Western Digital sells a number of external drives under the MyBook World Edition brand. These are network-based external storage drives that you can connect to remotely from multiple machines. Inside are a couple of drives set up in a mirrored RAID configuration, as well as an embedded computer running Linux.

MakeFan: tipped us off to Martin Hinner’s website, which has a lot of details about the software running on the MyBooks, including info for hacking the devices capabilities to do more than what’s available out of the box.

This page provides information on how to hack your MyBook World Edition, so as you can improve performance and add new features. MyBook is powered by ARM9 microprocessor, it has 32MB of SDRAM and boots from internal hard drive. The system partition has 2.8GB (only 260 MB is occupied). This means that you have a lot of resources for various improvements.

You can enable SSH on the device without cracking the case. Martin hosts a script that subverts the firmware update software to create your ssl keys and boot the sshd process. Once that is enabled, you have full access to the OS to do what you like, including running an NFS server, web server, or even replacing the standard web interface.

Also worth checking out is the Hacking WD MyBook Wiki. They have links to information on rescuing data from dead drives and building other software for the device. Keep in mind that building MySQL from source will take about 18 hours, but there’s got to be something fun you can do with a LAMP stack running on a terabyte hard drive.

Hacking Western Digital MyBook World Edition – Link
MyBook World Edition Wiki – Link