1TB FAEX reporting incorrect SATA speed and slow

I sent a few tickets in a couple of weeks ago to Western Digital to point out this issue, but no response yet (holidays, etc.), so I thought I’d post here to share and a possible solution.

I have purchased 6 cases of the 1TB SATA-3 Black Caviar Drives, model number WDC-WD1002FAEX-00Y9A0. Firmware 5.01D05 Mainly due to the fact that all the computer stores in my region have discontinued the SATA-2 models and replaced them with these.

These drives are on fast controllers, but yet appear to lag at times. My WD representative suggested I do not try to fill the drives up, or purchase larger ones. I told him that the drives don’t appear to report their speeds correctly. They say SATA-3Gbit. WD claims that means SATA-3, I beg to differ. I already had a bad experience last year with the purchase of 1TB EARS drives losing data when more than one drive was used. SO after a new budget, I decide to go back to the Caviar series and get these drives.

The controller cards they are used on Adaptec RAID 6805 and Adaptec RAID 6405. Both are PCI-E on ASUS Workstation 1366 Dual-CPU Boards. OS are a mix. All systems got the new drives, but all the controllers are reporting the drives as SATA-2. Even using the new high density SATA-3 cables. Most of the drives have had their data re-imaged over.

Is it normal for WD to advertise and sell drives with the wrong labels and wait till the client discovers it. Atleast Seagate put out a service bulletin after 2 months after release of their 7200.11 series.

Is their a batch file that can excute the firmware update on the drives to use their proper speed. I really don’t want to remove all 112 drives and update them one at time on a DOS platform? Seagate had an ISO for CD boot  to correct thier firmware. Also, will updating and resetting the firmware on the FAEX drives damage the data on them?

The following documents confirm that the WD1002FAEX is a 6Gbps, 64MB, 7200 RPM Caviar Black.

WD Model Numbers - WD Internal Drives:

WD Caviar Black Series Disti Spec Sheet:

WD Internal Hard Drives Product Overview:

WD has a utility, WDSSpeed, to enable Serial ATA Gen 3 (6 Gb/s) support on several models, including WD1002FAEX-00Y9A0, if Gen 3 is currently disabled.


How would you know if the faster speed is disabled when I receive my drives?

Would any of the common DOS hard drive tests tell me before I install Windows 7 in a RAID array on this brand new pair of drives?

I would much prefer to run this utility on a formatted blank drive before I install the operating system.  I might just end up running this utility on the blank formatted drives just to make sure I get SATA-6 functioning and dont have to run this utility on the drives from a RAID array with Windows 7 just installed.

What would you suggest?

Now, I maybe being quite simple, but how do you run  WDSSpeed?

There is not much in the way of instructions…


To see the command syntax, type the following at a DOS prompt:


WdSSpeed Version
Copyright © 2005-2010 Western Digital Corporation
Configure Serial ATA speed negotiation for WD disk drives.

where option is only of these:
-R Report Serial ATA speed negotiation setting.

-? This help info

Therefore, to see the existing settings, type …


I would create a bootable USB flash drive and then copy WDSSPEED.EXE to the root directory.

How to Create a bootable USB Memory Key:

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