Unreliable external hard drive "my passport"

I’ve heard great referral on forums and feedbacks from friends that western digital is a good reliable brand to purchase external hard drive.  In the last 3 years, I have purchased a total of 4 Western Digital External Harddrive " My passport" 2 in the capacity of 1T and 2 in the capacity of 500 GB.  

Unfortunately, I’m very disappointed with my experience with western digital products.   Last year one of the 500 GB external harddrive failed to work and I just thought it happened by luck.  This year, one of my 1T capacity hard drive failed on me again and I lost all of my precious data stored, including but not limited to 38,000 pictures I have collected over the last 12 years.  It took me 3 days to seek alot of professional IT help and I couldn’t find a solution to bring back those precious pictures.

I’m really disappointed at the Western Digital external Hard drive.  I would not purchase another western digital product in the future, and definitely would not recommend it to anyone I know.



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What a great idea to log on to a user forum and tell everyone that the product they all have is no good and fails, and you lost all your pictures, and you would never buy it again, even though you have had four in the past.

First, all hard drives fail, eventually. I only use WD now as I have found them far more reliable than other brands in the past. Yes, I have had failures, but they have been manageable, without losing data.

Second, portable hard drives need to be treated carefully, or they will fail earlier than static hard drives. Make sure they are powered down properly, and the hard drive read heads are docking before moving the drive. Don’t use them in high vibration situations. Don’t bump, drop, or even move them when they are reading or writing to the drive.

Third, you should have had a backup of your precious pictures. If you only have one copy, or have two copies on separate drives that you use regularly, you don’t have a backup. This is yoour fault, not WD’s.

Fourth, almost all data is recoverable from failed hard drives, if you really want that data. It can be relatively easy and cheap, or very hard and expensive. You obviously didn’t find the right IT help. You need to find a Data Recovery company. There are quite a few around. Recovery may cost $2,000 to $3,000 though. What are your pictures worth? Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to have a proper backup?!

Fifth, in addition to a good backup routine, you should look in to using Hard Drive Sentinal to check and manage your hard drives, and predict when they are likely to fail, or at least tell you when the drive starts to have problems. When a drive does start to have problems you should immediately move your precious data to another safe storage unit. You should not use a hard drive once it has started to show problems, such as occassional failed reads or writes, making excessive or unusual noise, or taking a long time to start up and be available to browse. But you didn’t keep using your drive after it started doing any of that, did you? Did you? I’ll bet you did, or you simply took no notice of the signs on an imminent drive failure. Have you ever heard of SMART?

So, thanks for coming on to the WD forum and telling us the products we selected are no good, based on your two bad experiences and lack of foresight. You have really helped.

RoderickGI, I agree with everything you say, but I think you were a bit too harsh on the newcomer.  He/she is obviously not as experienced or knowledgeable as you or I may be.  He/She just had a traumatic experience losing all their precious pictures or data.  I think you could have shared your experience better by not roasting this unfortunate new comer.  Again, I agree everything you said, it was your rudeness to the new comer I don’t agree with.  All of us start out beginners and this new comer I am sure will learn from his unfortunate hard drive experiences, sooner or later…

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That isn’t rudeness, it is sarcasm, and it was intended to make Minnie think about what s/he wrote, and where.

If Minnie cares to come back to the forum and read what I wrote s/he will learn a lot. S/he may even be able to recover her/his pictures if s/he still has the failed hard drive and finds an actual Data Recovery company. We could have helped if s/he had come and asked for help when either drive failed.

I have seen so many people complain about one hard drive company or another, swear they will never use it again, and advise everyone not to use it either, only to have them come back a couple of years later complaining about the new hard drive company they chose. (Though not on this forum, yet.)

My post was deliberately harsh to get Minnie to think, and learn. Tough love is sometimes required. Someone who has been collecting pictures for 12 years, at an average rate of 3,000+ per year, is going to be at least 20 years old. They should be able to bear my harsh response.

However I acknowledge your concern. If it trully upsets Minnie, I apologise. But hopefully it results in a learning process commencing, and a change of habits to include backups, hard drive management, and care with portable drives.

Next time, just tell the poster they posted in the wrong section – this is the forum for the WIRELESS passport, and not the garden -variety portable passport.  Also, let them know to contact WD Support – also in a different section of the WD website… 

Maybe a moderator will move this thread to the correct forum and help them get some resolution…