NOTE: You Will Lose The Data On The Drive
If you have a WD Locked hard drive (usually an external My Passport Drive) that is password protected, there’s not much you can do on your own to get past the password. There are some shops online that will do a board swap with another drive in an attempt to (sometimes) bypass the password protection and get access to your data. This tutorial is not for people in that boat.
If you simply want to have the ability to write new files to the drive again after formatting and LOSING ALL THE DATA on it, this tutorial is for you.
How To Erase The Data and Password
WARNING: You Will Lose All Data By Following The Steps Below
Step 1: Connect The Drive To Your PC
Step 2: Download WD Drive Utilities
Step 3: Enter a fake password 5 times in a row to get the option to Format the Drive
Step 4: Click The Button To Format The Hard Drive
Now you should have access to the drive again using Windows. All of the data on the drive will be wiped so it will look like it did when it was brand new. You should be able to read/write to the drive again.
FAQs about Formatting/Wiping a WD Password-Protected My Passport Drive
- Is it possible to recover data after wiping the My Passport drive? Typically, wiping is designed to be irreversible, but advanced data recovery tools might be able to retrieve some data remnants, albeit with significant difficulty. For most purposes it’s safe to assume all data is lost.
- Can the drive be formatted without disabling the password protection? Yes. Using the steps on this page you can wipe the drive without knowing the password. All data will be lost, however.
- Is it necessary to use WD’s proprietary software for formatting the drive? While not mandatory, using WD’s software is recommended as it is designed to be fully compatible and efficient with WD drives, ensuring optimal performance.
- What should be done if the password is forgotten? Unfortunately, if the password is lost, the drive has to be reset, which will erase all the data stored in it. It is crucial to remember the password or store it securely.
- How long does it usually take to wipe the drive completely? The duration to wipe the drive depends on its storage capacity and the method used. Larger drives and more thorough wiping methods will generally take more time.
- Is regular formatting sufficient to protect sensitive data when reselling the drive? For reselling, especially when the drive has contained sensitive data, it is recommended to wipe the drive using secure methods to ensure that the data cannot be recovered.
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