Author Topic: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...  (Read 1311 times)

Offline Tiffanys

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Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« on: December 01, 2016, 07:17:42 am »
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For users who do not know about the "load count problem," here is an explanation and solution.
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Since this hard drive's introduction, users have consistently reported premature failures and data corruption. These complaints were well warranted, for the manufacturer has shorten the life cycle of this computer component by design.
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The source of the problem is Western Digital's attempt to make the device "more green" - use less electricity. One way to accomplish this goal is to park the heads on a plastic pad after eight seconds of no read/write requests instead of allowing them to float over the spinning platters of the hard drive. This adds up to 10,800 cycles each day. The numerous scrapings gradually wears out the heads. According to some literature, 250,000 to 1,250,000 cycles will result in damage that will lead to read/write errors. If you do the math, data corruption will begin within 23.148 to 115.741 days if you are employing the hard drive on a heavily used server. Regular consumers will not notice read/write problems until later. Some WD drives reported 3,000 to 5,000 cycles per day. At this rate, the first instances of data corruption will begin within 83.33 to 250 days.
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From my experience, early data loss will not be noticed by the average user. There are no signs of trouble if work files are not accessed, edited, and save. With numerous usages, lost sectors on the hard drive appear and indexes become corrupted. Then, damages become apparent. During bootup, Windows OS will begin employing Check Disk (chkdsk/f) to repair errors. Chunks of bad information get deleted and corrupted indexes are re-corrected during the process. Eventually, 50%-to-60% drive gets wiped out before the user realizes the problem. He accesses a file, and there is none. Using a file manager, further examinations reveal other missing data. This degradation takes time - months to a year depending on computer usage.
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Nevertheless, six years of complains have forced the manufacturer to do something - provided a firmware fix. WDIDLE3.EXE software is used to reset the parking cycle to as high as five minutes. For normal users, this change brings down the parking cycle to 133 per day. This is within the industrial average. Most drives experience 10 to 200 per day and are rated around 600,000. WDIDLE3.EXE can also turn off head parking. Unfortunately, this is not recommended. Users have reported that drive speed was reduced to a crawl or exhibited read/write problems.
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This solution is a masterpiece in public relations. Instead of deactivating or eliminating the eight second head parking cycle on newly manufactured drives, WD forces the user to make the firmware change after the sale. The process is not easy, and the company's website does not explain or provide any information - it provides just the software. The procedure requires unplugging all other devices that are connected to SATA ports and numerous resets to the BIOS. The computer must boot in DOS via a CD or USB 2.0 thumb drive and typing the required codes. Just finding the necessary software to create the booting device is a pain.
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As a result, non-technical consumers will not do anything and allow their hard drives to malfunction. For the "techkies," it will take hours of research, internet searches, and trial-and-error. Hopefully, they will also be discouraged. In one stroke, the company has placated the critics and still maintain high sales volume.
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I have already done the necessary work. So, here is the easiest procedure using a booting USB 2.0 drive.
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GO TO GOOGLE AND DOWNLOAD THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMS. . . . I can not provide links because the Amazon server automatically deletes their location.
. . . . . HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool
. . . . . Z-Zip
. . . . . wdidle3.exe
. . . . . FreeDOS (fd11src.iso)
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DO THE FOLLOWING IN THIS ORDER TO CREATE A BOOTING USB 2.0 FLASH DRIVE.
. . . . . 1. Install Z-Zip
. . . . . 2. Use Z-Zip to extract HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool and FreeDOS iso.
. . . . . 3. Install the HP software.
. . . . . 4. Install a USB 2.0 flash drive on one of computer's USB 2.0 ports.
. . . . . . . Right-click the HP icon.
. . . . . . . Go to COMPATIBILITY/PRIVILEGE LEVEL.
. . . . . . . Check RUN THIS PROGRAM AS AN ADMINISTRATOR.
. . . . . . . Exit the program.
. . . . . 5. Activate the HP program by clicking its icon.
. . . . . . . Select FAT for FILE SYSTEM
. . . . . . . Place a check mark on CREATE DOS STARTUP DISK
. . . . . . . Go to USING DOS SYSTEM FILES LOCATED AT and point to the
. . . . . . . . . . subdirectory of the FreeDOS files. It is \FREEDOS\SETUP\ODIN
. . . . . 6. Format the USB 2.0 flash drive. Depending on the size, it will take time.
. . . . . 7. Use WINDOWS EXPLORER to copy WDIDLE3.EXE to your formatted USB 2.0 flash drive.
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SHUT OFF YOUR COMPUTER.
. . . . . 1. Deactivate all devices connected to your SATA ports by pulling out their two cords. You do not want WDIDLE3.EXE to corrupt their firmware settings.
. . . . . 2. Connect your Western Digital Red Hard Drive.
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RESTART YOUR COMPUTER.
. . . . . 1. Go into your PC's BIOS setting.
. . . . . 2. Turn AHCI off. This will enable your flash drive to be recognized.
. . . . . 3. Set the thumb drive as the first bootable drive.
. . . . . 4. Save your BIOS settings and exit.
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RESTART YOUR COMPUTER. Your thumb drive should boot the computer and go into MS-DOS.
. . . . . 1. Type "wdidle3.exe" without the quotes and press ENTER. This will activate the program.
. . . . . 2. Type "wdidle3.exe /r" without the quotes and press ENTER. This will show the current timeout. The factory default is eight seconds.
. . . . . 3. Type "wdidle3.exe /s300" without the quotes and press ENTER. This changes the autopark timer to 300 seconds or five minutes - the maximum allowed.
. . . . . 4. Type "wdidle3.exe /r" without the quotes and press ENTER. This will check that the hard drive has accepted the change.
. . . . . 5. Shut off your PC.
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IF YOU NEED TO PROCESS ANOTHER HARD DRIVE, pull out the two connecting cables, attach them to the next Western Digital Red drive, and repeat the above process.
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ONCE FINISHED, TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER AND PLUG YOUR SATA DEVICES BACK.
. . . . . 1. Turn on your PC
. . . . . 2. Go back into your PC BIOS setting.
. . . . . 3. Turn AHCI on.
. . . . . 4. Change your boot order.
. . . . . 5. Save your settings and exit.
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This is a lot of confusing work. Unfortunately, there is no other alternative for fixing a flawed hard drive and preventing it from self destructing. . . . It is your money.

Found that in some Amazon review. It sounds really disheartening. Sadly, there's no way I could ever be bothered to do all that. Worse though, the next best is probably the Seagate Ironwolf but reviews of that have several users mentioning it being loud and their solution for that? A firmware update... fucking hell.

Online Al_Sleeper

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 07:28:12 am »
For which models of WD Red drives is this information? Some of my HDDs are 2 years old, and they are still OK.

Offline Tiffanys

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2016, 07:39:34 am »
All of them, as I understand it.

Offline Krudda

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2016, 08:28:14 am »
Thats why I never touch Western Digital (any model)
Had several bad experiences with multiple models and never liked them since.

Seagate Barracuda 2TB all the way. 10 HDDs, ten years old and counting, approximately 80,000 hours each, 0 failures.

Online Al_Sleeper

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2016, 08:36:47 am »
I have exactly the opposite experience. All my Seagate drives died relatively quickly; one of them with a sudden failure with total data loss.
I also have two faulty WD drives, but they are still functional, years after the initial fault. I use them in a docking station to store some relatively unnecessary backup files.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 08:41:23 am by Al_Sleeper »

Online kitamesume

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 09:39:13 am »
WD Reds? i though Reds has a 300seconds parking timer.
its the Greens that has 8seconds parking timer, same with the new rebranded WD Blue.

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Western-Digital-Green-vs-Red-Hard-Drives-602/







ok i looked into this issue and there seems to be two types of WD Reds.
the original having a 300seconds timer, while the unusual having a 8seconds timer.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 09:48:54 am by kitamesume »

Offline Krudda

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2016, 11:31:46 am »
I have exactly the opposite experience. All my Seagate drives died relatively quickly; one of them with a sudden failure with total data loss.
I also have two faulty WD drives, but they are still functional, years after the initial fault. I use them in a docking station to store some relatively unnecessary backup files.
If they were the 1TB Barracuda models, I can understand. Those things have always been prone to dying mere weeks after first boot. The 2TB models were far more resilient though.

Offline Clannad_92

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2016, 01:01:29 pm »
oh HELL NO!!

ive set my WDRed for storing important data and lots of games, and our computer is always active 18hours+ (my little brother and father uses it, mostly for gaming)

though the "solution" is available, i dont think i can do anything for now, since im busy and computer usage is increasing

Online Al_Sleeper

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2016, 01:24:26 pm »
If they were the 1TB Barracuda models, I can understand. Those things have always been prone to dying mere weeks after first boot. The 2TB models were far more resilient though.
No, they were 1.5 TB and 2 TB models. IIRC, data from the former were still recoverable, but the latter died suddenly and completely.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 01:27:36 pm by Al_Sleeper »

Offline halfelite

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2016, 10:05:42 pm »
Mine is like Krudda, all of my WD drives died shortly in both a NAS and a desktop the seagates have been running strong. I did have to flash my 2tb seagates to fix the issue they had but they ran good for over 5 years in a NAS.  WD has screwed up recently with all the different naming and switching models around makes it hard to follow what drive you are actually getting.

Online Al_Sleeper

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2016, 12:50:27 am »
Do you have any experience with HGST drives? I read that they are about twice more reliable than similar WD drives, whereas price difference is pretty negligible.

Offline Krudda

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2016, 12:52:42 am »
They are supposedly more reliable, but in my experience, two have died in less than 5 months of use. Both were 2.5" models, so that may account for something.

Offline VicViper573

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2016, 04:22:24 am »
How about WD Blacks?

Offline megido-rev.M

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2016, 05:00:55 am »
How about WD Blacks?

Unless they changed them recently, they should still be fairly reliable HDDs. Same with the older (USB 2.0) Elements external ones.

More importantly, did we ever have reliable drives after those? I was trying to see what's out there on Friday and came up short.
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Online Al_Sleeper

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2016, 05:13:32 am »
They are supposedly more reliable, but in my experience, two have died in less than 5 months of use. Both were 2.5" models, so that may account for something.
IIRC, the report I read was about 3.5" models only.

Offline ridon428

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2016, 10:48:26 am »
My 500GB WD Blue suddenly died while copying large amounts of data. That drive was just less than a year old. Meanwhile, the 7 year-old 250GB drive is still alive and kicking. I have no problems with Seagate Desktop nor Barracuda drives. Although, SMART is already detecting issues of a possible drive failure on the Desktop 2000GB and the Barracuda 1TB.

Offline halfelite

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2016, 01:14:18 am »
Do you have any experience with HGST drives? I read that they are about twice more reliable than similar WD drives, whereas price difference is pretty negligible.

They have a good rep for now. But WD did buy HGST and in 2015 were given permission to merge the two companies into one but still maintain two different teams for at least 2 years. Some come next year HGST will most likely be merged with a WD line.

Offline Saras

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2016, 04:40:20 pm »
Hitachis were called "deathstars" a while ago as well. I can't think of a single company that has been free of issues.

That said, my current position is pretty much stay away from mechanical drives, unless you specifically need an archive.

Offline VicViper573

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2016, 05:08:26 pm »
Hitachis were called "deathstars" a while ago as well. I can't think of a single company that has been free of issues.

That said, my current position is pretty much stay away from mechanical drives, unless you specifically need an archive.

I thought SSDs were much more susceptible to bricking if there were a power outage.

Offline Saras

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Re: Just read something awful about WD Red drives...
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2016, 08:16:27 pm »
And HDDs are susceptible to basically any mechanical input in existence. There is no perfect storage method yet, however comparing the two, I'm far more trusty what concerns solid state.