Western Digital Caviar SE 120 GB,Internal,7200 RPM,3.5" (WD1200JB) Hard Drive Reviews
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Western Digital Caviar SE 120 GB,Internal,7200 RPM,3.5" (WD1200JB) Hard Drive

38 ratings (10 Epinions reviews)
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Western Digital Caviar drives: unforgivably unreliable!

Mar 7, 2004
Review by  
Rated a Helpful Review

Pros:Cement a dozen of them together and you would have a great boat anchor.

Cons:3 catastrophic failures in under a week make Caviar drives too untrustworthy to consider using.

The Bottom Line: I bought this drive because it was cheap. What a mistake! 3 catastrophic failures in under a week of total operating time with 2 cases of infant mortality. Avoid!


I bought a Western Digital Caviar, 120 GB, IDE drive for use in a backup Linux workstation. It was installed in a Cooler Master 4002, a top rated, forced air drive cooler with a massive, aluminum head sink. Suddenly, after only a few hours of operation, parts of the system started failing and Linux detected irreparable damage to the drive. The Western Digital Lifeguard utilities confirmed that the drive was defective. I purchased a replacement drive (from another manufacturer) while the RMA was in progress.

I put Windows on the refurbished, replacement drive and after a few days, it refused to boot. Installing it as a slave on another system, Norton Disk Doctor detected massive damage, but the Lifeguard utilities said it was fine. Rather than trying to repair it, I reformatted and reinstalled, cussing Western Digital the entire time.

True to form, the day after I re-reinstalled and reconfigured, the boot failed. Installing it as a slave on another system, the Lifeguard diagnostic tools confirmed that it had failed yet again. 3 strikes and you're out!

Seeing 3 catastrophic failures in the Caviar drive in a fraction of a week of operating time, I wrote a letter to Western Digital's Vice President of Customer Support. I stated flatly that I would not, under any circumstances, accept another Caviar. I offered to accept a new (not refurbished) Raptor (server grade drive???) and to pay of the difference in retail value for the exchange. This should more than cover them for the difference in the manufacturer's cost. If they are cool about it, they will just upgrade me and apologize profusely.

These drives are untrustworthy pieces of junk. Based on the other reviews I have read here on Epinions, 60% of people reviewing them are dissatisfied (or considering declaring a Jihad on Western Digital for egregiously poor quality resulting in extreme mental anguish :-). Avoid them like the plague!

BrianP, Austin, Texas


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