I’ll never buy another Western-Digital MyBook HDD

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions | Friday, June 26th, 2009

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Let me get this straight: I love WD HDDs, all eight of those in my workstation are from WD. They’re super-reliable, fast, affordable and quiet. On the other hand, the MyBook external drives are really shitty!

Through the span of about three years, I’ve bought 3 WD MyBook HDDs for backup purposes totally adding 2TB to my internal, (total) 4TB storage. These HDDs perform really well, this is not the problem I’m having with them, the real problem is that they drag my entire system behind! I read somewhere it’s a bug on WD part with their external HDDs firmware, but when I have my MyBooks turned on during bootup (Windows Vista Business, x64), the system takes about 2 minutes to boot! While if I turn all the drives off prior to booting, I’m up and running on my desktop in about 25s tops!

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Another such annoyance is when those drives go to sleep (which I have no idea how to prevent), when I’m working long hours and suddenly need to access any of my internal drives, the entire system freezes and waits for all of the friggin external drives to come from the sleep mode and only after that will it allow me to pick a file from my internal drive! This is extremely annoying!

I solved the booting quite brute-forcely by buying a socket extender with an of/off button and whenever I’m booting, I just turn the juice off for all the drives and I’m good. When I need the drives (admittedly not very often as I mainly back things up on them once a week), I just turn the extender on and wait for a few seconds during the system freeze. Interestingly enough, I also have a tiny, portable, 300GB WD Passport for carrying large data with me and this little critter causes no problems at all! I can leave it plugged in without any problems. The system doesn’t freeze when trying to access my internal drives, nothing. All works nice and smooth and that’s why these, MyBooks, surprised me in a not-so positive way.

My next backup solution will be a NAS plugged in via Ethernet as I’ve ran out of all my USB ports on the workstation, but mainly I want to avoid these stupid problems. The HDDs are almost full anyways, so it won’t take too long with the projects currently lined up, for them to completely fill up. Also, I’ll be interested in a more secure solutions with RAID options, which these are not. It might be WD again, I’ve seen some nice NAS solutions from them and as I said, their drives are fantastic, only MyBooks bother me, which I’d rather see in improper software for the controller, or perhaps completely bad controller in the boxes. Who knows, the important thing is the result, which isn’t good at all from the user experience point of view. Otherwise the drives perform as advertised without any problems, regarding data storage, at all.

2 Comments »

  1. Which version do you use? I had few of them (MyBook) connected to firewire and only problem was long time detection under WinXP when they are three or more of them connected in serie, and I think that was problem of OS not hdd.

    Comment by Petr — June 26, 2009 @ 23:47

  2. Three different versions. However I’m on USB with these. The funny thing is on XP, the first MyBook worked like a charm, no lags. But as soon as I switched to Vista, these problems arose.

    Comment by loocas — June 27, 2009 @ 10:59

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