Earlier this week, my 8 month old WD20EARS backup drive has suddenly slowed down to throughput speeds to as about 10MB/s. Speeds start off normally, but then drop off. A ten-fold drop in throughput speed makes it completely useless as a backup drive if it can’t keep up with the backup process. I started googling, and found that this is a known issue, and that I should run WD Align. Then my problems began.
First off, the drive is in my backup PC. It’s on SATA controller, and has been working fine as a backup for several months. I have no idea what triggered the 99.99% slowdown. I checked for PIO mode, but it says it’s still DMA. I even took it out and put it in an external USB dock and tried it on my primary system, and it also has pitiful throughput.
I ran a test copy of a 280MB file, and what I get is:
C: drive (SATA) takes 7.5 seconds
F: drive (eSATA) takes 5.7 seconds
L: drive (USB) takes 10.1 seconds
X: drive (IDE, over gigabit network) takes 15.19 seconds
P: drive (WD20EARS) takes 8 minutes, 57.2 seconds
Okay, so I need the WD Align utility. Great. I find it at http://support.wdc.com/product/downloadsw.asp?sid=128. I try to download it, but clicking the download link just takes me to https://westerndigital.secure.force.com/home/home.jsp, where I can “manage my account”. I’ve got the **bleep** drive registed, it’s still under warranty, but I can’t download the bloody software I’m told I need to fix it!
Going to the “Products Registered” page, next to “In Warranty”, there’s a Download link. So, I click the download link, which takes me to the page http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=608&sfassetid=02iU00000021KhHIAU&sfaccountid=001U000000Ib0X0IAJ&sflang=en_US, which has a link for “Advanced Format Software”, which takes me to…
This of course, is where I started in the first place. If I click on the Download link, I am of course taken back to “Manage My Account” again.