Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

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 am a beginner in Ubuntu. And I have just installed Ubuntu 11.10 in my Dell laptop. When I plugged my WD external hard drive in, it read the first time, but since I have a unlock.exe file (password for the hard drive). So I installed Wine to read it. But it gives me an error. I restart the machine, and plugged the hard drive in again. And it is not recognized anymore. Can anybody help me, please?

Thank you!

share|improve this question
do you know the format of the hard drive – Ringtail Mar 27 '12 at 18:16
Is the password protection on a partition level? I.e., is the partition encrypted? If so, I believe you need the cryptsetup package. – SirCharlo Mar 27 '12 at 18:59
.exe files are typically Windows executable files and cannot be run on Linux (or other non-Windows) OSs. – kyleN Mar 27 '12 at 20:59
@kyleN: it can be, using wine, check – loolooyyyy Mar 27 '12 at 21:38

according to

WD Passports need to be "Unlocked" via Windows or Mac b4 they can be used in any way shape or form. ...why WD would include such a useless function in their firmware and then put the needed unlocking software in a constantly available read-only partition... Take the device to a Mac or PC and run the "Unlock" application or the WD Smartware Utilities to enable access to the writable partition then format that so that you may use it properly. You can also try WINE on the unlocking .exe If the drive is missing the apps, you can download the software kit for Mac and PC from WD's support pages.

in an extreme situation you could use i dont know if they can be trusted. as you can see HDDs could be simply unlocked using these tools, so to be safe encrypt your data yourself before storing it on your drive

i just asked people at WD, they said there is no way you could unlock from any linux distribution, including ubuntu, not even wine can do that

share|improve this answer

First you have to disable the unlock.exe while you're in windows. Use the WD smartware program (you can dl it from their website), go to settings, enter your passoword, choose "remove security," and then update settings. Now it doesn't have a password anymore, so you should at least be able to mount and access it in linux.

share|improve this answer

As far as it concerns a pure ubuntu solution, there is an interesting how to for removing the security functionality of WD MyPassport hard drive on ubuntu using hdparm and the master password 'WDCWDCWDCWDCWDCWDCWDCWDCWDCWDCW', which could differ for various models.

However, it is recommended to use up-to-date SmartWare on Windows, since it is intended this way.

Following the instructions of this nice article, i got my external WD HDD mounted and running on ubuntu like every other USB-Storage.
In essence you do the following steps:

  1. Mount the drive on Windows
  2. Update WD Smartware and Disk Firmware
  3. Disable the virtual CD and remove password under settings in WD SmartWare
  4. Using palimpsest on ubuntu
    1. Delete all partition and create a new Master Boot Record
    2. Create an empty partition
    3. format it using an linux/bsd file system.

Is is possible to reformat it to any FS you want, afterwards.

share|improve this answer
Would be nice if you could include the gist of the solution here. – i08in Nov 11 '13 at 17:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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