Done with Western Digital

By onesmartidiot ยท 46 replies
Jan 5, 2008
  1. I've been a loyal WD customer since 2002, but lately I have lost confidence in their drives.

    First drive to fail:

    WD800. Bought in 2003 brand new, used in a athlon xp machine every day for a year. when i built my amd64 machine it was only used from time to time. The tower was never pushed over, kicked, etc.

    When the drive turns on it spins up then ticks off immediately. it will do this about 5-6 times before it just stays off.

    This drive had important pictures on it that i may not have back-ups of.

    Second drive to fail:

    almost a month later, the WD 80gig from my dads dell 8200 crashed and would not allow windows to be re-installed.

    it was quickly replaced by a WD 320gig drive.

    i brought the dell 80 gig back to life somehow as a storage drive.

    Third drive to fail

    WD 200gig

    bought new in 2004 for my athlon 64 system. was never abused or swapped out. Last week it pooped out and no computer/ external enclosure i put it in will recognize it. I tried taking the dell 80 gig and installing windows on it for my new pc, now it is doing the same thing.

    After this I will no longer buy WD drives, seems like they have a 3-5 year lifespan which is ridiculous.

    I have a hitachi 250gig drive in an external enclosure that i bought in 2003 also which has been dropped, knocked over, kicked, punted (accidentally of course) and it still works fine.

    I have a maxtor 2 gig drive which is useless for xp but it still works perfect.

    What are some of your experiences with the different brands? I'm looking to purchase a new drive that isn't WD. If its more than 40 bucks it will be sata 3gb/s. im looking into hitachi because it seems to be a reliable brand. Samsung is also cheap but my family has had issues in the past with samsung electronics.

    also the budget is 60-70 bucks.

    also, is there anyway to revive the broken drives? obviously the first one is gone, im saving it for one day when i take it for data recovery. but the other 2 that spin up and click fine but arent reconized, is there anything i can do?

    i have a brand new core 2 duo system that i cant use because none of my drives work! im a sad little boy right now lol

  2. Po`Girl

    Po`Girl TS Rookie Posts: 595

    One of my PCs has a 9 year old Seagate that`s hardly had an error on it.

    So based on that wealth of anecdotal evidence,I`m saying - Seagate. :)
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Western Digital has never made it over the hump to larger drives, and has been no better in reliability than Maxtor or Hitachi since their first 60 and 80 GB drives. They made a valiant effort when they replaced their silver colored 80 GB drives with black ones so techs would know they no longer made drives with early failures... but they still do.
    We like the Seagate because the offer a five-year warranty. When Western Digital, Hitachi, Samsung, Fujitsu, and Tri-Gem begin making a reliable drive, we suspect they, too, can offer a five year warranty instead of a one-year warranty as Western Digital now does with the drives they sell through Wal-Mart.
    We install four to seven hard drives a day. We have had only one Seagate desktop drive and two Seagate laptop drives fail since the five-year warranty came out. Seagate replaced them quickly. I have 27 black Western Digital drives on my desk tonight ready for data recovery. They were all released after August 1, according to their date codes.
  4. onesmartidiot

    onesmartidiot TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 95

    lol id say they didnt make it over the hump, i have 3 drives alone here and im not a builder/seller.

    i dont know why I've always stayed away from segate, maybe i shouldnt have.

    what does a 5 year warranty mean? if it goes bad theyll pay for data recovery? that would be nice.

    im worried now because within the past 2 months i had my dad buy a wd 320 gig and my buddy bought the same for his pc... ill make sure all the pictures are backed up lol.

    'cause 27 drives on your desk from aug. 1st isnt good, and the probability of there being some 320's scares me lol.

    ill look around for the best price on a segate, but this spring when my mowing business really takes off i will buy 2 seagate 500's and align them as mirrors... so in 9 years when one fails i can quickly back up the other one lol

    thanks for your input!
  5. pdyckman@comcas

    pdyckman@comcas TS Rookie Posts: 527

    I don't know why Seagate is so good to me, but they are. Then there's Maxtor, same good luck. I know that they joined forces matter. I have read (and did this once) that if a drive is just about to stop spinning, (and you know it). Put it in the freezer and many times you'll get that one last use where you can get as many files as possible downloaded before the final meltdown. Also you can (hold on to it tight) you can move it quickly in a circular in a clockwise direction to sometimes get the platter(s) moving for a bit. Remember that once a drive is going on the fritz...get all you can out of it and toss it.
  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    just about all my drives are seagate
    I have 2 Toshiba scsi's 8 seagate scsi's
    2 seagate sata's 2 maxtor ide's
    2 wd sata's
    non are over 260 gb
    the wd's have worked for over a 3 month period and have a 5 year warranty on them
    all my drives except for the maxtors' had a 5 yr
    i have had all manor of drives fail no brand exceptional accept for the seagate scsi's
    as in doing data recovery I have had more wd's come in then any other
    mostly because they are in external cases ,and this is know to shorten drive life span
    to me the most important thing is heat
    I don't care what the experts say
    heat kills the disc
    there's a servo motor inside just how long are they supposed to last
    by the way did i upload the latest images of the cages with the fans on them :D
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,017   +2,546

    If You're Into That Sort of Thing.... (RAID)...

    All the Seagate Sata 2 drives support NCQ, 80GB and up. The WD drives (SE series) only have Native Command Queuing from 400GB and up. Intel's "Matrix Storage Technology" SATA Raid drivers require NCQ to function correctly. Other drivers may as well.
    To have NCQ in all WD SATA 2 drives, you must step up to the "RE" series, (raid edition).
    IMHO, I think the Seagates are quieter, but the WD1600 SATA 150 in my Emachines T-5026 has been running great for almost 3 years. In case you missed it, that's 2 miracles in a row!
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    most HDs carry a 5 year warranty. I haven't had the bad experiences you have had, but also consider a flakey power supply can cause or create all kinds of failures. I suggest replacing your PSU.
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Boy, that is not consistent with our experience. Only Seagate has five year warranties. The Western Digitals we get have either a one year or a three year warranty. The ones sold at Wal-mart, Best Buy, and Circuit City have a one year warranty. Fujitsu, Toshiba, and Samsung have a three year warranty. Maxtor has a one year warranty. Tri-Gem has a one-year warranty. Hitachi has a one year warranty for OEM shops, and a three year warranty in stores.

    Samsung has declared to tech shops they will soon be offering a five year warranty, but I have not seen any yet.

    I would be very interested in learning where you get "...most HD's carry a five year warranty..." or where the market is changing enough for this to happen.
  10. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I have boxes full of bad hard drives, probably 200 in all. These are mostly all capacities under 80GB. Brands from Quantum, Futgitsu, Maxtor (pre Seagate) and Western Digital. The vast majority of bad drives are Western Digital... In the last year, I have replaced 50 WD system hard drives with Seagate drives. I only had 2 failed Seagate 100GB notebook drives last year. Both were replaced for free under the warranty... All my, and my wife's drives are Seagate. I only buy Seagate
  11. onesmartidiot

    onesmartidiot TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 95

    i bought a brand new 550watt psu

    i couldnt afford antec or anything up there in $ but i didnt settle for some cheap xion crap lol.
  12. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    So do any of the hard drives work after installing the new power supply?
  13. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    And what PSU brand and model did you buy?
  14. onesmartidiot

    onesmartidiot TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 95

    nope, none of the psu's make the board reconize the drive... :(

    one was a vantec 480

    my new one is a falcon tech 550

    my buddys we tried was an antec 600

    ive given up on the 200giger, the only stuff on there was windows settings and emails. i just happened to move everything personal onto another drive with the intentions of reformatting this one.

    ill just put it away to experiment with later. maybe i can take the motor out of the 200 and put it in the 80? haha

    please dont choke me i know that would break more than it would fix.

    it was kinda one of those jokes that ill end up doing lol
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I guess it was worth a try...
  16. blarghwastaken

    blarghwastaken TS Rookie

    I had a Western Digital 120GB IDE drive and it completely failed after about a year of use. WD replaced it promptly and I am still using the replacement drive. After reading some of these stories, I think I'm going to replace it ASAP. I remembered the burn of losing ALL of my data once before and definitely do not want that again. I just ordered my sister a computer a few days ago and chose a Seagate hard drive. 5 year warranty sure looks good and people seems to like them.
  17. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    I've had the opposite experience. All I use in customers builds now is WD after issues with Seagate & esp Samsung.

    0% failure rate in the last 2 years using WD. {70 or 80 new PC's}.
  18. onesmartidiot

    onesmartidiot TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 95

    mine were fine for 2 years

    let us know in another 2 or 3 if they are still there lol
  19. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Seagate and Samsung should not be compared, or put in the same category.

    Seagate still thinks enough about their hard drives as to offer a warranty two years longer than Western Digital retail, and four years longer than most Western Digital OEM.

    We are happy to learn somebody is having good luck with Western Digital. Were these the Silver ones or the black ones?
  20. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    I was once a Maxtor fan until I saw the light - my current system has 3 WD drives in it - the boot drive being a 10K rpm drive and, touch wood (we are supersticious in UK) no problems with any of them.
  21. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    I have no doubt that you will discover Western Digitals are trouble if you have, indeed, installed 80 of them. Prepare for the future because it is coming.
    We suffered through the failure of Connor, Quantum, Maxtor and others. Maxtor, Quantum, and Connor were all terrific at one time, but were driven out of business by engineering failures. Maxtor bought Quantum, then got bought by by Seagate. Now Hitachi, which bought IBM Deskstar and Travelstar, is in serious trouble, already dropping some of its small drive and laptop drive entries. Hitachi is looking for a buyer of their hard drive business. Anybody interested?
    Western Digital nearly failed when their drives started failing in massive numbers in Dell, Gateway, and HP machines. Fortunately they seem to have been able to correct their engineering mistakes.
    Now that Hitachi is in very serious trouble, they are regrouping.
    This is a tough business.
    We all benefit if Western Digital becomes a builder of better quality of hard drives. But they will have to offer a longer warranty, just as Samsung and Fujitsu are planning to do.
    We will see the market turn topsy-turvey as these new flash drives get a toe-hold. Hitachi has announced they cannot compete in the world of small drives and laptop drives because of the development of flash drive technology.
    Western Digital will be as good as their innovation and engineering, but they better be ready for the Flash Drive technology that is putting an end to rotational drives. Western Digital simply was not ready for the large drives from 40, 60, 80, and 100 GB drives. Now they are playing catchup with the Toshiba 160 gb laptop drives... and the Seagate 750 GB drives.
    The enemy of "good" is always "better."
    The future is in flash drives, made well, that last a long time.
  22. dgower2

    dgower2 TS Maniac Posts: 238

    ...But What About Performance?

    No other drive manufactures can touch the WD Raptor's performance. Does Seagate make a drive that can compete with the Raptor? I haven't heard of these failing. Please post if you know differently.

    In line with RayBay's sentiments, my next build will most likely have a SSD drive for the OS/boot drive.
  23. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Of course - that component that kills a drive is almost always one of the moving parts. Solid start tech is the way forward, and it will not be long before solid state drives (quicker, quieter, reliable, cheaper per Gb) will be available. I wonder what will happen to other media such as DVD once we reach this state - will everything have a USB or similar interface?
  24. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Aren't all computer hard drives built in the Pacific rim countries? Here in the Northwestern United States, Seagate is King. Western Digital is very common, but I have seen Seagate drives appearing in the newer HP, Dell and even eMachines computers lately... If I saw a Western Digital drive in a failed computer, it was the first thing I pulled. The Seagates get a format and OS reinstall first.

    In my experience, it's the electronics that fails more often than the mechanical assemblies in hard drives
  25. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Seagate is just down the street from us in Scotts Valley, California. They are also in Singapore, China, and Hungary. They remain in every location once owned by Maxtor and Quantum. They are the only company still building drives in the United States.
    We don't confirm your history on Electronics failures. With Quantum, the plates cracks. Maxtor drives had magnetic media peeling off the edge of the plates, and the bearings froze up. Western Digital chips failed on the 60 and 80 GB 3.5 inch hard drives. They also had reader head problems. WD also had a lot of magnetic media peeling up. Hitachi has bearings problems in both their 3.5" and 2.5" drives. The Dell failures were chips and circuit boards on their 80 GB models. Connor drive plates warped. Fujitsu and Samsung drives overheat. Seagate has suffered magnetic media and chip problems on both their 3.5" and 2.5" drives.
    Lots of failure are in model runs, that the correct in the next manufacturing cycle. When you have a drive Squawk, it is usually a bearing.
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