MyBook Studio 6TB Problems (Please Help)

Last week i bought the WD My Book Studio Edition II 6TB. I got this to use as my TimeMachine back-up drive. I have a MacPro with three 1TB drives and one 2TB drive installed. I also have my iTunes library on an external 1.5TB drive. All the data on these drives comes to about 3TB. When i opened the MyBook Studio i installed the WD Drive Manager software, connected the MyBook to the Mac using the FW800 cable, opened Disk Utility, selected the MyBook in the list of HD’s, clicked the First Aid tab and clicked Repair Disk. After that finished, i clicked Verify Disk.

Everything seemed to be fine with the disk so i set it as the TimeMachine disk and proceeded to do a full back-up of all my hard drives. After maybe 2 or 3 hours i returned to find that the back-up had failed after about 400GB. There was a warning message on the screen about the disk been ejected. I cant remember the exact words. The WD Drive Manager menu bar icon had disappeared too. On the front of the drive the the top and bottom of the LED indicator light was flashing every second.

I had read in the manual that this means it’s over temperature condition. I removed the power supply from the back of the MyBook and left it to cool over night. The next day i plugged it back in. The drive appeared in the sidebar of the Finder. The LED indicator was still flashing every second, even though the drive had been just plugged in. The WD Drive Manager reported the temperature to be ok, RAID status was healthy but used space was 0% even though there was over 400GB of an unfinished back-up on it. I opened Disk Manager > First Aid and clicked Verify Disk. I got a lot of error messages so i repaired the disk and verified it again. I then reformatted the disk just to make sure it was ok. I then ran the TimeMachine back-up again. This also failed after a couple of hundred GB.

I thought, maybe the back-up was too big to do in one go, so after repairing and reformatting the disk again, i excluded all but the Macintosh HD (300GB) from the back-up. This back-up finished without a problem. The LED Indicator seemed to be working correctly too. I turn off the MyBook and next day i added a second drive (295GB) to the back-up and this also finished without a problem. Later that night i did the 3rd drive (580GB) which also worked fine. Next day i added the 4th HD and this failed. I opened Disk Utility and got more errors while verifying the disk. After repairing the disk i deleted the unfinished back-up of the 4th HD and tried again. This time it worked. I left it for another day and added the 5th and final HD to the back-up. This was also the largest of all the drives, with over 800GB of data.

After a few failed attempts i got it done. At this stage i was sure it was a problem with the drive over-heating while doing large back-ups, and would be fine, as i would only be doing small back-ups from now on. Later, i powered back on the MyBook and selected it in the sidebar of the Finder and i got the spinning beach ball which caused the Finder to freeze, so i ran disk utility. I tried to verify the disk which showed loads of errors. I then tried to repair the disk but this failed and showed error messages (See attached screen shots). Once again, i removed the power cord from the MyBook. This morning i plugged it back in and it was the same but this time i was able to repair the disk. The LED indicator was still flashing every second and the WD Drive Manager wasn’t showing so i pressed the power button on the rear of the MyBook to turn it off. Just now, i turn it back on and it seems to be working fine.

I’m pretty sure there is a problem with this drive now. Has anyone else experienced problems like this, or should i just contact tech support? I have two other WD external HD’s (1TB and 2TB MyBook Essential Edition) that i’ve previously used for back-ups and i’ve never had a single problem with either.

My apologies for such a long post. I didn’t want to leave anything out.

Thanks.

Disk Repair.png

Disk Verifying.png

Mac OSX.png

Unfortunately, everything points to significant misbehaviour from your External Hard Disk Drive and additional direct assistance might be required; I’d suggest to contact WD’s Technical Support about this either by phone or E-mail.

To Contact WD for Technical Support:
http://support.wdc.com/contact/index.asp?lang=en

Regards, 

Thanks for your reply Trancer.

I have contacted technical support and their reply is at the bottom.

This made me wonder why WD would sell a 6TB drive with a FW800 connection if moving 3TB of data through it will cause problems?

I explained that i didn’t back-up the 3TB in one go so are they saying that even 300GB through the FW800 port will cause problems too? I’m pretty sure the same thing would happen if i used USB. I’m worried that if i leave it, the drive might completely break in a few months time. 

I am sorry to hear you are having problems with your Mac and My Book drive. As this device is a RAID unit it does have to do more 'work' than a standard single-drive ext HDD, and if you are copying large amounts of data by firewire then this can often cause problems. The fact that the drive has been overheating when you have been trying to copy 3TB of data from multiple sources to the drive in this manner does not surprise me, but it does seem like the unit is working now you have managed to get all the data onto it. 

If the WD Drive Manager seems to think that your RAID status is healthy then there is nothing wrong with the unit, let me know how you get on using it in a more 'normal' fashion from now on.

You need to get a refund for this drive. It is not serving the purpose for which it was purchased. There are other options for RAID disk arrays. You should be able to write multiple TB to the drive without overheating. 

The situation is completely unacceptable from both a consumer perspective as well as from a use of the device for backup of critical files. What happens if you need to restore some or all the files you backed up, will the drive overheat again from having to “work hard” again? Will you ever be able to restore those files? Is this a backup you can depend on?

Additionally, the frequent overheating has probably damaged the electronics already. Excessive heat is very destructive to delicate drive mechanisms and electronics, as is subjecting them to large temperature cycles – heating up, then cooling down over wide temperature ranges. And your drive has experienced all this already in its first week!

I suggest you get a refund or credit and obtain a different  brand drive. [Deleted]

futurevibe wrote:

Thanks for your reply Trancer.

I have contacted technical support and their reply is at the bottom.

This made me wonder why WD would sell a 6TB drive with a FW800 connection if moving 3TB of data through it will cause problems?

I explained that i didn’t back-up the 3TB in one go so are they saying that even 300GB through the FW800 port will cause problems too? I’m pretty sure the same thing would happen if i used USB. I’m worried that if i leave it, the drive might completely break in a few months time. 

 

I am sorry to hear you are having problems with your Mac and My Book drive. As this device is a RAID unit it does have to do more 'work' than a standard single-drive ext HDD, and if you are copying large amounts of data by firewire then this can often cause problems. The fact that the drive has been overheating when you have been trying to copy 3TB of data from multiple sources to the drive in this manner does not surprise me, but it does seem like the unit is working now you have managed to get all the data onto it. 

If the WD Drive Manager seems to think that your RAID status is healthy then there is nothing wrong with the unit, let me know how you get on using it in a more 'normal' fashion from now on.

Hello, I did send you a private message and an email.  I wanted to speak with your directly.

  Thanks for your reply Steve. It’s the thought of not being able to restore from this back-up if i have problems with my computer that’s worrying me. 

Here’s WD’s reply to my last email:

"I didn't mean to alarm you with the response I gave you, the amount of drive use you gave the drive using its initial period was certainly high, but understandable given the large capacity of the drive. The fact that the casing and drives inside it are working without issue since this initial problem would imply that no lasting damage has occurred as a result of the process, but checking the device regularly with more copying will certainly give you a good idea of the health of the system.

 

The USB connection will not make a large amount of difference to drive health in large copying situations, but as firewire is faster and contains more current it is naturally 'working' the drive harder. This does not mean that Firewire is going to make your drive fail any sooner, but it can result in the overheating errors as you have encountered.

 

I doubt you will experience problems transferring data in amounts smaller than 100GB on a regular basis, but monitor the transfer rate to see if you notice a trend that may indicate an imminent failure. 

 

If you are running the unit in RAID 0 then you do not have a mirror of the data on the drive, leaving it vulnerable if something was to fail, so I would consider using a RAID 1 mirror (with half capacity) or JBOD (full capacity) RAID as described below:"

  I really like the look of that drive on OWC. If i had seen that earlier i probably would have gone for that instead, although i live in Ireland and will have to pay customs. I bought a synthesizer from the US about 2 years ago which was valued at $400 and i had to pay €150 to customs when it arrived. But as long as it works as it should i’d have no problem paying it. Do you have any experience with these drives?

  I also like the look of this:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MEQX2KIT0GB/

I’m not sure if it needs to have 4 drives installed at all times or if i can just put in two 3TB drives. All the drives need to have the same part number and firmware version to work so i’d bit a bit concerned if i needed to add a 3rd and 4th drive but the drives in slots 1 and 2 were no longer manufactured.

Hi Toretto, i’m replying to your PM now. Thanks.

I’ll repeat my opinion here that an external drive should not overheat when one is simply copying data to it in a normal way through an interface that is supported.  I am also taken aback at the logic (or lack of logic) of the reply you received from WD which claims that “the fact that the casing and drives inside are working without issue since this initial problem would imply that no lasting damage has occurred …” Overheating is bad for such devices, and I personally would suspect such damage was indeed possible. 

I would not trust valuable data to this particular individual drive after what you experienced with it. My opinion. 

I won’t discuss other brands of hard drives in this forum because the moderator warned me not to mention other brands, “advertise” them or otherwise “spam” this forum. I do not have personal experience with the specific brand you asked about. I do have two WD drives and have had no problems of any sort with them. I have used both regularly via firewire 800 interfaces, with the largest single session transfers being in the 300 GB range (these are both 2 TB drives, so they are smaller than yours). I have also used two other well known brands of similar drives (USB and firewire 800 and 400, about 5 more drives) of similar size and had had no issues with them either, so I wouldn’t be able to make a recommendation based on such small numbers of units. 

 Sorry steve, i shouldn’t have asked about other drives on this forum. I really hope i get this problem sorted so i don’t have to spend more time researching other drives.

 I should mention that Toretto is being very helpful. I still think this drive is damaged, as i was not able to update the firmware but at least WD are trying to resolve the issue. It seems like no one else on the forum has had problems with this particular drive, which surprises me, as twice WD would not give me an answer when asked if there had been any other reports of problems with it.

I am not surprised that you did not get a clear answer when you asked if there had been other reports of problems with it. I am sure others have had problems, but the real question is whether the failure rates have been out of family, or unusually high. Because some percentage of commercial hard drives do fail – Google Labs published an extensive study of these failure rates, see their on line article

http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/labs.google.com/en/us/papers/disk_failures.pdf

and they found failure rates ranging from 2% up to 8% on an annualized basis over the first 5 or 6 years of life for hard drives.  In the first year of life, they found a 2% failure rate (see the article for details), and older drives failed at rates as high as 8%, annualized.

This is why a problem with any one specific drive, as you have experienced, is probably not unusual, but rather could be just statistical. Also, why it is very important to have a RELIABLE backup, preferably two separate backups. For instance, a power surge could damage both the original drive plus the backup unit in use making a backup when the power surge happened. A second backup is needed, kept off line.

It turns out the WD Drive Manager was causing the problems. Toretto told me to delete it and try the backup again using FW800 and it worked fine.

Thanks to Toretto, steve626 and Trancer for all your help.

futurevibe wrote:

It turns out the WD Drive Manager was causing the problems. Toretto told me to delete it and try the backup again using FW800 and it worked fine.

Thanks to Toretto, steve626 and Trancer for all your help.

    • *> No problem.  We are expecting a new version of this application soon which will also support Lion OS.