use 256 bit hardware encryption. All my personnel and important data is in it and I am unable to remember the password.

How can I unlock the drive without formatting it, is there any way to crack or hack the smartware and unlock it?

How can I get my data?

share|improve this question

I feel sorry for you, but this so called "smart" ware leaves you no choice but to either remember the password or format the disk. Its really a shame that WD did not think of some kind of service to unlock such legitimate lock-out scenarios.

This page details your only options (That are the two I mentioned above).

share|improve this answer

The manual says

CAUTION! The WD SmartWare software uses your password to electronically lock and unlock your drive. If you forget your password, you will not be able to access the data that is on your drive or write new data to it. You will have to erase the drive before you can use it again.

There are no details about the encryption algorith though it does talk about 256-bit hardware-based encryption. This suggests there is no practical way to recover the data other than to keep trying passwords.

I would write down all the passwords or pass-phrases I could think of, write down all likely variations of each one (e.g. might you have used upper-case on some letters, might you have replaced some letters with similar digits, might you have added punctuation?)

I would then go through them all systematically and tick off the variations of all passwords one by one.

share|improve this answer

protected by Community Sep 5 '12 at 17:22

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.