Suspected ailing WDBAAY0020HNC, also dropped WD5000BPKT, What 2 do?


I have 2 drives that I’m suspecting problems with, named in the subject title.

First, the 2TB Green.  I bought the drive (retail boxed version) at Fry’s in San Diego, CA, on July 15 this year.  I’ve maybe used it a total of a week or two, IIRC.  BTW, due to my own desktop computer being down, my only way of using it is in a Rosewill RX-358 V2 BLK enclosure connected via USB to my dad’s Dell Latitude D830 laptop running Windows XP Pro 32-bit.

Recently I’ve been noticing various issues with the drive in Windows.  For one thing, data transfers seem to be dreadfully slow - I don’t think it should take upwards of an hour to transfer 4 to 6 GB of data from an SDHC card to the drive, using USB 2.0 interface.  Also, sometimes after a while I’ll notice that the drive has disappeared from My Computer, even though it’s still physically connected.  Sometimes unplugging and reconnecting will bring it back for a while, but not always.  I have not had this problem with my older WD drives, including a 1.5TB Green dated Sep 2009, and two 750GB Blacks from Jul 2009 & Sep 2007.

I downloaded the dos boot version of the WD Diagnostic utility (I don’t have Windows admin access), but it wouldn’t recognize the drive in the external USB enclosure.  I also booted from a Linux CD and used a utility there to attempt some diagnostics, and below is a screenshot of the result…

Is there something I should do to remedy this?  RMA’ing the drive for replacement would be an option, although I’d probably have to do an advanced RMA.  The drive currently has about 130 GB of data on it, and I believe if I plug it in cold, it will run long enough to get the data off.  Due to only having one external enclosure, though, my workflow would have to be something like…

1 - move data (entire partition) from internal Seagate 160GB drive in dad’s laptop to replacement 2TB in external enclosure, wipe internal 160 GB

2 - move the ~ 130 GB of data from defective 2 TB to internal 160 GB, prepare defective drive for shipment

3 - move ~130 GB from int 160 GB to new 2 GB ext

4 - move 160GB partition from new 2GB ext back to int 160 GB.

The above steps would be done from a Linux CD (Ubuntu 12.04 most likely) using the GParted utility.

Once I get an RMA number for the drive (assuming that’s the thing to do), as for shipping the defective drive, should I be able to use the same packing WD ships the replacement drive in (box, bubble wrap, etc), just change the labels accordingly?  I expect I’d be shipping my drive to them in the retail box with the holders, inside the other packaging.

Also, before I send the drive, or further pursue an RMA, are there any other tests I can do that would confirm that my drive is dying?

Also, my dad recently bought a 500GB 2.5" black drive to put in his laptop.  For some reason, we haven’t installed it, although there is data on it.  It’s not super critical, though - there’s a few-month-old clone of his laptop’s internal 160 GB drive, as well as a copy of my 130 GB of data from my aforementioned ailing 2 TB.

Problem is, without going into much detail as to why, my mom accidentally dropped the drive on the desk.  The drive wasn’t connected and was in the ESD bag, but I doubt that’d make any difference.  The connector end was sitting on the desk, but the other end was up at approximately a 60 to 75 degree angle when she let gravity take over.  Since then, the drive has not been plugged in or used in any way.  I’m suspecting possible head/platter damage due to the trauma.

Is there some safe way I could test the drive to be sure it was damaged, or see if it survived?  And if it is kaput, what should I suggest my parents do about it (including, if necessary, using a professional data recovery service)?  I assume that being dropped would have voided the drive’s warranty.

Thanks for any help anyone can provide.


First thing first…

Since you have the ext drive on an enclosure as you might know performance will be determine by the enclosures interface

to test the drive and get more accurate results, connect to a computer direct and run chkdsk or Data Lifeguard Diagnostics

replacing is definitely an option if you see any errors after the test

for information about the RMA process you can contact WD

About the second drive, is a matter of testing to see if something happened but chances are there could be some damage due to dropping it

I’d like to plug it in directly, but I currently don’t have a computer to do that with, and don’t know that I have access to one anytime soon.

One thing…  I noticed in another thread that these drives apparently aren’t designed to be run upside down.  I suspect maybe mine’s been running like that - could that have anything to do with it?  I had the enclosure laying on the floor (so it had nowhere to fall) behind some stuff (so I wasn’t likely to kick it) with the fan up (was thinking that fan side down, which would have resulted in the drive being right-side up, would have negated the airflow due to sitting on carpet).  Last week (before I posted this thread) I ran it on the table, fan-side down (drive right side up) and it seemed to have near-normal transfer rates while copying files in Linux (booted from a CD).  Later in windows, it was still present the next day, IIRC.  (I’d had it disappear after only a couple hours or less.)

So if it is a case of the drive is better running right side up, then … well, I’m not sure what to do about the enclosure.  Replacing it is currently out of my budget.  Would the Rosewill RX-358 V2 BLK still get plenty of ventilation if the fan is right up against the carpet?  (I don’t like to run a hard drive enclosure on the desk, as I fear sometime I might trip over the cord, or kick it, or otherwise knock the enclosure off.)

As for the 500 gig, I haven’t had a chance to check on that, yet.  As it currently only contains backup data (including a copy of what’s on the 2 TB), it’s not as critical at this point.  (It was going to be a replacement drive for my dad’s 160 GB internal Seagate in his Dell D830 laptop, which I connect my external to, but we hadn’t gotten around to doing the transfer yet.)