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back to article WD: Enjoying our $630m, Seagate? Let's ruin your day with our results

It might still be smarting from the $630m it just doled out to Seagate, but WD widened the gap between itself and its arch competitor with its fourth quarter and full year results. Overall, the world's biggest HDD maker sold more drives more profitably - and coped with the PC downturn better. Revenues for WD's fourth financial …


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Poor quality

Of all the brands we have supplied to end users, whether domestic or enterprise, WD are the only brand that give us the most problems. There's not a month that goes by that we sent drives back. Earlier this year the replacement for a month old HDD failed and that also had to go back.


Re: Poor quality

I think by definition, only one brand can be giving you the most problems. That's pretty much what 'most' means.

On the other hand, it certainly doesn't match my experience, unless you don't actually deal with Seagate in the first place.

And of course if no month ever involves sending drives back, life must be great.


Re: Poor quality

Totally agree, I've had THREE WD drives fail, two caviar black and a caviar green. All were under warranty. Bought the caviar green and it failed under warranty, it was replaced with a caviar black, it failed and was again replaced with a caviar black, IT FAILED again under warranty. I gave up and bought a Hitachi and I've had no problems since.

I will never trust WD again.


conversely, I've never had a problem which proved to be the fault of a WD drive, but the high number of failed seagate's meant we had to stop offering them to clients

we're not paid by WD to make positive comments on their behalf

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And I've just finished recovering a server that crashed overnight when a WD RAID edition disk turned into a brick "just like that".

I don't hold this against WD. I do wonder whether Seagate are more honest in revealing SMART data that encourages one to replace a drive BEFORE it becomes a brick. Or maybe they are less reliable. Not enough data.

Unless one is Google with tens of thousands of drives to draw conclusions from, it's pure speculation. Also every drive one ever buys is in effect a prototype. By the time five years have passed and it's proven itself as reliable as you'd have wished, it's also long-obsolete, and I very much doubt whether the reliability performance of (say) WD1600AAJS drives tells you anything at all about the ones they are shipping today. I work on the assumption that every manufacturer is likely to ship bad batches from time to time, and to design "lemons" with poor endurance from time to time. Concentrate on the backups. It's data that's valuable, the disks are cheap in comparison.

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Words of wisdom. There is no brand that is absolutely reliable. Better to treat drives as a commodity, not some fashion item, and get those backups running.

Oh, and SMART is anything but.

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With regard to WD vs. Seagate, I have over the last 10 or so years been privy to a singular phenomenon between a friend and myself. Now I am a WD man, have been for ages, while my friend swears by Seagate. And we both have good reasons for being the way we are.

Every single Seagate drive I have bought, since 2005, has gone bad within six months of purchase. It's not a batch issue either; the last one was in 2010, and it started showing sector errors within 3 months. Yet I've never lost a WD drive; the only reason they get replaced is because I need a bigger drive and only have so many drive bays on my system. - so I have close to a dozen still-working WD drives in my spares box.

For my friend, the opposite is true. Every time he's bought a WD drive, he's had to replace it within the year. For him, that last one was last year. Yet he's never had to replace a Seagate drive, except, as with myself, when he's needed more storage space.

It's not a "you must have gotten one from a bad batch" issue, because the phenomenon has been manifesting for nearly a decade for both of us, involving drives from multiple sources and vendors, both internal and external, over many years. Maybe it's just an extremely improbable coincidence. Maybe there's some self-perpetuating psychic drive-busting phenomenon at work. Possibly it's even confirmation bias (have I ever mistaken a Seagate for a WD or vice versa?)

All I know is, I'm damn sure that every Seagate I've bought has gone bad while every WD has lasted its term, while for my friend the opposite is true. We both relate our experiences whenever it comes up, as a demonstration of the folly of brand loyalty and living proof of YMMV!


Re: Oh, and SMART is anything but.

"There's something terribly wrong with your hard drive, you should backup immedi.........aaaaaaaaaand it's gone".


more than a smidge - or just a forgotten Shift key?

"Revenues for WD's fourth financial 2013 quarter, which ended on 28 June, were $3.73bn, down a smidge on the preceding quarter's 43.76bn, and down a lot, 22 per cent, on the year-ago fourth quarter."

I would consider a drop in income from 43billion to 3billion more than a smidge


Steven Roper,

Greetings-- The probability is something you cannot decide from the events that have happened to two people.

Evaluate two million and we start to get reliable reliability numbers

However we all tend to go by what probability does to us.

Happy number crunching.


Hi, as with most commenter's I can only offer experience of a relatively small sample of HDD's but as I seem to end up as several peoples goto PC guy I see quite a few HDD fails and based on this experience when buying HD's my preferences are as follows:

Samsung yes I know they are now Seagate but I have several very well used Samsungs that predate this change, and still pass a Diskinfo check with no discernible problems.

My second choice is Seagate, anyway.

WD would be be way down my list as I have experienced many failures on various members of this firms drives including one that lost my brother hundreds of personal photo's, yes I know - backup, backup, backup but my brother is not an IT sort of person. I only mention this particular case because when I investigated it I was deluged by many identical failures, this has always stuck in my mind, it was only last year, have they now changed?.


Terrible WD "quality"

I've had absolutely terrible results with WD drives. Some failing in as little as 6 months online.

They honored their warranty but the hassle of replacing drives all the time was bad enough that I no longer will buy a WD drive.

This was a few years ago, and maybe they have improved, but I can't take the risk.

I'm probably going Seagate until I finally go Sandisk 100%.

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