Jump to content


Photo

WD Red Reliability


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 alternety

alternety

    Member

  • Member
  • 12 posts

Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:55 PM

Just a heads-up. I have been looking for 3 drives (preferably 4TB) but reading the review and comments here, the WD red seemed like a good idea. So I have been watching for a sale.

Newegg has the 3TB red on sale today, but I started looking at comments/reviews on the drive there because the overall score was rather low. Read through them. Very scary. Off my list.

#2 Kdawgca

Kdawgca

    Modinator

  • Mod
  • 639 posts

Posted 30 March 2013 - 05:58 PM

What customer reviews are scaring you?

I am seeing a great deal of DOA/dead within a week. That isn't so bad considering that Newegg has a 30-day return policy and the drives are warrantied for 3 years. There could be any reason for that including bad QC(WD fault) or even shock damage during shipping(cheap eco-friendly shipping, lazy shippers, and mechanical HDD don't always go together).


I can't comment on their long term reliability, but ig you need some NAS optimized drives, then it might be worth it...

Storagereview.com on Twitter
SSD vs. HDD Guide

  • MSI H81M-E33 V2 - Haswell Intel Pentium G3220+ 60GB Vertex 2 / 500 GB HDD/6GB/EVGA 9600GSO/ Windows 7 + VMs//Dell Latitude D410 -1.6ghz Pentium M, 120GB IDE HDD, 2 GB DDR ram.

#3 alternety

alternety

    Member

  • Member
  • 12 posts

Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:06 PM

The scary parts:

1 - having to go through the hassle of RMA when all you want to do is buy drives
2 - warranty transfer after RMA for WD drives (serious problems posted in various places - the replacement drive will not have the original warranty expiration)
3 - receiving a "recertified" drive from an RMA (if I wanted a used drive of unknown handling and wear, I would have bought a recertified drive. I have never done this!
4 - I am sorry, if they can't deliver a drive that works out of the box, how can we assume that the replacement (or an original) has a reasonable lifetime? Clearly their testing or packaging is completely unacceptable. And in a large number of the reported cases, they have not.
5 - If I have put data on a drive and it fails; If I can not access the drive to securely erase the contents, the warranty means nothing. I am not going to send back a drive with my data. Ever! Big issue in the value of a warranty! I view warranty only as a guideline to what the manufacturer's view of reliability is. Economically, after simple testing, it could be quite worthless.

#4 Brian

Brian

    SR Admin

  • Admin
  • 5,298 posts

Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:11 PM

HDDs are just so tricky, so much depends on shipping and en route abuse before the drive gets to you, regardless of who makes it. None of our Reds have had issues, though that's only 8 units. But...we have used them abusively in 5-7 NAS units so far ;)

Brian

Publisher- StorageReview.com
Twitter - @StorageReview

 

#5 alternety

alternety

    Member

  • Member
  • 12 posts

Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:40 PM

I am not sure how valid it is to identify shipping as a possible issue without faulting the drive. Powered off drives should have the heads locked away somewhere they can't be hurt, and can't hurt anything else. Designers know they will be shipped. The probability of the drive going somewhere via common carrier is essentially 1.0. OEM and retail packaging can help. It seems unlikely the platters will be damaged in shipping.

I really feel it is a drive issue. And what happens if someone backs into the operating server? That is really a worst case scenario.

#6 dietrc70

dietrc70

    Member

  • Member
  • 106 posts

Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:55 AM

No desktop hard drive is designed to be knocked around in an oversized box with little packing material. In the past at least, Newegg could be very careless about packing drives.

Personally I'm wary of the lower cost 3TB and 4TB drives. The 3TB Caviar Blacks and RE drives have good reviews (few DOA & failures) and cost $250-$300. The ~$150 3TB drives seem to have a lot more QC problems. Obviously, lots of the cheaper high capacity drives work fine, but it seems that going above 2TB is especially risky. I noticed the 2TB Red has a lot of reviews and a high average ranking.

#7 jtsn

jtsn

    Member

  • Member
  • 94 posts

Posted 02 April 2013 - 05:46 PM

I am seeing a great deal of DOA/dead within a week. That isn't so bad considering that Newegg has a 30-day return policy and the drives are warrantied for 3 years. There could be any reason for that including bad QC(WD fault) or even shock damage during shipping(cheap eco-friendly shipping, lazy shippers, and mechanical HDD don't always go together).

For lower-capacity models, WD usually attaches the spindle axle only on one end, while other manufacturers use sturdy two-point mounting for every HDD model they ship. You can distinguish these models by carefully examining the drive cover. If it is plain flat, then there is nothing below the label to hold the second end of the spindle axle.

This design results in lower cost for WD, but also less tolerance to vibration and shock. I stay away from WD, because these drives aren't really cheaper for me (sometimes even more expensive). The general unavailability of technical datasheets/manuals is also annoying.

#8 alternety

alternety

    Member

  • Member
  • 12 posts

Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:40 PM

I spread out in looking for drives. Again using Newegg reviews, Seagate and Toshiba (Hitachi) and Hitachi all seem to have 40-50% of the ratings at 3 stars or below. DOA and early death is a very common complaint. I have the terrible feeling that 3-4TB drives may not be ready for prime time. A note (I particularly noticed on the Seagate reviews) Newegg combines all drive sizes in the reviews. I need to find out what drives are in the Seagate usb drives Costco is selling. Their prices are a bit high, but if they don't work I can take them back without paying shipping and waiting weeks. If I am interpreting the box markings correctly, my local Costco is selling drives made about 6 months ago. That is a rather long time ago in drive years. If there is an endemic problem with this size drives across manufacturers, these drives would probably not be fixed yet. My head hurts.

#9 jtsn

jtsn

    Member

  • Member
  • 94 posts

Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:00 AM

I have the terrible feeling that 3-4TB drives may not be ready for prime time.

Customer's star ratings are in no way a tool for making an informed decision. You have to do your own research.

#10 dietrc70

dietrc70

    Member

  • Member
  • 106 posts

Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:50 AM

Thanks for the info on spindle attachment, jtsn. I only buy the 5-year warranty WD's (Black & RE), and those have proven quite reliable.

I agree with alternety about the lower cost 3-4TB. My impression from seeing lots of online reviews is that the lower cost ones have QC issues. The enthusiast/enterprise level 3-4TB seem to be pretty solid, but they cost at least $100 more.

@alternety, I suggest sticking with 2TB drives. They seem to have more established reliability and also about the best price per gigabyte.

#11 dietrc70

dietrc70

    Member

  • Member
  • 106 posts

Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:09 AM

I would really like to know how much packing/shipping affects DOA/early failure rates. Many reviewers have criticized Newegg for inadequate/rushed packing of bare drives (typically bubble wrapped and then left loose in the shipping box, followed by extensive manhandling by UPS.

Factory-packed WD OEM single drives come in a fitted clamshell case mounted in a very strong fitted cardboard box, which suggests that the manufacturer expects their drives to be very well protected during shipping. I try to make sure that the drives I buy come in individual factory boxes.

#12 alternety

alternety

    Member

  • Member
  • 12 posts

Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:28 PM

I agree about Newegg reviews not being the best scientific basis for decisions. However - doing my own testing for reliability also is not even close to practical. Nor is it for any normal review site. No one except a very large user can accumulate sufficient data, and in a timely period.

What I generally do is start with Newegg and Amazon. They are usually a good concentrated source of customer feed back. I start from the bottom of the list (one star) and I read my way up. Some of them are quite straight forward and are likely to be correct (e.g., DOA, replacement DOA, failed after 30 days). Then I apply some thought to the others. Like the guy complaining that he just bought a USB 3 drive but it didn't run any faster than his USB 2 he had been using (probably on a USB 2 port). And I go through them all. I never just look at the totals at this point. Then, after having read them, I look a bit at the overall ratings and mentally adjust for what I have read.

Looking at all the 3 and 4 TB drives, around 50% of the reviews are three stars or below. With heavy weighting toward 1 star. I believe this is probably the most valid reliability information I am likely to find, and probably is a pretty good reflection of reality. I really have not seen a good scientific evaluation. The stuff Storage Review is not real useful. It is mostly too old and in many cases too small a sample. It is unfortunate because that could be an excellent resource. And a long time ago, it was. I was a member of this forum since it was in diapers, and real men rode bucking bulls down to the store to buy their huge 50 MB drives. I do not treat things lightly.

I have three Costco drives sitting here in their boxes (the cashier was pleased to see us yesterday). From research last night, I believe they will all be the 5900 rpm 4TB drives. I was actually shooting to the 7200, but on reflection on comments and some actual published performance comparisons I believe I am actually happier to have these drives. I have yet to decide to open the boxes. The price ($180)was not great (it was $20 less in Jan and Feb) and I paid sales tax. But on the other hand, if I have a DOA, no shipping or time delay. But I have long had an aversion to Seagate drives.

And just after posting this I opened today's Newegg ad and they have the Seagate STBD4000400 for $169 free shipping.

Does anyone have a recommendation for any freeware that can be used to do a thorough exercising of the drives and report what is going on. I would like to run them for a few days before I put any data on them and try to get past the real short infant mortality thing. I will need to take the drives out of their cases when I actually use them, so a little testing via USB feels like a good thing to do.

Edited by alternety, 03 April 2013 - 01:32 PM.

#13 Mkruer

Mkruer

    Member

  • Member
  • 283 posts

Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:46 PM

You can use http://www.dban.org/

The process will randomly write data to the drive and then verify it so it acts as a read/write test, even though its reading and writing garbage. Just run the test for like 10 iterations and its likely that the drive is fine.

I had to use this to wipe data from a drives before disposal, If it hit an area where the drive was bad, it would tell you and continue on. If the drive was bad, it would fail, and then its was time to breakout the trusty hammer.
Lian-Li PC-V2000 Plus Aluminum Case; Seasonic S12 Energy+ 550 PSU; Asus M4A785TD-V EVO; Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition C3 @ 4.0Ghz ; Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme Rev.C; 8GB OCZ AMD Black Edition @ 1333Mhz; Creative Audigy 2 ZS; Sapphire Radeon HD 5770; 1xOCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX180G; 1xWestern Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB; 2xWestern Digital Caviar Green WD20EADS 2TB; Western Digital WDG1U3200 My Book Essential Edition 320GB USB 2.0; Samsung STORY Station 2TB USB 3.0.

#14 Valleyforge

Valleyforge

    Member

  • Member
  • 134 posts

Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:48 AM

I need to find out what drives are in the Seagate usb drives Costco is selling.


I got a few of the 3TB Seagate Expansions USB3 external drives. They came with the ST3000DM001 "Barracuda". The firmware on them is different to the normal retail/OEM bare drive, which means firmware updates don't work. But, they work fine so far in my experience in a RAID1 running off an Intel H77 board.

Laptop: Dell inspiron E7440, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 mSATA, Win7 Pro
Workstation: i5-4690K, Z97I-Plus, H100i, Obsidian 250D, 480GB Crucial M500, 1TB WD Black, Win8.1 Pro, Hyper-V

NAS: Asustor AS-604T, 3GB RAM, 180GB Intel Pro 1500 & 2x4TB HGST NAS

HTPC:Intel NUC D54250WYK, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro

HTPC 2:Intel NUC DN2820, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro


 

#15 alternety

alternety

    Member

  • Member
  • 12 posts

Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:59 PM

Re: DBAN - it appears to be an all or nothing application. Not suitable for application to one individual drive on a functional system. But their documentation is a bit sparse, so I might be wrong.

The Costco drives: from researching (YMMV), they used to have the DX (7200 rpm) drives and there may still be some of those out there. If the box is for Backup Plus (maybe) and/or the box has an ORIGINALLY PRINTED (there are hard to detect stickers on older boxes) Win 8 compatibility listing it is most likely to be the DM (5900) drive. The three I bought meet those criteria and are DM. From research, I have decided the DM versions is better for my use. Almost the speed, but much less heat. and maybe a bit quieter. DX is 5 platters, DM is 4 @ 1TB each.

The post above about firmware is interesting/annoying. Anyone have a way to switch it over to a mainstream version?

I really have not found a suitable Windows app for testing; and I have looked a lot. There was one or two that required learning a scripting language or something; not acceptable to me. Tried HDDScan - after running for close to 4 days on one of the drives, it crapped out overnight before it was finished with a whole bunch of little windows saying it was out of memory. It must be talking about the space it requested being misused (perhaps a memory leak)because I checked Task manager before killing the app and there was plenty of RAM available for use on the machine.

Edited by alternety, 09 April 2013 - 02:04 PM.

#16 Valleyforge

Valleyforge

    Member

  • Member
  • 134 posts

Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:30 AM

Can't say I like the DX or DM drives, they run hotter than I like. I really do like the older Barracuda Green (AKA Barracuda LP), they're more than fast enough for my uses, and are quieter and cooler running than the DM. The DX is just plain hot and noisy, it's up there with the WD RE4 2TB unit I have which is a stinker, it's like the old 10k SCSI drives of 10 years ago.

Laptop: Dell inspiron E7440, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 mSATA, Win7 Pro
Workstation: i5-4690K, Z97I-Plus, H100i, Obsidian 250D, 480GB Crucial M500, 1TB WD Black, Win8.1 Pro, Hyper-V

NAS: Asustor AS-604T, 3GB RAM, 180GB Intel Pro 1500 & 2x4TB HGST NAS

HTPC:Intel NUC D54250WYK, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro

HTPC 2:Intel NUC DN2820, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro


 

#17 alternety

alternety

    Member

  • Member
  • 12 posts

Posted 10 April 2013 - 03:11 PM

Vallyforge - The drive I had running with essentially constant reads for about 4 days seemed quite cool. Given the rotation speed and 1TB platters, I would think this is a whole bunch like an updated green drive. From what I have found in digging around the DX is quite hot and the DM is not. Not arguing with your experience; just curious. Was it just one sample of the DM drive that was hot or multiple drives. If one, maybe a bad one.

#18 Valleyforge

Valleyforge

    Member

  • Member
  • 134 posts

Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:31 AM

I've got three DM units. Well, had three, two I've sold. One I still use as a backup destination in my server. They were all ripped out of brand new Seagate Expansions external drive boxes. There were two different firmwares, I don't remember the details now and I'm not at home to check.

I still have an old DX, too. It came out of a Seagate GoFlex Desktop. It's loud and hot. It's in my workstation as secondary storage (main drive is a 256GB SDD), so it spends most of it's life spun down. No real issues with it. I wouldn't want to be using it 24/7 in an external enclosure, though. :unsure:

Laptop: Dell inspiron E7440, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 mSATA, Win7 Pro
Workstation: i5-4690K, Z97I-Plus, H100i, Obsidian 250D, 480GB Crucial M500, 1TB WD Black, Win8.1 Pro, Hyper-V

NAS: Asustor AS-604T, 3GB RAM, 180GB Intel Pro 1500 & 2x4TB HGST NAS

HTPC:Intel NUC D54250WYK, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro

HTPC 2:Intel NUC DN2820, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro


 

#19 n13L5

n13L5

    Member

  • Member
  • 2 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:25 PM

The scary parts:

1 - having to go through the hassle of RMA when all you want to do is buy drives
2 - warranty transfer after RMA for WD drives (serious problems posted in various places - the replacement drive will not have the original warranty expiration)
3 - receiving a "recertified" drive from an RMA (if I wanted a used drive of unknown handling and wear, I would have bought a recertified drive. I have never done this!
4 - I am sorry, if they can't deliver a drive that works out of the box, how can we assume that the replacement (or an original) has a reasonable lifetime? Clearly their testing or packaging is completely unacceptable. And in a large number of the reported cases, they have not.
5 - If I have put data on a drive and it fails; If I can not access the drive to securely erase the contents, the warranty means nothing. I am not going to send back a drive with my data. Ever! Big issue in the value of a warranty! I view warranty only as a guideline to what the manufacturer's view of reliability is. Economically, after simple testing, it could be quite worthless.

exactly...

Been in the computer business for 25 years now, and I've never seen so many complaints about DOA drives before. I want to believe that its all just improper handling, but then, why didn't that seem to happen quite as much just a few years back? Is it the multitude of upstart online stores that don't pack them properly? I heard Amazon has fixed its packaging problems, but I still see people ordering 8 drives with 5 of 8 arriving DOA... its ridiculous.



As I needed a new backup drive, I was looking closely, if WD or Seagate have more DOA deliveries, but they seem to be even. Everything seemed like a bad option and I finally broke down and ordered a Hitachi deskstar 7K4000, even though it uses more power and makes more noise than the WD RED, and it uses 5 platters rather than 4 platters in comparison to Seagate's NAS drive, but its certified for 24/7 use with 600k load cycles, and I have seen no reviews from anybody saying they got units that died early.

I don't trust Seagate since the early 90's where they pulled some crooked shenanigans, and they still do that, like selling a 2 platter and a 3 platter version under the same exact model number, with the faster 2 platter drive being sent off for reviews, and unsuspecting customers ending up with 30% slower 3 platter drives made in china. Their unwillingness to disclose basic drive parameters like spindle speed for example makes you wonder if a bunch of NSA spooks work there.


So anyway, I never had a deskstar drive die on me yet, I actually have a bunch of still functioning 140GB deskstars laying around, that I use occasionally to make tertiary backups of specific things, after which they go back in their drawer.


Lest this comes off as a Hitachi advert, I didn't really want a drive that's fast, powersucking, not as quiet as my 3TB RED drive, that uses 5x800GB platters, which on one hand is about to become obsolete, on the other hand, some people say less density decreases the chance of data loss (hence the argument for smaller drives being safer). So this was a decision born out of distrust for the other options, the 24/7, 600k load cycle certification, and the similarity in build to the highly rated Ultrastar enterprise drive.


If it comes badly packaged, makes funny noises or doesn't pass one of the tests, its going back for refund, cause I don't feel like getting refurb replacements. in which case I'll get another WD RED 3TB, since the one I'm using in my computer has been quiet and not caused any problems for 9 months now (mind you, its not getting thrashed, since OS and Software are on SSD).

#20 continuum

continuum

    Mod

  • Mod
  • 3,566 posts

Posted 01 July 2013 - 03:56 PM

Badly packaged is often only half the issue, it's the handling of the drive inside the distributor or reseller's warehouse which is the concern. :ph34r: Fixing packaging is now the least of the worries for many of these DOA drives.


WD started obscuring drive information long before Seagate did-- Seagate usually had the information somewhere without digging TOO deep, unlike WD... and Hitachi is now hiding their AFR numbers and whatnot as well. Yeah. It's a pain-- we're not happy about it either, but we can at least squeeze it directly from our account SE's if we need it...

Social media (be it Newegg reviews, Amazon reviews, people bitching on Twitter, etc.) are also far more widespread than they were even a year ago, let alone 5 years ago. Since the 99% of customers who get working drives rarely say anything and the 1% that do get failing drives tend to bitch to whoever will listen, well, there goes the public perception.

And the plural of ancedote is not data. ;)

#21 MattHelm

MattHelm

    Member

  • Member
  • 2 posts

Posted 27 September 2013 - 04:17 PM

I have 10 of these on 3 systems, and had 1 DOA. All of mine, including the DOA/RAM unit, came in a special box that should protect them from normal shipping.

Saying that, I agree with at least one other person on the handling, I've seen a "hidden" video done at both a FedEx and UPS shipping centers, where boxes were thrown 30+ feet, onto concrete!

I have also had many "tech"s say you don't need static protection when handling and internal electronics parts, as "they make them a different way now, so static can't hurt them!!!". People that aren't "tech"s don't even know the slightest thing about static!!! grrrr. :ph34r:

#22 continuum

continuum

    Mod

  • Mod
  • 3,566 posts

Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:16 PM

ame in a special box that should protect them from normal shipping.

That only protects them from shipping-- what about the handling of the drive in the retailer warehouse before it makes it to shipping?

#23 tweeetr

tweeetr

    Member

  • Member
  • 5 posts

Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:05 AM

Poor packaging on new WD drives? it's happened to me on my last two HD purchases. ZERO protection not even a plastic inlay, no foam. no bubbles!

 

check this post on the WD community forum. add a comment if you can.

 

http://community.wd....-WD/td-p/749664


#24 Valleyforge

Valleyforge

    Member

  • Member
  • 134 posts

Posted 16 June 2014 - 05:28 AM

My mind boggles as to how this is WD's fault.  It's plainly the suppliers issue.  ALL bare drives are shipped the same way in foam or cardboard packaging on pallets.  They're then repackaged by the retailers for shipping - some use boxes with foam, some use boxes with plastic inserts, and others haven't a clue and just throw them in the bottom of a box.

 

I've had Seagate drives poorly packaged, and I've also had WD drives that are also badly packaged.  I bought two WD AV-GP drives just before Christmas, from a retailer who traditionally ships drives well (eBuyer).  Obviously the warehouse staff was part-time pre-Christmas staff, because the bare drives were dumped in a large box with some crumpled up paper.  The drives were smashed by the time I got them.  eBuyer eventually refunded the drives, but if I had needed those drives there and then, I'd have been stuck.

 

I wish you, tweeetr, would stop spreading this FUD.


Laptop: Dell inspiron E7440, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 mSATA, Win7 Pro
Workstation: i5-4690K, Z97I-Plus, H100i, Obsidian 250D, 480GB Crucial M500, 1TB WD Black, Win8.1 Pro, Hyper-V

NAS: Asustor AS-604T, 3GB RAM, 180GB Intel Pro 1500 & 2x4TB HGST NAS

HTPC:Intel NUC D54250WYK, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro

HTPC 2:Intel NUC DN2820, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro


 




2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users