WD Elements slow-ish write speed?

I have a 1TB WD Elements USB 3.0 drive that’s 2 years old. I use it once a week as a backup drive for my desktop computer. It was working well last week.

This week, writing to the disk is about 10 times slower than it was last week, and sometimes fails. Reading from the disk works at normal speed.

Right now I’m running a program to write random data to the disk and it’s generally writing at about 10 MB/s although there are occasional bursts up to 30-60 MB/s.

I have reformatted the drive using both APFS and ExFAT, tried writing to the drive using three different computers (two Macs and a Windows PC), and tried two different cables, one of which I know is good. The problem is simply that the drive is writing ~10x slower than it was last week.

I don’t know what might cause such a problem or how to fix it, if it can be fixed. Any thoughts? If this is a sign that the drive is failing, then I’ll throw it away and be disappointed that it failed after only 2 years of occasional use. If this is the result of a firmware bug then I’ll pass the drive along to a friend or family member who might get some use out of it. (I already bought a different drive for my backups this afternoon.) Thanks in advance.

When you reformatted the drive … did you select Quick Format or Full Format ?

If you chose “Quick Format” try a Full Format and see if there is any difference.

Or even go a step further and Delete all Partitions on the drive (making it RAW) and then do the Full Format which will also re-partition the drive. (MBR or if your OS supports GPT)

Sure, a Full Format will take longer … but at this stage, it’s worth trying before you throw it away.

Personally, i haven’t had this problem with any of my WD Elements drives.

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Wow. I did what you suggested. A full format took literally all of yesterday. But now the hard drive seems to be able to write at the expected speed. I have a degree in computer engineering and I have no idea why that even might have worked but I guess it did. Thanks, I appreciate it. Now I have to figure out something to do with an extra hard drive, since I bought a new one the other day to sort this problem out.

Happy to hear it worked :slight_smile:

Use the extra drive as backup drive

Every hard drive i own, there is also a backup drive with the same data on it … so, in case one fails, gets corrupted, gets dropped, gets lost or if i accidentally delete something … i have another copy of it :slight_smile:

That’s the only thing I use these external drives for, for backups. I used to have three backup drives (two local, one offsite)… that seemed like enough… now I have four. Ugh.

Yep, 3 backups should be enough :slight_smile: … anyways, it’s always good to have a spare hard drive laying around.

If i’m traveling or visiting friends and wanna bring stuff eg. Movies, Music or Photos … i copy them onto an “expendable” hard drive that it wouldn’t worry me if it got dropped, lost or stolen.