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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down WD External Hard drives - stay away!

    Hi all,

    I bought the WD external hard drives (500GB capacity) a couple years ago and I never used on daily basis, maximum I used 3 to 10 times per month only.

    Lately, I have notice that occasionally hard drive is failing to read or write any data, tried on several computers and it's the same effect. The performance of reading or writing is so slow, up to 5+ MB/s instead of 30+ MB/s, at the end of the day it's the same as flash drive without any heads or seek time as on normal hard drives!

    I can't format it as I don't have 300GB space on my computer.

    From sort of experience I personally can say that I never buy any WD equipment any more.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex-developer View Post
    Hi all,

    I bought the WD external hard drives (500GB capacity) a couple years ago and I never used on daily basis, maximum I used 3 to 10 times per month only.
    Conceivably used it a couple of hundred times then, 10 times a month for 2 years would be 240 times you used it

    Quote Originally Posted by alex-developer View Post
    Lately, I have notice that occasionally hard drive is failing to read or write any data, tried on several computers and it's the same effect. The performance of reading or writing is so slow, up to 5+ MB/s instead of 30+ MB/s
    Have you tried running chkdsk on the drive?

    You don't say whether its an ide or sata drive, sata is faster, but external drives are usb anyway and usb is basically ... crap, might improve now usb 3 is out, but probably still be as easy to break, it's only 2 drops of solder fixing the usb connectors in place after all

    Other factors can interfere with external (and internal) read/write speeds such as slow cpu, not enough memory and it's not just the amount of ram you have in there which affects that, if you have tons of stuff running in the background (which on windows most people do), it can leave you with very little physical memory left available to the system, if other things are slower than they should be too that may be worth looking at. Even antivirus can slow copy/pastes down as they typically scan every file that's being pasted as it's getting pasted

    Quote Originally Posted by alex-developer View Post
    at the end of the day it's the same as flash drive without any heads or seek time as on normal hard drives!
    That's just plain incorrect ... unless you have a 500gb usb flash/pen drive, which you don't because they don't make them that big yet, at the time you bought the drive the biggest external flash available would likely have been 16 or even 8gb

    There are heads etc, an external drive is just the same as internal drive but but in a case with a usb interface, that's why you can hear them working, cos they're spinning

    Quote Originally Posted by alex-developer View Post
    I can't format it as I don't have 300GB space on my computer.
    In this day and age where you can get 1000gb drives for around 40 uk pounds, maybe you oughta think about an upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by alex-developer View Post
    From sort of experience I personally can say that I never buy any WD equipment any more.
    Western Digital drives are as reliable as any other make drive, more so than some of the others in fact

    Most likely causes of your problems are either down to the usb interface failing, that can be tested by taking the drive out of the enclosure and plugging it directly into your motherboard to see if it works any better, or problems in the filesystem/partition table, chkdsk should fix any filesytem issues

    To fix problems with the partition table you would need somewhere to back up the stuff that's on the drive first, I'm assuming that's what you need the 300gb for, but if the drive really is failing you really should back that stuff up somewhere asap anyway

    If it is down to the usb, just get a new usb external drive enclosure, cheap enough from ebay

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    thank you for your answer.

    Have you tried running chkdsk on the drive?
    No, I will do it now.

    You don't say whether its an ide or sata drive, sata is faster, but external drives are usb anyway and usb is basically ... crap, might improve now usb 3 is out, but probably still be as easy to break, it's only 2 drops of solder fixing the usb connectors in place after all
    Sorry, Forgot to mention it's WD5000ME (URL: http://support.wdc.com/product/insta...id=203&lang=en), it doesn't state that this hard drive is ide or sata.

    As I can see some other people have exactly the same issues:
    http://www.fixya.com/support/t466361...t_see_s_folder
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?clien...02f1a55994bccb

    I had sort of issue, some folders disappearing and next time appearing, the same with files.
    Last edited by web-project; 03-28-2011 at 10:56 AM.
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  4. #4
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    You can probably find google results for pretty much any problem with any piece of hardware mate, it's very rare to encounter a problem that's never been seen before

    External drives just ain't as reliable or long-lasting as internal, and whenever someone brings an external round that has problems, we almost always take the drive out of the enclosure and put it in a pc to test and attempt repairs, as well as try the drive in a 'known good' enclosure

    I would never use an external drive as a backup medium for important data, we have an oldish machine here running as a backup server (amongst other server stuff) with large drives in that we use to keep backups of things like restore images of customer's machines etc

    Not everyone has the luxury of spare machines of course, but even a second internal drive is often a better option than an external for backups, especially if you keep the drive turned off when not creating or accessing backups

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    905
    I am using Fujitsu StorageBird 1000GB external hard drive for backup purposes. It features WD hard disk inside. I'm using it since last 2 years and never faced any problem yet.

    Once I faced a little problem of data reading fail error and it turned out to be the usb wire that was malfunctioning.
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  6. #6

    WD

    I've noticed that with Some WD Storage devices - here today gone tomorrow
    I must say Hitachi though loud at times have never let me down - I used two like a server would for over 3 years and it's still going strong.
    as far as your WD - I would do a backup and do a full disk scan/fix then re-format using Hiren's boot disk. It's free and it's very useful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Hiren disks are excellent tools, I've been using them for years from version 6.0 (currently on version 13.1). Everyone with a computer should have one!

    I have been told off for mentioning them on a forum in the past though due to copyright issues

    But in the original poster's case it's not his boot drive that's the issue so a hiren disk isn't really necessary, he can run chkdsk on it from within windows as I've already said

    As for formatting it he needs to get his files off it first, and when you've had a problematic partition I always recommend deleting the partition (once you've backed up the files on it) and then recreating it rather than formatting it

    After all, formatting it basically just writes a new table of contents to the partition and marks all it's sectors as available, which can help with numerous problems but a new partition does a much better job of it and is usually actually quicker than formatting

    The free home partition wizard that's in the mini xp on a hiren disk can be downloaded from this page: http://www.partitionwizard.com/free-...n-manager.html
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  8. #8
    With all the issues i've had in the past with WD, We've abandoned them a long time ago. Seagate is the way to go + they forgot what you sent them and always send you free drives

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