Would it be possible to get an ETA on the fix? High level estimate would be alright.
At this point, since we can't reproduce the problem, we need to wait until we get a sufficient number of drives back from customers to determine why these drives are failing. Until we know that, any ETA I could give you would involve dice, hats, or thin air. And, personally, I'd rather tell you I don't know than make up a number.
Before I go out and buy the SATA/USB station to use at least the disk part of my new, very pretty brick, couple of things:
I can answer your questions, but I wouldn't recommend doing putting the drive in an enclosure. If it turns out that your failure was caused by a failed hard drive, then you're going to have a USB enclosure with a bad drive. Instead, you should contact tech support to request an RMA. If you have any problems getting an RMA, feel free to PM me
As for your questions, it's a 3.5" drive and you can repartition/format in Windows if you don't mind losing your data.
You have me very worried - WD is waiting on a certain number of RMA's to determine the cause because you "can't reproduce the problem"? That can mean only one of two things; either the team is under-resourced and not dedicated to the issue or lack the technical skill required to understand the product.
Both are obvious recipes for market failure...
I cannot fathom for one minute that a 'dedicated' team working on what are apparently quite prevalent issues "can't reproduce the problem".
In any case, it beggars belief why hasn't there been a greater input/interest in these forums from staff in collating information to form at least a basic diagnosis.
As a minimum, this would provide some indication to customers that WD is serious about delivering a prompt resolution.
Out of several hundred posts I would estimate the number of staff posts would be <10-20... it's just not cricket mate...
I'm guessing the majority of MBWE users in this community will be letting their feet do the talking...