Recent Western Digital HDD experiences?

Hi all, these games we love to play keep getting bigger and bigger. Looking to swap out my oldest 750 GB WD drive for a 2 or maybe 4 terabyte one. Over the last decade plus I’ve had great experiences with Western Digital (the Black 7200 RPM variety, particularly) so are those still a safe bet? I bought my last one back in 2017, I think, and it’s been a champ so far.

Oh, and quick question about HDD labels in Windows-- are they at all important to the operating system for finding installation paths, or are they more like “nicknames” for the user’s benefit only? When I set up that last 2TB HDD I stupidly labeled it “2GB_Apr2017” (as if we were back in the early 1990s when a 2 GB drive was actually something you could use), and it’s bugged me since.

They are nicknames, you can change them on OS drives without fear. I just bought a 1TB WD NVME and it works like a charm. I assume the mechanical drives are still very good.

Thanks for the info about HDD labels. The weirdly-named one in question is just a storage drive, not a boot/OS one*, but I assume the same applies to them.

*Windows 10 is on a 500 GB Samsung SSD, thank goodness. Is your new NVME drive your OS one? I gather the data throughput of those is about seven times that of a typical SSD. What is the use case for those (apart from the fact that they’re going to be the local storage solution for the upcoming major consoles)?

I have similar failure levels across 70Tb it drives—Toshiba, WD and Seagate with the notable exception of a couple of lemon 3TB Seagate ones.

Thanks. In an IT situation I bet we’re talking about drives in a RAID setup running 24/7, right? I guess you would know then. :-)

Luckily I don’t need anything approaching 70 TB!

No, these are consumer drives in my home for Plex server but yes running mostly 24/7.

Yes I put my OS on there. My boot times were long on my SSD, but the real culprit was one mechanical drive still connected. I then cloned my SSD to the new NVME removed the mechanical one and shaved 10 seconds off my boot time.

The last few times I needed a drive, I read Backblaze’s report before I bought. Side note: Backblaze is awesome.

I second all that about Backblaze. They’re awesome. Their report seems like the best bet for non-anecdotal data.

Hi @Chappers, can you let me know which cloning software did you use? I’m looking to clone a 250GB drive to a 500GB one. Does it require reactivation of Window 10?

Macrium Reflect has a free edition

I used this one:

Well, I’ve got a couple of black drives recently and they have been dependable and solid. Statistically I’m not sure what my experience is worth, but there you go! I’ll be sticking with them for my future purposes…

We’ve had WD Red drives in our 2 Synology NAS boxes the last 8 years. They have been “fine.”

Like any spinning rust, they absolutely DO fail under heavy 24/7 use. 4 or 5 of the 10 total drives eventually failed at around 3-4 years of wear. Not awesome, but about what you’d expect from the data posted earlier. Not horrifyingly bad either though.

The giant WD Black Drive in my gaming PC has been fine going on 4-5 years and is less likely to die soon because it gets SO much less wear.


I would recommend the unusual strategy of not buying the biggest HDD you can afford, but rather to to go for a smaller size and if needed, buy 2 of them. This way, you spread the risk out. If one fails, you can probably still get along with half the size, and it’s much less likely that both will fail.

Hmm, your ideas intrigue me blah blah blah newsletter etc.

I suppose I could buy two 2TB drives and replace the two 750GB drives I currently have in my system (I have 4 HDDs total, which is all there’s room for in the case). More expensive of course.

I buy the cheapest major brand non-Seagate drives I can find, typically WD external USB3 drives, which I then shuck. You can typically buy 3 of those for the same price as 2 WD reds.

If I’m using them for game installs, I don’t want to use the WD Reds, right? They’re slow AF 5400 rpm drives, used for NAS storage, per my understanding. I suppose I could buy an external USB 3 HDD, though, and move all media to that if I bought a Red, freeing up space on my internal drives.

No reason to use mechanical drives for games at all these days, SSDs are really cheap.

Not nearly as cheap as spinning rust though, in terms of space per dollar.

And by “shuck” upthread you mean take them out of their enclosures (making the analogy with an ear of corn)?