To use or not to use in a Desktop...that is a question, for the WD Purple

Hello. I asked a friend to buy me at least an 8TB drive when he went to visit from the US and being the great friend that he is, he did. However, he bought me a WD Purple HDD which from what I’ve read is made for Surveillance or CCTV. I’ve tried to research on it and I get two conflicting statements. One is, it’s perfectly fine to use in a desktop PC environment and the other is, you could use it but because of the nature of the drive itself, there could be potentially data corruption, which of course scares the heck out of someone who wants to use the WD Purple to store data.

I know the WD Purple wasn’t really made for performance desktop computing so I’m not expecting it to behave like a WD Black. But it’s just mainly for storing media which is hosted on a plex server application on the PC and other stuff. If it really can’t be used then I probably should sell it and try to get a WD Blue/Black (but at a lower max capacity). I’m also wondering, does the same apply to the WD Red (as it’s “made” for NAS)?

I also checked here and I found 2 posts that seem to contradict each other,

So what is it really? I hope I can get the definitive answer here. I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering. Thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge and expertise. :grin:


Anyone? Help would be appreciated. :slight_smile:

If it will just be for media files I would use it and even format it first,

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Thanks for spending the time to reply. I wonder if @LB_WD and @Captain_WD can chime in since they either made the posts I quoted or are mentioned as the source of the information.

there’s a video on youtube that shows the purple disc while spinning without its upper cover
you will notice that the head is constantly working, they use a specific firmware so I would not buy purple disks for important data storage.

If I understand hard disks correctly, I would expect that all of them have the disks constantly spinning and the heads always floating above the disk surface unless you turn off the power.

as I said above the purple disk head is moving around all the time whereas a normal disk head only reacts when reading or writing something.

Do you have the link to the video?

as to your question I use some RED drives for normal storage with no major issues.

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Thanks for the link. However, if you watch the video, Richard the WD guy says the drive was recording and playing back 16 cameras concurrently. So the WD Purple heads are doing the same as the desktop drive, it’s just that the desktop drive isn’t always reading and writing but a surveillance system will definitely be recording non-stop 24/7 so that’s why the Purple drives look like it was working crazy.

When Paul asked Richard regarding use of Purple in Desktop PCs, he said it can be used but he doesn’t recommend it because each drive is optimized for the application and if one used the Purple in a desktop, it would score lower on benchmarks compared to a desktop drive. So he doesn’t mention this data corruption that allegedly would happen if you used this drive in a PC.

what did you expect from someone who gets paid by WD ?
he will never say purple drivers might damage your important data.
if you trust every c.r.a.p advertising you see on TV I have nothing to do with you.

Well, first off I stopped watching TV a few years back as there isn’t anything I want to watch on it so I couldn’t possibly believe any advertising. :slight_smile: The reason I posted the question here is I believed there would be members who could definitively state if a purple drive could corrupt data if used in a desktop PC setup and tell us why that is. Because I see some videos and threads in other sites about alleged data corruption and yet provide no explanation. If I just believed that statement at face value, then I would be no different from the people who believed all the aforementioned stuff on TV. :wink:

You stated that the purple drive was constantly working on the video, but this operation is because it is simulating a DVR setup with 16 cameras simultaneously recording and playing back at the same time. Anyone with basic knowledge of hard drives knows that when an HDD is reading or writing, it is working. A DVR is running 24/7 so the HDD will always work as the recording and playback is continuous. In contrast, a desktop PC isn’t always writing to or reading from the HDD and so if you’re not using it, then the HDD can stop moving (especially when you set up a power saving mode on your system). Obviously if the Purple drive isn’t connected to a DVR but a PC then logically the movement would be like the drive on the left. Same goes if you connect a desktop PC to a DVR (which existed even before there were Purple HDDs), the movement of the desktop HDD heads would be more like the Purple.

So the Purple drive is not optimized for desktop PC use, that’s already established. The Purple drive will not perform as well as a desktop PC in a desktop environment, that’s also clear. My question is, to be very specific and which will ultimately dictate whether to use it in a desktop PC setup is “Will using the Purple HDD in a desktop corrupt data and whether yes or no, why?”

do not ask more boring questions, you have a purple drive at home
if you don’t trust anyone else then just copy paste some data in it and test it by yourself.
in the past I also wanted to purchase the purple drives because they were cheaper than red ones until I found out that they are not recommended for desktop storage.

I apologize if you think the question is “boring”. I’m sure it is not but we can agree to disagree. It would have been easier to say “I don’t know the answer.” than “It’s a boring question.” IMHO.

Copy paste 10TB of data multiple times to determine whether there is potential (not certainty and even then, it’s not even quantified in any certain terms) of data corruption would be a lengthy (around 20 hours one way), impractical (you technically would need 2 10TB drives to perform the copy paste operations) and ultimately pointless exercise. It would be easier for a subject matter expert to chime in on why using a surveillance drive in a computing environment would potentially result in data corruption.

Yes, you decided to pass on the WD Purple because it was not recommended for desktop storage and that was enough for you. Truthfully, if my friend had told me only Purple drives were in stock at the capacity point, maybe I would have done the same. But I am in the situation where I already have the drive so I wanted to know if there would be any problems using it for my desktop and unfortunately I saw conflicting opinions. Hence my “boring” question.

Kudos to you @mysterio for being so patient.
@Andika has been exceedingly rude, disagreeable and unpleasant.
I’m searching for an answer to this as well if anyone can assist.

I have joined JUST to answer this question as I’ve been asking this wihtout an answer for a while as well. I’ve bought a purple a few days back and saw this error correction issue After i bought it so I’ve been researching for quite a while. Here’s the links to pretty much everything i could get my hands on

Long story short, IT’S PERFECTLY SAFE TO USE PURPLE FOR DESKTOP. Streaming ATA commands are just an extension to the normal SATA commands and only comes into play with CCTVs. On desktops it performs pretty much the same as any other HDD, with possibly lower performance, but with added features like RAID support.


10x for this post, i feel safer :slight_smile:

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I am using a few purples in my NAS. Never had any problems or even data losses with them. On the contrary. My oldest drive is a 2TB purple. It’s 10 years old and in continued service. I think the purples are solid drives that may even be more durable than other drives, yet, they are also affordable.

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I have 5x4TB purples in a RAID (6)

Been using them for nearly 2 years.

guess what…

They work fine.

Only drawback is the speed. They are a BIT slow… other than that if you can get these cheap then get them,

They are designed for PDR’s / Security cameras, doesn’t effect how they work in a PC… all a bit of a scam RED BLUE BLACK GREEN PURPLE! its a sales scam… while there are differences between the drives if you are using it for data storage ie a media server then these are the best option.

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I’m a WD employee in Irvine, CA. Right now, there is a really good deal on 12TB WD Purple (w/ 256MB cache). It’s rock bottom $142 with employee discount. I bought a couple. I’ll try them as PC HDDs for storing pics and video files. Will let you know of any data corruption I encounter.