Sunday, January 6, 2008

My WD 500 GB MyBook Crashed!

I was getting all geared up to watch the second season of Heroes so I flicked over to the PVR to cue up the first show. Only I was greeted by a Windows error dialog stating "delayed write failed". A quick investigation of the system showed my Western Digital 500 GB MyBook did not show up as a system drive. No biggie I figured I'd just run the WD diagnostic tools. Unfortunately, that didn't do a thing for me so when in doubt, reboot, which I did to no avail.

Anything I tried to get the MyBook recognized failed. I even decided to plug it into a couple of other computers we have at the house to see if I could get it recognized but again no luck.

I did some research on the web and discovered that this is a frequent problem with these drives. Apparently the USB hardware they use to interface between the hard drive and the computer is pretty crappy and fails quite regularly. This tickled my memory as a friend of mine went through this same type of problem a few months back. He was so incensed he swore off Western Digital equipment all together.

Doing some more research led me to believe that the hard drive within the case was fine and if I could extract it I could put into into my PVR as an internal hard drive. I found an excellent posting about how to do exactly that.

After successfully extracting the hard drive I ran into my next problem. It was a SATA based interface and my PVR was an old IDE machine. So I ran out to the store to get a SATA to IDE converter. Unfortunately, it was not to be as they were sold out of this piece of kit.

A few days later the part arrived so I popped open my case to install it. What a nightmare it ended up being. The SATA to IDE interface plugged directly into the motherboard at the secondard IDE port which was problamatic for two reasons. It didn't fit too well between the primary IDE interface and floppy interface and the interace would effectively take up the entire secondary IDE channel so I would lose access to a DVD ROM.

After much fiddling to get it to fit and multiple reboots to get all the drives recognized I ran into the next problem. The SATA to IDE bridge showed my drive as unformatted. This was a huge problem since I still wanted to get access to all the TV I had recorded.

So with that experiment a failure I ran out to PC Cyber and bought a new USB hard drive enclosure. I had the whole thing up and running in 15 minutes with full access to all my old recordings. Don't ask me why I didn't do this in ther first place.

In summary, after my experience, my friends experience and my research I can no longer recommend a Western Digital MyBook as an external storage solution.


Simon MacDonald said...

Just an updated, my friend has had his second WD MyBook die. He had originally bought two. Luckily after the experience he had with the first he did not lose any data as he had it backed up.

Unknown said...

I've had two of these crash in the last 2 months. They're terrible. I've got the data off of mine by keeping it in the freezer for 30 minutes. It started clicking ugly after I took it out, but I flipped it on its other side, and it worked fine just long enough to get my stuff. No more WD for me, and I'm putting my other 2 on Craigslist! :)

Simon MacDonald said...

Another friend of mine has just experienced a crash with his MyBook. All 4 drives that I know of have died within a year.

Anonymous said...

Mine crapped out for send time

Anonymous said...

What crap, Western Digital should have a class action suit put against it. They are still selling this junk, no recall no help.
Never again a Western Digital product.

Anonymous said...

I've had three of the four myBook drives I own crash. Spread the word, these drives are totAL crap and tell everyone not to buy them. Shame on the Apple store for selling such bad, unreliable product.

David Gallardo said...

I have a WD My Pasport with dual USB/Firewire interfaces. The Firewire interface failed within a couple of weeks of purchasing it.

USB is much slower but I haven't done anything since I don't want to go through the hassle of transferring the data, but I probably should before its out of warranty, (If it isn't already.)

Simon MacDonald said...


You should really back that up. Even if it fails within warranty there is no guarantee that you'll be able to recover the data.