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Is Western Digital really this bad now or am I just unlucky?

Discussion in 'Storage' started by Eric_Cartman, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. Eric_Cartman

    Eric_Cartman

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    In a little over a year I've had 8 Western Digital hard drive die on me!

    It all started with the WD Green 1TB I was using as the OS drive in my main rig starting to die.

    I didn't really think much of it since the drive was kind of old, it was original from a pre-built HP I had before I built my main rig.

    Luckily I was able to get everything off of it and replace it with the WD Red.

    After that scare though I decided to put together a NAS with a RAID5 using 4 1TB WD Blues.

    After about 1 month the first Blue drive died, the NAS warned me of a failed drive, and sure enough HDTune found bad sectors.

    I RMA'd the drive, replaced it, and rebuilt the array.

    A month later another Blue drive dies, bad sectors again!

    Worse part, while I was waiting on the RMA, a second Blue died!

    This one wouldn't even be recognized by anything I plugged it into.

    The whole array gone, Awesome.:cry:

    Ok, so I RMA'd both drives, rebuilt the array once again, and began re-ripping my DVDs.

    This time though I also bought a WD 3TB My Book USB3.0 External which I attached to the NAS to back up the RAID.

    About 2 months ago, the WD My Book died, I RMA'd it.

    Now 9 months ago I bought a Refurbished HP Laptop.

    A month and a half after I bought it the hard drive died, no boot disk error, and the drive wasn't recognized in the BIOS.

    I popped the bottom off, and you guessed it, WD Scorpio Blue hard drive.

    HP replaced the drive under warranty with a new WD Scorpio Blue.

    2 months after that, the drive died again, this time bad sectors.

    Since the laptop was out of warranty HP wouldn't help me, so I put one of those Seagate SSHD drives in it, this is my first Seagate drive ever.

    I've always been a WD man, and avoided Seagate because everyone always says Seagate is unreliable, and I remember seeing some study a few months back that proved this.

    But honestly, at this point I was starting to get a little fed up with WD.

    Finally, now this morning I booted my main PC, and the SMART warning came up about the RED drive!

    Running HDTune on it now, but with SMART giving a warning I'm not hopeful for a clean scan.

    I'm really starting to give up on WD!

    The Seagate drive in my laptop has been awesome, and it actually did make the laptop noticeably more responsive compared to the WD Scorpio Blue drive the laptop came with.

    So am I just running into a string of bad luck, or is WD drives really not as good as everyone says?:confused:
     
  2. natr0n

    natr0n

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    You need to keep your drives cool preferably active cooling or they die sometimes.

    That's about all I can think of in your situation.
     
  3. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    You are cursed. I've had 8 drives die out of ~1000 over the last 15 years (counting all brands, not just WD)
     
  4. Steevo

    Steevo

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    Not at all true. In fact can cause early drive death by cooling. Think of all the laptop drives that don't die from heat, and you are propagating another myth.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...=b17kSPAcCTG-lhqsTQbWBg&bvm=bv.68445247,d.cGU

    My suggestion would be to test the drives one at a time, I have used all brands, not as much as I used to, but all fail.

    Backup.
     
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  5. TRWOV

    TRWOV

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    I concur with you OP. In my experience, WD Blue drives are fine for less demanding stuff but not for high I/O while the comparatively priced Seagate Barracudas can handle heavier loads.

    Case in point, after 5 years the 750GB Barracuda on the CCTV at work "died" (I.E. the MBR was damaged). I couldn't look at it right at the moment so I bought a 320GB WD Blue in the meantime. It worked fine and all but you couldn't have it record and replay at the same time for some reason, it's an 8 camera system with 2 D1 streams and 6 CIF streams. If we tried to replay even one stream while it was recording, the HDD would go at a snail pace with stuttering on the replay. On the other hand the old Barracuda would happily record and replay all 8 streams without a sweat.

    Funny thing is I replaced said Blue with the same old 750GB Barracuda. After recovering the files I zeroed it and ran Seagate Tools on it. It was healthy according to Cristal Disk Mark (no flags tripped).

    I tested the Blue too and it also was 100% healthy, it was later deployed on another office system an has worked fine.

    This is just an example but I've encountered similar experiences over the years. Blues aren't mean for heavy I/O, it that is such the case get Blacks.

    WTB, a Red for a home system is just throwing money away. Reds are meant to be used with RAID cards.

    Blue for everyday tasks.
    Blacks for high performance
    Greens for low power (these work best as a media drive)
    Reds for NAS/hardware RAID
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
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  6. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Pretty much BS as i know for a fact HDD's make many more errors the hotter they get and i have actually tried it and 1st thing that will fail is a raid array were they will fall out of the array. They only take so much and the issue's will start for sure.

    I would not be raiding blues anyways, in fact are they made to run that way ?, WD make specific drives for raid usage
     
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  7. Shambles1980

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    i avoid wd green at all cost. and wont buy any WD unless its black.
    but all drives are prone to failure. every one will have a mfr they think dies more than others, and other people will believe the opposite.

    Personally if i had 8 drives die. i would look at my psu. although i do see one of them atleast was in a laptop.

    and the external was 99.9999% going to have a wd green inside it. seriously the greens suck big fat hairy ones and really should never be used under any circumstance imo.
    (WD greens die and they do it fast. there is no reason to waste your money on one. even unknown hdd mfrs will serve you better than a wd green.)
    p.s

    hard disks should be cooled. any one who says they shouldn't is crazy or trolling.
    i try to keep mine at ~25c
    A drive that gets hot will start messing you around with smart errors and thats just the tip of the iceberg.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  8. Trompochi

    Trompochi

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    I bought 2 640gb WD blues a bit over 3 years ago, both are used as OS drives and no problems at all, I've had other HDDs fail ( 2 Seagate 160gb, 1 WD 120gb, 4~5 120-160gb Maxtor) but were all IDE drives. These were my first sata WD HDDs and I can't complain at all.:)
     
  9. bubbleawsome

    bubbleawsome

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    I guess I'm lucky then. I've never had a single drive fail. Have an old wd from ~2002 (?) that still worked the last time I spun it up in 2009. My current drive (OEM seagate) has been at ~50c for the past 5 years and still chugs along.
     
  10. Shambles1980

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    an average mechanical hdd temp threshold for operating is usually 5c-55c
    your mfr will tell you the temp thresholds. along with other info like humidity lvls and stuff like that.
     
  11. Vario

    Vario

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    Only HDD I have killed was a 3.5" Hitachi Desk Star (aka Deathstar) by overheating it in a Rosewill USB2.0/ESATA enclosure about 5 years ago. It got really hot.
     
  12. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    You just dismissed data gathered from more than 100 000 disks.

    @OP Is it the same model?

    BTW, they all seem to do pretty fine atm.
     
  13. Shambles1980

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    not really if you read it, the least prone to failure drives were at 30-35c
    if you look at failure rates for 3 years with avarage temps you see that the 40-45> have significantly higer failure rates than than any of the lower temps. and the lower temps (15-30) seem to have a slight failure chance within the 1st 3months or so (less than 10% failure rate).
    After that they are significantly less likely to fail than higher temps..
    lower temp averages were at less than 5% failure rate, for most of it with a peak of less than 10%, where the 40-45c> managed a 15% failure rate..
    so i don't see how any one dismissed the data.. but i do see how some may have skimmed over it and not seen that the data does infact show that temps that are to low or to high increases the probability of failure..

    So i would still cool my hard disks for about the 25c mark as a low point. but not above 40c as a high point. (making 30c constant a nice ball park to aim for)
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  14. Eric_Cartman

    Eric_Cartman

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    Ironically, the WD Green was the drive that lasted the longest for me.

    It was like 3 years old.
     
  15. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    This. The rest stink of the cheap. Look for drives that the manufacturer claim has a 1+ million hour mean time between failures. Those are drives that are built to run for 10+ years. Any less than that and they are practically admitting it's a piece of crap.
     
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  16. adulaamin

    adulaamin

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    I'm guessing you just unlucky. I've had hdds from Seagate, WD, and Hitachi fail on me. The worst experience I've had though was with WD Caviar Blacks. I had 3 1tb hdds all fail within a year. I was able to RMA all 3 but after another 6 months, 1 of them died again. I sold the two and RMAed the other and then sold it again. I bought an SSD and a 1tb Caviar Green for storage after. You could go ahead and try Seagate. No harm in trying since they've worked great for you. :)
     
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  17. Shambles1980

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    i like seagate, but i have had plenty of those fail too..
    the best drive i have had "mechanical" is from some one called exelstore tech. cant even remember where i bought it from. but its been solid for years now ~5 years of constant use.
    wd greens i have had all died on me. segate external drive sata 1tb works fine. but i did rip that out of its enclosure to use it internaly. (it was cheaper than the exact same drive without a enclosure for some reason, pretty sure pc world put the wrong price on it)

    maxtor used to be good solid drive but with a rediculous spin down time of like 15 seconds. they were bought out by seagate though so its kind of segate budget stuff now and probably best to avoid.

    Western digital also seem to sell rma'd hard disks to companys who rebrand them re-furbish them and then sell them as new.
    so if you see a "NEW" hard disk for sale by a unknown mfr. have a good look at it, check the speeds and so on and you can usually see that almost all of them are western digital green drives. "you can tell by how they look and that the speeds and power usage means they are wd green"
     
  18. TRWOV

    TRWOV

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    Another thing is that you're using the drives in ways they weren't intended (Blue for RAID, Red for home use). WD has more granularity on their product line (Caviar, Blue, Black, Red, Green, Purple, Xe, Re, Se, Velociraptor, etc., etc.) so you must check what do you want the HDD for.

    Seagate drives seem to perform well enough in almost every task.
     
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  19. gdallsk

    gdallsk

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    Ive had WD drives fail on me before but that was waaaay back in 2005, and it wasnt a new one either, in fact it was probably like 6 years old back then already. It was a 20 GB WD Caviar. Other than that, I have another one running in my pc right now, its basically the fastest hard drive i ever had, and it wasnt even new when i first got it. Thats the WD Caviar Blue. The Hitachi one was very hot, so it was acting up, its spin up times are hella long, but it still is going strong as I finally found a solution on how to cool it. One of the best old school drives that I had was a Samsung Spinpoint, that bastard was the best back in the day, but Seagate bought Samsung's hard drive division, so it kinda feels that theyre continuing their legacy as being the best hard drives the money can buy.
    End of rant :laugh:
     
  20. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    It can also be the time they were bought too. I once had a server that came with 6 Seagate ES drives which were just awful (inconsistent performance, mini-freezes, dropping from array) until a new firmware was release, then they ran silky smooth. I know that's not a dead drive story, but it could apply to perhaps a run of bad chips, solder, or something else ruining a run of drives.
     
  21. lexluthermiester

    lexluthermiester New Member

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    Sounds like a recurring power problem to me. And not power in the NAS chassis, but your locations power mains. Have you had your power lines checked by your power company? It might be a good idea. Had a similar problem a few years ago after moving. At the old house, no issues, but at the new house power supplies, hard drives, a motherboard and a video card died. When the power company came out to test it, the lines were only at 101 volts instead of between 110 and 120 where they were suppose to be. Serious brown out condition. After that was fixed, everything worked fine.

    Brown out conditions can be as bad a power surges! Highly suggest you test your main power with a volt meter or have the power company out to test it for you. If you are not getting at least 110[if in the USA/Canada], you have a problem at your location.

    Western Digital is a high quality company and for that many failures, either you have the WORST luck in the world, or you have another problem killing the drives, even if slowly.
     
  22. Eric_Cartman

    Eric_Cartman

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    But WD doesn't give MTBF numbers for any of their desktop drives, even the Black Editions don't list a MTBF.

    And the Red drive does have a MTBF of 1 Million hours and it is still dying.

    That doesn't explain bad sectors, totally dead drives, and SMART warnings.

    From all the research I've done, using normal desktop drives in RAID just gives the possibility of false failed drives.

    It won't actually cause the drives to fail.

    My main PC and the NAS been connected to APC battery backups the entire time.

    And power issues should never cause bad sectors.

    From my understanding, bad sectors are from actual defects in the disk surface.

    That isn't something a power issue would cause.
     
  23. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    I'm using a 2TB RE4 that is already a couple of years old, and has been fine, it does have a fan pointed at it though. I have also stopped it from going idle, it's a RE4 they are meant to be run all the time aren't they.
     
  24. lexluthermiester

    lexluthermiester New Member

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    Brown-outs can cause a number of problems to hard drives including the development of bad sectors. How that works would take a while to explain. Have you checked your APC's voltage? And have you checked for frequency variants[power being delivered at 65hz or 45hz instead of 60]? Asking these questions because Western Digital drives don't just die like you described. Something has got to be causing it. In 23 years I've never seen more than one WD die just willy-nilly...
     
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  25. Steevo

    Steevo

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    Untitled.jpg

    Thanks, for not reading it, and for not understanding words, I know words, and they are hard, perhaps these words I am using are too hard too? So here is a picture.

    What was ascertained (ascertained means logically reasoned from data presented) was that drives that showed a temperature increase in the same environment (it means where they are and have been, like their little server home) in the third year had a marked increase in failure compared to drives that did NOT (did NOT means it didn't (or Uh Uhh to some special kids)) show the same increase. We can then form an idea that something caused the temperature to rise, perhaps it was a failing bearing, which cooling will not help if its already dying, or pesky little mean guys who know when the warranty is up!!! Drink the Vodka, wear your foil hat and don't let them read your dirty thoughts!!!

    This also shows cool running drives have a significantly higher chance of dying in the first three months than those running warmer, and the trend continues through year two. data is tough to read, and graphs (pictures n' stuff) is hard too, but you did good if you made it this far. If you want a cookie reply!!!!

    I have a special place in my heart for little tykes like this, I love him SOOOOOO much.
     
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