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WD Blue 1TB SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch Desktop Hard Drive (WD10EZEX)
Capacity: 1TB|Style: 3.5" Desktop HDD - 7200 RPM Class|Change
Price:$49.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on October 26, 2014
I gave this drive to someone as a gift, and they've been using it for backups for 10 months without issue.
My review is based on another unit of this drive which I bought for myself some months later. I've been using it as my primary desktop OS/programs drive since 5/29/2014, so it's about 5 months now. There have been no problems thus far. It's really quite a bargain for desktop use if 1TB is all you need.
The actual capacity of this drive is 931.5GB. That's an old marketing trick which can be blamed for the pointless redefinition of all our real, long established data measurements with those silly "i" characters. I won't dwell on it any further, but 931GB is the true capacity when measured in base 2, as all data is correctly measured.

This 1TB Blue drive uses a single 1TB platter spinning at 7200rpm. There are 2 heads (each side is 500GB).
A single platter design is usually better for reliability than having multiple smaller platters, because there are fewer points of failure, the assembly is lighter, the motor doesn't have to work as hard, and less heat is generated.
Single platter drives will also tend to be quieter, but due to my configuration I can't judge the noise level.

There has been much discussion and testing among users in online forums, including WD's forum, which repeatedly show that the 1TB Blue and 1TB Black perform the same. It appears the only benefit of the 1TB Black is a longer warranty. Some Blacks are faster than this drive, but the 1TB model is not.
Compared to a Green, the Blue is faster owing to it's faster rotation speed. The Green drives also have an "intellipark" feature which causes them to keep parking the heads after a few seconds of inactivity. This can cause laggy response and extra wear. I dislike that design - I believe power management functions should be left under the control of the operating system, which can account for user preferences and what is happening in the rest of the system. Hardcoding this behavior into the drive is ridiculous, in my opinion. The Blue behaves the way I prefer - it does not use "intellipark", it stays ready to roll until directed otherwise through power management commands from the OS.

I wish they were making the Blue series in larger sizes - it seems this 1TB is the end of the line. I don't care for the Greens and the Blacks are more expensive.

Partition/Sector Alignment
Please be aware that like most modern drives, this drive uses 4KB sectors (also known as "advanced format"). If you are using Windows 2003, Windows XP or older, as I am, don't let Windows handle the partitioning of this drive. This is even an issue on unpatched versions of Vista and Windows 7. These older versions of Windows will believe that the physical sectors are 512 bytes, when in reality they are 4KB. As a result, the partition(s) will not be aligned with the physical sectors. It will still work, but performance will be reduced.
Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP and older do not have any update to fix this, but it's not a problem as long as you do the partitioning with a suitable 3rd party utility. I think Western Digital offers a tool for this, but I've never tried it. Once the partitions are set, it's fine to let Windows format them.
For my Windows XP install, I used a recent version of GParted to partition the drive. GParted can be downloaded and burned to a bootable CD, or installed to a USB flash drive. Just use the option to align your partition(s) on 1MB boundaries. This is the easy way to ensure they are aligned correctly for the best performance. Then boot your WinXP install disc and let it format the partition that you already created. It sounds harder than it is, it's a minor hassle but it's simple.
If you ever change the partitions, once again use GParted or a similar utility that handles alignment for modern hard disks. Don't use the built-in XP partitioning. But again, once the partitions are created, it's fine to let Windows format them.

The built-in partitioning is fixed in Windows 8.
According to Microsoft, it is fixed in Windows 7 after installing Service Pack 1 - you would need to have that service pack before partitioning the drive, not after.
Again according to Microsoft, it is also fixed in Windows Vista *after* installing update MS KB 2553708 - I assume this is automatically installed for people who use automatic updates, but I don't know that for a fact. This won't do you any good if you're doing a fresh install and your install disc predates the required update.

The partition alignment detail I've described above is an issue you will encounter with any recent hard drive, it's not unique to this model. If you ignore it, performance will be affected but it will still work. You may see Seagate drives implying that they are immune from this, but in reality, they are not. All modern "advanced format" drives, of any brand, will perform better if sectors are properly aligned. But it's not a big deal - just use a modern partitioning utility and then you're set.

I just tested this drive using "Roadkil's Disk Speed" on Windows XP 32-bit. I'll cut out all the variables and just give the linear transfer results with large block sizes. My drive has a few partitions and there are lots of files on it, so this might affect results.
First partition (first 20GB): 170-178MB/sec linear read
3rd partition (physical location range is from 28-628GB): 153-177MB/sec linear read
Last 300GB is unpartitioned so I can't test that range.
I don't think the random access test is useful, because my partitioning greatly influences the result.
There's a test mode for the whole physical disk, but it's results are too inconsistent.

This drive is a great bargain if you just need a simple, inexpensive, well performing 7200rpm hard disk. I was tempted to try a Seagate SSHD, but I couldn't justify the cost compared to this. If I was shopping today, I'd look carefully at the HGST and Toshiba offerings as well, but from the WD side this is my pick for a general purpose 1TB desktop drive.

Update: It is now 11/2015. This drive is in my desktop PC, used daily, and still works fine.
Some months ago I ran a benchmark on this drive using the linux utility "gnome-disks". The random access performance measured out to a 15.7ms average. This is mediocre, but expected from a quiet drive. Screenshot is attached. It also shows the transfer rate across the disk (read test only, I didn't test writes).
review image
33 comments| 131 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 28, 2017
Ordered 3TB hard drive. 2.79TB should register given windows seeing 1024 instead of 1000 per kilobyte, etc. It only registered as 850GB. I received this today, and Amazon will not take it back. I must pay to return it through WD's RMA process. Amazon and WD - your customers deserve better support than this.
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on November 16, 2017
I love this drive. WD is the only brand that I use. I have never had a problem with WD drives. For background, I have used computers since the Tandy TL2 days where 16color EGA was king, sound blasters 4 sound card was cutting edge and processors were measured in hz! LOL... And I have worked on and built computers since the 90's when the top processors were in a snail race at 533hz. Thru all the tech upgrades and advancements I have never had a WD drive go out on me. Over those years, I have upgraded several small drives and had other brands fail, but I have never had one WD to fail. Maybe I was blessed to get a good one every time. I learned years ago that WD is the best. There's not much, computer related, worst than sitting at your computer and literally hearing a hard drive head break off inside of your drive. Oh the horror and damaged data.
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on June 28, 2017
Amazing hard drive for the price. You get 1 TB of data storage which is huge for my needs. I also liked the fact that Western Digital is a good name. The drive is fast, loads games quick, and installing Windows 7 onto it was fast and easy. 64 MB of cache was what I was looking for, I wanted a quick HDD that was cheap compared to SSD.

Would have been a 5 star if only it was a little faster. Windows experience score rates the HDD at 5.9 out of 7.9, but that was my only complaint... other than that amazing HDD for price.
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on December 26, 2016
Wonderful product, as expected! I've been having great experiences with WD's Black and Blue HDDs for several years now. Just needed a space upgrade and purchased another one of these babies. Order was processed and delivered very quickly, packaged securely and performed perfectly right out of the box. Used Macrium Reflect to clone the old drive onto the new, wasn't too much trouble. Stepping down this time from a Black (7200 rpm) to Blue (5400 rpm) drive has had no negative impact on gaming, startup time, program load times, or any other typical operation times. No noticeable change in noise either, but the tower is very solid and has foam soundproofing, rubber gaskets, etc. Overall great purchase, definitely would purchase from this seller again!
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on January 30, 2016
This is a great basic hard drive. It's a terabyte, spins at 7200 RPM and has a 6 Gbps SATA throughput. To top it off, it's a great price per GB - sure, there are drives at higher capacities with lower prices per GB, but this is the sweetspot. (A thumb rule I use to calculate that: how much does the next lower capacity cost? In this case 500 GB sells at about $45. Add $10 and your capacity doubles to this 1 TB model. Thats 100% increase in capacity for 10% increase in price. Whenever a Hard drive capacity falls in this rule, that's what I define as the budget 'sweetspot')

Coming back to topic at hand. The hard drive arrived in basic but very functional packaging with adequate protection. (And it's working perfectly fine, so it living proof that it's all good in terms of packaging and handling). I unpacked it and installed it into my desktop - a process that took about 10 minutes, end to end. I booted up the computer and voila! the hard disk was seen, Windows initialized it and in matter of seconds I was up an running with this shiny new storage bin for all my games, movies and music.

I've been a WD user for years after switching over from Seagate (due to sheer number of RMAs I had to do with Seagate). And once again, I am super satisfied with this model. Go for it, it's a great budget hard drive with the optimal capacity based on my formula above.
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on February 8, 2016
Used this hard drive to Mod an Original Xbox, the 7200 rpm makes for lightning fast load times. The locking capability is a must for modding an Xbox. It makes virtually no sound which is perfect! Overall this is an excellent hard drive
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on July 21, 2017
I trust these drives with my life. Unlike other manufacturers *cough* SEAGATE *cough* they give me years of life before giving me the signs of a wearing drive. I'm currently on year 5 of most drives in this variant, and they are going as strong as ever. I do regularly back them up, but have never had to use them because of drive failure. They read and write like a champ, and are my go-to recommendation, as well as personal favorite. WD for life
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on October 22, 2017
A friend's Windows7 PC with a Western Digital 250GB drive was starting to develop bad sectors after 10 years of service. I used Partition Magic's Clone Wizard to copy everything over to this new 1TB drive, then adjusted the partition size after everything got copied over. Easy as can be. Working great so far but its only been 5 days. We will see how it holds up after a few years. I hope to get 10 years out of this one too.
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I bought this drive as a clone for my SSD. It has the right specs that I was looking for; 6GB/s transfer, SATA III, and USB 3.0. I only use it in an external enclosure and take it out when I'm cloning the SSD with Acronis. Then I disconnect it and store it away.
Why did I want these specs when I'm not using it as the main HD? Because I can clone the drive in 40-50 minutes instead of 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours before with older drives so I can get back to using my computer sooner.
Can't go wrong with Western Digital.
Now I'm looking for a WD Black 5 TB to back up all my images.
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