Beware of WD Red / Red Pro Hard drives if not using Raid / NAS

dpoverlord

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So I have noticed a trent with Western Digital Red / Red Pro hard drives. They fail if you are not using NAS / RAid.

I am now batting 1000 on my drives failing every 2 1/2 years. My main usage is not that heavy. I use them mainly as data storage for movies, files, games, pictures. I was under the impression that they would be the best backup drive. I had intended to use them as a backup but I find it quite odd that I now have had 3 3TB drives fail in 2 1/2 years. Then I was upgraded to WD Red 4TB and 1 1/2 years in I have 1 drive giving me SMart failures and that makes me apprehensive about the other 2.

I am getting them RMA'd but I would beware with WD Tech support. It has taken me a full month since I was told that even though these were RMA'd less than 1 year ago they were out of warranty which meant I needed to provide original receipts, and other documentation which they already had.

I am not trying to give negative feedback and its possible that this is just a pure lemon as WD has been my go to hard drive company since 1999, however its quite odd that I am having such a high failure rate in a system that is fairly stable.

What are your guys thoughts? I have seen a higher failure rate from simple google searches, but was I doing something wrong with the drives? Should I have set them up differently? I would have loved to have been able to take care of the NAS features but I didnt have the time to set it up and learn how to do it on my system.

Any comments and feedback are appreciated since I would love to get everyones opinion.

Cheers!
 

mnewxcv

[H]ardness Supreme
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While I find it unusual that you had that many failures, I can't see why not having them in raid would lead to this. Perhaps on and off cycles could? But I wouldn't think some element of the reds would be that much less durable.
 

mls1995

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I have 3 WD Red Pros and zero problems. Previous to that I had 4 WD Reds and I had 1 die in about a 2 year period. So I’m 1 out of 7 for failures.

Maybe you have a bad power supply or something? Something is fishy.
 
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Yep, NAS rated hard drives are supposed to be more reliable, not less, than their standard brethren. And that reliability is supposed to be in the form of increased vibration tolerances, and higher duty cycle numbers; nothing to do with RAID controllers. If you're killing drives at that rate, I would seriously look at other components in the system, power especially. That's a pretty magnificent outlier in their failure rate versus their average in the industry if I had to guess, and it might be coming from somewhere rather than random chance.
 

SamirD

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It has taken me a full month since I was told that even though these were RMA'd less than 1 year ago they were out of warranty which meant I needed to provide original receipts, and other documentation which they already had.
Interesting. I ran into this same exact scenario when having to replace a failed WD RE series drive that 'disappeared' after 1 year of operation. Lots of hoops to jump through for the warranty replacement. We've switched to HGST since then with the occasional WD and started trying Seagate again as well.
 

SamirD

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  • WD Red SMART load/Unload utility 3.5" Drive
wonder what that does
https://support.wdc.com/product.aspx?ID=619&lang=en#WD_downloads
According to this:
https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?p=201&lang=en

"This utility modifies the behavior of the drive to wait longer before positioning the heads in their park position and turning off unnecessary electronics. This utility is designed to upgrade the following hard drives: WD RED 3.5" Drive"

So maybe the drives are parking the heads too often, contributing to an out-of-spec load/unload cycle count after a few years? :blackeye:
 

Speedeu4ia

Limp Gawd
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According to this:
https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?p=201&lang=en

"This utility modifies the behavior of the drive to wait longer before positioning the heads in their park position and turning off unnecessary electronics. This utility is designed to upgrade the following hard drives: WD RED 3.5" Drive"

So maybe the drives are parking the heads too often, contributing to an out-of-spec load/unload cycle count after a few years? :blackeye:
I noticed after that it's the same thing mwarps posted about

I just moved from a stock firmware 3tb green drive that was 4yrs old to a new 4tb red drive and I guess they have the same issues
 

Mav451

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Yeah, WD re-introduced the head-parking nonsense in the WD Red drives larger than the 3TB (1TB/platter).
It's actually the reason I went with the 4TB Black in the first place lol.

Some reason, this guy's blog is now private, but you can see the platter listings here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150309002608/http://rml527.blogspot.ca:80/2010/10/hdd-platter-database-western-digital-35_9792.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20150225011522/http://rml527.blogspot.com:80/2010/10/hdd-platter-database-western-digital-35_3899.html

My experience with WD has been great however, and I've been using them predominantly since the Athlon XP days - so it is a VERY long time. Any issue with drives was easily resolved with an advance RMA. I really minimize the on/off cycles though, as my computer is rarely shut off.

Checking my records, my 3TB Red is now 4yrs 8 months old.
 
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dpoverlord

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Sorry for the delay in my response, was away hiking.

I thought about the PSU on the first failure and evga sent me a new G2-1300. I thought maybe my titans at the time were bad and got 4 new titans.

Since then I'm on a
Asus Rampage Extreme
5930k turbo boost at 4.2
3 850 pro 2tb
32 gb ram
Lite on Blu ray
EVGA 1080ti SC
10 fans
1 Seagate 3tb
3 wd red pro 4tb

I am definitely using all the power and most of the time the red pro's were barely being accessed.

All in all the computer is not on 24x7 either so the whole thing is odd. WD did finally confirm that they would honor the warranty and would send an "upgraded" model. We'll see what they send but in curious as to the other people who had this problem.

That article with red pros in the Nas drive was very informative. Same problems I had, question arises what is the best way to use then? Raid 1? Periodic backups from one drives contents to another?

I now have 1 10tb barracuda pro I purchased so let's how that works out.
 

rive22

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1300 G2 is top tier. Have any failed after receiving the replacement PSU? Were the first 3 failures from the same batch? Is your delivery guy dropping your boxes on the ground?
 

dpoverlord

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I dont think so, WD is sending me new drives though so lets see how it works out. I just thought I would give a friendly heads up since having that many drive failures is not normal.... ya know?
 

SamirD

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It would be interesting to throw a wd black or re in the mix and see if those last any longer. If not, then I agree that something else is definitely going on to cause premature failure.
 
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had a 3 platter wd20efrx fail at the 1TB boundary, corrupting several large data files
have a 2 platter wd20efrx thats got weak sectors in the last 300GB, and the drives smart is not doing its job and reallocating them.

also have a 2006 3 platter 1TB black and a 2011 2 platter 1TB black and neither have issues.

The platter quality on Red drives is horrible.
 

dpoverlord

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had a 3 platter wd20efrx fail at the 1TB boundary, corrupting several large data files
have a 2 platter wd20efrx thats got weak sectors in the last 300GB, and the drives smart is not doing its job and reallocating them.

also have a 2006 3 platter 1TB black and a 2011 2 platter 1TB black and neither have issues.

The platter quality on Red drives is horrible.
Hoping my replacement drives continue to go strong. Did you have any warning signs? I have been consdiering getting one of the new 20TB drives and backing up my data with it.
 

IdiotInCharge

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I haven't killed a spinner in a very long time. I don't use the oldest ones regularly for anything, but when I install them in something they just keep working...

I also don't have Reds. At best I have a few 6TB Ironwolfs (Seagate), and those are pretty nice overall.
 
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