Failing 1TB WD Black

By St1ckM4n
Jul 28, 2013
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  1. Hiya,

    I recently bought a WD Black 1TB, along with a SATA3 PCIe card. It worked fine for a few days, then suddenly Windows wouldn't boot - hung on 'loading'.

    I yanked the new drive, Win loaded fine. I added it again (hot plug ability on SATA3 card), Device Manager immediately shows it. My Computer (explorer.exe) hangs, Disk Management doesn't even load. WD drive software also hangs with the drive plugged in. Sometimes, the drive appears in My Computer, however with no partition information (still hung).

    Tried with/without the SATA card, tried using mobo slots, tried moving boot drive around. Seems like the new drive has lost the partition table, or something similar.

    Any other ideas to try? Since I live in Australia (and a non-capital-city), my returns process is expensive.
  2. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 879   +170

    I really wish I could help. But, it seems you've already tried what I'd recommend. I'm just going throw out some ideas.

    Does the drive pop up in bios? If so, I'd run it through a diag program outside of windows to either try and repair or save the data.

    Try formatting the drive and see if that makes a difference. I hope this isn't a trend with WD drives. As, I recently purchased a 1TB WD black myself.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,350   +821

    I obviously can't speak to this generation of WD drives as of yet. (And I have a slew of them). But, I have a WD "Caviar Blue" (OEM equivalent), 160GB SATA 1 that's pushing 9 years old, and it's never missed a beat.
  4. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,381   +607

    Thanks for the brainstorming, that's what I'm after.

    The drive does show up in BIOS. I'm going to look at outside-Windows options to format it, as anything inside Win to do with the drive just hangs. Any good tools off the top of your head?
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,350   +821

    What's the point of the SATA 3 add in card? Do you have an SSD?

    You know DOA does happen from time to time.
  6. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 879   +170

  7. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,381   +607


    Mobo only has SATA2. It was $25 or so for the card, so I chucked it in the cart. Yes, SSD is SATA2 however... :(

    I know about DOA, yeah. Looks like this may be the case.



    Thanks, I'll have a look.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,350   +821

    Well, the only wild card are the drivers for the add in card. I'd pull the card, and delete the drivers, then give it one more shot with the board's SATA controller.

    Does this SATA controller have encryption ability, by any chance? Is is possible that you have it set to run in an incorrect or "unavailable" RAID mode?

    I'm sure you already know this, but the board should be set to run as "AHCI", and NOT IDE emulation..

    Darik's Boot & Nuke, is self contained, and operates from a M$ DOS sliver contained in the program. However, it's just a drive cleaner, and WD's tool set will "zero out" a drive also. GParted is just a partition manager. I'm not exactly sure how it would be of use with an unrecognized HDD....:confused: That said, I've never tried it. I'm big on folders, not so much with partitions. If you know what partitions you want at Windows install time, then Windows will do a fine job creating them.

    My point is, I have a dozen drives in the house in different machine, with different boards, and different OSes, and none of them have ever acted like this.

    The SATA hot plug is not a new phenomenon. My 9 YO eMachines is loaded with the Intel driver package on the disc image, (restore disc), and you get SATA hot PnP with that relic.(I do hedge my bets by putting the machine in S-3, before plugging in a drive). Wimpy, I know.

    It's time to drag the thing to the kid down the street's house, and see what his computer can make of it.
  9. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TechSpot Booster Posts: 162   +38

    If it were mine, I think I would boot FreeDOS from a CD and run Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS from WD. I checked NewEgg and the WD1002FAEX has 18% of reviews indicating early failure and DOA. This may be a bad lot.
  10. misor

    misor TechSpot Addict Posts: 961   +146

    the problem with a sata drive is the data cable could become "loose". a simple replacement 'may' fix the problem.
    based on my experience, right-angled sata cables that came bundled with asus/asrock mobos are more tight-fit than the old 'straight' sata cables.
    easy to fix and easy to rule out as source of inability to boot windows properly.
  11. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,381   +607

    I'll confirm definitely, although I think I may have used alternate cables.

    Note, this isn't the boot drive, so would a cable still do that?
     
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,420

    If the drive is completely isolated from the boot sequence, then no. Instability issues will only arise when the drive is first called on.

    If any part of the boot sequence is looking for a drive with a bad cable, there can be instability issues while booting.
  13. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,381   +607

    I'd have no idea what that'd be. There is only my Steam library on there, which has Steam set to boot on startup. But, since this is only run when the user profile is logged in, I am not sure...
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,350   +821

    My (very limited) experience with defective SATA cables is this, the cable fails or is loose, the drive disappears.

    I suppose it could depend on which wire inside the cable is loose...dunno on that one..

    This does need to get moved along rather quickly. Hopefully Aussie retailers have a 30 day return policy the same as Newegg. If you're forced to go through WD, I think they give you a refurb drive to replace the defective one. (I've heard rumors like that going around. Here again, no personal experience). With that said, it's a lot easier to get satisfaction from the seller, than to start shipping drives back and forth to the manufacturer.
  15. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,576   +76

    Hey I just ordered WD Blue for older desktop I am fixing SATA3 can work-on on SATA2 they'r backward compatible. Your case could be the PCie card could have gone duff, or the the slot or the HDD chipset gone it. I had some WD Blue TB gone me. Contact WD and have them send you a replacement WD Black. It's under warranty
  16. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,381   +607

    captaincranky: My retailer has at least 1yr return to base warranty, which is a problem as even domestic shipping is pretty high ($10-20? Not that much, but it's still something). I've read up on WD RMA process and I've seen some stories like you mention.


    tipstir: Yeah, I'll keep trying without the PCIe card. It's brand new and works fine for the boot drive, but I'll see.
    Do you speak from experience? Or are you just saying what you think the process is? WD website says advance exchange option is not valid for AU. :(
  17. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,576   +76

    What did you buy the OEM Bulk or Retail in Box? I use to break fix DELL, IBM, HP, Compaq, Clones for companies. HDD are clearly marked warranty period. The Segate TB failed getting them to replace it wasn't that easy like with WD better. But it depends how you purchased your HDD. If you just go it you could try the vendor first before calling up WD.
  18. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,381   +607

    WD Black drive in AU has a 5-year warranty. I need to send to them (Singapore) if I want to RMA. Or, I can return to my AU supplier within 1year or so and have them handle it, which is a lot less shipping.

    By the way, the PC didn't pass POST with the drive connected straight to the mobo. SMART failed. :(

    Not going to risk it or waste more time, it's RMA time me thinks. Thanks for the brainstorming guys.
  19. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,576   +76

    No you don't sent it to Singapore. Are you in the USA or Canada? Whoever you got the HDD from. How old is this PC? Was it built in 2009 or 2010?
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,420

    I think the answer is Australia (AU).
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  21. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,381   +607

    I live in Australia. I bought the HDD last week from a retailer in Australia, who can handle the warranty claim.

    WD has no processing facility in Australia for RMA's apparently.
  22. misor

    misor TechSpot Addict Posts: 961   +146

    ... too bad that after a series of tests you conducted, you have concluded that the WD Black drive is 'dead'.
    (you're in a case like me: if I need to have a warranty replacement, I need to spend a lot of time/money/effort to go to the nearest city :( )

    on the steam user: I think that steam client will run if you have saved your user credentials on the computer regardless of any windows user currently logged in.
  23. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,381   +607

    I thought it ran as a startup item, not as a service. I need to log in for Steam to start, check update, log in, launch. :O
  24. misor

    misor TechSpot Addict Posts: 961   +146

    I thought it was windows user specific too.. :) until I installed steam to my 5-yo Pentium dual core machine and saved the steam password on the computer. steam runs automatically on 3 windows user profiles.
    maybe other long term steam users can shed some light on this matter as I have played steam only like about 7-8 months.
  25. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,130   +171

    Yes pretty sure the WD Black I returned recently did not have advance exchange. Had to ship to Sydney and that was then forwarded onto Malaysia/Singapore or some place like that. Round trip was a few weeks iirc.


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