Hard disk fail. The Black Caviar lament

Today hard disk maker didn’t build their hard disk like they used to before. Those old hard disk is so reliable that they run for years. But recently the hard disk failure rate is increasing very fast. I have a lot of hard disk at home. In fact I have 10 desktop hard disk and 6 is running right now. 2 of it runs 24/7 in a torrent/media¬† server and another 2 is used for back up purpose.

I have hard disk from Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate, Samsung. So far the hard disk that always failed me is Western Digital hard disk.

The first one is a 160GB IDE which failed due to windows’s power management system that start and stop the hard disk repeatedly (the lesson here is turn off that damn power management which switch off your hard disk when not in use). But the latest draw is the vaunted Black Caviar, hero of performance hard disk (failed not to mention expensive too).

 

 

The reason I bought this hard disk is because I want to install OS on it thus reducing the windows and program start up time. After all it was a high performance hard disk. In just 4 days of installation, it cause a lot of read error. Great, return back to the shop ( 1 hour drive away) and manage to get a 1 to 1 exchange for another brand new one. The second one manage to hold in much longer and at last prematurely “eject-culate” 7 months later in Feb. Here it goes back to the shop again.

 

 

And here I am 2 months later still waiting for the hard disk. Oooohhh thanks a lot to the WD support team for the sweet time taken. I can’t believe you got a factory here in Malaysia! By this time, the hard disk should have traveled around the world.

 

In the meantime, what should I do? I bought another hard disk! Ehh?! What about another 9? Those hard disks are slow or used in another machine. I got 2 green caviar to store movies, anime, and porn. Steam games, online games, other games are installed to this new hard disk, Seagate Barracuda Mark 12. So far so good. Other than the fiasco with the Mark 11 firmware issues, Seagate’s hard disks are one of the hard disk that can rival Black Caviar but it is much silent and cooler even though it is running at 7200 rpm. The performance is comparable and it is a little bit cheaper too. Btw, green caviar is 5400 rpm but WD won’t admit. They said it used smart speed bla bla bla but the hard disk never reach 7200rpm. We all know that faster is better as the hard disk read by cycles.

What should I do when the Black Caviar came back? Maybe I sell it off but most likely I will put it in a HDD enclosure and delegate it to dumb function of backup data storing. A very expensive one too.

 

What cause hard disk to fail?


All hard disk will failed just like your dad’s car. It is just a matter of time. But compared to old hard disk, the newer one will fail much faster. Why? It is due to how much data has to be forced and stored on a 1 tiny disk space on the hard disk. Bigger capacity hard disk will have higher density in order to allow more bit to be stored/written. High density will require faster and more accurate head unit. And since the data is not stored continuously in one train like line, (this has to do with multi tasking that today computer can perform. Eg, 2 data transfer process at the same time) the head unit has to jump randomly reading/writing each data part. And this cause wear and tear and most likely the culprit in my hard disk crash. ( I can hear the head clicking then stop).

The second one is temperature. High temperature affect the circuit or the motor. Hard disk mechanism is very sensitive to heat. Hard disk ran at 40C to 55C but can reach up till 60C during data transfer or during gaming (contributed by other device). So install a heat spreader and attach it to the metal case body.

The third one is vibration. Fan vibration, knocking down or fell while hard disk is running can cause failure.  Get a lower RPM case fan and CPU fan.

The forth one is your power supply. Ensure that your power supply is sufficient to run a lot of hard disk in your system. Insufficient power supply can cause intermittent hard disk cut off which can cause damage to the hard disk.

The last one which the manufacturer will try not to admit is manufacturer defect. Plainly, the hard disk broke the moment it leaves the line and get into your computer. After all, QA is a very tricky business and it is hard to catch defect in the hard disk.

 

The moral of the story is: Never buy Western Digital so called performance hard disk again.

The question is: Will the Black Caviar become the next IBM DeathStar?

 

Update: After they mull over it for 2.5 month, they sent a ‘new’ unit. And guess what? It is a recertified hard disk or refurbished. Imagine if your hard disk failed after 2 months and resend it back for warranty and they send you a recertified unit who knows how long it has been used.

And the last straw is that the unit now has 6 months warranty because it is farking recertified. That’s mean 4 years of warranty lost. Farking great, Western Digital for screwing your customer.

4 thoughts on “Hard disk fail. The Black Caviar lament

  1. I use the western digital eco green 1.5 tb for media server /home server runs 24/7 I have never had a single drive failure my server runs Linux, allows more power control options and drive stats. My drives run a 32mb cache 5400 rpm response time is a bit slower but the life of the drive will be longer as it is not spinning at full throttle constantly and thus burning out the heads or the motors. As I said I have not had a single problem with my drives however every single Seagate I have had has failed in under a years time, during that time I was running windows server 2003 I have since changed my operating system to Linux and have installed wd hdd all running at 5400 rpm except my high performance pc. Most of the time it all depends on the software that controls the hardware.

  2. My 1TB WD failed with in 5 hours of use had to put my old 500gb spinpoint samsung in while i wait for replacement

  3. Stay away from Western Digital. Also Toshiba, since WD acquire Toshiba. I have 3-5 WD Hard disk. All of them failure. If looking for HD, better go for Seagate. My 20GB Seagate still alive since my lovely Pentium 3 PC.

  4. I had 3 failed WD Caviar Black 1TB so far. All were replaced the next day by http://www.plaisio.gr but none worked. I will never ever ever buy WD HDD again. My PC is so cramped with gear that is a TORTURE to try and connect a tiny SATA cable in the MB.

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