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RMA, For A New Hard Drive?

Second Fourth! RMA required, all the Western Digital Caviar Green 1 TB SATA III drives died...

A month or so ago I upgraded my server, new motherboard, Core 2 Quad processor, 8 Gig of Ram, PNY 850 GT video, and two Western Digital Caviar Green 1 TB SATA III drives.

Well one drive failed last week. What? Never done a Return Merchandise Authorization?

It was a little strange when it failed.

For a couple of days I was having network problems when copying large files across the network the drives would drop offline, then after a couple of minutes come back. The funny part was all the server drives were doing this not just one.

When the drive finally died it took the server down with it, that is the server would not start once it Blue Screened. Now most of the time when you have a BSOD you can use the code on the screen to tell you what has failed or to point you in the direction of the failure.

This one didn't say it was a hard drive but memory, which was really a red hearing.

  • To find out what was causing my BSOD I disconnected all the drives, took the memory down to one 2 GB memory module and powered it up, it came up so that meant the single memory module was good.
  • I tried each memory module one at a time, they all check good.
  • Next I connect the DVD drive and put a boot disk in it, powered up, it starts and loads the OS on the disk.
  • Then I connect the boot drive (the first 1 TB drive) is boots and loads the OS.


When I connect up the second 1 TB drive it BSOD's!

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But why is it Blue Screening? I take a screw driver and place the tip on the drive and put my ear on the handle (using the screw driver as a type of stethoscope - old mechanics trick to find a lifter that is too loose). The drive isn't spinning up. However the drive electronics are working because it shows up in the BIOS as an installed drive.

A bummer really, the first new hard drive I've had fail in a very long time. Luckily I was using it as a backup drive not the boot drive although I do have an image of the OS partition...

Now I get to box it up and send it back to Western Digital for replacement with a RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) and that will take at least two weeks if not longer.

That is ok because I found a Seagate 1 TB for the same price and bought two of them one to replace the WD that failed and one for my main system (too many Virtual Drives filled up the 300 GB drive, so lots of space for VM's now!) Smile...

At the time I wrote this article for the old the old drive had not been returned, at this time I have a new Western Digital Caviar Green drive with the capacity of 1.5 TB, how ever I am not happy with these drives. They have a built in time out that will shut the drive down when it is inactive, heck it shuts the drive down when it is active. I have tried WD's utility to turn off the 'sleep' function but it doesn't work the drives still shut down. This is very annoying and I give WD a fail on this drive. (I may not buy another WD drive if this type of drive is all they make!)

I have done four (4!) RMA's to WD for two of these "green" drives and now I have two 2 TB WD10EARS drives that I am most unhappy with. Actually at the time I bought the first two the reviews on three web sites were that this was a good drive, the thing is they were too new to have had any bad reviews. This WD10EARS drive has to be the worst drive I have bought since I started using hard drives... Too many RMA's in my opinion.

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