Western Digital’s Odd Drive Failures
Recently I have both been witness to and heard of a series of odd WD drive failures. The first was a personal experience with an eBay special computer I had purchased for my parents. Naturally these things wait to fail until you are out of state and unable to help the person. The computer was humming along nicely, then just died. They turned it off for about a day and it started running but complained about a couple of corrupted files. I thought they had a virus of some kind or the power supply which made more noise than it should was failing. Once I got home and started diagnosing the problem, I found the hard drive simply hung during a Linux install. The machine would not boot until you unhooked the drive. Replacing the drive with a non WD drive fixed the problem.
When I returned to my client site I found they had experienced the exact same problem with an Enterprise class drive. Then I started hearing about others having the same problem. This has to be a logic problem with the firmware. It harkens back to a time when MFM drives would just “stick”. Those drives wouldn’t restart unless you used your finger on the exposed shaft to get it spinning again. These drives don’t have such a condition. The place where they stick appears to be random. As a result I have been buying drives from other vendors since this sounds like a lack of testing. As always, buyer beware.