Don’t Buy Western Digital, Do Buy From Curry’s

About six weeks ago my old hard drive started playing up badly, so I bought a new Western Digital one from Curry’s/PC World. It took nearly a month to copy all the data across – so much of it was damaged and I had to run ddrescue on a lot of files.

And then, yesterday, my new hard drive started having bad sectors all over the place. My friend Sean, when I mentioned this on Facebook, said “Is it a Western Digital one?” but I’ve had problems with several brands of hard drive, so didn’t think much of it.

Today, I went into Curry’s again, and explained the problem. The staff member there suggested we do exactly what I wanted to do, which was for me to buy a new hard drive, bring it home, copy all my data across myself, bring the old one back, and they’d refund the cost of the new one (the cost had gone up forty pounds because I’d bought in the January sales). He did this quickly and without any complaint or argument, and I was in the shop less than five minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever had better customer service.

But then I got home, plugged the new hard drive in, and it’s not recognised at all. I’ve tried on three separate machines – my desktop, my work laptop, and Holly’s laptop – running three different OSes (Debian Wheezy, Fedora 10 and Ubuntu 11.10). Nothing in lsusb, nothing in /dev, no messages in dmesg.

So tomorrow I’m going to have to make another trek into town, return this hard drive, get a more expensive one (I got WD because they’re relatively cheap) and go through the whole rigamarole again.

So, avoid Western Digital like the plague, but Curry’s/PC World’s customer service has been excellent and I would advise anyone wishing to purchase an electronic item to do so there.

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2 Responses to Don’t Buy Western Digital, Do Buy From Curry’s

  1. James says:

    Not quite as positive for me. I bought a Compaq laptop from Curry’s in October which turned out to have a fault. It’s taken four months to get it replaced during which time it’s been taken in for repair 5 times and returned each time with the same fault, lost, found, taken to Wales for no apparent reason, lost again and finally returned with instructions that I should have just taken it back to the shop where I bought it in the first place. Which I did two months ago and was told that it wasn’t their responsibility to deal with. I’ve run up a phone bill of about £50 trying to find what’s happening and am still getting messages that they want to come and collect the computer to repair it, despite the fact that they’ve replaced it and I don’t have it any more.

  2. Not to be a defender but I’ve got three Western Digital MyBooks and have never had trouble with them. I think the general rule of thumb is never, on pain of death, buy the cheapest HDD. Always go one or two price bands up. And back up every hour on the hour.

    Hard disks, especially now they hold terrabytes, are frighteningly fragile things. Gruber did a good article on them a while back (scroll halfway through):

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