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?
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
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
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: