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817 of 904 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 9, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's a bias, but I love Western Digital drives. I am an IT professional by trade, but I'm not sure that makes me any kind of authority on the subject. I don't do reliability testing or bench-marking for a living. While all the data I've see tends to reinforce my existing bias, it is the nature of biases to be self-affirming. All I can offer, then, is my personal opinion and my professional recommendation, based on my own experiences.

The truth is, that's often all we IT people can provide: opinions, and sometimes shaky ones. We tend to form our opinions based on experiences when the truth about how good or bad a particular drive model or maker is, is really a matter of statistics. We instead reach conclusions based on anecdotal evidence and recommendations from friends or colleague, and it's far too easy for a popular conception, a single run of good luck, or a single bad experience to cloud the statistical realty. We also tend to become brand loyal once we enter a place of comfort with a product line. But I've seen plenty of Western Digital drives die. I've seen plenty of ANY brand of hard drive die: Maxtor, Seagate, Samsung, you name it. I recommend that you take all consumer reviews for hard drives with a grain of salt and look online for professional reviews, benchmarks, and reliability data if you really want to know how a given drive rates. Anandtech, Tom's Hardware, and PC Perspective are some good starting points.

With all that in mind, my biases are not without reasons. I've been very pleased with every Western Digital drive I've owned over the last 13 years of my personal computing life. I originally became a fan because of the large capacities, large cache, and low seek times back when I was picking parts for my first computer that I bought myself--a Dell. Back then, Dell's site had better data on their components available. It was easy to get a table that showed you all the specs of the various options and you could easily see where the best bang for your buck would be. The Western Digital drives were all much better performers than the other options Dell had at that time. Unlike some of my other old loyalties (like the one I had for Linksys products, for example), I've continued to be impressed by Western Digital products. I have a 1 TB Black drive as my main data drive in my current box.

The reasons I like Western Digital are not just due to the hardware itself, though. Their support has been good compared to others I've had to contact in the past. I have also yet to have had a problem getting WD to honor a warranty replacement, unlike some truly awful experiences I've had with other brands (again, bias!). Western Digital also has some pretty good free tools (Data Lifeguard) for diagnostics, data destruction, and data migration. This is important if you ever suspect the drive could be failing and want to vet it. I've been less impressed by the software WD includes with their external backup drives, so when I was looking for a backup drive I thought it would be better and cheaper to just get a bare internal drive and use it in my docking station for backing up.

This particular drive is just what I was looking for. The Black drives are the higher end, higher performing drives, but I'm only using this as a backup disk, so the Blue specs more than meet my needs. That said, this model is the WD10EZEX, which has a 64 MB cache as opposed to the almost WD10EALX 1TB Blue drive, which is almost the same except that it only has 32MB of cache. So, I would definitely go with this one. With the 64 MB cache, the WD10EZEX 1 TB Blue drive specs are almost identical to the WD1002FAEX 1 TB Black drive I already own, which is supposed to be higher end and costs bit more. I have to say, I'm not convinced there's much difference between Blue/Black drives, at least if you get the WD10EZEX with the 64 MB cache. The fact the costs are quite close makes me feel like the two lines have converged and overlapped.

Out of curiosity, I did a quick test using HD Tach and was shocked by the results: the WD10EZEX Blue drive outperformed my WD1002FAEX black drive in some respects! Keep in mind that these are both 1 TB drives and both have 64 MB cache. After running a long bechmark test on both drives I was surprised to find that the average read speed was 148.5 MB/s for the Blue drive, but only 1.06.3 MB/s for my Black drive. At first I was worried something might be wrong with my Black drive, but I compared it to the benchmark I ran when I first got the drive and the results were the same. The Black drive does outperform the Blue drive in Random access times, however (12 ms compared to 19 ms), but the point is that this does make one question if the Black drives are worth the extra money over the WD10EZEX Blue drive.

I also considered the Green drives, but I've read mixed reviews and the price is the same anyway. The Blue drives are like the Goldilocks drive everyone should get unless they have specific reasons to do otherwise. I'm sure I'll get many years of happy use out of this drive. I rated it 5 stars, because I feel it deserves 5 stars, but if you want/meed real hardcore performance you may wish to consider the higher end options from WD, or just go with an SSD if don't also need have a need for a high capacity and if price isn't a big concern.

So, why should you beware of Vine Reviews for this product? I'll tell you.

Vine is a great program. As a Vine participant, Amazon sends me free products that I can choose from a list of available products. In exchange, I write a review for the product on Amazon. I get free stuff, and the product gets faster traction on Amazon by building up a baseline of reviews (unreviewed/unrated products don't sell as well). Of course there is always a potential for bias when reviewing a product you didn't have to pay for, but I feel like most Vine participants recognize the value of being impartial and thorough in their reviews. It certainly brings out the critic in me and I love being able to share my opinions with the rest of the community here on Amazon.

You might, therefore, imagine my surprise when I opened the package and found a letter enclosed from Western Digital addressing Vine members. This was the first and only time I've seen this, so I found it odd. It started out telling me to enjoy the free drive and thanking me for taking the time to review their product. OK, harmless enough. What really upset me, however, is that the letter then went on to tell me about the all the great features and benefits of my new drive and even listed several specific points that I might wish to highlight in my review (!!!!). I might, for example, want to mention it's quiet performance.

This is clearly an attempt by Western Digital to steer Vine reviews to match the talking points of their ad campaign. I don't know that Amazon is aware of this, but I think they should be if they aren't already. I'm also not sure if this violates any kind of policy Amazon might have concerning products for Vine reviews, or if they even have such a policy, but I hope they take the matter seriously. To be fair, it is possible that the intention here is more benign how I am interpreting it. Reviewing a technical product is tricky. You don't want to give away drives just to get a bunch of reviews that say "this is a great drive" but give no details about the features smart shoppers might be wanting to know about. Maybe the intention here was just to help reviewers think of what the criteria of their review should focus on. But, this could have been done much more simply, if that were the case. The letter, which should have come from Amazon in that case, should have at least used neutral language like "please consider the following criteria in your review: operating noise, capacity, etc". But the letter's language was much closer to asking reviewers to mention how awesome WishperDrive technology is. I really do feel this threatens to undermine the integrity of Vine reviews.

I wanted to mention and discuss this for two reasons: 1) to get this out there so Amazon is aware and so they can take action if need be, and 2) to tell potential buyers so they can use judgment when reading through reviews. If you see a vine review that sounds suspiciously similar to the front of the box, you'll know why!
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120 of 135 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2012
I will keep it short and to the point... I was skeptical about this drive and was hesitant to purchase it, but now I am a firm believer and will recommend to anyone. Immediately after I installed and performed a fresh install of Mountain Lion, I performed a disk bench test and average read/write speed is 170mb/sec with +/- 5mb/sec - AMAZING fast for a HDD SATA III. Furthermore, the drive is very quiet and I have yet to notice any excessive spinning or noise. Since then, I've purchased another drive for a second system and I will update this post if I experience any problems.
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78 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2013
This hard drive comes in OEM packaging, which means it comes only with the drive in anti-static packaging. This is typical of most hard drives. You will need a SATA cable and an open SATA port on your motherboard for installation. I used this as a replacement for my ancient 80 GB WD HDD that was going on 9 years old, and reinstalling W7 onto a new drive is nice and simple. Just pop in the W7 installation disc once your drive is in and choose Restore or Repair, make sure you have your backup first, though. However, when you use this method, it only restores the exact partitions and size of the original drive, and I realized that you need to create another partition if you want to use the full drive. This is much easier than it sounds, just research creating a partition, it's simple and Windows 7 makes it a breeze. In case you're wondering, SATA ports and connectors are all compatible with each other. SATA II is not a bottleneck to hard drives, only to SSDs. This drive is pretty quiet, except when installing large programs and moving big files, in which it's only barely audible. It's great for a new build or a replacement. I've had good experiences with WD in the past, all the drives of mine and my relatives I have seen of WD branding haven't had any issues at all. I was even using my old drive for a solid 9 years of heavy use and it had no issues. This new drive has the numbers on its side, too. Mine has ZERO seek errors, zero read errors, no reallocated or otherwise damaged sectors, and keeps a consistently cool temperature of 30C. If anything goes wrong for any reason at all, there is always the 2 year warranty to rely on. However, if you don't mind having a bit of a louder drive and paying just a bit more, you can get the Caviar Black which has a nice amount of extra performance, is more reliable and has a longer 5 year warranty. If you don't want, need, or your budget maxes out on the Caviar Blue, then that's just fine because this is one solid drive.
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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2013
Within 5 minutes of opening the box my new hard-drive was installed and operating. Mount it in the PC, plug in the Sata cable (not included w/ drive), plug in the power and boot up the PC. Go to Ctrl Panel, Admin Tools, Computer Management, Disk Management, right click on the new drive, have it do a Quick Format, click and assign it a "Drive Letter". 3 seconds later you're done and the drive is ready to use. 5 minutes start to finsih, no kidding. The drive is perfectly quite and seems really fast.
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60 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2012
This drive is quiet and the sequential performance is very good, though the seek time is average.

I get about the average advertised 150 MB/s sustained. It is 190 MB/s on the outer part of the platter.

From HDtune the average seek time is 20ms.

Pretty great for a moderately priced 1 TB spinner!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2013
I bought this drive to expand my desktop. I run a lot of VMs for development, testing, and study.

I placed all my VMs on this drive to keep them separated from my boot/OS drive. Very nice.

The only thing that's missing are the screws. I had to dig in my computer junk drawer to find some.

How come hard drive vendors never include screws?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2013
Yeah this was a nice grab. I needed the extra drive space and this was just what I needed at the price I found real affordable. Install was quick and easy. The drive does need to be "initialized" so that your system will recognise the new space available and I did stall for a bit trying to find out how to do that. It turned out to be quite easy.

For those who need the assist with initializing: Click the Start Orb --> right-click on Computer --> select Manage --> under "Storage" select Disk Management --> right-click in the grey area of the unknown drive and select Initialize --> pat yourself on the back and then format the drive as you desire.
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53 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2012
Does the job and is fast with the 6GB/s sata iii controllers. Only con is that it not quiet when read/write. You can not hear the disks spin but you can here that peculiar HD sound. Has a 5.9 windows performance rating.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I had recently purchased an external hard drive case that is usb 3.0 and I used an old Seagate 1TB Barracuda I had laying around to expand my sons hard drive on his xbox one. Unfortunately the old seagate didnt stand a chance...It worked for a few weeks and then I got the dreaded TICK TICK TICK noise...hard drive platter was ruined...Not sure what happened. Anyway, I already had the 3.0 enclosure with fan so I opted to get another bare hard drive to install in there. I have always had Seagates and to be honest this is the first that has failed me. But it is indeed 8 years old. I installed the new WD in the enclosure in less than 2 minutes and plugged it in. I formatted it for xbox one and installed his games there. We played a few games and everything works like a charm. With the 6GB transfer rate I dont think its going to be an issue. Granted this is day one. I write a ton of reviews so I will be back to let you know if there is any changes in the hard drive.
PRICE: For what I have invested in the hard drive and the fan cooled enclosure it is still cheaper than buying an external hard drive. Not by much as they are getting cheaper, but some.
INCLUDED: You should know all you are getting is the hard drive..There is nothing else in the box. No instructions or cables or plugs or whatever you need to use for your project. This can be installed in a desktop PC that takes a 3.5 hard drive or a 3.5 hard drive enclosure. If you are unsure on how to install this please google it..Remember you live in a "video" era and you have unlimited knowledge at your fingertips.
EASE OF USE: Simple PLug and Play ...You will need to format it for the xbox one. Put it in a 3.5" USB 3.0 enclosure and plug it in. Then follow the onscreen prompts. Its as easy as clicking a button.

Like I said before I have always been a Seagate fan because that is the first brand I got 8 years ago and it lasted this long. This is the first WD I have had so I am keeping my fingers crossed on this one. I do hope this review helps someone out there. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. If you found my review helpful, let me know. Lets keep making better buying decisions together. Thank you for reading and as always Be Safe & Happy Shopping!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2013
All you will be getting is the hard drive. There are no cables, instructions, or hardware. If you do not already have the cables and hardware to install the drive, you will need to order them separately. There are ample videos on how to install a SATA hard drive on youtube, so getting information on how to install the drive should not be an issue.
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