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Harddisk PCB Discolorations/corrosion

Last response: in Storage
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June 17, 2008 4:50:09 PM

Hi,

I just bought a wd5000aacs but i noticed that the color at the back side of the HDD is strange. should i RMA it?

Photo:



I referred a sample photo from THG article and seems like mine got something wrong.

Link to the photo form THG article

i'll be storing some important data there, don't want to risk it if my harddisk is not normal out of factory.

update:
note: original title "is my new wd5000aacs faulty or in bad shape?"
P/S: This is a brand new harddisk
a b G Storage
June 17, 2008 6:26:24 PM

Yes you want to RMA it as it has suffered through high heat conditions (probably).

Google PCB Discolorations for more info
or even HDD PCB Discolorations
June 18, 2008 9:17:46 AM

thanks, i RMA it and change for a 640GB ones that without PCB discolorations. and it seems like the all the wd5000aacs in the store got the same problem.

One of my friend that is working in the distributor told me that because of the WD logistics is using new way to transport the HDDs (i see almost all new batch hdd is affected in that store) it caused the transport container heats like an oven and cooked the HDDs.

And thanks for letting me know about the "discolorations" mate. it helped me to put up an valid argument for RMA the HDD easily.
June 18, 2008 10:47:55 AM

I've never heard of this, have you even tried plugging it in to see if it works? Since, you've RMA'd it already, nice pick on the 6400AAKS, its a good performer. Does it mean it will run hotter or does it mean it's been damaged due to heat?
June 18, 2008 10:50:41 AM

I've searched online, and it doesn't seem to be a problem? Maybe Newegg.com? The colors seem fine to me. It could have mean they used different color PCB? Or the color blend is different.
June 18, 2008 7:59:56 PM

well, i found that the "yellow colors" can be rubbed off, that makes me believe that it may be due to high heat. and the hdd can be used without any problem, just pcb "rusted". well, i can't trust that hdd anymore, hdd is ment to store data and hopefully the data safe, don't wanna risk it. :p 

and the hdd model is new, i believe the problem won't come up yet until after a few months or about 1 year.


plus, hdd returned from warranty can't be trusted either. (unless they give u an replacement but not a repaired hdd.)

like the seagate drives i have got before, i got 3 seagate drives and all breaks before the 5 years warranty expire.

1 for desktop (reason unknown)
1 for 2.5 external box (well, it's mobile and on the move)
and another for CCTV DVR. (must be the heat)

so i sent for warranty claim for around USD 15 each. and after a month i got back my 3 "repaired" HDD. sadly, all of them break in next 2-3 months. :( 

so that makes me very careful about getting any new hdd. (of course, seagate is already out of my shopping list forever.)

=====

And ya, that new WD6400AAKS is really rocking fast, i just had my fastest XP installation with a non-flash/RAM hard disk. too bad that it cannot be installed to my Nforce2 sata port coz it can't detect at all. and it is working crappy with my sata card tho (e.g. windows hang for 2 minunts for every 100mb copied)

I guess it's the 640GB hdd can't be supported by old motherboards?

it works just fine using my external sata to usb port and my P35 motherboard.
May 11, 2010 1:00:02 AM

Hi, It is been a while since i bought up this thread.

thanks to CompTIA_Rep that i actually RMA the drive and change for another model. one of my friend got this model and his harddisk dead after some time of use. I also read about many complains about this model.

and regarding the PCB Discolorations it appeared in a lot of harddisk these days (WD, Seagate, HP and more). I think this is because of the switch of using lead free solder finish. it is since 2005 i think... coz drive on 2005 i bought still have shiny pcbs without any artifacts and drive after 2005 almost all the hard drive i process have discoloration and minor corrosion.

I have read an article that actually freaked me out. which low cost lead free solutions can be more vulnerable to some degree of corrosion.

creep corrosion on lead-free pcb in high sulfur environments

I hope professionals can look into this matter and figure out some preventive solutions.

Update:
2 weeks ago i go buy another 2x WD1001FALS (Western Digital Black 1TB) drives from my local computer mart.
I noticed that ALL of the sealed drive with the silica gel pack intact are PCB discolored and some have minor degree of corrosion.

Note: some minor Discolorations can be rubbed off using a rubber eraser (which we use to erase our pencil writings). as for corrosion... good luck..

Note: I have a drive which i accidentally touch the PCB and after a few months i see fingerprint dioxide mark(white color fingerprint mark on the PCB metal surface).

another reference of similar post:
abnormal oxidization on seagate pcb
!