Customer Review

343 of 423 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the trouble; Returned my drives., June 2, 2010
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This review is from: Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB Desktop Hard Drive WD20EARS (Personal Computers)
I'm a software engineer and I have enormous archives of data. I currently have more than fifty drives on the shelf behind me, totaling about 20 terabytes of data.

For the last two years, I've used almost exclusively the Western Digital Green drives. Perhaps a half dozen each of the 750gb, 1tb, 1.5tb drives. They've been fantastic for data storage.

When the 2tb version reached the right price point, I ordered a couple of those. I was aware of the issues with sector size, detection, and formatting in Windows, but I use Solaris, Linux, and OSX almost exclusively. These drives were being used in OSX, which does have support for these drives.

However, when I plugged both drives in, I had a hell of a time formatting them through the Disk Utility and had to do it manually on the command line.

The real problems began after the drives were formatted and I had moved a ton of data to them. On one of the drives, I renamed a folder which contained about 1.25tb of data. Instantly, the folder disappeared and the drive appeared empty. That's right. I renamed the folder all my data was in and that magically deleted all my content.

Upon closer inspection, the data was still there - it just didn't appear in the file system. Thankfully, I was able to recover the data with some command-line-fu. I then reformatted the drive and gave it a torture test until the time I had to get these back in the box to return to Amazon before the refund period expired. I found boh of the drives to be questionable, but the one drive above to be particularly bad. It could have been just a bad drive or it could be a consistent problem across all of the 2tb WD Greens. My test sample (two drives) isn't adequate to extrapolate.

I will say that the experience was enough to drive me away from the 2tb version. I've instead gone back to buying the 1.5tb WD Greens and replaced both 2tb drives with three of those.

I don't believe the EARS vs EADS version has anything to do with it as I've been using the 1.5tb versions for a long time now and that includes both EARS and EADS drives. They have been stable and I have never had any issues with them.

I've had good experiences until recently with Western Digital's drives, but I'm too gun-shy from the latest experience to try their 2tb drives again any time soon. Back to the trusty 1.5tbs.

Update: I wrote this review the first week of June and as of the second week of August, I have been running a few 2tb WD EARS drives exclusively in a pair of Drobos (as I mention in further replies to this review, the company behind Drobo sell exclusively WD green drives to meet thermal and power needs for their devices). I've had four 2tb WD EARS running in a single Drobo for more than a month now without any of the problems that I experienced on the other 2TB WD EARS that I used. I'm not sure if this is due to how the Drobo interfaces with and utilizes the drives (and compensates for the slow response times, perhaps?) or if there has been some improvement in newer productions of the drive, or if some of us just had a bad batch (the newest drives were purchased from another leading online tech retailer. Think chicken reproduction...).

At any rate, I am not sure I'll trust these drives directly in a system or as attached storage other than part of a dedicated Drobo-type system. They may be fine for that use (as I've said before, I can only comment on my personal experiences and observed experiences of other people with this drive), but I'm not willing to risk it since we're talking about large amounts of data.

My continued advice based on my latest experiences are that you should still consider these drives, but ONLY if you are aware of and willing ot accept the possibility that you may have to deal with returning/exchanging/replacing your drives. As always, Amazon treats customers very well when they have problems with products -- so as long as you can take the time and effort to do that if you encounter severe drive issues with these, then perhaps the nice price on these will be worth it.
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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 11-20 of 36 posts in this discussion
Posted on Sep 27, 2010 12:14:46 PM PDT
Kim Stewart says:
It looks like everyone having problems is using OSX, are any windows users having problems? i have Win7 and want to know before i purchase.

Posted on Oct 6, 2010 3:21:41 PM PDT
D. Tate says:
Same problem here.Then I was told to use them in a RAID setup and they work fine.I dont think the computer world was ready fo 2TB drives just yet..

Posted on Oct 19, 2010 7:03:18 PM PDT
Pedro says:
I have 3 of those and I have never had problems with any of them. I'm also a computer enginner and have tons of data, something close to 10tb. Both of my Windows OS, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, deal really well with them;

Posted on Nov 21, 2010 10:53:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2010 10:54:31 PM PST
Jolly Rogers says:
read that the ears drives may need removal of jumper on the back of the drive to use it with some o/s. perhaps this is related to the problem u encountered?

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 4:36:02 PM PST
denamite says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2010 10:50:08 AM PST
Weld Tech says:
I have 5 of the EARS 2TB drives. All purchased from microcenter from around August 2010 through November 2010. I only use them in external USB cases (USB 2.0 and 3.0). I've only formatted them with the jumper in pins 7 and 8, formatting in NTFS through Windows XP 32 bit. I can connect the USB hard drive case (now NTFS formatted with and without files) to my Win7 64 bit system, WinXP 32 bit system and WD Live Plus Media Player without any issues. I did not use any drive alignment utilities, just used the jumper at pins 7 and 8.
WinXP requires jumper or alignment utilities, Win7 does not, if using NTFS file system.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2010 4:59:58 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jan 4, 2011 11:54:02 AM PST
kone says:
Can you or other reviews tell me if adding an extra internal drive requires the help of a computer geek squad? I used to swap out hard drives on all my other computers with an OS of XP or earlier, but have not tried it with the newer computers or Winsdows 7. I am fairly adept at hooking things up. What do I need to hook up this hard drive? Does it come with the appropriate ribbon hook-ups? Any advice is welcome.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2011 4:47:40 PM PST
I wanted to state for the record that I, too, have had problems with this drive. It is six months since I purchased the EADS and it is giving me the click of death. I also was using it in a Thermaltake device, but in Windows Vista. Luckily, it is still under manufacturer's warranty, but I really don't want the data I've lost to leave my control. I could always upgrade through their website, but at that price I could just as easily order another drive off Amazon. So, it looks like I have an expensive doorstop, a lost media library, and the prospect of spending more money to start fresh. I bought mine in June or July 2010 from a chain store with the initials BB, so it is possible that these were part of a bad batch.

Posted on Jan 17, 2011 1:00:47 AM PST
I have 3 of these drives and 2 of them have failed. This is a disaster for my NAS and backup storage.

Does Wd not have any Warranty on these things? On drive crashes after about 3 hours. REformatted it twice and reloaded it. It is in a Raid 1 system and I can replace it, but the down time is getting stupid.

I also have an external USB/Esata housing which uses this drive I use for backup up and transferring images around on differnt computers. This one also had some tough initial formatting problems.

I agree, if these are half way done, then htey are not worth the time. But I cannot tell if the controller card is crappy or if the actual DRIVE is bad. Would be nice to know. Bad Card can be upgraded and fixed. Bad Drive is usless.

What does Wd say about these?

(I just ordered the Scorpio blue 1TB internal drive for my laptop, If it even HINTS at a problem, it will go RIGHT back. Just do not have time to babysit computers at a very basic level. Enough other stuff to do..)

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