A few days ago I bought 2 new/identical Caviar Blue desktop drives WD Caviar Blue 1TB model WD10EALS-00Z8A0 (on the same day/in the same shop): they both got identical markings (besided serial numbers which differ by some 3xxx) - firmware revision is the same (05.01D05), they were manufactured on the same day in the same factory (in Thailand).
I got a problem with 1 of them (the one with slightly higher serial number): it came with average access time of ~17ms (the other is typical ~13ms), and no matter what I do/try I’m “stuck” with this value. I tried several Windows tools which set AAM value (HD Tune, HDDScan, CrystalDiskInfo etc), and in all of them AAM default value is 254 (high performance mode). With this value I have access time of ~17ms, while on the other “identical” drive it’s ~13ms with AAA=254. If I set AAM to 128 (quiet mode) on that “bad” drive, access time is still ~17ms, so it doesn’t change with different AAM value on that drive (on 2nd drive it’s ok: 13ms with AAM=254 and ~17ms with AAM=128).
I’m pissed off that I’m not able to to get lower/normal (13ms) access time in 1 of 2 bought drives. Because of this, 1 of the drives is permanently “stuck” in this low noise (~17ms) access time, which is undesirable of course (can’t optimally use it as system drive with such long access time, RAID considerations etc).
Question: can this drive (the one stuck on 17ms, no matter what AAM value is set) be considered defective/not fully functional/whatever, and can I RMA it right away (successfully), in order to replace it for a new one which works with AAM ok, and on which I can achieve 13ms access time in HP mode? Which another tool to use to try to read and set AAM values on this drive (drive’s behavior suggests it’s permanently in AAM=128 mode, even though various tools show it’s default value is/should be 254 - besides changing AAM values makes no difference - still got that **bleep** 17ms).
In my opinion/guess it might be some bug in drive’s firmware OR it was ~deliberately~ setup in the factory to ignore AAM values other than quiet (128). Too bad there’s no info about that fact on the drive anywhere - so it’s a total lottery :(. Strange thing is the other driver has the ~same~ firmware revision, and got manufactured on the same day in the same place, but it behaves differently (AAM works correctly there, and I can get ~13ms).
So what to do/try next, I’m disappointed with WD, and would like to RMA the drive, and will the replacement one (if I get one) work ok with AAM? Why WD does such things in the 1st place (AAM and access time lottery) in mainstream desktop drive series (I wonder if they do the same “trick” with blacks - ~17ms access time on Caviar black would be a shame, as it is on blue)?
So, (try to) RMA it or not, and what can I expect?
Thanks for any help and suggestions!