As lj noted in the writeup above, sometimes the Western Digital hard drives go kaput. What makes Western Digital (and Maxtor) a good company is just how they stand behind their products.

I bought a new 10-gig drive for one of my Linux servers. I always scan new drives with SpinRite ( to check them from end to end. Right off, it had some bad spots, but those were marked as bad and then the drive was put into use. After a month, more problems started to develop. Another go with SpinRite showed more bad sectors, dropping the usable drive space down to 9 gigs.

A visit to the Western Digital website gave me a toll-free number. They will replace drives (exchange) in a couple of days if you have a credit card, else it may take a week for them to check your drive and (if need be) to replace it. Well, I sent them the drive, and they didn't have any 10-giggers laying around. They sent me a 20-gig as a replacement. When I had to have a Maxtor replaced, they exchanged a 1.6 gig with a 4-gig drive, even after the Maxtor was in heavy use for 2.5 years!

Are WD and Maxtor drives perfect? Hell no. SCSI drives are better. IDE drives are geared more towards the consumer market. These two companies just go all out with their warrantees, which is a rarity these days.