Customer Review

1,115 of 1,181 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely flimsy usb3 connector design - BUYER BEWARE, June 21, 2011
This review is from: WD My Book 2TB External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 File Backup and Storage (Personal Computers)
This applies to the My Book USB3 2TB drive.

First the good stuff -
It is a nice fast drive. HDTune showed and average speed around 90-100MB/s when connected to a USB3 port on my Lenovo W510 laptop. That is why I bought the thing, and it works well. I had NO trouble accessing the drive (but then I reformatted it completely and did not see any issues with the CD partition etc..).

Note: I needed to update the USB3 drivers on my W510 to get it to be recognized consistently by Windows 7. That is likely an issue with the Win7 NEC USB3 drivers preinstalled on my Lenovo, and nothing to do with the WD drive.

Now the awful part:
After about 4 months of usage, the USB3 female connector in the cabinet came loose - and was stuck to the USB3 cable when I removed it!

I have owned close to ten different WD external USB drives from ~320GB and up to 2TB drives. I have *never* had any such issue with any previous drive (my only real gripe has been the fickleness of the tiny USB connector which often doesn't need much in the way of movement to cause the machine to lose contact with the drive - rather annoying).

Inspecting the board where the connector was - it seems that on this drive, it is just soldered straight on with 5-6 soldering points - NONE of which go through the board. This is quite unlike their 2TB USB2 My Book where the tiny USB2 connector is supported by two plastic studs that go through the PCB board. And the power connector on both USB2 and USB3 is soldered with pins going though the board and an additional thicker plastic stud.

So if you intend to stick the cable in there and leave the thing stationary - you will most likely not have this problem.

HOWEVER if you do any amount of plugging it in and out, you must use EXTREME CAUTION or you will most likely break off the connector at some point.

The shop I bought it from had one raving review when I bought it from them - but when I went back after my problem, there were 7-8 other people with the exact same problem.

So it definitely looks like a terrible design which should never have been implemented, and can not have gone through any kind of real world testing. I am quite frankly disgusted at the QA process that let something like this go into the retail chain.

BUYER BEWARE!

If you google WD MY BOOK USB3 BROKEN CONNECTOR or similar, you should find people both on TomsHardware and on Western Digitals own community who have experienced this.

---
Be aware that if a hard drive fails, you will most likely not get any help/compensation for your data. They will at most replace the defective unit with a new one. Make sure you have multiple backups.

And I can't really say I disagree with that policy.

The problem here however, is that Western Digital has clearly designed a product which has an extremely weak point - and I hope they will show the corporate responsibility to fix the design and offer to replace the drives. The quality of that connector is quite UNACCEPTABLE and I will surely never buy anything like it again. And I have been very happy with my earlier WD purchases :(

Western Digital: I am looking forward to hearing your response to this post. Show us that you care about your customers.
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Comments

Tracked by 23 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 107 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 28, 2011 9:59:27 AM PDT
Dan says:
Yes. You might have noticed many of the positive reviews are from people who "just got it, works great!" They will find out about the faulty connectors in 4-6 months time.

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 12:38:30 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 20, 2011 12:38:45 AM PDT
Tigress says:
I bought one for cheap...more than 20 less than its current price and thanks to your review I am now prepared.

Of all the negative reviews this gave the most precise and concise reason WHY we shouldn't buy this drive at full price. I'll be very careful with the usb3.0 connector and let's hope WD gets on top of this.

Posted on Jul 29, 2011 1:47:10 PM PDT
Techbob says:
This was a VERY well written review. I hope WD lets people know when this is fixed.

Posted on Aug 15, 2011 10:27:16 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 15, 2011 10:29:50 PM PDT]

Posted on Aug 15, 2011 10:35:09 PM PDT
Knowing that the USB3 connector on the WD drive is a weak spot, a good way to avoid putting stress on it is by avoiding plug/unplug actions.

Treat it as if the USB3 cable is permanently attached to it.

Buy additional cables so that each USB3 device has its own cable.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2011 11:59:47 PM PDT
INGE STUBDAL says:
Yes, that would help somewhat. But I wouldn't move the drive or handle the cable all that much in that case either - it is absolutely safest if both cable and drive are moved as little as possible. I think the cable can break by bending the cable or if some strain is put on it.

Posted on Aug 29, 2011 9:18:16 AM PDT
Bethr says:
Question for Inge re: the USB3 connector issue. Is the USB3 connector the same physical connector as the USB2? The computer I have doesn't have USB3-- only USB2. The My Book is supposed to be USB3/2-- I only know that means it will be compatible with both 2 and 3-- but I don't know what that means physically regarding the plug itself. Is it the same plug for both USB 3 and 2, and as such the connector will be a weak point whether connecting 3 or 2? Or does using USB 2 use a different connector which doesn't have the same weakness?

Thanks much.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2011 9:38:02 AM PDT
There is only ONE female USB connector on the drive, whether you connect it to USB 2 or 3 port on the computer.

So the weakness is there no matter what.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2011 9:12:11 AM PDT
The plug that goes into the PC USB port will work with USB3, 2, and 1 ports just fine and is sturdy enough. The issue is with the port on the back of the external hard drive itself. Going by what the OP is saying its just soldered to the PCB and has no reinforcement so its easy to break.

That is a very dumb mistake for WD to make. I don't doubt the OP however you'd think WD would've used some common sense. Especially given how long they've been in the business.

Posted on Sep 16, 2011 1:14:51 AM PDT
Thanks Inge! I was about to buy this drive, but now will be cautious!
the USB 2.0 drives don't seem to have the connector problem.
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