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What's Wrong With Western Digital's External Hard Drives?


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Last year I purchased a 640GB western digital external drive (no smartware) and the drive crashed on me twice within a few months. No viruses, the partition just disappeared. It wouldn't load in windows while in the case (XP, Vista or 7) so I had to re-format it with acronis true image, remove it from the case, place it in my desktop and install windows on it just to get it working (no problems after that). Well, after reading the horror stories here and on other sites about seagate I reluctantly purchased another western digital external drive. This time I got a 1TB drive with smartware) and copied all of my things from backup dvds that I made when the 1st drive crashes the 2nd time. Today, I went to play some music and the new drive wasn't loading just like the last one. I removed it from the case and placed it in the desktop with other one and now I deiscover that it's been wiped clean of over 600GB of stuff. I managed to save some things with GetDataBack for NTFS, but I don't think 50% of it can be saved. This is crazy! 2 drives in less than 2 years. Has anyone else had this much trouble with their hard drives in recent years?

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and install windows on it just to get it working

Install Windows on an external drive (and boot from it)? :unsure:

Uhm no, I hardly ever have problems with harddrives apart from one Seagate 7200.11 (SD15) drive.

The only brand that always gave me trouble were Maxtors; WD never failed on me (yet).

My dad, on the other hand, managed to blow up his external (USB) WD by using the wrong power supply

(which had it's polarity reversed on the power-connector) :rolleyes:

That one is beyond repair without swapping the drive's PCB (and its EEPROM)

Greetz,

Peter.

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I dunno, my empirical experience has been the opposite - all of the 3.5" WD external drives I've owned (I've owned 7, glutton for punishment) have been crap (and it's probably not the drives themselves, but the crappy enclosures they run in all day that seem to have airflow design as an afterthought) and died within the first year of ownership. They've all been warranty returns, but the fact I went through 3 in 9 months at one point was enough to swear me off of full-size external drives for good, and buy only laptop-size 2.5" HDDs and enclosures. I've had the same WD 80GB 2.5" external HDD for years, and I have another I purchased 2 years ago still going strong. Given WD use regular old 3.5" and 2.5" HDDs in the enclosures (I've opened enough to say with some authority), it seems that the designs of the larger 3.5" HDD enclosures leave something to be desired. Again, though, this is just my limited experience over the last 5 or so years specifically with external HDDs from WD.

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I dunno, my empirical experience has been the opposite - all of the 3.5" WD external drives I've owned (I've owned 7, glutton for punishment) have been crap (and it's probably not the drives themselves, but the crappy enclosures they run in all day that seem to have airflow design as an afterthought) and died within the first year of ownership. They've all been warranty returns, but the fact I went through 3 in 9 months at one point was enough to swear me off of full-size external drives for good

I've also seen a ridiculous amount of WD MyBook external drives suffer the exact same fate. Ditto for seen several enclosures that are sold without drives.

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The majority of the cases are simply due to having drives that run too hot for enclosures with so little ventilation. The reason that most 2.5" enclosures are often without issue is that they typically (for power consumption reasons) are composed of the slower (therefore cooler) 5400 RPM variants. Installing a 5400 RPM drive in a 3.5" enclosure (good luck finding one now) would likely bring about similar reliability to the 2.5" variants. Perhaps a variable speed (5400 RPM to 7200 RPM, such as the GP series for Western Digital) in the 3.5" may also work.

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and install windows on it just to get it working

Install Windows on an external drive (and boot from it)? :unsure:

You missed 10 words prior to those you quote: "remove it from the case, place it in my desktop and install Windows on it..." :D

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Yes... but to "Get it working"? :unsure:

Wouldn't a simple repartition/reformat be sufficient? :whistle:

You would think so, but it didn't. I tried to use it as a 2nd drive when I originally purchased this desktop, but repartitioning and reformatting the drive did nothing. I couldn't access it in my desktop or my mom's desktop. I had to take the 80GB hard drive that came with the pc out and put the 640GB drive in as a replacement. Installing windows was the only way I could get it to show up.

Edited by adrian2055
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and install windows on it just to get it working

My dad, on the other hand, managed to blow up his external (USB) WD by using the wrong power supply

(which had it's polarity reversed on the power-connector) :rolleyes:

That one is beyond repair without swapping the drive's PCB (and its EEPROM)

Greetz,

Peter.

Why on earth did he think he could use another adapter with the drive :o ?

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Why on earth did he think he could use another adapter with the drive :o ?

Murphy's Law is there EXACTLY to prove itself right in these occasions. ;)

If you connect the HD on both XP and Vista/7 AND you have a "particular" setup (but nothing too fancy) AND you used Disk Manager on it from XP, it is also possible that you fell in this problem:

http://www.boot-land.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=9897&hl=

It is not clear from your report if the problem is "partition related" or "filesystem related", if the latter it is possible that you have some strange "backup or replicating" service running (and badly configured) or that you somehow use a cache program and delayed writes failed (like switching off or disconnecting the thingy before changes were committed).

Anyway, unlike the 7200.11 problems, your problems seem to derive NOT from hardware problems of the hard disk, whilst they may depend from a hardware problem of the USB controller inside the external case.

jaclaz

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