back to article Unlucky WD Ultrastar drives are knackered, need replacing ASAP

El Reg has received an antipodean note that a number of Western Digital enterprise disk drives are having problems and need to be replaced. WD spokesman Paul Wooding said: We have identified a small, isolated population of HGST Ultrastar disk drives demonstrating higher than expected failure rates when used in specific …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well at least they admit there is an issue, unlike an other brand which i wont mention... who has a long history of knowing drives had an issue and kept on sending them out the door with their fingers in their ears singing la la la la. i would use a WD drive for magnetic storage over competitors every time.

    1. Chronos

      This. Only a fool thinks failures don't happen. The mark of the company is how it deals with them.

    2. Spaceman Spiff

      Yes. Disc drives fail. What is the differentiator is how the company deals with the situation. I also prefer WD to other (un)named companies' disc drive products. First of all, they run a LOT cooler, which when you run them 24x365 that is critical. Second, my SMART monitor indicates they have a lot fewer sector failures over time.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dishonest - WD denied faults for years...

      Bought several dozen Passport NAS WD's for family / friends. They all failed (blue light of death). So don't recommend them, sorry...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dishonest - WD denied faults for years...

        Do you mean the Passport Wireless? If so, why would you buy several dozen (I take that this means at least 36) of these things if they are so rubbish? Wouldn't they have been replaced under warranty too?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          'Wouldn't they (be) replaced under warranty too?'

          Here's what happened: As the go-to-tech guy for colleagues, family and friends, I recommended WD to them, which was a monumental mistake. The WD Passports all failed with the blue-light-of-death just outside warranty or just inside. However, returning wasn't always an option: A. People were busy... B. Returning products In the US is trivial but outside (EU/Latam) its more complicated.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They also have pretty extensive prelaunch infield testing of products before they launch them. I think they do as much can be expected, but any sane person would understand, that even after that, shit can still happen

    5. razorfishsl

      Seriously......... WD cause us nothing but problems....

  2. 0laf Silver badge

    Return of the Deathstar

    Ok it's a different company, and product but......Deathstar!

    1. Mark 65

      Re: Return of the Deathstar

      It was only a matter of time until the takeover resulted in the quality of HGST products descending to meet WD ones rather than the latter rising.

  3. Jess--

    Leaking Helium?

    Unless I am wrong the HGST drives are the newer helium filled drives.

    I wonder if the failure is being caused by the helium escaping (it's quite good at escaping through almost any material)

    1. Calleb III

      Re: Leaking Helium?

      Not quite HGST = Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

      WD bought them a while ago, but they still use the brand

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Leaking Helium?

      I wonder if the failure is being caused by the helium escaping

      Or do the controllers have Intel Atom chips in them?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Leaking Helium?

      They do seem to have a finite pre-determined shelf life, when filled with Helium.

      Not finding the WD Reds that reliable either. Nasware 2.0 Versions, not 3.0 Versions. 18 months was the first failure and they sit at a cool operating temp all the time. The WD Diagnostic tool is overly optimistic too, stating drive had repaired itself, when it clearly hadn't.

      We have Hitacti drives too, that always show 1 degree lower temp (sit along the WD reds) and have been rock solid. Trouble is, you can no longer buy them.

      Far too many variations of late, too. Reds, Purple, Gold, Black, Blue etc. I can't even remember the Seagate branding off the top of my head, Skyhawk is one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Leaking Helium?

        The "Seagate" in their branding is all you need to know to avoid them.

  4. Oh Homer

    The IBM "Deathstar" curse lives on

    IBM -> Hitachi -> Western Digital.

    Companies should just stop putting "star" in their product names, clearly.

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: The IBM "Deathstar" curse lives on

      That's a good joke, but they broke free from that curse 10 years ago. HGST has had pretty solid quality since Deathstar days.

  5. Paul Renault


    Do they suffer from stuckism?

    / Yes, obscure.

    1. Anonymous IV

      Re: Antipodean?

      Since Wikipedia says "Stuckism is an international art movement founded in 1999 by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson to promote figurative painting as opposed to conceptual art" I suspect the answer is "No".

      On the other hand, I may have missed the extremely obvious and amazingly funny joke...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Antipodean?

        "Since Wikipedia says "Stuckism is..."

        I am thinking the answer is to ignore Wikipedia and look at the Stuckist manifesto. I suspect the gpp poster is thinking of clause 20

        "Stuckism embraces all that it denounces. We only denounce that which stops at the starting point — Stuckism starts at the stopping point!"

        This does sound a bit like the usual means to fix a hard disk which is having a bit of stiction. But yes, obscure.

    2. Julifriend

      Re: Antipodean?

      Would that be stiction? Usual solved with a sharp tap on the floor if past experience of IBM engineers is anything to go by.

  6. Duffaboy

    Why is it that most manufacturers say

    We have identified a small.......... when actually they mean...............

  7. razorfishsl

    sounds like Microsoft & 365.......

    We have identified a small % of users... yep when it is calculated over several million users....

    never will they give a figure... I.E 500 users have been impacted......

  8. VicMortimer

    Western Dataloss

    I've called them Western Dataloss for years. Looks like they've finally brought down the HGST line to their standard lack of quality.

    I've installed more Seagate drives over the years than any other. I've pulled more dead Western Dataloss drives out of systems than any other. At least 50% of the dead drives I've had to replace over the years (and yes, that includes the IBM Deathstar drives in the total) have been Western Dataloss.

    No drive manufacturer is perfect.

    And none is as bad as WD.

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