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on June 2, 2011
I got this drive to place into a striped RAID configuration with an older, 32MB cache WD 750 Black drive.

Functionality-wise, this new drive works fine. The RAID volume is running and fast. Like with most hard drives, you want it to "just work" and it does. Not much to say here.

However, this drive is easily 3 times louder than its older WD counterpart! I haven't heard a drive with head seeks this noisy in a long time. It's not something I cannot ignore, and it's not the kind of sound you hear when a drive is failing, but take the "clicking" you heard on most drives when they're active and imagine them 3x louder. That's this drive.

I'm actually going to see if WD has a utility to control the acoustic mode of the drive. I've worked hard to build a quiet machine (with Noctua fans/etc.) but adding this drive has just set me back in that goal. It's livable, but definitely not ideal.
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on August 22, 2011
The drive is a great buy. It's fast, but not silent. The people saying it sounds like a coffee pot are ridiculously overstating the noise level. Yes, you can hear it during heavy writes/startup, but it is nowhere near a dealbreaker. It's probably louder than your case fans, but nothing that will make you regret your purchase unless you're building a PC aimed at silence.
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on February 14, 2012
I originally looked for 2 - 1TB WD Black to recreate my RAID 1, after having had two failures with my Seagate Barracuda 1TB disks. What I found instead was 2 - 1.5TB WD Black disks for an extra nine dollars a piece, as compared to the 1TB disks. I bought them and were received in a few days. They seem to work fine as individual units, since I've had no time to recreate my RAID 1 yet.
I would like to point out that although I'm against oversized shipping boxes for no reason, I'm also against packing two heavy hard disks like the ones I received in a very small box without the proper space for the correct type of bubble wrap. It was the poorest packing I ever received and am afraid that all the bouncing during transit will catch up with me in the form of a premature failure of the units, once they go into service as originally intended.
I hope AMAZON will take action in this matter, since it seems to be a recurrent situation.
I rated the units at 4 stars because they are not guilty of the poor packaging.
Someone else deserves between zero and minus one star for the lack of common sense when preparing the units for shipment.
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on July 22, 2011
**update 8/6**

I wanted to update my review. Today the hard drive crashed and was rendered unbootable. I was able to still retrieve data off it after docking it to a hard drive dock. I went back to my backup imaged WD Green 750GB hard drive for now and ordered the Green 1TB drive. I've had bad luck with the Blue and now the Black models crashing, never had issues with the Green so will return this back to Amazon and get that.

-I wanted to add the fact that there is no issues with Amazon's is shipped in a small box via USPS and arrived in perfect condition.

My 750GB Western Digital Green hard drive was getting a bit old, so I bought a 750GB WD Black drive...hoping to get a speed boost from the 7200 RPM and extra cache. As far as I can see, I don't feel a speed increase. But nonetheless it's not any slower than the Green, and the noise level although loud is not a big deal because I have a noisier fan in my computer.

I think all Western Digital hard drives are reliable and fast (Blue, Green or Black) and you won't go wrong getting one. And if you do end up with a bummer, then their warranty service is excellent...and for the black you get 5 years (which by then the industry would have switched the SSD drives).

The True Image software that Western Digital provides for download on their website is a great piece of software which I use to image drives (ala Norton Ghost) for use as backup...if the hard drive ever crashes I just swap the back up in and I'm up and running.

Pros: Legendary Western Digital reliability, decent speed, availability of Imaging software from website, long warranty

Cons: a bit noisy, gets hot (if you want a hard drive that runs cool and quiet...but a little slower go with the Green series
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on September 1, 2011
I purchased this to install Steam on since my boot drive was running out of space. I was running on (early SATA) Raid 0 config before and so far the caviar black seems to run things faster by itself than the raid setup. Eventually I plan to replace the old RAID setup with SSD but this drive was a great in-between option for me while I save up $$. If you are not looking for ultimate gaming performance I think this would be a great stand alone drive as well since it is quick and has plenty of storage. Sound is also an issue for me and so far the only way I can tell this is running is by the blinking HDD light on my case.
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on December 26, 2011
I bought this drive when it was $60, before the flooding in Singapore and the following Hard Drive shortage. The drive arrived in a box that was barely bigger than the drive itself, so I was afraid of the drive being DOA due to mechanical shock. However, I've had this drive for over 2 months and not only has it not crashed, it boots Win7 in under 1 minute (using SATA III). WD drives have always operated reliably for me, and this one is no exception. I highly recommend it.
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on February 5, 2011
As usual has produced an outstanding hard drive, especially considering the features and the price. I have purchased hard drives from multiple manufacturers and I keep coming back to WD for their reliability. And despite the comments below, I probably still will.

But beware o the noise this drive can make. It's quiet when under light loads. But if you're doing heavy reading/writing on the drive, the thing is loud. I could hear the thing going in the next room when I was doing a fresh install! It's the same issue when booting up. It's normal hard drive noise, but I haven't heard a hard drive this noisy since 1996 when I had my first computer.

If you don't mind the noise, this hard drive is a really great choice. But if you want a quiet experience, then this is definitely not an option.
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I've used WD hard drives for a long time. I've used the RE3, RE4, and the new plain RE lines in my servers. Those drives have firmware that is designed for systems using hardware RAID. But that isn't necessary for lighter duty servers.

For light duty servers the Caviar Black line has provided outstanding service in my light-use servers for well for over a decade.These are Linux servers using *software* RAID 1 mirroring. In this group of servers it seems like I'm always adding new boxes, upgrading or retiring older ones. My mix of WD Caviar Black drives includes ones that are a decade old and ones that are almost new.

On the very rare occasion when a drive has started throwing errors WD honored the warranty and I got a replacement quickly. With RAID1 I can operate on one drive for a while, but I keep a couple of spares on the shelf just in case.

For desktop use I recommend these drives for top performance from a 7200 RPM mechanical drive. They can sometimes be heard through a desktop case, but I see that as helpful - I know when the disk is busy. It's not loud enough to annoy me.

For a well rounded mechanical drive the Caviar Black line is going to be very good. WD has consistently improved performance and reliability over time so I'm confident the next model will be better than the last.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on October 13, 2011
I bought two of these Western Digital 1.5 TB WD1502FAEX drives to update a RAID array that had consisted of older lower capacity WD drives. The drives arrived packaged well and both worked out of the box. I built the new RAID mirror array from the old drives (2 x 340Gb WD--always worked flawlessly) and began using these new ones in my software development business. For a lot of reasons, I do everything on the RAID drive: operating system, development tools, source code.

There are two reasons I am giving these drives an unsatisfactory rating. First, they are loud. The desktop I have is a Dell XPS/Dimension whose case design seems questionable: the drives are mounted near the bottom of the box. The drive sounds are amplified somewhat as a consequence. Even sitting on a carpeted floor and with the machine sitting idle, these drives were so loud with the background churning you can count on with any Windows system these days, that I found myself putting the system in standby mode if I was doing anything else in my office. It was annoying. The only real solution was to override it with something louder, or simply put everything to sleep, including these silly things, in a very fast standby setting.

The second reason is reliability. I keep my machines on 24x7. I have done this now for 20 years. In all of that time, I have never had any drive fail outright. I may have once or twice started to see data errors, perhaps a blue screen, but I've always been able to get to the data, clean the drive, etc. Not this time. Somewhere within 1-4 weeks after installing these drives (I was away for three weeks time), I returned home to find the RAID array degraded. One of the two drives was dead, and it could not be seen by the OS. When I put it in an external case, it powers up briefly, makes quite a few unhappy sounds, then powers down. Unfortunately, I cannot access the drive to clean or format it, so the warranty is useless. I won't send my company's proprietary source code anywhere, including directly to WD for a replacement, so I will eat the cost of this drive and I get to spend some time with a drill press before trashing it with a recycler.

Given the issues with noise and reliability, I wasn't about to buy another one of these drives to pair with the one that still works. I put the one working drive aside and I'll use it in an external case for a backup device. I bought two new non-WD drives for the primary RAID array. I'm not sure what to make of this experience: it seems more like what one should expect from the bottom of a company's product line, not their top tier stuff.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced with the WD Caviar Black, as this is not the typical experience with the product. It is very unfortunate that this drive failed in such a short time. Nevertheless, we would like to assure you that Western Digital does rigorously test and verify all of our drives, prior to shipping, with burn-in and diagnostic tests. Western Digital recommends the use of our Enterprise line of products for use under a 24x7 environment. Please see the link below for more information.
We would appreciate the opportunity to further assist you, and resolve any further concerns you may have with the device and/or your experience. You may contact us at 1 (800) 275-4932, or via our support website at: Please indicate within the online case creation or with the first support agent you speak with, that you are responding to an Amazon review, so we route you and your information to the correct team members.
on January 26, 2012
I put my 750GB Caviar Black in my newly-built PC in early December, and now less than 2 months later it is completely dead, all data on it lost. It is so dead, my PC can't even get through the BIOS POST if it is plugged in. So I can't boot off my SSD or even off a recovery CD, if this drive is plugged in. (And if it's not plugged in, I can boot properly but can't run any diagnostics or recovery sotware on the failed drive...)

Right up until it died, it was working well (but generally only doing light-duty work). Then I needed to move some large hunks of data to and from this drive (probably 400-600GB worth of data transferred over a number of hours). Then, next time I tried to boot up my PC, the disk was utterly dead and preventing me from booting.

Update (6 months later): I RMA'd the failed drive with Western Digital and they sent me a replacement. I used the replacement purely as backup storage (very light duty) but now about 6 months later, the drive is reporting a S.M.A.R.T. failure and Windows is prompting me to backup all data off this drive because it could fail completely sometime soon and be unrecoverable. Very disappointing.
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