Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Western Digital's Hitachi Storage Takeover Approved With Restrictions

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the trade-commission-regulating-trade-for-once dept.

Businesses 156

angry tapir writes "Western Digital's plan to buy Hitachi Global Storage has run into U.S. FTC resistance: The U.S. FTC will require Western Digital to sell off assets used to manufacture desktop hard drives to a competitor as a condition of its U.S.$4.5 billion acquisition of rival Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, the agency has announced." It looks like Toshiba is the competitor receiving the manufacturing assets.More from the FTC: "Under the proposed settlement order, Toshiba will receive all of the productive assets needed to replicate Hitachi Global Storage Technologies' position in the desktop hard disk drive market. In addition, the settlement order requires Western Digital to provide Toshiba with access to its employees involved in research and development and the production of desktop hard disk drives, and also requires Western Digital to license all intellectual property needed to make and supply desktop hard disk drives to Toshiba. The settlement order also requires Western Digital to be available to supply Toshiba with certain components Toshiba will need to run the desktop hard disk drive business it acquires, and to contract manufacture hard disk drives for Toshiba until Toshiba is able to manufacture them on its own. The FTC also has appointed a monitor to oversee the sale of the assets to Toshiba and to keep the Commission informed about the status of the required divestiture."

cancel ×

156 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Somehow this makes the sale fair? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39266899)

So Western Digital can buy Hitachi... but give everything that might possibly have been a competitive advantage away to Toshiba at a low cost?

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39266957)

Yes. And, if it had been Hitachi buying Western Digital there would have been no strings attached, because the U.S. likes to shoot itself in it's own foot but will gladly help outsource whatever is left and destroy our economy at home. Sad tragedy...

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (2, Funny)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267075)

Its called globalization. Its the future.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (3, Informative)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267373)

Its called globalization. Its the future.

Judging by previous futures, it's overrated...
I was going to say the future is overrated based on past results,
but that keeps getting flagged as a parser error in module neocortex.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267421)

How long do you honestly think we are going to have multiple nation states? One world government is closer than you think.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267495)

good. That will end a lot of problems.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (4, Insightful)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267571)

As long as you're willing to say the right prayer and wear the right clothes.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267863)

Praise Allah! :P I'm sure we'll all be holocausted by Muslims first.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269933)

One world government is closer than you think.

good. That will end a lot of problems.

If you consider freedom to be a problem, sure.

The existence of separate nation states gives you the ability to emigrate from crappy countries to half-decent ones. Or from half-decent to better. One World means that no matter where you go, the rules are the same; don't like drug laws or censorship or state religion? Tough, where you gonna go?

Even worse, the higher politicians get above the people they govern, the more incompetent they become. You have your local city government by the balls but the state government is harder to control, the federal government is virtually impossible to control and spends all its time pandering to whoever wants to pay the politician's hookers and blow bills. Just imagine how wonderful it will be to have a super-federal government above even that.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (1)

suutar (1860506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267887)

Why do you assume the one world government will eliminate nation-states? A little nationalism is good for the masses; it keeps their mind off what's really going on.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268315)

Nationalism is almost immaterial. It is far more efficient to have a multi-tier topology in government (local stuff can be handled locally, national stuff can be handled nationally, international stuff can be handled internationally). I'd rather the boundaries be drawn according to cultures rather than according to 20th century national identities, since cultures tend to reflect the needs of that region, but something is better than nothing. Usually.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270519)

And with city, county, state government, and international treaties and agreements, that's pretty much how it already is...

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269983)

John Lennon, is that you?

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267765)

Judging from the last 5 WD drives I've had the "pleasure" of using versus the last 9 Hitachi drives, I'd much rather Hitachi buy out WD than the other way around.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267315)

So Western Digital can buy Hitachi... but give everything that might possibly have been a competitive advantage away to Toshiba at a low cost?

It's that or move everything to a Thai flood plain. Which would you choose?

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267735)

Well now that finally I find a good HD manufacturer they want to give it to WD. Their drives are crap not what used to be in the day. Hitachi right now is the only hd manufacturer I trust cause the others have gone to trash and this is before the thai flood occurred. I saw tons of complains of drives that have been used a few weeks and just go bad. Is this some kind of conspiracy meaning you will be required to buy new drives weather you like it or not. Seagate has gone horrible, WD sucks so whats left I guess SSD drives.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268139)

WD makes the best drives I have ever used. I have about 20 of them in a server environment, and as of yet have not needed to use the 5 year warranty on any of them. RE3/4s are fantastic drives. As are VelociRaptors. Yes, they also have some crappier drives (caviar greens, for example), but you get what you pay for.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (2)

noc007 (633443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268219)

This. Every WD HDD I've owned has died within the warranty period. I've had about an 80% failure rate within the warranty period at work. I use to be a Seagate fanboy and even risked buying three of the 1.5TB that had firmware problems (installed the patched firmware when I bought them and they're still running almost 5 years later). However, Seagate has definitely shown they've lost their way these past few years and I'm hesitant to risk buying from them again.

I was planning on buying some 4TB Hitachis to replace my aging Seagates when the prices came down to pre-flood pricing, but now I'm reconsidering. If this goes through, there won't be anyone left to trust. I guess I'm just going to have to go from a single parity raid to triple parity; I know it would be just my luck that two drives failed at the same time.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (2)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269977)

At my work we buy them in the 100's but never in quantities smaller than 20 at a time for testing. They're awesome drives. Don't blame the drive manufacturer because ups/newegg/mwave/frys plays football with your drive before you get it. Buy them in 20 quantities and you'll see they rarely fail. In truth, I have yet to run across a drive manufacturer with a failure rate significant enough for that to be the reason we changed drives. Although there have been a model here or there that were just .... wrong. Hitachi 1TB drives were as horrible as they come. On the other hand their 2TB five platter drives are my absolute favorite.

Re:Somehow this makes the sale fair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270605)

Well I don't have such a large sample, but in my experience the 3TB hitachi drives (with 3 years warranty) have 50% failure rate in the first year.

I bought two 3TB ones for my mythtv home setup, right before prices went up. One failed within months, it wouldn't fully spin back up after I had the machine off for a couple of hours for a wiring reorganization... Sounds like cheap ass bearings to me.

They were cheap and quite fast, and I got my warranty replacement, but it's annoying that they fail to easily.

The WD's and Samsungs in that same machine are doing fine.

Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (2, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39266943)

Worst drives I've ever owned.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39266959)

Dude that was literally a decade ago. Get over it.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39266975)

Next you'll tell me to get over the ST-225s that were dead out of the box.

Those were the worst drives I've ever owned.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267129)

Dude get over the ST-225s that were dead out of the box

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267569)

Next you'll tell me to get over the ST-225s that were dead out of the box. Those were the worst drives I've ever owned.

DOA drives? If they're going to fail, that's the best time. The worst drives are those that last just long enough for you to fill them up with data, and then you think you can do without a backup copy while you repartition/reformat the drives you just emptied. Noooooooooooo I'm not bitter. (Yes, yes, I know I should have had a proper offline backup too.)

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (3, Informative)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268339)

My personal favorite is when you're trying to RMA the hard drive, and the person on the other end has you run a bunch of diagnostics that say the drive is fine.

It's like, come on guys, I am a tech, my case has its side off more often than on, I've spent a fair amount of my life tending to the needs and wants to a number of machines that have found their way to me...I know what the usual sounds those hard drives are supposed to make, having been running them for over a year, and one of them has suddenly started making scratching noises. Your diagnostics will be giving me a green light right while the drive drops / corrupts data and disappears randomly from the OS's view, right up until the day it's suddenly no longer detected. Even Windows will think something is wrong with the drive before your diagnostic program will.

I had to run the m*therf*cking acoustic test on one of Seagate's (or was it Maxtor's) drive before it would give me a code to send the thing in. Show of hands from the people who know how long it takes to run that test, with the machine unusable while you're running it.

re: RMA (2)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270015)

Yep!! I've always hate doing hard drive RMAs. Honestly, it's to the point where the manufacturers should just accept them with a "no questions asked" policy for exchange during the length of their warranty period. Most of the people who lack the knowledge to adequately determine if a given drive is bad aren't capable of physically removing it from a computer and doing the RMA on it anyway.

I don't know about some of them, but my recent experiences with Seagate RMAs tells me it's pretty much a "one shot" exchange policy anyway. EG. If your drive has a "5 year warranty" and it goes bad in 6 months? As soon as you do the RMA, your replacement is specially branded as a replacement product and only carries something like a 90 day warranty. The warranty length only tells you how long you get to do ONE replacement for free.

Re: RMA (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270627)

Hmm. I thought the replacement retained the warranty from the original drive.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268357)

I have an extremely good offline backup. Mind you, I've just filled 100 DVDs to capacity and expect to fill 1000 more. No, not from downloads. Family history project. A big family history project. A big and extremely EXPENSIVE family history project.

And the hard disk space I'm using isn't even a fraction of the capacity of a modern hard drive.

Offline backup, these days, is getting very difficult to justify.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (1)

Vegemeister (1259976) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268671)

I hope you have a disk changing robot. If not, why are you not using HDDs?

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39268805)

No, it's just that you get what you pay for. Your low initial investment in a DVD burner, and the "low" cost of media, is offset by the fragility of DVDs and the time you've had to spend. If your data was that valuable and expensive, you would have purchased a tape drive.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267003)

They kept the name, regardless of the reputation that it had developed. Seems to me like if they wanted to break the association that renaming their product line would have been a step they could have taken in the last decade.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267053)

And I havent dared to try them since. Thats how bad they were!

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268379)

My cousin has over 10,000 HDs in his datacenter and he told me Hitachi fail the least for him.

Was good enough for me.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (1)

Zeromous (668365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270033)

Same here. Drives die all the time but Seagates and WDs more than any Hitachi.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (2)

_merlin (160982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267171)

Funny thing is I managed to run one of those DeskStars for a decade - it was running until about April last year - with no problems. Only spun down when moving house, in power failures, and when I needed to replace a power supply fan in the machine. I replaced it with a WD Blue last year.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267251)

Sins are inherited unto the seventh generation. Those Quantum drives that died on me taint the name of Maxtor and Seagate and several acquisitions to come.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (2, Insightful)

LazLong (757) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268025)

Isn't it interesting how stuff like this sticks in people's minds and they seem incapable of evaluating new data and reevaluating their stance? The longevity of opinions like this seems to increase when there is some cute catch phrase involved, such as "Deathstar" in this instance.

"To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of the ability to unlearn old falsehoods."
  -Robert A. Heinlein

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39268243)

Nope I still have Hiatchi drives from just a few years ago that suffer from click of near death - meaning, it clicks, has bad sectors, but at least it still works unlike previously.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269865)

I just got a hitachi deathstar back from warranty replacement after it broke less than a year after manufacturing...

I should have known.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (2)

blackicye (760472) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267249)

Worst drives I've ever owned.

WD 1TB Caviar Black AAKS drives were the worst I've owned in recent years.

I experienced a 50% failure rate within 24 months for 8 units I was running personally. One of my clients who does server virtualization experienced approximately 30% failure rates with his 40 drives.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267453)

Annoyingly I've just had 2 AAKS drives of slightly different ages die on me this week, though they have had good mileage of consistent usage for 4 years. I prefer them to my old Barracudas, which rattled away like a screw in a tin can. Annoyingly prices are still uncomfortably steep for me to replace them so I'll have to hope the two I have left will keep going. I don't see why they'd all die at the same time, but who knows.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267477)

Got you beat by a mile - Seagate 320 gig - 11 out of 14 failed within 6 months. The first 4 (bought in 2 different cities) were DOA or died within minutes. The trend continued with the replacements.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (1)

Daffy Duck (17350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267565)

Yeah, here too. Of 8 Caviar Blacks purchased a year ago, two have failed and a third is starting to throw errors.

Re:Hitachi (IBM) Deathstars (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269083)

Worse than the ST-251? That drive is why I don't buy Seagate. ;-)

FTC? (3, Insightful)

yakatz (1176317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267033)

How exactly is it supposed to get better for consumers if the government forces companies to give everything they have to a competitor in order to get permission to buy another company?
Companies will stop spending on R&D because they will need to give all their research away for free if they want to buy another company.

Re:FTC? (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267113)

Because it isn't a single company controlling all the channels.

And they aren't giving it away fro free. They are selling it for 4.5 billion.
.

Re:FTC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267115)

i thought all ip should be public domain you communist fecker.

Re:FTC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267157)

Because the acquisition would have left only two companies manufacturing internal hard drives, WD and Seagate, with WD having a majority of the market. That is anti-competitive. In order to purchase all of Hitachi's other assets, WD decided to sell off some of Hitachi's internal hard drive capabilities to Toshiba. This is a win for the market because it maintains three companies in the market.

You only need government permission when you completely (or almost) dominate a market.

Re:FTC? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267159)

Since when is selling manufacturing assets giving everything away?

Re:FTC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267391)

This is slashdot, the thought of actually earning something or simply not feeling entitled to someone else's property is pretty foriegn.

Re:FTC? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267179)

The FTC really is letting them get off easy. After this buyout, there would be a world wide duopoly on hard drives. The FTC is letting the buyout happen rather than block it, under the condition that a 3rd party (Toshiba) is given the resources to compete and block an anti-competitive duopoly from forming.

There's a reason that hard drives are are not expected to recover to pre-flood levels until 2014, and it's not that production takes 3 years to ramp back up.

Re:FTC? (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267929)

Samsung makes nice drives as well..

Re:FTC? (1)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268277)

Samsung's actually 'entering a partnership' with Seagate that will remove Samsung drives from the market. They're all going to be Seagates from now on.

Re:FTC? (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269521)

Yep, just when my personal experience teaches me to go with (pre-4k) WD and Samsung, and avoid Seagate and Hitachi, the bad is going to pollute the good.

No doubt others are thinking that WD is going to ruin Hitachi and Samsung is going to ruin Seagate.

That's the thing about hard drives. Some brands work for some people and other brands work for other people, and there's seemingly no rhyme or reason to it.

Re:FTC? (1)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269711)

I think people just go by whatever died first on them. I'm prejudiced against Maxtor and WD because I lost data from failures in the 90s, and I've avoided them both ever since. I've had a number of Seagates in the past decade that have started making scary noises that forced me to retire them, but I've never actually lost data on them so they still kind of sit in the "pretty good" category in my head.

I've had no problems at all with any of my Samsungs, though, so that is sad to see them go. I bought a pair of Hitachis last year for the first time, and I haven't had any troubles with them yet. Knock on wood.

Re:FTC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269773)

It's called confirmation bias [wikipedia.org] , the drives have very accuratly measured MTBFs and pretty much exibit a constant failure rate after the first X hours of operation where you may see manufauturing flaws kill drives. This failure rate of course depends slightly on load and operating temperature.

Re:FTC? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267333)

I know the summary is confusing (as usual), but read it slowly before complaining:

WD wants to buy Hitachi Global Storage.

Hitachi Global Storage manufactures desktop drives that compete with WD.

The FTC requires WD to sell off the parts of *Hitachi* that make desktop drives to a competitor (Toshiba) before completing the acquisition of Hitachi.

WD does not have to do anything with their existing disk manufacturing business / R&D / whatever.

Re: Mod Parent Up (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267427)

Ahh, that makes sense now. I was wondering what Western Digital would be without its disk manufacturing capability. The next Creative Labs, I suppose.

Re:FTC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267849)

So, in the future, if you want nice, stable drives, buy Toshiba? Got it.

Re:FTC? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267457)

How is it supposed to get better for consumers if the number of companies that can actually compete in the marketplace gets consolidated down even further?

And this?

Companies will stop spending on R&D because they will need to give all their research away for free if they want to buy another company.

Completely unsubstantiated, fear mongering bullshit.

Re:FTC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267667)

Completely unsubstantiated, fear mongering bullshit.

Or insightful observation (as the moderators seem think too).

Re:FTC? (1)

korean.ian (1264578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267793)

WD is selling off none of its own R&D - everything they are selling off has been developed by the company they are purchasing. There is no issue of appropriation here.
Insightful? I guess the libertarians have all the mod points today.

Re:FTC? (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267895)

How exactly is it supposed to get better for consumers if the government forces companies to give everything they have to a competitor in order to get permission to buy another company?

Companies will stop spending on R&D because they will need to give all their research away for free if they want to buy another company.

Or, you know, it might discourage them from buying a competitor in order to keep the competitive advantage they got via their R&D. Which is the point. It's better for consumers to discourage acquisitions and keep the market as competitive as possible.

No good hard drives left (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267037)

This will leave no good desk top hard drives being made. WD was the last decent brand.

Re:No good hard drives left (5, Informative)

RogueLeaderX (845092) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267085)

WD has to sell Toshiba Hitachi's desktop HD assets, not their own. So you can continue to buy your raptors.

Re:No good hard drives left (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267191)

So actually the deal was that WD couldn't buy ALL of Hitachi's HD assets and has to find a seller for part of them.
I've seen this before when Gould was purchased by a Japanese firm and they were forced to divest themselves of the computer division (which I was working for at the time).

Re:No good hard drives left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267175)

WD are turning into shit at the moment. Weve had so many WD blues die on regular workstations its rediculous at work.

Luckily the black and RE drives seem good still.

Re:No good hard drives left (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267299)

WD are turning into shit at the moment. Weve had so many WD blues die on regular workstations its rediculous at work.

Luckily the black and RE drives seem good still.

I have had terrible experiences with the Caviar Blacks, and the Caviar Greens are easily the worst. You can't just swap a PCB now, part of the ROM resides on the PCB, and the Greens park the drive heads every 8 or so seconds to reduce power consumption, I have seen an inordinate number of mechanical failures that were WD Blacks and Greens, though recently they have been almost exclusively greens.

I have switched all my drives to 2TB Samsung F3s and 7200rpm Hitachi 2TBs.

Re:No good hard drives left (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267491)

How are the Samsungs for noise? I found the Caviars nice and quiet, which is good with a few of them near by. As long as they're not Barracuda loud, at least.

Re:No good hard drives left (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269553)

You do know about wdidle3, don't you?

Re:No good hard drives left (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267507)

WD was the last decent brand.

Seagate, Samsung, and Hitachi (which hopefully Toshiba won't ruin) all make very decent drives - all (including WD) have some lemons, but all are good on the whole. I'm not sure what measure you're using, but I suspect it's anecdotal.

Re:No good hard drives left (1)

korean.ian (1264578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267831)

WD is SHIT! (3, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267189)

Hitachi (formerly IBM) branded drives were the most reliable out of them all. And unlike Hitachi, Western Digital crippled their SATA drives with TLER settings to prevent proper RAID operation. The drives would drop out after 30 days of continuous use in some instances. So, they forced users to use either the Enterprise or RAID edition drives. It pisses me off that it's not Hitachi buying out WD.

And yes, WD MyBook drives are absolute shit too. Don't use them for backups. They last about year or so and that's it.

Re:WD is SHIT! (2)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267283)

And yes, WD MyBook drives are absolute shit too. Don't use them for backups. They last about year or so and that's it.

I'll see your anecdote and call: I have a 500GB WD MyBook from 2006-ish working perfectly as a Dish extended storage drive for the past 2 years, and a Time Machine target before that... it's a bit louder and noisier than I'd have liked (and I'm now using a 2.5" Firewire drive as my backup target), but it's ticking along fine.

Re:WD is SHIT! (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267351)

I have 400 WD5002ABYS in racks out in our computational farm, and we lose one every year or so. 0.25%/year failure rate is pretty good in MyBook..

Re:WD is SHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267937)

Ditto I have about 7 WD drives stuck with them after have extremely low failure rate compared to the others, in fact I have 2 1TB black drives in a raid 0 configure on my main machine for the past 2 years, I wouldn't do it again but they do work.

Re:WD is SHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267975)

Can't speak for 2006, but I can confirm for 2010, when I tried to upgrade my RAID array with some WD drives.

Lucky for me, the new drives weren't rated at the same temps as the old ones, and the failures were heat related. This means I noticed problems after only a few hours, not after I started migrating 1.5TB of files.

Re:WD is SHIT! (1)

mrpocket (2558569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267695)

Hitachi (formerly IBM) branded drives were the most reliable out of them all. And unlike Hitachi, Western Digital crippled their SATA drives with TLER settings to prevent proper RAID operation. The drives would drop out after 30 days of continuous use in some instances. So, they forced users to use either the Enterprise or RAID edition drives. It pisses me off that it's not Hitachi buying out WD.

And yes, WD MyBook drives are absolute shit too. Don't use them for backups. They last about year or so and that's it.

your crazy dude you can keep your Hitachi glass drives!

Re:WD is SHIT! (1)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267699)

Did it never occur to you that they intentionally crippled their TLER settings _precisely_ because the drives would crap out after 30 days of continuous use in a RAID config? (Well, and because higher TLER is better for single drive configs.) The drives are optimized for slow bulk storage which is why they have long TLER and low RPM and in my experience they do a great job. 90+% of people complaining of failures bought these thinking they could make a cheap RAID despite all the warnings and frankly got what they deserve. It's filling a high compression car with cheap (low octane) gas. Saving a couple bucks buying something not rated for your application never ends well. Don't blame Wester Digital for your own cheapness.

Re:WD is SHIT! (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267829)

Did it never occur to you that they intentionally crippled their TLER settings _precisely_ because the drives would crap out after 30 days of continuous use in a RAID config?

Actually, the change in TLER settings is _precisely_ why they dropped out after 30 to 50 days in the first place. No other brand of desktop SATA drives had this problem when using the Intel Rapid Storage driver (fake RAID) in mirror mode. They intentionally crippled their drives to force you into an up-sale of their enterprise line up. Which BTW provides no additional functionality other than an enhanced MTBF rate. When I called WD support multiple times, RAID was not officially supported on desktop drives and they proceeded to read from a script saying the same thing. Cold calling into their support yielded the same response. It was an entire setup.

Thankfully I found a bootable program that let you change TLER settings on a pair of Raptors.

One other thing. Normal drives don't just drop out of -any- RAID after 30 days

Re:WD is SHIT! (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268435)

Western Digital is pretty clear about things. They don't intentionally design their desktop disks to fail in a RAID. Other brands may work better for you for a variety of reasons. But you seem to be mistaken about what's happening with the TLER setting. In fact the desktop drives have no TLER in their firmware at all. Thus when they get bad sectors and have to reallocate, they end up bogging down and the array will kick them out. The enterprise drives do have TLER, which changes the way the error recovery works so that they don't time out. Why you have problems only with western digital, I don't know, because I don't know of any desktop class drive that implements TLER.

In any case, if you really are trying to have enterprise-class storage, there are reasons to go with enterprise disks (we prefer seagate). They spin faster (desktop drives are slower now than in years past even), don't power down, and have TLER. Sorry but WD is not doing anything intentionally to force you to the right product. They warn about the problems you state you had, and then when you had them, you blamed WD.

Anyway for those interested, see http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1397/~/difference-between-desktop-edition-and-raid-(enterprise)-edition-drives [custhelp.com] about this issue.

Re:WD is SHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269055)

You are wrong. WD did, in fact, design the desktop drives to intentionally fail in RAID configurations.

The Bad Sector retry timings specified in the desktop drives guarantee a RAID failure when they are initiated. The enterprise level drives do not do this. More specifically, the desktop drives do not 'set' the firmware setting that limits the recovery time. WD *used* to allow this setting to be altered in firmware, but has since removed that ability. The fact that they removed the ability to change the setting means that they did, in fact, intentionally remove the ability to use their desktop drives in RAIDS.

Here is some info:

Newer drives have the ability to attempt remapping of bad sectors and recovery from other types of errors. The process of recovery can take some time, during which the drive becomes unresponsive. In a hardware RAID setup, this is problematic since the controller will see an unresponsive drive as a failed drive. Manufacturers have addressed this by creating firmware settings that limit the time a command can take (how long the drive is allow to attempt auto recovery). WD="TLER" , Seagate="ERC" , Samsung/Hitachi="CCTL".
Enterprise-class drives will have these settings set at default values appropriate for use in hardware RAID. Anecdote shows the default is usually 7 seconds. Desktop drives will not have these values set at all (set to " 0 " or disabled) and will attempt recovery for a long time, on the order of minutes. This makes desktop-class drives generally inappropriate for use in hardware-RAID settings, even smaller desktop setups. As I understand, the symptoms will typically be drives falling out of RAIDs regularly (every few weeks or months) and being marked as failed though the drives are actually fine.

[ http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1397/ ]
[ http://www.samsung.com/global/business/hdd/learningresource/whitepapers/LearningResource_CCTL.html ]

Re:WD is SHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269133)

Samsung link is dead..

Use the link in the wayback machine:
[ http://www.archive.org/web/web.php ]

Crazy conspiracy theory (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268529)

Wow, bring on the crazy conspiracy theories. LTER=0 is what you want for a single-drive desktop configuration; LTER=7 is a good value for a RAID. This isn't them "cripping" the drive. It's setting a sensible default for the drive's intended market. If you want to use the drive in a different way, JUST CHANGE THE SETTING.

Oh no! (5, Funny)

rykin (836525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267269)

Does this mean no more amusing flash videos to announce new technological breakthroughs?! Okay, so it didn't happen all that often, but I still can't forget Hitachi's "Get Perpendicular" video from 2005 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb_PyKuI7II [youtube.com] . Like others, I'm surprised they aren't the ones consuming WD.

wd harddrives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267423)

I currently own several WD hard drives and never had any major problems out of them. I'm at the point now i actually refuse to buy anything else. Most of what I own are Ide drives have a 250 a 200 a couple of 120s and an 80 or two most are in computers that get used at various different times. and in my new computer i have a 250 for my operating system and a 640 for everything else both are sata and have been running fine for over a year with no problems. As a side note the 200 and the 250 are in the same computer and at one point ran for 2 years straight without being powered down except for updates and if the power went out and still run great now.

New name change! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267493)

Western Deathstar!

lucky for seagate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39267547)

that their samsung hdd acquisition closed first.. otherwise they would've been the ones creating a global duopoly instead of wdc....

Same old, same old (1)

courcoul (801052) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267775)

Those drives must have a curse on them. Wasn't Hitachi the recipient of IBM's failed Storage Division, whose infamous DeskStar drives were prone to failure after about a year of usage?

Toshiba == FAIL. (1)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 2 years ago | (#39267845)

Considering that most Toshiba hardware sucks (yeah, I'm looking at the entire Satellite line of laptops); I'll stay away from these like the plague. , thanks.

Re:Toshiba == FAIL. (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268347)

yeah, I had a Satellite, and the battery life quickly got lower and lower
not to mention being sold with Vista but not the hardware to run Vista

What's A "Desktop" Drive? (1)

tgeek (941867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268039)

Seriously. I read that article and I didn't see any clear definition. Is it anything larger than a 2.5" laptop drive? Any 3.5" drive having certain characteristics? Maybe less than 10K rpm? Is a 3.5" 7200rpm drive with an "enterprise" sticker on it a server drive or a desktop drive?

Re:What's A "Desktop" Drive? (1)

nthwaver (1019400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270685)

Any 3.5 SATA that fits in a standard ATX case with a standard ATX mobo.

What goes around, comes around! (3, Interesting)

FurryOne (618961) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268467)

This is really too funny from a historical standpoint. At one time, WD bought drives from IBM and put their label on them until they could manufacture the equivalent type drives (IBM was cutting edge at the time) for themselves. Then IBM hit the problem with sticking heads on their Deskstar series, their reputation went down the tube, and they sold their drive business to Hitachi. Now WD is buying part of Hitachi's drive business, and will put their label on them. Of course, it's not quite as funny as the MiniScribe debacle.

Now Hitachi is ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39268469)

After a string of bad WD drives I switched to Hitachi and never looked back.

This sucks.

Raid harddrives (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268903)

With everyone talking about raids and stuff....How do I find "raid" harddrives on newegg?

effin great (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269047)

I stopped buying WD's like 15 years ago cause they tended to last about a year and then shit on themselves, and every one that has come my way since then has been easily classified as loud and slow, ie: I have some 40 and 80 gigs that only support ata 66 and 100 while being loud enough to drown out my video card fan around here somewhere...

Hitachi's on the other hand I have never had a problem with, heck I have a 540 meg laptop drive in my 386 lappy that runs as quiet as the day it was new (it came with my pentium laptop), and while I cant really say anything spectacular about them, I never had a problem with them ... until now

(based on my 20 years of hard disk buying, I hear WD doesnt suck as bad now, but I am not the type to pay to get punched in the balls multiple times)

Opposite here (WD disks from 90's still run here) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270263)

"I stopped buying WD's like 15 years ago cause they tended to last about a year and then shit on themselves" - by Osgeld (1900440) on Tuesday March 06, @07:58PM (#39269047)

Oh, I dunno about that - I literally have WD 2 "Caviar" 420mb disks that STILL RUN from circa 1992-1994 here, believe-it-or-not! I have them running in the 1st system I ever built in fact, running Windows NT 3.51 SP#6 here:

486 Dx/4 133mhz
32mb "Fast Page" RAM
Dual WD 420mb "Caviars"
TekRam 16mb 30-pin "FastPage" RAM Caching VLB controller
Diamond "Stealth 64" Windows Accelerator vidcard

* Damned miracle that stuff's STILL "ticking" here (but I rarely use it to be honest). It's MORE of a 'momento' of the past, & where I started on PC's @ least.

"and every one that has come my way since then has been easily classified as loud and slow" - by Osgeld (1900440) on Tuesday March 06, @07:58PM (#39269047)

Man - you ought to look into "Raptors"/"Velociraptors" then... they truly "FLY" (10k rpm, 8-16mb buffers iirc, & quiet fluid-drive bearings, etc./et al).

* They're "the good stuff" in mechanical spinning HDD's @ least in my opinion!

APK

P.S.=> Have I ever had one "shit the bed" on me? Yes - I have owned every "raptor" since the 36gb models, & one "bit it" on me, & WD sent me one back in exchange (still runs great)... I had another "RaptorX" die, & what did WD do?

Heh - they sent me the "NEXT GEN" 10k rpm "Viking" as a replacement! Better, faster, QUIETER disk, & same great performance (better actually, due to SATA II vs. SATA I)... they cover their stuff excellently & honored my warranties!

Truthfully? I'd LOVE to work for them in the future in fact (when you believe in a company or product? Working for them's a pleasure, I think so @ least!)...

... apk

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>