July 2023 news | WD drives expire?

As Disk Station Manager 7.2 starts to roll out on all models of Synology NAS. Reports from the internet have emerged that users of WD Red hard drives have been notified that they need to replace their drives. The actual message states : “The drive has accumulated a large number of power on hours [throughout] the entire life of the drive. Please consider to replace the drive soon.

While the message seems to indicate that the hard drive needs to be replaced. Testing the drive often shows that the drive is functioning without issue. So the message seems to be more a warning, than some sort of test alerting you to an issue.

In an Ars Technica article, Scharon Harding contacted Synology for a statement. Synology’s response confirmed that the issue does not relate to anything programmed into Disk Station Manager. Instead, it would appear that Western Digital (WD) has programmed this warning into the firmware of certain WD drives. Which has been confirmed because the same warning has also been impacting users with QNAP devices.

A few years ago WD started to sell hard drives to NAS owners that used something called SMR. SMR or Shingled Magnetic Recording is simply a cheaper technology for recording data. However, unlike Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR), SRM technology has a number of shortcomings. So unlike CMR, SRM can have performance issues, problems with regards to RAID compatibility, and limited lifespans and durability.

Why we don’t buy WD drives anymore

Until recently Western Digital was probably one of the most trusted makers of NAS hard drives. However, since WD started mixing SRM and CMR drives into their line of NAS hard drives. That trust with NAS enthusiasts has been severely dented.

What’s of particular concern, is that it looks like WD are pursuing a policy that aims to deceive customers, who may not be aware of the differences between SRM and CMR. While this is strong language on our part. Looking at Western Digital’s website we found no reference to WD Red drives being SRM. So other than a 3 year warranty, there is no indication that WD Red drives might need to be replaced after 3 years of continual use.

While we did find a WD blog post which tried to argue the benefits of SRM technology. We suspect that WD are trying to switch over to an ink cartridge sales model. This would force customers to regularly replace their SRM hard drives, and in turn generate higher revenues for Western Digital. So while WD recommend WD Red drives (with SRM), for use in Small Office Home Office (SOHO). We recommend that you avoid WD Red drives in your NAS, and either use WD Red plus or Seagate IronWolf drives instead.

Youtube make it easier to get monetised

Great news for anyone thinking of starting their own YouTube channel. YouTube has lowered the eligibility requirements for monetisation. So rather than having to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months. YouTube now requires that you have only 500 subscribers and make 3 valid public uploads in 90 days.

Mydoodads site membership is for life

We are aware that not everyone has money to spare for a yearly subscription to our little website. So rather than abandon the idea of subscription completely. We have decided to make membership for life, and grandfather in all our existing members. This means that for a one off fee of £15 ($19). You can become a site member and get access to the following perks:

  • Early access to our current series, “a beginners guide on how to setup a Synology NAS”
  • Early access to our latest content
  • Access to our courses page
  • Full access to the websites search
  • A mention on our thank you page

If you are interested in signing up please click here

Early Access Content for Site Members

For early access members this month we will be posting a video on something called Delivery Optimisation. This is a Windows feature that uses peer to peer technology to update Windows more quickly. However, as Delivery Optimisation has the potential to impact the performance of your home network, your computer and your internet connection. We are going to show you how to turn it off.

Then because this months Synology NAS video is related to creating mapped drives in Windows. For anyone who uses a different make of file server. We also made a number of generic videos that look at map network drives in Windows.

Finally for this month we will also have a number of factory reset videos. These include one for resetting macOS, and one which looks at how you factory reset the new Amazon Echo Pop.

New content to be posted this month

This month we will be posting 8 videos to YouTube and our website. So expect to see a number of tips videos for ChromeOS, macOS and Windows. These will include a video on how to install GIMP on a Chromebook. A video on how to move macOS menu bar icons, and a video on enabling God Mode in Windows.

Then to finish off our series on “How to setup a Google Nest WiFi router”. We are going to take a look at port forwarding. Something that is very important if you need to setup a device that needs to be contactable from the internet.

Finally at the end of the month we have a number of Synology videos. So not only will we be posting the next video in our series on setting up a Synology NAS. We will also take a look at how you enable SSH and what you need to do to remotely connect to your NAS.

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