Western Digital WD10EARS "Green" = FAIL...
The company that invented mass storage (the hard drive) for the personal
Western Digital™ now produces a series of hard drives that in my
opinion are junk.
The WD Green series of hard drives are not only junk they
are a hazard to your data!
In 2011 I had a small windfall, when I paid off some bills I had about $600
left over for my business endeavor so I decided to upgrade my business server.
The idea was to upgrade the motherboard from dual PIII 999 MHz processors to
a Core 2 Duo or Quad, replace the old 3Com 100 MBPS NIC's with new 1 GBPS NIC's,
increase the memory from 3 GB to 8 GB or more. And increase the storage from 1
TB to 4 or more TB. ( I had five hard drives in an array and three of them were
over ten years old, however none of them had failed).
When I researched the hard drives I found two that I thought were reasonable
in price and did not have any bad reviews on the newegg.com web site.
The Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS and the
Western Digital™ WD10EARS-00MVWB0
are both 1 TB SATA III drives which match the new motherboard interface.
So I bought two Seagate ST31000524AS and two Western Digital™ WD10EARS drives
to give the upgrade 3 TB (I used one Seagate drive in my tower).
After struggling with getting the Server OS to install with the
motherboard I decided that the motherboard would was not compatible with an
older Windows Server Operating system and I bought a
GIGABYTE P43T-ES3G motherboard and proceeded to setup my server.
The first wd drive died not six weeks after the upgrade. Western Digital™ sent me a
new replacement drive.
The second Western Digital™ drive died about 9 months after the upgrade.
And to top it off I do believe the WD drives also caused the Seagate drive to
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These Western Digital™ WD10EARS drives have a time out built into the drive
BIOS (Basic Input Output System) that shuts down the drive when there isn't any
activity. Laptop drives have had this feature for decades.
However the Western Digital™
WD10EARS drive feature is a failure, the drive
will not respond to the startup command when the drive is accessed. I have tried
different utilities to turn off this feature, for the 1 TB drive it will
The two replacement drives must have an updated BIOS because the
will turn off the suspend timer feature, however it did not work with the older
WD10EARS drives. (This utility is now available from the WD web site, thank you
Kermit for finding it).
When the Seagate ST31000524AS drive failed Seagate sent a reconditioned drive not a new
drive this tells me that Seagate has a better product.
WD on the other hand does not send a reconditioned drive but a new higher
When the "Energy Star" program started in the late 1980's I was one of the
beta testers for two large computer component manufactures and I totally agree
that conservation of resources is a must in this age of throw away products but
being politically correct and producing worthless products will damage you
company and it's brand.
In my 25+ year career as a computer repair Tech I have seen hard drives
increase in capacity and reliability to a point where most hard drives are
replaced due to lack of capacity not failures.
This Western Digital™ 1 TB drive has blown that stat out of the water, two
drives that have failed with less than 5,000 hours (average for both
drives) is a HUGE step backwards!
As far as I am concerned the Western Digital™ WD10EARS Green drives are a
I have not lost any data because I have a backup program but I can not use
these two drives with any confidence because they may fail at any time...
If you use a green drive you have to be aware of the consequences and back
up frequently, it is your data and if you fail to back it up it will be lost!
And because of this constant back up of your data what are the cost savings?
Western Digital™ has telephone and online support for their products. I used
the telephone support to track the first drive I returned because it was taking
a long time to get an answer about the
RMA I submitted with the returned drive.
The online support is a little confusing until I realized that to get support
I had to "register" the drive by the drive type and serial number. Once I passed
that hurtle the RMA process went a little smoother.
Over all the Western Digital™ support is pretty good but the fact that you
have to pay for the shipping to Western Digital™ for the failed hard drive could
wind up costing you more than you paid for the original drive. By doing 6 RMA's
to Western Digital™ the shipping would have bought a different drive with a
I am rating Western Digital™ support at 8 over all because the web page
should have a notice that all drives have to be registered before using the RMA
My $0.02 ...
My WD 1.5 TB drive (a WD15EARS-60MVWB0) died today, I was
transferring files to it then it went off line. I restarted the Server and it
came back. Sorta, I could access it and the index showed files but when I tried
to copy files to it again it went off line.
On the next restart the drive would not initialize. I started the Server with
an ERD disk and looked at the drive with the command line: No partition on the
drive. I did some diagnostics on the drive, I think the electronics died.
[sigh] another RMA to WD...
Update 10/03/13 - The two replacement drives WD15EARS have died I now have to
2 TB WD20EARX drives, I will up date this page if one of them fails...
02/14/14 - As of today both of the WD20EARX drives are functioning as
advertised, I use one for my data and the other as a backup, not a true mirror
drive, I use a batch file with the old NT 4 program called robocopy.exe to do my
backups to the other drive, this in reality is a waste of a 2 TB drive but I can
not trust these drives fully yet, and probably never will. When funds permit I
will replace them with another set of drives that I trust.
Update 03/05/15 - Although these drives have been in operation for over a year and a
half I still do not trust them, I would like to setup a RAID 3 configuration
with the 2 TB Seagate, that would give me 4 TB of storage vs 2 TB of storage
being backed up to two 2 TB WD20EARX "Green" hard drives, I may get another
Seagate for a hot spare and do the RAID, all depends on when I have the spare
Update 03/05/20 - After seven years the WD20EARX drives are
still operational, which leads me to believe that WD has it's mojo back and
hopefully (doubtful) the company has got over the "green" BS and gone back to
the original Energy Star philosophy... BTW one of the original Seagate
T31000524AS drives failed last week, will upgrade to a 4TB drive
when it arrives in a day or so, not bad; nine years for a drive that operates