3 failed Western Digital Black hard drives in 1 week

I am an experienced system builder and I have been a long time happy customer of WD products. Indeed, my own personal PC currently has 6 internal WD drives and 4 external drives attached to it and they all work perfectly.

However last weekend I built for a friend a new computer system. We purchased two WD black 7200 rpm SATA 3 1 TB drives as storage drives in his new gaming PC.

These drives (I’ll call them Drive 1 and Drive 2) were purchased in new condition in sealed anti-static bags from a reputable computer parts supplier here in Australia.

Immediately after installation, Drive 1 would hang on file transfers or stop the computer from starting: diagnostics using utilities such as WD Data Lifeguard reveal the drive FAILS extended tests or Write Zeros. Programs like Hard Drive Sentinel report bad and weak sectors present on the disk, and write surface scans will occasionally fail completely because the disk ‘disconnects itself’. Drive 2 seemingly worked but at the time had not been extensively tested.

So I took Drive 1,  that I discovered to be bad, back to the supplier. I received a replacement drive in new-condition after a quick test. We’ll call this replacement drive: Drive 3.

Currently, Drive 3 is seemingly working, but my friend has NOT done a write test on the drive, not run WD diag either. I am currently arranging with him to do these overnight. 

The second drive which we originally purchased, Drive 2, was faulty with exactly the same problems as Drive 1. I took it back today and was given another replacement, I’ll call it Drive 4.  I immediately ran the diagnostics after installing Drive 4, and within only a few minutes it reports bad sectors and also the WD utilitie fails a Write Zeros test.

These tests have been performed on 3 different PC’s running three different OS’s and all different motherboards (and hence controllers) and using all different cables, the results of the tests are clearly indicating that there is serious problems with all of these drives AS-SHIPPED by WD to the supplier.

I am extremely disappointed, can anyone suggest a reason why I should not ask for a full refund from the supplier and move on to another manufacturers products?

In summary:

Drive 1: Failed - bad sectors

Drive 2: Failed - bad sectors

Drive 3: Seemingly OK but pending diagnostics to be sure

Drive 4: Failed - bad sectors

Example failure:

Test Option: WRITE ZEROS Model Number: WDC WD1002FAEX-00Z3A0 Unit Serial Number: WD-WCATR8863618 Firmware Number: 05.01D05 Capacity: 1000.20 GB SMART Status: PASS Test Result: FAIL Test Error Code: 09-Sector #18211328-18211584::Write Zeros error! Test Time: 22:22:48, October 27, 2011

Example screenshots:

In the image below, a trace of hard drive performance is shown, you can see the large dips represent when poor quality sectors are discovered, and also when bad sectors are discovered (the drive halts):

In this image, we see a write surface scan using Hard Disk Sentinel, operating in a random-sector scanning method (as opposed to running sequentially from the first to last sectors of the disk). You can see that it found 9 bad sectors before finally the drive ‘disconnected’, which causes the text errors in the bottom of the window: The darker sectors indicate sectors of slow performance, meaning those sectors might be of degraded quality:

1 Like

i have the same case, i replace 6 black caviar

i am also having similar issues.  first a 750gb caviar black 2.5" laptop drive, now it’s looking like a partition on a 2TB caviar blue drive is failing too. 

i was always a huge fan of WD drives…but now not so much.  hopefully they are reading these forums and doing something to improve quality.  i cannot afford the time i have to spend restoring info on new drives much less losing information - this is getting ridiculous. 

any other drive brands (was never a huge seagate fan) others are having good luck with?

Hi in the last few years we have seen hard drives really drop in price now there up again because of the floods. I never used to really check hard drives years ago as they never messed up. Now it seems no matter what manufacture it is they all have problems. It has now become standard practice when you get a new hard drive you first run a test on it to see if its any good. It seems to make no difference what you pay for a drive I have had raptors 2 months old fail on me. As for different manufacture it seems there is only 2 sea or wd as they have bought out other hard drive manufactures. To be honest I have had better luck with the wd. But you can check there forum and see the problems they are having. One thing I like about wd when drives go you can do a advanced rma and have the new drive in a few days. And the raptors are fast lol.