WD mybook 500GB pro edition
today my time machine backup broke again. I tried reformatting the drive, hooking it up to the computer directly, firewire, usb nothing worked. at first the computer sees the drive and is able to mount it but after a short time the drive simply turnes off during file transfers. I called up western digital techsupport to see how I can fix the problem:
the solution: the drive has a broken thermal control unit and this can only be fixed by getting your drive replaced.
so I signed up for western digitals RMA program and now I am waiting for a replacement drive to be shipped to me. the friendly tech support guy told me I might even get a mybook studio edition which would be quite nice. so I now I have to wait and see how this whole replacement things works out.
Update I @ 9.12.2008:
today I got a package from western digital. It had a probably used western digital 500GB studio edition in it. The being used part sucks I think but since I only sent in a mybook pro edition a used studio edition seems to be a fair trade. The inital setup worked just fine but about 5 attempts to create a new time machine backup failed. The disk mounts allright but at some point during the file transfer it simply shuts down again. if I then hit the power button at the back it comes back up and mounts again which the old one did not do. Anyhow this is just not right for a product with such a price and that is advertised to be “mad for a mac”. As I type time machine is backing up to the drive which is now hooked up to my airport extreme router. I will see if it will be able to complete the backup that way.
western digital 500 GB studio edition
Update II @ 10.12.2008:
Over night the backup of time machine finished successfully to the drive hooked up to my airport extreme. This morning I reconnected the drive via firewire 800 and deleted the old stuff, did two small backups all without problems. I take the drive now as working, since it will be hooked up via usb to the router anyway. Now I have to send Western Digital my old disk or they will charge me for the new one.
Update III @ 10.12.2008 22:56
around noon the drive did not wake up for a backup until i pulled the power plug. So I called up tech support and told them about it. He advised me to to perform a firmware upgrade which i did. after that everything seemed normal. But After rebooting the mac, I tried to launch the backup and it froze my mac. no piece of software or hardware has ever frozen my mac. I mean seriously this is an external hard drive not a crappy external tv card with weird drivers or anything. any 5 ? usb drive can do what this 150 ? piece can’t. I currently try to continue the backup. its been in a preparing state for ever and just as I type this it started to copy data , and it really finished. great. wonder what happens in an hour when the next backup is due. Anyhow I will call up tech support tomorrow again and have the drive replaced again. This is supposed to be a reliable backup solution. luckily i have mac girlfriends macbook to backup my critical data. I don’t know what I would do if I really needed the drive for work or anything. man I hate tech support!
One thing I know now for sure is I will get an offsite online backup solution, backblaze will be my choice. its 50$ a year thats about 40 euros a year. 150? for a WD studio Edition / 40 ? = more than 3 years. thats longer than the warranty of these drives.
Update IV @ 11.12.2008 1:01
now the drive appears to be working again. it finished serveral backups just fine while powering down in between. I will keep the laptop running all night to see if it can keep it up till next morning.
Update V @ 11.12.2008 9:44
the drive has beend working all night. finishing several backups powering up and down. I will keep the drive for testing over the weekend and decide monday whether to send it back or not.
Update VI @ 16.12.2008 23:05
I decided to give the drive another chance over the long weekend I had, and it worked. no more hickups, i open the lid of my macbook pro, i hear the drive power up, time machine does what it needs to do, the back up is finished, exactly ten minutes later the drive powers down. I mailed back my old mybook pro. hopefully it gets there before the holidays otherwise western digital is going to charge me the ridiculous amount of 384 dollars for the new 500GB studio edition which is like 150 ? at amazon. but I have faith in the postal service. I hope the drive lasts till I get my new mac mini server once the new models arrive at macworld in january. At this point I am totally clueless which external harddrives to get to extend the storage of the server, since I do not want to trust Western Digital with my really important data.
Update VII @ 22.09.2009 19:21
I have used the drive now since the last update without any further problems. I have been on vacation the last 2 weeks and after coming back, it powered up, backed up more than 13 Gigabytes and went back to sleep like a charm. This is how I want things to work.
I will keep updating this post as things progress.