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How long are hard drive guarantees? Are 5-year guarantees still available? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Had lots of HD woes so I started looking at new ones. An interesting article on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_hard_disk_manufacturers) notes that ‘over 200 companies were hard disk drive manufacturers at one time’ but, to my absolute amazement, there are now only three: Seagate, Western Digital and Toshiba.

    My HD woes led me to one crucial question: how long are hard drives guaranteed for? Seems simple but it’s nearly insane. Seagate and Toshiba are dreadfully cagey about the length of their guarantees, many users finding discrepancies between retail outlet and manufacturer guarantees for the same drives. I only wanted one thing: a pukka five year guarantee (like we used to get).

    Only Western Digital clearly specify the length of guarantee for new drives, the others only allow you check specifically and authoritatively after purchase! Western Digital have never really come up on my radar before so, here’s their guarantee page: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/internal/desktop/

    Western Digital offer a range of five drives: Blue, Green, Black, Red and VelociRaptor. Blue & Green have two year guarantees and Red is three. Only WD Black and VelociRaptor drives have five year guarantees. At the time of writing, the cheapest (Blue) are about £50 for a 1TB while the Black are just under £70 – making a difference of about a third. Well worth it if only for the reduced hassle of having to replace drives less frequently.

    (VelociRaptors have the highest specification – ‘for power users’ – so are very expensive at nearly £190 for a 1TB.)

    So here you have a bare-faced advert for Western Digital. I hope there good as I’ve never specifically ordered WD before!

    Cheers,

    Chris

    Saturday, May 11, 2013 10:34 AM

Answers

  • FYI: Only Western Digital Black and VelociRaptor drives have five year guarantees.

    (Just so I could mark thread as answered.)

    Cheers,

    Chris

    • Marked as answer by ChrisOfTheOT Saturday, May 11, 2013 10:36 AM
    Saturday, May 11, 2013 10:36 AM

All replies

  • FYI: Only Western Digital Black and VelociRaptor drives have five year guarantees.

    (Just so I could mark thread as answered.)

    Cheers,

    Chris

    • Marked as answer by ChrisOfTheOT Saturday, May 11, 2013 10:36 AM
    Saturday, May 11, 2013 10:36 AM
  • FWIW I have a WHS2011 running 24/7 for almost 2 years now with 6 WD Blue drives of 1TB and so far absolutely no single problem with the drives. From what I've read the WD Red series are specifically designed for NAS and other 24/7 servers and should be even more reliable.

    Once in a while I use the DiskCheckup utility from passmark.com to check the SMART attributes of the drives and to confirm their reliability.

    Luc.

    Saturday, May 11, 2013 2:06 PM
  • Cheers Luc - good to know that WD are reliable. If the Blue (cheapest) are good then the others can only be better.

    I did look at the Red NAS-rated drives but the extra 2-years assurance is worth a mint to me, not least because of the last month or so of driver-related agro. (In actual fact, Ken Warren has just suggested that my woes may be driver/SATA related, not specifically HDD. Yet more time & hassel then! (See my thread here: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whssoftware/thread/c28af847-59b0-443f-b9e5-2341db4b16d6)

    Anyway, it'll be WD for me.

    Cheers,

    Chris

    Monday, May 13, 2013 9:13 AM
  • ...From what I've read the WD Red series are specifically designed for NAS and other 24/7 servers and should be even more reliable.

    You're quite right Luc. I did not look at all the information properly. I just noticed that on the WD Black web page (http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=760) under 'Recommended uses' it says:

    Desktop drives are not recommended for use in RAID
    environments, please consider using WD Red hard
    drives
    for home and small office 1-5 bay NAS systems and WD Enterprise hard
    drives for rackmount and >5 bay NAS systems.

    The Black drives are 'not recommended' because they're 'desktop' drives (like the cheaper Blue and Green).

    Interestingly, on the Red page (http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810) it says nothing about server applications specifically (?!) but I imagine the 'always on 24x7' stipulation covers it.

    I don't understand the 3-year vs 5-year guarantee though. Surely if someone put a Black drive in a server and it exploded after two or three years, it would still have to be replaced under guarantee? Anyway, it seems you're right Luc and the Red drives are the ones to get for a server.

    Cheers,

    Chris

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:07 AM
  • ...Interestingly, on the Red page (http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810) it says nothing about server applications specifically...

    In fact, according to the WD Red 'Compatibility' page (http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810 ), these drives are NOT tested on servers at all, only NAS systems. What's that about?

    Cheers,

    Chris

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:54 AM
  • The way servers actually access the drives will be no different to a desktop except that the access rate will be higher based on the number of clients. I suspect however that if you were to compare a typical WHS usage with 2-4 clients with say a desktop used for video and graphical editing the latter would be working harder. Writing a file is the same desktop or server and a server data drive is not handling swap files and the like. This might be where the benefit of Blacks would come in.

    The difference and where the WD Red drives fit is with RAID and even then not with simple mirrors but with block level access based around striping. There is going to be a very similar workload on WHS as a NAS box and from scratch I would be looking at Reds in a new build RAID. Now we have the option of a SATA based solution for RAID I would not consider desktop drives, When the choice was standard SATA vs very expensive SAS/SCSI in a home system the latter is too much.

    Without that option of the Red drives I think I would only consider mirrors with WHS.


    25 years of loving (and too often hating) everything Microsoft.


    • Edited by Hairy Fool Sunday, June 23, 2013 11:33 AM spelling
    Sunday, June 23, 2013 11:32 AM