6 days of recovery – days 1-5: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB SATA (WD10EADS) Sucks (or I got a lemmon)

Well, it’s now Wednesday, a full 6 days after I bought a new hard drive after I decided to reformat my C:  (see  https://robertmccarter.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/ms-sql-server-2005-sp3-cumulative-hotfix-kb970892-painfull/ for all the gory details).

At first I bought a new WD Caviar Green 1TB SATA (WD10EADS).  I have NEVER had a brand new hard drive be such a lemon of a hard drive!  It was slow, but it was “green” so at first I thought that was okay.  Then I was using Image for Windows (which is a great product, I really like it) to restore my data drive and it took 24 hours to restore 200GB!!  It only took me 2.5 hours to create the image, so I started to worry.  So I let it run overnight.

But the next day when I tried to use it or defragment it things started going really, really wrong, and by wrong I mean SLOW.

So I started running speed tests on it, and sometimes the speed tests were abysmal and sometimes they were fine.  But then in Linux (I used the excellent SystemRescueCd) the speed tests were fine, so I kept trying to figure out the problem.  Then rebooting the computer started taking longer as the BIOS tried to find the drive the boot would pause for about 10 seconds.  At that point even the Linux speed tests started coming back slow, and so I knew the drive was bad.  Of course, because everything was highly intermittent and I was moving lots of data around and it was VERY slow (when it was slow) this entire discovery process took ages.

To make a long story short, I eventually decided the drive was a piece of crap, and that I would take it back.  Unfortunately, I first wanted to clean all my data off it, which is hard considering how slow the drive was.  I found this very helpful link:  http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com/2006/06/how-to-securely-erase-hard-disk-before.html.  This worked very slowly for the first 60GB, then it was VERY fast for the next 200 GB, and after that the drive gave out and never worked again.

I’ve never had a problem with a new Western Digital drive before (although I’ve had problems with older ones) so I was just unlucky and got a lemon.  So I took it back and got a brand new Seagate 1TB 7200RPM 32MB cache drive and life is good.  I restored all 200GB of my data in exactly 2:20 – nice and easy!  What a waste of 5 days.

Sigh.  As a small business owner I don’t have time to waste like this; I wish I could bill WD for lost productivity!



5 comments so far

  1. Dan Douglas on

    Interesting. I bought a 1TB WD drive (black model) over the summer and it works well. I was close to buying the “green” version of it like you had bought. Probably a lemon, but I’m likely to stay away from the green version when I buy my second one.

    • robertmccarter on

      BTW, I’m not suggesting that ALL 1TB WD drives are lemons, just that the one instance I received was.
      I’m glad to hear that your “black” drive is good. 🙂

  2. jbkeh on

    Well, now I know I’m not the only one with this. Talk about driving you around the bend – one point running fine, the next moment stalling the entire system for periods of up to twenty minutes.

    Yet the diagnostics and SMART say its running perfectly.

    Drive or MOBO? I’ve an ASROCK 4Core1600Twins-P35. It isn’t the OS (Win7, XP and Linux are all impacted).

    • robertmccarter on

      I hope you didn’t lose as much time as I did to this lousy problem!

      My MOBO is an ASUS P5K-VM and I had 3 other SATA drives attached to it and the new drive is running fine – if it’s a WD Green drive then I’d vote that it’s definitely the drive and not the MOBO.

  3. Carlos on

    I made a big mistake buying this crap, too slow, but I mean TOOO slow. The damn thing made me believe that the new ubuntu beta had problems, but when I installed windows xp in it I realised that it was a hard disk issue.

    stay away from it, I totally regret of having buying it.

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