Western Digital Caviar SE 250 GB,Internal,7200 RPM,3.5" (WD2500JBRTL) Hard Drive Reviews

Western Digital Caviar SE 250 GB,Internal,7200 RPM,3.5" (WD2500JBRTL) Hard Drive

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+$11.20 shipping eBay

Lots of space for a good price, but it's bound to break down

Jun 3, 2002
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Big storage for a low price, good customer service

Cons:Let's face it, the drive is a cheap piece of junk

The Bottom Line: Get an IBM or Seagate (Original Quantum if you can find one) they will last longer and give you less headache.

What can I say; I hate Western Digital Hard Drives. Every drive I have ever owned with Western Digital on the case has been replaced at least once. Such a pity.

So then you ask, why did I get this drive? Easy. Price for size and the fact that Quantum is now made by Maxtor (another brand I particularly dislike).

Personally and professionally I have encountered very few problems with Quantum, IBM, and Seagate hard drives. And let me tell you, I've had a lot of experience with hard drives. As a former MicroCenter service technician, we replaced thousands of drives, most of which were Western Digital. (It also had something to do with the fact that most of the computers we sold, like PowerSpec and Compaq, came with Western Digital drives.) The sad thing is, Compaq and PowerSpec both used 5400rpm drives in most of their machines (drives which shouldn't break down as often as a 7200+rpm drive). Apple used Seagate, IBM, and Quantum drives in most of their systems. The drives held up for the most part. The drives in the IMac took most of the beatings since the hard drive was on the bottom. People would pick the IMac up by its nifty top handle and set it back down hard (they were kinda heavy). The drives took the beating. Anyway, onto my review...

I got this drive for Christmas from Sam's Club. I wanted the 100 GB drive they had for $299 with a $100 rebate but they sold out (100 GB for that price was a good deal then). Since they sold out I got the next drive in line, the 80GB Western Digital. I had mixed feelings since I had seen so many of the drive fail. Well, just as soon as I moved 10gb of data from my old hard drive, installed 20gb more of data, and copied another 15gb of data from my other computer....the drive started clicking ever so often. It sounded like the drive was resetting itself, reinitializing. I immediately thought that I didn't have enough power going to the drive so I upgraded my power supply from 250 to 350 watts. Still, the same problem. A couple months later it got worst. I downloaded the Data Lifeguard Plus from WD's website. It said nothing was wrong with the drive, but I knew better. (Don't waste your time with the utility, it's useless.)

Zadian test: At MicroCenter we have a machine called a Zadian. Its sole purpose is to test hard drives--ever little sector and bit it tests. It wipes out all data and all partitions, it's very thorough. To my dismay, I started moving my now almost 50GB of data to CDs, other computers and spare hard drives. I took the drive in, ran the Zadian test on it (which took the good part of a day) and what did I find...the drive was bad. It had some small bad sectors, some problems with the buffer, and some problems with the head. I printed the report, attached my CompTIA A+ Certification number to it and sent the drive to WD. They did a cross ship. I had the new drive in two days. I could have kept my drive to backup the data (if I didn't zadian the drive) to the new drive, and then send them my drive. But I went ahead and sent mine in. RMA was easy and painless. WD has excellent customer service.

This time I installed the new drive as a second drive instead of my main drive. (This way my system wouldn't have to go down if it breaks again.) The new drive hasn't given me any problems so far besides the occasional click like on the first drive. I ran the Zadian on this drive before I installed it and it found no problems. Maybe I got a bad drive the first time around? Still, I don't like the click, it bothers me.

Anyway, if you want to know the specs for this drive, here they are:

Internal EIDE 3.5 or 5.25" mount
Ultra ATA/100
(I should mention that the drive does work very fast. I was very impressed with the speed difference I noticed from my 5400RPM ATA/66 drive)
3 Year Warranty (I'm sure you'll probably use it)
Toll Free Technical Support
IDE-AT interface (40-pin connector (comes with and 80 pin cable))
S.M.A.R.T. Compatible
Works with Windows, Linux, and Mac

I should also note that the drive runs pretty quiet. It seems to run no hotter then the average 7200RPM drive so if you're worried about heat, the drive runs pretty average (sorry I don't have any specifics on temperature). If you're concerned about temperature, install the drive in the 5.25" bay and use a hard drive cooling kit. This will also extend the life of your drive.

Capacity: The formatted capacity in Windows using NTFS shows up as 74.5GB, a loss of 5.5GB (a little above average).

Also take note that I am a superuser. I run my computer 24/7/365. My hard drive is moving data all day long, it never stops.

Overall: I don't recommend this drive. I have had great luck with Quantum Fireball drives and I would have bought one of those if Maxtor didn't buy them out (I'm not too fond of Maxtor either). I recommend paying the extra $20-40 for an IBM drive. It will prove to be more durable and reliable. Seagate makes great drives too, but the IBM drives are better...but if you don't want to pay extra for IBM get a still more expensive Seagate. Remember, this is my personal opinion which I give to you through my experience as a service technician of several years at MicroCenter. I believe IBM puts Quality into their drives while Western Digital puts Quantity into their drives. I only bought this drive because it was cheap and that's what I got...a cheap drive.

As always, if I have any new experiences with this product I will update the article. Please review it honestly! I try my best to objectively put honest experience and facts into my articles. Hope it helps!

Recommend this product? No

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