decision: try and recover data myself as cheaper to do that and buy a new unit than pay a data recovery service then have drive replaced under warranty.
remove the cover. lots of youtube videos searching for "remove wd hard drive". this was most helpful. https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Western+Digital+My+Book+Live+Teardown/26942
as you only have to work the 4 tabs and takes about 30 seconds. one side then the other.
rest of the disassembly is straight forward.
access your data on the drive. I have a PC running windows 7 64 bit and used R - Linux. I had an extra sata port on my motherboard so hooked it up internal to my PC.
my daya was in the EXT4 partition. see nfodiz post
recover files to another hard drive