WD30EZRZ Blue 3TB Noise, stopped working yesterday. Working again today. RMA it?

I have a two year old (Aug 2016) WD30EZRZ-00WN9B0 that is still in warranty. I am using it as my home drive. Shortly after purchase I set the idle3 timer to 5 minutes due to overly aggressive head parking on this drive.

Yesterday during login this drive started clicking rapidly and loudly, as if repeatedly parking the head, and it stopped serving data entirely. I forcibly logged out, at which point the drive became quiet again. SMART status showed the following concerning values:

Load Cycle Count: 414966
UDMA CRC Error Count: 24
Multi Zone Error Rate: 17

I then started a SMART long test, which ran over night. It passed, but the Multi Zone Error Rate is now 29. At this point I used idle3ctl to disable idle3. After power cycle, the drive is running quietly again and is noticeably faster.

The drive currently has 10882 running hours and 414967 head parks. This works out to a park every 94 seconds, despite idle3 being set for 300 seconds. According to the data sheet, it is rated for 300k load cycles. It has exceeded this by 38%. Even if it parked every 5 min continuously, LCC shouldn’t be more than 130584, and the drive should expect to run another 14k hours. For comparison, my OS is on an old WD2500SD that has over 50k operating hours and is running like a champ.

Due to the temporary failure yesterday, I do not trust this drive anymore. Multiple sources tell me that disabling idle3 is not recommended. The speedup also tells me that the 5 second freezing problems I’ve been having in Firefox aren’t software. As icing on the cake, I see multiple reports that idle3 is now locked at 8s, and cannot be changed or disabled.

This drive needs to be replaced soon. The question I have is should I bother with the warranty?

Hi spikethehobbitmage,

I would recommend to test the drive with Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows from the link given below.

If the test result shows that the drive has failed. You can follow the below mentioned link to create the replacement for the drive if it is under warranty.

Thanks for the links. I managed to get the DOS version running Saturday night and ran the Quick and Extended tests. AFAICT these are just the normal SMART tests. It claims the drive is OK.

Since disabling idle3, the drive hasn’t acted up again, but I’m still concerned about it.

The drive has started making the noise again. I can’t say I’m surprised. Thankfully it hasn’t failed completely yet, but I don’t expect it to last more than a few more days.

It sounds like a heartbeat: Two rapid clicks, a delay, two clicks, a delay, and two more clicks. It takes a couple of seconds total. In loudness, it is midway between the normal head access click and the emergency park ‘thunk’. I have only ever heard this specific pattern from failed or failing drives.

WD Support has not yet told me if the idle3 setting can be changed on new/replacement drives, and I can’t afford to wait. That feature is known to be incompatible with my OS and is apparently now standard on all WD desktop drives. If idle3 can’t be changed to a reasonable delay, then any replacement drive would fail within a few months. This is not acceptable.

Goodbye Western Digital.