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View Full Version : Western Digital no longer cares about customers


DBelton
16th May 2010, 04:52 PM
I have been a 20+ year user of Western Digital drives, but no longer will I be purchasing any of their crap since they refuse to listen to all of their customers complaints with their new crap products, Specifically their USB external hard drives.

They all come with software loaded that you can't seem to get rid of, and they are Windoze/Mac only. Even their simple USB external drives have backup software that comes up as a 'virtual CD' drive and they take nearly 700 MB of the drive capacity off the top for it, and it is useless if you run linux.

The only way I have found to get rid of their crapware is to pull the drive out of the enclosure and wipe it with a tool like dban. The later models will even put the crapware back if you return the drive to the original enclosure after wiping.

And Western Digital's response to all the complaints? Release a utility to 'hide' the virtual CD, but tell you that it can't be removed completely, and release a version that puts the crap back out there when the drive is returned to the original enclosure.

Firewing1
16th May 2010, 04:55 PM
Are you sure that 700MB takes away from the capacity of the drive? If the software is automatically added back as soon as you put it back in the enclosure, that sounds like there's a separate memory bank in the enclosure. I may be completely wrong, but it seems unlikely to me that the enclosure would automatically partition your drive, format a new 700MB FAT32 partition and then populate it with the fake CD data...

DBelton
16th May 2010, 05:07 PM
yes, it does take away from the capacity of the drive, and if you partition the drive out of the enclosure with gparted, then when you put it back in the enclosure, you get 'unknown partition type' and the drive is unusable until you repartition it in the enclosure, then it puts the garbage back on the drive.

It looks like the enclosure firmware is partitioning the drive with some unique format, and putting the smartware backup crap on the drive.

Here is what I did after trying (unsuccessfully) to get rid of the crapware:

Pulled drive and connected to internal SATA controller. gparted saw 'invalid partition'

wiped drive with dban and partitioned with gparted. worked perfectly as an internal drive, no crapware, full capacity of the drive usable.

returned drive to original enclosure. no longer usable and got 'invalid partition'

ran gparted again and the drive was usable once again, but now the crapware was back and the full capacity of the drive was not availble.

Firewing1
16th May 2010, 05:32 PM
Oh, that's frustrating :(

I'm not sure if your interested in ditching WD's enclosure and just using your own, but for about $35 you can pick up a Nexstar 3 and put the drive in there. It's an awesome enclosure for the price, and it will give you eSATA and USB functionality (for about $20 more you can add FireWire in the mix, too).

kyryder
16th May 2010, 05:45 PM
That's ridiculous, What a pain. I WAS going to order a Western Digital drive today but don't want to support a company that would force such things on there customers. I guess I will have to spend a bit more to buy a different brand.

I would be looking for a way to overwrite that on-board chip. ;)

Ky

EDIT: This is the enclosure I was going to purchase for the WD drive I am not buying now. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817173042

stoat
16th May 2010, 05:46 PM
Hello DBelton,

I guess that's a good reason to buy the drive and the enclosure separately. Here's another one (but not related to Western Digital directly)... They sometimes have refurbed drives in them. I bought a Cavalry external drive once. The first one was returned to the retailer for a bad rocker switch and a replacement. The replacement worked okay, but it made some sounds when mounted in the base that stood it on its edge. Lying flat, it worked quietly. I decided that I would never return it again and wanted see inside the thing. I broke the little seal, opened the enclosure, and inside found a WD drive that was clearly marked as a refurb. Not advertised as such by Cavalry or the retailer, of course. The WD diagnostics were okay, and it's still working today. But I never got over the incident and will never again buy an external drive as a unit like that.

DBelton
17th May 2010, 04:23 AM
I just ordered me a SATA card and bare Hitachi drive, returning Western Digital's POS to where I bought it from. Am very happy with that decision, too.

Kyryder, go to western digital's site and look at all the complaints about their smartware software and the virtual cd drive. and all the responses from WD tech support is that you can 'hide' the virtual cd drive, like that should be satisfactory.

and Stoat, I ran into a refurb from Seagate a few years back myself. got a 300 GB external that was sold to me as new. Didn't realize it was a refurb till about a 6 months ago when I was going to pull the drive out and put it internal. Clearly marked on the drive is refurbished.

Dan
21st May 2010, 07:24 PM
Hmmm. Guess I'm late to this party.

+1 on the auto-installed crapware on the WD externals. Whilst I was seeking info on externals, I ran across a lot of complaints about that.

+1 on Stewart's idea. A 500g Toshiba/hitachi/Samsung etc in a nice Nexstar 2.5 enclosure is classy looking and functional, too.

kyryder
21st May 2010, 08:36 PM
Yup, Got my new Samsung yesterday. It's up and running and all is good so far. :)

Ky

---------- Post added at 03:36 PM CDT ---------- Previous post was at 03:27 PM CDT ----------

PS: I bought the drive from newegg. The drive was bubble wrapped inside a box inside a box stuffed with paper. I shook the box before I opened it and there was no movement from within the box. Another A+ for newegg ;)

DBelton
22nd May 2010, 06:20 PM
I just hate seeing Western Digital going down this road. I have been a very good customer of theirs for over 20 years now, but looks like I am now going to be using and recommending other drives.

And kyryder, newegg is who I purchased my hitachi drive from, and yes, they do pack their shipments pretty good. I have ordered from newegg quite a lot in the past and have never had a problem with damage in shipment. been with them from the start, when they went completely online and closed all the egghead stores.

Firewing1
22nd May 2010, 07:06 PM
For what it's worth, Western Digital's enterprise and internal drives are still of great quality... I just avoid their MyBook ones, since for $20 more you can get a custom enclosure that does 2x more anyways.

kyryder
23rd May 2010, 02:53 PM
For what it's worth, Western Digital's enterprise and internal drives are still of great quality... I just avoid their MyBook ones, since for $20 more you can get a custom enclosure that does 2x more anyways.

I agree, WD has made some good drives, heck I have several in use today.I just can't see giving any more of my money to a company that uses such tactics to force software on there customers. I am a believer in, if I buy something with my hard earned money it is mine to use as I see fit, NOT THERE'S to repeatedly force software on my drive lessening my ability to store info or use the drive. I sadly realize my outlook is probably not the norm, but imagine if it was: What would a mp3 player look like? Where would the (FLOSS) FOSS/GNU community be?


And kyryder, newegg is who I purchased my hitachi drive from, and yes, they do pack their shipments pretty good. I have ordered from newegg quite a lot in the past and have never had a problem with damage in shipment. been with them from the start, when they went completely online and closed all the egghead stores.

LOL, I had forgot about the egghead days.(showing age :p) I have been buying from them since those days also. I can't remember ever having a problem with any of my orders from them, and would recommend newegg without hesitation to friends and family.

Ky

DBelton
23rd May 2010, 03:39 PM
I agree, WD has made some good drives, heck I have several in use today.I just can't see giving any more of my money to a company that uses such tactics to force software on there costumers. I am a believer in, if I buy something with my hard earned money it is mine to use as I see fit, NOT THERE'S to repeatedly force software on my drive lessening my ability to store info or use the drive. I sadly realize my outlook is probably not the norm, but imagine if it was: What would a mp3 player look like? Where would the (FLOSS) FOSS/GNU community be?

I agree. I have used Western Digital almost exclusively and still have several 40 MB WD drives that still run flawlessly today with zero bad sectors :) (I still remember the problems getting them to work in DOS because of the 32 MB limitation lol) But I am with you. I refuse to support a company that doesn't listen to it's customers, and forces software on them even with them screaming and complaining about it.