Restore the Software on a MyBook World Edition Hard Drive

Introduction: Restore the Software on a MyBook World Edition Hard Drive

Few things are more upsetting than having a piece of hardware that doesn't work. Whether the hard drive died or you hacked it and made a mistake or you just want to restore the drive, this guide should turn your expensive paperweight back into a functional network hard drive.

Caution: This voids the warranty.

Time Requirement: Roughly an hour. There is a large download (700MB) that may take a while if you have a slow internet connection, so plan accordingly.

Technical Expertise: Low, but troubleshooting any errors encountered will likely require a higher level of knowledge and experience, particularly Linux.

  • MyBook World Edition
    Note: I used the 500GB version with the blue circular light on the front. Following this tutorial with a different version may have different results. A different size, single-disk version with the circular light should work though.
  • Small Phillips screwdriver
  • Table knife
  • Desktop computer (PC) with a CD burner, SATA port, and internet connection
  • Network connections for both the MBW and PC
  • Blank CD for burning a copy of Ubuntu
  • Anti-static wristband

Step 1: Remove the MyBook Hard Drive

Caution: Before you try to open the case, make sure the MyBook is unplugged.

Caution: Be aware of the risk of static electricity. A small shock can fry electronic components. An anti-static arm band prevents this and can be found at small electronic retailers.

1. Remove the plastic strip that seals the two major pieces of plastic together. Use a screwdriver to pry it out if you're having troubles. (I lost this strip years ago, so it doesn't show up in any photos.)

2. Separate the two major pieces of plastic by depressing the tabs on the top and bottom of the drive near the front curve. Pull forward on the curved piece of plastic fairly strongly for it to come apart.

3. Four screws hold the hard drive in the case. Two of these are easy to access, the other two are right behind the plastic. If you remove some of the screws holding the metal frame into the plastic, I think you will be able to lift the frame up high enough to reach the other two screws.

4. Unplug the cable from the end of the hard drive and lift the hard drive out of the case.

Step 2: Prepare Your Computer

To restore the hard drive, we need access to the disk formatting tools offered in Linux. I used an Ubuntu 9.04 CD for this guide, but I expect that a newer version could be used without much trouble.

1. Download a copy of Ubuntu. Go to and click the "PC (Intel x86) desktop CD" link. This will download a 700MB disk image (ISO file).
Note: On a decent internet connection, expect this download to take about an hour to complete, but it could take much longer on slower connections.

2. Burn the CD. Windows 7 includes software to burn an ISO, simply double-click the file to automatically launch the burning program. On earlier versions of Windows you'll need to download a program to burn this; DeepBurner Free worked well for me in the past.

3. Leave the CD in the drive and shut down your computer.

4. Unplug the hard drives in your computer (so you can't accidentally overwrite them) and plug in the drive from the MyBook.

5. Turn on your computer. It should boot from the newly burned Ubuntu CD.

6. Select the "Try Ubuntu" option. The operating system will take a few minutes to load.

Step 3: Restore the Hard Drive

Now that you are booted in Ubuntu, it's time to do the hard stuff.

1. Download the rescue images mentioned in step 2 of this rescue guide. Extract the zip to a folder called rescue on the desktop, and move the other file into the newly-created rescue folder.

2. On the menu at the top of the screen, select  "System", then "Administration", then "Partition Editor".

3. In the Partition Editor, right-click the every entry and select "Delete" except for the one marked labeled "unallocated". (Image 1)

4. Click "Apply". When the program is done running, close it.

5. On the menu at the top of the screen, select "Applications", then "Accessories", then "Terminal".

6. Enter the following commands one at a time:

Note: It's important to follow these commands exactly. A simple misspelling could mess up the guide. Luckily, if you mess up, just hop back to step 2 and continue from there.

sudo su

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M count=3000

cd /home/ubuntu/Desktop/rescue

dd if=rescue.img of=/dev/sda

sfdisk /dev/sda < SDA_PTAB

cfdisk /dev/sda
     a. Navigate to the area marked "Free Space" at the end of the list and press "Enter". (Image 2)
     b. Select "New".
     c. Set "Part Type" to "Primary".
     d. Set "FS Type" to "FD".
     e. Select "Write".
     f. Select "Quit".

mkfs.ext3 -m /dev/sda4

bunzip2 < SDA1_IMA.BZ2 > /dev/sda1

bunzip2 < SDA2_IMA.BZ2 > /dev/sda2

bunzip2 < SDA3_IMA.BZ2 > /dev/sda3

tune2fs -c -1 -i 0 /dev/sda1

tune2fs -c -1 -i 0 /dev/sda3

tune2fs -c -1 -i 0 /dev/sda4

mkdir sda1

mount -t ext3 /dev/sda1 sda1

gedit sda1/etc/fstab
    a. Change line 10 to say "/dev/md4 " to "/dev/sda4"
    b. Ctrl+S to save. Close the window.

umount sda1

Credits: These commands were heavily borrowed from the directions at, with a few modifications where I changed the commands to be easier to follow or specific to Ubuntu.

7. Shut down the computer (upper right-hand corner of the screen) and remove the Ubuntu disk.

8. Disconnect the MyBook hard drive and reconnect the original drives.

9. Turn your computer back on.

10. Place the MyBook hard drive back inside its case. I wouldn't recommend putting the case entirely back together just yet in case you discover something went wrong and you need to try the steps again.

Step 4: Setup MyBook World

1. In your browser, go to http://mybookworld/. Note that there is no "www" or ".com"

2. Make a mental note of the IP Address in the lower right on the screen that comes up. Mine was, but yours will likely be different. (Image 1)

3. Click "Next".

4. The browser will ask for a username and password. These are "admin" and "123456", respectively.

5. Click "I Accept" to accept the terms of the EULA.

6. Set a new username and password.

7. Set the time.

Step 5: Enable SSH Access

If you enable SSH, it allows for the installation of some simple software on the hard drive.

1. Copy and paste the following URL into the browser, changing IP Address to the address you noticed earlier. (Image 1)
Example: my IP address was, so my link started with ""

2. Click the button that says "Click to download and install".

3. Unplug the power for the MyBook and plug it back in. The drive should be accessible in a minute or two.

SSH access is now available and accessible via a program such as PuTTY. (Image 2) To connect, the default username and password are both root.

Step 6: Conclusion

You're done! Just close up your computer case and the MyBook and get hacking! Lots of guides are available for installing a variety of different programs.

I would recommend restarting the MyBook after every install or you might end up with program conflicts. (I accidentally messed stuff up while I was installing programs and ended up with a MyBook that wouldn't start up. If that happens, just restart this guide!) Considering the limited power of the MyBook, you probably also don't want to install too many programs that are always running or performance may degrade.

If you encountered any issues, leave a comment and I'll update this guide. Thanks for plugging along and good luck!

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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago


    I processed the tutorial and everything looked fine. But the default public folder cannot be accessed and any other shared folder I create is limited to about 3Go.

    I work on Vista but I do not think it is a Windows issue rather a Linux problem.

    Any advice on this issue ?




    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks very much for this guide. I am only Windows user so to make my Mybook live again, it was for me like the flight attendant have to land with a big aircraft without knowlege how to fly and when she is driven by some tower guy at the ground. I had the same feelings :-D But after about 1,5 hour of playing with commands in Linux and writing commands which I absolutely don't know what and why they are doing, I was successful - it means that this tutorial is written very well! The only problem I had was that the ZIP file with images was missing on the original location and when I downloaded it from some file sharing site here in Czech, there was missing one file (SDA3_IMA.BZ2). But knowing the name of the file, it was then very easy to google any other site and download other ZIP file which was complete. Now my Mybook is fully working again and I am going to sell it immediatelly and buy something better. I have several network drives from Western Digital and all are bad! One older model called Netcenter, has problems too, when it was running continuously about 2 years. I had to replace the hard drive there, it was totally damaged (even if nobody was doing notjhing physically with the device for all 2 years). Then I had 2TB 2-drives Blue Rings drive where after about 2 years gets broken the power supply but due to this problem power supply one HDD in that 2-disk drive gets totally out! After that I bought another Blue Rings on the auction server, which was without the hard drive and I used the second (working) hard drive from the 2-disks device now, to repair just this one drive 1TB disk. After I connected the imaged HDD into the Mybook case and switched on, I realised, that also this device has bad power supply!!! I borrowed today one 12 Volt power supply from my work to test the device and with it it started running without any problem. I was able to download the SSH update as it is described in this tutorial, the drive is fully functional and I would like to "never see it again" and I will never buy any other device from Western Digital. They poor support for the users, high prices of the device and very complicated way to simply replace the drive, it is really big shit!!! I bought already one older Synology case (NAS) and to put there even any free hard drive, first which I took from my table, and install and use it, it is a fairytale! It worked immediately with no complications and also the Synology NAS has already installed lot of applications in the default. I can make a print server for example, without any hacking inside the firmware. So I say again - don't buy the shitting network drives from WD, if you want to keep your nerves calm! Thank you!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, great guide!

    mkfs.ext3 -m /dev/sda4
    won't work. Should be set to 0%, so:

    mkfs.ext3 -m 0 /dev/sda4
    will work

    - as per point 7 in the guide you link to above.


    9 years ago on Step 3

    Can you please provide a direct link to the rescue image (or send it to me directly)? It doesn't seem to be available any more on the page you mention.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    In order to get to the files, you have to register as a member on

    Once you are a member, you will see a link called "Files" at the bottom of the page. The files you need are there. Registration is free ( well it was when I registered a few years ago.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    head over to

    for a small donation to become a member, you will recieve not only a Windows based tool (yes, Windows!!) to restore the mybook back to its original glory but some very useful tools along the way.

    Saved my but on a few occasions I can tell you.