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Western Digital can kiss my arse

Last response: in Storage
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April 26, 2007 5:27:25 PM

OK, so when I built my last system, I bought 4 WD2500YS HDDs. Three were going inside for a RAID 5 setup while the fourth was going into an external enclosure.

The enclosure I chose is Icy Dock's MB559US-1S. Its features include having eSATA and USB support, and it looks really nice. I decided to use a dedicated controller card for the enclosure, and after a little looking, I bought a Promise TX-4302 SATA300 PCI card.

One thing I don't like about the enclosure is that it doesn't power off at all, so the drive is always spinning. I decided one day to physically turn off the enclosure, but I wanted to make sure that the drive wasn't being used by the OS, so I went to the "Safely Remove Hardware" task in the taskbar to stop it.

Big mistake.

I don't know what happened, but the drive went tits-up.

One of the first things I did was to connect the drive directly to the controller card, and when that failed to produce any results, directly to the MB.

Nothing.

I realized that the drive might be kaput, but I needed to make sure. Since professional HDD testers are prohibitively expensive, I took it to a local shop; they couldn't even get the drive to power on! Ugh! However, this led us to believe that there was a short in the circuit board. Since I had three other identical HDDs, I went back home and took one of them out and swapped them.

It worked!

So, I knew that the drive itself was good to go, but the CB would need replacement. The warranty on the HDD is for 5 years, so I knew I was covered.

I called WD support and told them what I just posted here, and could I just get a new CB instead of a whole new HDD (this drive is full of financial and personal data, and there is NO WAY I am just giving it up).

The representative told me that, by swapping the CBs, I just voided the warranty! WTF?!? I was like, I wasn't modding the damed thing but performing a diagnostic on it. I could understand their point if I tried to replace the cover on the drive with a clear panel (like the Raptor). Hell, there aren't even any wires for me to disconnect- just those four tiny screws.

Well anyhow, while she might have voided the warranty on that drive, the other three are still good to go, so guess what I am going to do? :) 

WD, kiss my arse.
April 26, 2007 7:18:32 PM

That's telling them!

Vista 32bit | Core 2 Duo E6600 | BFG GeForce 8800 GTX | Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400 2X1GB DDR2-800 | 3ware 9650SE-4LPML RAID Controller with BBM | WD 150GB Raptor x2 RAID 0 - OS | WD 150GB Raptor x2 RAID 0 - Data | SB X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro Series | Dell E207WFP & Samsung SyncMaster 213T | Asus Striker Extreme | PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW-SR | Silverstone Temjim TJ07 | Zalman CNPS9700 NT | Coolit Beverage Chiller (pride of the system)
April 27, 2007 1:27:03 AM

...*enters thread*...

...*cums violently*...

...*leaves thread*...
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April 27, 2007 1:55:42 AM

well, i love my raptors in RAID. boot all applications really fast. very reliable. you have a thing with western digital, me it's with HP. no drivers for VISTA on laser jet 1020. The world is not perfect if not it would be called Heaven and we would only have Intel and NVIDIA. LOL
yes i am a fan boy...of whatever works fastest. right now, all hail core 2 duo and 8800 series. AMD/ATI, where are you?
April 27, 2007 2:23:06 AM

you broke the garantee rules, its YOUR fault, good riddance guy...
you're almost like that kid who cut his videocard and blamed the "manufacturer" for not making "proper instructions of installation"...
April 27, 2007 2:49:33 AM

I don't think I am talking about the performance of the WD drives, as I said, I bought 4 for this system and I have them in my other machines as well.

My point is that the drive was properly installed, used within specifications, but went belly-up within 2 months. The drive was taken to an actual computer shop (a real one, not to some pimply-faced kid at Best Buy, et al), it was hooked up to a $1000+ drive diagnostic machine, where it was officially pronounced dead. It was only then was the decision made to try to swap the CBs.

(BTW, for those uninitiated in working on hardware, there is more work removing the HSF from a video card than the CB on a HDD.)

I think it's pretty pissy that WD chose to do this rather than fess up that one of their drives failed so soon. That's OK, as I said, I have more of this HDD, and all I have to do is to do a swap-a-roo.

Oh, and don't even get me started on HP (or Dell. Or Gateway. Or Sony...)!
April 27, 2007 2:56:24 AM

Quote:
I don't think I am talking about the performance of the WD drives, as I said, I bought 4 for this system and I have them in my other machines as well.

My point is that the drive was properly installed, used within specifications, but went belly-up within 2 months. The drive was taken to an actual computer shop (a real one, not to some pimply-faced kid at Best Buy, et al), it was hooked up to a $1000+ drive diagnostic machine, where it was officially pronounced dead. It was only then was the decision made to try to swap the CBs.

(BTW, for those uninitiated in working on hardware, there is more work removing the HSF from a video card than the CB on a HDD.)

I think it's pretty pissy that WD chose to do this rather than fess up that one of their drives failed so soon. That's OK, as I said, I have more of this HDD, and all I have to do is to do a swap-a-roo.

Oh, and don't even get me started on HP (or Dell. Or Gateway. Or Sony...)!


What you don't understand is that at the time that you decided to swap the CP you voided your warranty. The right steps in this situation are: You make sure the drive is faulty (like you did), you get an RMA number from manufacturer, you send the faulty drive back with specific instructions for recovery, they send you a new drive back or the same repaired, with all your data on, intact if possible and at no cost! So your topic is misleading and maybe you should change your title.
April 27, 2007 2:59:33 AM

You improperly shut down the drive, it wasn't WD's fault...then you voided the warranty, and you're pissed because they won't honor a warranty for a drive YOU broke, then voided the warranty? Look, I don't doubt you know what you're doing, swaping out the PCB isn't that difficult, but WD doesn't know if you know what you're doing, for all they know you could have broken the PCB in the process of swaping them out for some other reason. Point being, they have a policy, you should have educated yourself on it beforehand. Sorry if I come off as being a jerk because I don't mean to be, but you can't hold them responsible for your error.

For the record, I have those exact model drives, just a different size, and I've hotswapped them on almost a daily basis from my backplane, with no issue at all.
April 27, 2007 3:05:44 AM

You're not being a jerk. You're just being blunt. Nothin' wrong with that. Too many pussy-footers in world, anyway :D 

Vista 32bit | Core 2 Duo E6600 | BFG GeForce 8800 GTX | Patriot EP 2X1GB PC2-8500 DDR2-1066 CL5-5-5-9| 3ware 9650SE-4LPML RAID Controller with BBU | 150GB Raptor x2 RAID 0 - OS | 150GB Raptor x2 RAID 0 - Data | 150GB Raptor - Swap/Backup | SB X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro Series | Dell E207WFP & Samsung SyncMaster 213T | Asus Striker Extreme | PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW-SR | Silverstone Temjim TJ07 | Zalman CNPS9700 NT
April 27, 2007 3:09:39 AM

I understand your point about how I could have just gotten the RMA and have been done with it. However, this HDD was the backup for my system, and thus contained GBs of highly personal information on not only myself and family, but also of my clients.

I have read too many reports where people have been able to take a drive and use commonly available programs to retrieve data from it, even if said drive was erased (erased, not simply formatted).

Considering what was on the drive and the current climate of identity theft, there was no way in hell I could risk that exposure. My mistake was thinking WD would understand.

Besides, I bought the drives from NewEgg as OEM- I don't remember seeing any documentation about warranty or what would void it.

I hope this clarifies what I am getting at.
April 27, 2007 3:11:24 AM

It helps if you actually RTFM when you buy a new piece of hardware. You said it was in a RAID 5 array, you should have degaused the bad drive and plugged in the new drive and rebuilt the array.....thats what RAID 5 is for.
April 27, 2007 3:13:21 AM

Improperly shut the drive down? How? By using the "Safely Remove Hardware" thing on the taskbar?
April 27, 2007 3:20:22 AM

My bad...I think I misled some on here to believe that this drive was in the array when it was not. This was a stand-alone drive.

Umm...I haven't a clue as to what RTFM means.

Degausing would work, but I don't think anyone here has one, and the drive contains some info that only resided on it and needed to be retrieved (I thought it was backed-up on another but it wasn't).
April 27, 2007 3:20:46 AM

I understand not wanting to have your data out there 100%, the problem is, it still wasn't their fault the drive failed, it was yours. I would be kinda leery of sending my failed hard drive in too, but I don't have to deal with that issue because all of my data is on RAID3 arrays, so any given drive I sent in, only 1/4 of the raw data is there so they couldn't do anything with it :wink: . So basically, I send the failed drive in, get the new one and rebuild my array, no data lost.
April 27, 2007 3:22:33 AM

Could you clarify how the drive was removed, as in, was it in a hot-swap compatible enclosure, and did you remove it according to the instructions? Also does the controller state that it supports hot-swap?
April 27, 2007 3:26:43 AM

here is what you do...
Write to the executives.

HP refused to fix my laptop after i sent it in for repairs, I ended up writing to the CEO and marketing executive. explain to them that you were preforming a simple diagnostic and that you have been a long time WD purchaser and have no lost faith in the company. Also mention that you are a member of many popular tech forums and will in the future persuade everyone one of your peers and coworkers to purchase another brand.

This is what I did, and guess what?! they called me at home and arranged an express repair service.

If anything, it cant hurt to try.
April 27, 2007 3:27:00 AM

Most high-end A/V stores (and some big box vendors) would have a degausser. They come in really handy when you shove the magnet of a 15 inch sub-woofer next to CRT :D 

Vista 32bit | Core 2 Duo E6600 | BFG GeForce 8800 GTX | Patriot EP 2X1GB PC2-8500 DDR2-1066 CL5-5-5-9| 3ware 9650SE-4LPML RAID Controller with BBU | 150GB Raptor x2 RAID 0 - OS | 150GB Raptor x2 RAID 0 - Data | 150GB Raptor - Swap/Backup | SB X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro Series | Dell E207WFP & Samsung SyncMaster 213T | Asus Striker Extreme | PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW-SR | Silverstone Temjim TJ07 | Zalman CNPS9700 NT
April 27, 2007 3:32:46 AM

Yes, the Promise TX4302 supports true eSATA and hot-swapping. The Icy Dock MB559US-1S enclosure does the same.

The procedures for doing hot-swapping aren't very precise, except that the instructions for the enclosure say to use the "Safely Remove Hardware" task in the taskbar (to make sure the drive isn't being used), before removing the drive. The Promise card says nothing.
April 27, 2007 3:56:04 AM

Quote:
I don't think I am talking about the performance of the WD drives, as I said, I bought 4 for this system and I have them in my other machines as well.

My point is that the drive was properly installed, used within specifications, but went belly-up within 2 months. The drive was taken to an actual computer shop (a real one, not to some pimply-faced kid at Best Buy, et al), it was hooked up to a $1000+ drive diagnostic machine, where it was officially pronounced dead. It was only then was the decision made to try to swap the CBs.

(BTW, for those uninitiated in working on hardware, there is more work removing the HSF from a video card than the CB on a HDD.)

I think it's pretty pissy that WD chose to do this rather than fess up that one of their drives failed so soon. That's OK, as I said, I have more of this HDD, and all I have to do is to do a swap-a-roo.

Oh, and don't even get me started on HP (or Dell. Or Gateway. Or Sony...)!


What you don't understand is that at the time that you decided to swap the CP you voided your warranty. The right steps in this situation are: You make sure the drive is faulty (like you did), you get an RMA number from manufacturer, you send the faulty drive back with specific instructions for recovery, they send you a new drive back or the same repaired, with all your data on, intact if possible and at no cost! So your topic is misleading and maybe you should change your title.

iawtc, he's triying to toss the blame when its clearly his fault :|
April 27, 2007 4:32:53 AM

Sweet...sadly, the only BBV we have here is Wally World.
April 27, 2007 1:52:54 PM

Hold up a minute here.

The way I read this, it doesn't sound like the OP did anything wrong to make the drive stop working. He's correct, the Promise TX4302 supports hot swap (I know that for a fact, I have 3 of them), and I'll take his word that the IcyDock enclosure does as well. Double-clicking on the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon, stopping the external drive device, and then powering it off is the correct procedure. Nothing bad should have happened.

Since it did, we can only assume something is wrong with either the enclosure or the drive.

Now, where you messed up was swapping out the circuit board, and then telling them that you did. Yes, that voided your warranty according to their policy. However, there are some work-arounds that will probably get you a working drive.

First, since you've already swapped out circuit boards and verified that as the problem, use a good circuit board to recover your data. Then, when you've got everything off the drive that you need, run Darik's Boot and Nuke or Active@ Killdisk to erase the drive. I guarantee you that WD can't retrieve the data off the drive once erased. Yes, I know, theoretically, the FBI/NSA/CIA could recover it if it was important, but WD can't. After you've erased the drive, swap the circuit boards back so that the original (bad) circuit board is on the bad drive.

Method 1: RMA this drive to WD using their online RMA procedure. Don't tell them what happened to the drive, just put "Won't power on/spin up" in the description. They'll give you an RMA number, send the drive back, they'll send you a new/refurbished blank drive. The problem here is that you've called them once already referencing this drive, so the drive might now be in their database as a voided warranty drive. If that's the case, you're left with ...

Method 2: This one's not ethical because it screws the retailer. Find a computer store with a liberal return policy (i.e. 30 days no questions asked). Purchase a new WD 2500YS drive. Take it home, swap circuit boards so that the bad circuit board is on the new drive you just bought. Put the working circuit board from the drive you just bought on your drive. Return the newly-bought drive to the store for a refund, claim it was an out-of-box failure. The serial number is on the drive, not the circuit board, so it will match the box. The retailer will return it to WD for credit anyway. I don't recommend this method, and mention it only in passing. Use WD's RMA process if at all possible.

Now, assuming you do get a new drive from the RMA process, you need to track down what caused the problem in the first place. I'd contact the manufacturer of the IcyDock and verify that their eSATA implementation supports hot swap. It's important you track down the source of the problem before you try it again because an undiscovered problem with the enclosure could be responsible for the drive failure, and you could accidentally kill another drive.
April 28, 2007 2:07:48 AM

To the OP: In polite society RTFM stands for "Read The Fine Manual"

You can replace Fine with whatever adjective beginning with F you choose :) 
April 28, 2007 3:01:27 AM

Thanks...learn something everyday!

BTW: has anyone seen the story about that Best Buy employee going to a customers house to install some software and secretly installed a spy cam in her bathroom?
April 28, 2007 3:18:08 AM

Hey Joe, long time no see.

I was pretty sure I replied to your post earlier today, but I see it isn't there, so I'll try again (and without being too verbose).

I did check on the WD support page to see what the return status on that drive is; fortunately, it appears that the representative didn't make any report on the drive's warranty being voided.

Correct me if I am wrong, but on a hot-swappable drive, do I just pull it out of the carrier, or was I correct in using the "Safely Remove Hardware" task? Does it matter?

It's nice to see people in here who actually try to contribute in these forums rather than just being a troll and blasting others.
!