September 14, 2012

My ongoing HDD troubles

In case you haven't heard, my 1 TeraByte external Hard Drive met an unfortunate sector problem Tuesday morning. This was very unexpected, as the drive was only for storage, particularly backing up each day in my life as time goes on. I did not grind this drive with high random reads and writes daily, and I most certainly treated it with care, keeping it free of dust and such.
 The problem (yellow warning)

At first I thought it was the USB ports on the laptop that I'm borrowing. But they didn't kill my older hard drives that I retired, which makes it even more frustrating is that this 1TB drive is not even a year old and it already has a fault. It was intended to backup two 3.5inch portable drives that I had to retire due to their size and low GB count (one of them is an 80GB, the other is a 250GB). I traveled with these, they came with me everywhere I went in Germany, all the way to Asia, and they still work, and yet this Western Digital drive is choking. So I figured if it wasn't the USB ports, and I treated it with care, what went wrong?

Then I remembered reviews. I generally prefer Newegg feedbacks because most of the people buying there are power users who know what they are doing, and looking at the drive that I own, I see that I am not alone in problems with this drive. My case seems to be a rather simple one: while I was doing the standard backing up of my files, it stopped copying yet the drive light kept blinking. Now everytime I plug the drive in, Windows will give that message that the drive should be checked. I've done that several times already, but the problem remains: there are still bad sectors. Bad sectors that might need to be regenerated just to get the drive back to normal.
And by normal I mean back to it's normal speed. As you can see above, I can see my files, but that's the time it takes for one 400mb file. One little file that I have no idea how my connection managed 400mb, but that's how long it takes. You know how long it took to copy 8GB from my drive? More than 4 hours. 4 hours! I don't have that much time to spend on copying files, so I need to regenerate the sectors. It took me 1 week to scan and regen my 160GB drive that died on me earlier this year, and if we times that 8, it would take me a little more than 2 months o__O.

It's rather problematic that I moved the entire Summer 2012 Anime that I have into the 1TB drive the night before it choked. To be honest, that isn't really important. I mean I know how much Anime means to me but what concerns me mostly is that this 1TB drive is my backup drive, which includes work as well, but it also includes the ultra rare XDA-developers work that I have done the past two years, I am the only known soul on Earth that contains the archives for several phones, and without these files I have absolutely no way of sharing my work for the community, which I was to slowly upload as time goes on.

The solution I've come up with is to guess which area of the drive is affected, scan it, and then regen that particular area only. That's the only way I can save the drive now, but that's the new problem: I need another drive to clone the files, which I don't have, and it being the middle of the month, I can't afford this. Especially when I canceled saving up for a new computer a couple of months ago due to new circumstances, but I never factored my hard drive because not only was it a rarely used, well cared for drive, but it is only 10 months old. I can't RMA it because it would cost me a heck of a lot of heck just to send it to them.


  1. This whole story sounds weird to me. WD's usually recognized as a pretty solid brand who makes reliable and long-lasting stuff.

    I've personally never had a problem with any of the WD-HDDs I own. (ranging from 500gb to 2tb)

    Maybe you've just been unlucky (again) and ended up with a defective unit or something.

    As for the donation, I'll see what I can do.
    Keep in mind that I'm planning to buy an additional 3tb external hard-drive soon, so... no guarantees.

  2. I really would like to trust WD, but I absolutely treated this drive with care, and I for one never thought this would happen, because I trusted my most rarest of files to this drive and it failed me.

    If you read up on these portable drives, you'll see this isn't like their standard desktop/laptop type of hdd, not only did they fuse the controller onto the drive rendering it useless when taken apart from it's case, but they also depend on a specific driver to load whenever plugged into a computer, and from user reports this kind of method not only takes up space on the drive, but it might also explain my current problem right now: the most recent scan found the bad sectors at the beginning of the drive, and if WD's "special partition" is located here, then it would explain why the drive isn't working properly (user reports indicate this partition is untouchable).

    Anyways, I decided to let the company deal with my predicaments, so I'm taking down the donation link (that was originally only for XDA). I've had enough of taking the fall for my equipment failures in the line of duty, and I would rather focus my attention elsewhere than dealing with defective trite (if it ever made you wonder why I suddenly transitioned from my personal laptop to the Sony Vaio, that Vaio was also company supplied, and we all know what happened to that drive).

    By the way I'd chalk it up to me being unlucky with this particular model (the newer ones don't seem to have problems) :P


Comments are published immediately, and anyone can comment.