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History (1999): 400,000 Faulty WD HDDs

Faulty chips on circuit card assemblies

A few years ago, it was quite common for HDD makers to be obliged to recall defective drives.

Recently, this a much rarer occurrence, no doubt due to the improvement of production and test lines.

This time, what’s more, the problem has arisen at Western Digital, one of the worst-off of HDD makers, which for some time has been struggling to get out of the red.

Effectively, WD announced that 400,000 EIDE 5,400rpm Caviar drives with 6.8GB per platter, ranging from 6.4 to 20.5GB, may contain faulty chips on their circuit card assemblies, and specifically those shipped between August 27 and September 24, 1999, out of a total of a million manufactured during that period.

In order to determine if a drive is defective, WD has made a test available on its Web site.

This issue could cause the hard drives to fail to power-up after 6 to 12 months of full-time use,” said the company.

This article is an abstract of news published on issue 141 on October 1999 from the former paper version of Computer Data Storage Newsletter.