Enabling ssh access on MyBook World Edition

The whole process doesn't require hard drive disassembly. It does not even require physical access to the drive. It works fine on every WD MyBook WE models (both I and II, capacities from 320GB to 2TB).

Warning: These instructions are provided on "AS-IS" basis. There is no guarantee of any kind and you may void your warranty. Don't blame me if you brick your MyBook.

Spawning sshd

First of all you have to create a new user using standard web interface. SSH will not allow you to log-in as root without password.

Then enter this URL into your browser:


You should see page that displays that "new firmware is available". (default username/password for virgin MyBook is "admin"/"123456").

Click on "Click to download and install".

(Note: if you are interested how this works, click here).

Now you have to be patient, whole process will take a while - not 30 minutes as stated on the firmware upgrade page, because you are not actually performing any upgrade. The "upgrade" process will generate ssh host keys. This takes maybe 1 or 2 minutes. Then root's password is reset (set to '') and finally, sshd process is spawned.

Please note that you will not be informed about the operation progress. Just try to log in using ssh after few minutes to see if it has succeeded. When you find out that sshd is running, log in under user you have created in the first step. You should get bash shell immediately. Then type "su -" (no password) to get root shell.

Making sshd permament

In order to get ssh daemon running each time you power-up your MyBook, add the following line to /etc/inittab:

Now reboot your MyBook to see it if works.

Other recommendations

I highly recommend to get rid of mionet processes. This stuff allows "worldwide" data sharing, but I guess it's useleess since you can install a webserver or ftp server on your MyBook. Mionet is written in Java, which means that you will save a lot of processor time.

Consider also installing alternative web administration interface.

FAQ: No firmware avaliable bug

"No new firmware available" is caused by the failure of MyBook to fetch the upgrade script. Try to reboot MyBook and run the firmware upgrade process again. Comment from user: Thank you for sharing your "upgrade." I came online with SSH only after I rebooted the MyBook several times before finally realizing that I had not set up the DNS fields first. Perhaps you can add it to your FAQ.

FAQ: Cannot log in

Common question: Hi I ahve run your script to enable SSH on my MBWE2 1TB. and I cant seem to login. It keeps saying access denied. On your website it says this "(set to '')" which I assume means blank? I have tried blank using both Root and admin accounts.

You have to create a user via MyBook web interface first. Let's call this user 'joe'. Then log in using ssh joe@[mybookIP] -v. When you log in, type su - in order to become superuser (root). No password is required for this.

FAQ: No firmware available

Per Danielsson wrote: After clicking on the "update firmware" button I waited a few minutes and then got an error message saying that the firmware update failed (Firmware failed to download - try later " or something). I tried again several times, with the same result. However, the error message is misleading, because your script did run so I was able to log in to the MBWE with ssh.

This happens on a MBWE with firmware version 2.00.15.

Thanks for sharing your hack with the rest of us.