Stay Away from Western Digital Hard Drives

So this week’s blog post is written to help others, especially photographers, but anyone that owns a computer as well. I have worked in I.T. for almost 30 years now and at one time in American there were several hard drives makers on the market. You had Western Digital, Maxtor, Toshiba, Seagate and a few others. Well as happens in most industries, over time the larger companies buy out the smaller ones, either to eliminate the competition or because they have some innovative tech that the larger company wants. Well at one time, Western Digital and Seagate were the premier makers of high quality hard drives, but not so much anymore. Seagate bought out Maxtor a number of years ago and so far, Seagate seems to still be making quality hard drives. Seagate also offered special utilities on their web site where you can download the utilities and it will check the health of your drive and some other things which are pretty cool.

Well for years now I had friends telling me about G-Drive hard drives and G-RAID systems and everyone told me they were very high quality drives and storage solutions. Sure they cost more but the quality was top notch, sadly this is not the case anymore. In 2012 Western Digital bought out G-Technology and their line of external storage which were once the best of the best for creative professionals such as photographers and film makers. Well since Western Digital bought them, the quality much like Western Digital’s own hard drives has gone down the toilet.

I hadn’t been keeping up with who bought who in the hard drive business for some time as I am working full time, going to college full time and shooting part time and didn’t realize 7 months ago when I bought a brand new G-RAID 8TB external drive for my iMac that they were now owned by Western Digital or I never would have bought it. I brought the storage unit home, set it up as Mirrored RAID and started putting my photo RAW files and videos on it. After 7 months, the entire system died, BOTH hard drives failed at once, which is usually fairly uncommon, but also renders a Mirrored RAID useless. The idea of Mirrored RAID is ALL FILES are written to BOTH drives at once so if one fails you still have all your data. Well, this Mirrored RAID is useless when both drives die instantly at the same time.

Well I reached out to Western Digital to get an RMA as the unit is under warranty. I get an RMA number and ship the system back to them for replacement. They tell me I will have my new drive system in 2 weeks, well that ended up being 4 weeks before they finally shipped a replacement back to me. It arrived today with one small problem. All they sent back to me was an empty box!!! My old unit was a metal case with 2 4TB hard drives inside it, all Western Digital sent back to me was a brand new (actually probably a refurbished used one) with no hard drives. What makes matters worse is they seem to be one of the only technology companies that doesn’t offer 24/7 support for their “Premium” products. So now I have to wait until Monday to call them and ask when they plan on sending me the actual hard drives I need to go with this empty box.