My take on PWL noise and customer support

The rumbling broiling noise we are hearing, like some folks have said, is the PWL (PreEmptive Wear Leveling) function. You’re smart. Look it up. While I can appreciate the lengths to which WDC seemingly goes through to protect your data; the amount and frequency of this function is simply way too much. IMHO

Unless… It… is… Gasp! a *required* function to actively correct and gloss over defects. Fancy that!

I also found it amusing that the el’cheap-o customer support department would suggest RMA’ing the drive or trying a different USB port. This indicates lack of knowledge on the support rep’s part. It also results in customer frustration and excessive returns triggered by what appears to be standard behavior of the product.

Furthermore the lack of specifics and available knowledge leads to a lot of speculation and bad PR for a company, especially in this day and age of the internet. It just generates speculation and inaccurate explanations - as evidenced by this thread. Like it or not that is a fact!

In old-skool computing, technical manuals with hard disks were the norm. If not shipped with one, it was readily available from the mfg. Especially from WDC. I have a 100+ printed page book with theory of ops and everything the armchair engineer would love to read. This was for an ancient WD Caviar 2200AC, a 212MB drive. Impressive documentation. And an impressive disk which is still operational today!

It would do a company well to provide this level of documentation once again. It would also be beneficial to explain all aspects of how and what the product experience is. Exactly how does the product work. What to expect when something is in operation. What “strange” things may occur. Provide the basics up front with each product and then offer in-depth information for those technical folk that want to get more involved.

On the other hand - someone had talked about firmware upgrades. Don’t expect any unless there is a major fault. HDD’s are complex devices which are well glossed over and designed to be sold to even the most non-tech person you could imagine. These disks are “black boxes” for all intents and purposes. All you need to know is the USB connection and that your files go into and out of the box. So see, firmware updates are not like getting a new App on your smartphone. Not only that, there is factory calibration data involved, and each disk assembly is unique. Not by choice, but by the nature of the beast.

Once you finish your mental gymnastics and are done vibrating your brain back and forth - and something still isn’t right - just return or exchange the product. Consumer electronics today are like food and toilet paper. Consumable and disposable. Swap it out. The industry and corporate structure is set up to do that. Take advantage of it and don’t waste your time redesigning the device! You neither have the expertise or equipment.

Regarding drive noise intensity. This is subjective. What’s loud to you may be fine for me. The reverse is also true. I believe the modern HDD is awesome engineering and should be featured on Modern Marvels. And once SSD’s replace HDD’s entirely (its happening now all portable devices) you’ll be in for more amazement. If that sort of thing floats your boat.

There have been suggestions that the power from the wall outlet is insufficient! This is just plain crazynuts! Basic reasoning can be applied here, if your TV works and your computer works, your HDD should work from the same powersource. If not then there is a major design defect in the powerbrick and you need to purchase a different product. Where’s the headsmack smileyface?

Good reading material… I guess :wink: