18TB HGST Ultrastar 550 $348

dbTH

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Apr 9, 2017
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Mine also just arrived, from order to delivery took 4 days. Not bad given that it's a cross border shipment.

Each drive is in the brown box with two small foam padding, one each on top and bottom. And as @Samir mentioned, the packing is not as good as with 'two bookends' method.

Will definitely do some stress tests on the drives. But the SMART long test won't be sufficient enough to find the bad sectors as it is a passive mechanism. Would also need to use a different tool that can do the active write and bad blocks check. If you are using Linux OS, you can use "badblocks" program. I have had such experience that SMART test reported drive as healthy but found many badblocks after running the "badblocks' check.
 
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EasyRhino

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if you're on windows you can just do a slow format of the drive. Will take many many hours. it's basically a single pass badblocks.
I usually do a slow format (write) and THEN an extended smart test (read)
 
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73DodgeCharger

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Nov 26, 2021
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Western Digital Dashboard - I've used an earlier version, WD Hard Drive Tool, to test new drives with a whole drive surface scan. I ran it in parallel to check four 8TB drives overnight.
 
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UhClem

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Jun 26, 2012
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Am I going to have a problem accessing this drive with my 9211-8i?
No.
(btw @73DodgeCharger ... aka AlmostKowalski? :))
The spec sheet says it has 4kn sectors, but also 512e. Thanks.
I suspect that the spec sheet is in error (or ???).
From the DC HC550 data sheet :
HC550_spec.jpg
we DO see that (in Configuration>Format:) both 4Kn & 512e ARE listed. But note that NONE of the Model Numbers (SATA OR SAS)specify a 4Kn format. On page 2 of the sheet, in the Key, for parsing model#, we find
E6 = Interface (512e SATA 6Gb/s)
(52 = 512e SAS 12Gb/s)
Also, the Product Manuals, for both the SATA and SAS, only list (on the Page 1 covers) the same 4 (SATA) & 7 (SAS) model #s. But, in the Drive Characteristics sections, both manuals DO have table elements for 4K logical sectors. E.g., from the SATA manual:
HC550_sata_logical.jpg
Should I be puzzled and/or amused?
 

dbTH

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Apr 9, 2017
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I just got mine and checked it in WD's warranty checker:

OUT OF REGION 0F38459 PCM Drive ASM OEM-STD 18TB SATA 512e SE CMR P3 Power disable feature Not Support 25-Jul-2026

So these drives are 'out of region' purchases in bulk and then imported to the US, but when you do a warranty check, they are still covered under warranty. And knowing OWC, if there's a problem with WD, you should be able to call them.

As far as shipping, I was not terribly impressed. The box was a standard sized hard drive box, but did not have the 'two bookends' type of shipping material WD and Seagate use from the factor. Instead, there were two pieces of foam on the top and bottom of the drive that sandwiched it tight enough that it shouldn't have moved. But without any cushioning on the ends of the drive, a good enough impact would make the drive slide right into the cardboard on either end. Mine seemed pretty secure and didn't seem to have moved at all in the journey.

Inside the box, I found my packing slip as well as a small ziplocked pouch with 4 mounting screws which was nice.

Unfortunately, that's all I found nice as this box was literally just inside a plastic bag and shipped that way--so if the bag was dropped or handled rough, there's a good chance for some drive damage. I haven't run a smart long test on mine yet or hooked it up (and probably won't be able to for a week), but I'd definitely test these after you get them if yours arrives with similar packaging.
@Samir , did you register yours to get the expiration date?
My drives would show as "NaN-undefined-NaN" on the "Expiration Date". Trying the product registration failed with error
" Sorry! Product registration failed, please try later (STATCODE103) "
 
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dbTH

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Apr 9, 2017
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@Samir , did you register yours to get the expiration date?
My drives would show as "NaN-undefined-NaN" on the "Expiration Date". Trying the product registration failed with error
" Sorry! Product registration failed, please try later (STATCODE103) "
"Expiration Date" issue is due to bowser compatibilty issue on WD. Switched to Google Chrome , all warranty info showed up
However, still unable to register the product on WD. Anyone has the same issue?
Also, wondering if macsales or OWC an authorized WD reseller? It doesn't show up on the list on WD site thought
 
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dbTH

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No.
(btw @73DodgeCharger ... aka AlmostKowalski? :))

I suspect that the spec sheet is in error (or ???).
From the DC HC550 data sheet :
View attachment 20712
we DO see that (in Configuration>Format:) both 4Kn & 512e ARE listed. But note that NONE of the Model Numbers (SATA OR SAS)specify a 4Kn format. On page 2 of the sheet, in the Key, for parsing model#, we find


Also, the Product Manuals, for both the SATA and SAS, only list (on the Page 1 covers) the same 4 (SATA) & 7 (SAS) model #s. But, in the Drive Characteristics sections, both manuals DO have table elements for 4K logical sectors. E.g., from the SATA manual:
View attachment 20713
Should I be puzzled and/or amused?
The 18TB HC550 that Macsales/OWC selling is WUH721818ALE6L4 model and is 512e (512 bytes logical, 4096 bytes physical).
But did you or anyone already running a 512e drive on a 9211-8i ( LSI SAS 2008 controller) without problem?
I don't have those old controller in my system to test. But as per this Broadcom/LIS doc, you might have compatibility issue ( unless you have the updated firmware that would support 512e) :

 
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josh

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Oct 21, 2013
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I just got mine and checked it in WD's warranty checker:

OUT OF REGION 0F38459 PCM Drive ASM OEM-STD 18TB SATA 512e SE CMR P3 Power disable feature Not Support 25-Jul-2026

So these drives are 'out of region' purchases in bulk and then imported to the US, but when you do a warranty check, they are still covered under warranty. And knowing OWC, if there's a problem with WD, you should be able to call them.

As far as shipping, I was not terribly impressed. The box was a standard sized hard drive box, but did not have the 'two bookends' type of shipping material WD and Seagate use from the factor. Instead, there were two pieces of foam on the top and bottom of the drive that sandwiched it tight enough that it shouldn't have moved. But without any cushioning on the ends of the drive, a good enough impact would make the drive slide right into the cardboard on either end. Mine seemed pretty secure and didn't seem to have moved at all in the journey.

Inside the box, I found my packing slip as well as a small ziplocked pouch with 4 mounting screws which was nice.

Unfortunately, that's all I found nice as this box was literally just inside a plastic bag and shipped that way--so if the bag was dropped or handled rough, there's a good chance for some drive damage. I haven't run a smart long test on mine yet or hooked it up (and probably won't be able to for a week), but I'd definitely test these after you get them if yours arrives with similar packaging.
Are you able to try out which region they're originally from? Fingers crossed they're in my home region :D
 
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aleph1

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Jun 21, 2018
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Will it affect the warranty if drives are not from your "Home Region"? Are you able to registered the drives by clicking the link from the Warranty Status page? I'm not able to register and mine are "Out Of Region"
I have no idea (will probably have to go through OWC like @Samir mentioned), but no I wasn't able to register the drives online.
 
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josh

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Oct 21, 2013
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Thanks. Unfortunately still an international RMA for me :(
Will it affect the warranty if drives are not from your "Home Region"? Are you able to registered the drives by clicking the link from the Warranty Status page? I'm not able to register and mine are "Out Of Region"
IIRC WD does one change of region for free. There's some paperwork to be done and I've never done it myself before but that was what the WD tech told me when I contacted them.
 
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josh

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Oct 21, 2013
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I just got mine and checked it in WD's warranty checker:

OUT OF REGION 0F38459 PCM Drive ASM OEM-STD 18TB SATA 512e SE CMR P3 Power disable feature Not Support 25-Jul-2026

So these drives are 'out of region' purchases in bulk and then imported to the US, but when you do a warranty check, they are still covered under warranty. And knowing OWC, if there's a problem with WD, you should be able to call them.

As far as shipping, I was not terribly impressed. The box was a standard sized hard drive box, but did not have the 'two bookends' type of shipping material WD and Seagate use from the factor. Instead, there were two pieces of foam on the top and bottom of the drive that sandwiched it tight enough that it shouldn't have moved. But without any cushioning on the ends of the drive, a good enough impact would make the drive slide right into the cardboard on either end. Mine seemed pretty secure and didn't seem to have moved at all in the journey.

Inside the box, I found my packing slip as well as a small ziplocked pouch with 4 mounting screws which was nice.

Unfortunately, that's all I found nice as this box was literally just inside a plastic bag and shipped that way--so if the bag was dropped or handled rough, there's a good chance for some drive damage. I haven't run a smart long test on mine yet or hooked it up (and probably won't be able to for a week), but I'd definitely test these after you get them if yours arrives with similar packaging.
I just noticed the OEM label on the drive models. I think this may be why you can't register them. They were sold as OEM and warranty is not covered by WD. Bad feelings about this.

How come Western Digital will not honor the 5 yr warranty? - WD Internal Drives / Desktop & Mobile Drives - WD Community
 
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dbTH

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Apr 9, 2017
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I just noticed the OEM label on the drive models. I think this may be why you can't register them. They were sold as OEM and warranty is not covered by WD. Bad feelings about this.

How come Western Digital will not honor the 5 yr warranty? - WD Internal Drives / Desktop & Mobile Drives - WD Community
Thanks for the updates.
I guess most of us would feel bad about the warranty not directly from WD. And if you look at the MacSales/OWC item description of the drive, it is saying:
" Western Digital 5 Year Limited Warranty "
It doesn't mention about the OEM warranty. And it makes you assume the warranty is from WD directly until you get the driver serial # and check
 
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73DodgeCharger

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Nov 26, 2021
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?? OEM isn't the same as a shucked drive. The warranty should be in effect, and aleph1's image shows it is.
What am I missing?
 
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josh

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Oct 21, 2013
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?? OEM isn't the same as a shucked drive. The warranty should be in effect, and aleph1's image shows it is.
What am I missing?
A quick look around the internet reveals that WD hasn't been honouring OEM warranty for some years
 
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santacruzskim

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Dec 3, 2020
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Adding my experience - I've bought quite a lot of storage in my day and was well aware, given the price, that this 18TB Ultrastar was a possible roll of the dice in terms of WD honoring the warranty. However, I have done a lot of business with OWC in the past and have had good experiences with their support so I went for it. Worst case, OWC would honor the warranty, right? And unlike random sellers that come and go on ebay, newegg, amazon... OWC was likely to still be around when the time came for a replacement.

When I got the drive, the serial revealed no WD coverage, despite the description declaring so on the OWC website. So I got in touch with OWC to confirm they would cover the warranty and they told me that OWC will only cover their standard 90 day warranty and for the long term warranty I need to go back to WD, which I then did. WD were adamant that they would not cover the warranty and I need to take it up with the retailer. So I did...

<insert standard tedious support loop nightmare between multiple companies here>.

It resolved by me being very pushy with WD, them escalating the support, me waiting 10+ days, bugging them every few days to please update the status of my support ticket, and finally WD responding saying they would honor the 5 year warranty.

My takeaway: Unless you don't care about the warranty (or the time-suck of dealing with support), it's not worth the headache of rolling the dice with these drives on OWC, despite the great price. I have bought 10+ EXOS drives from Amazon.com, sticking with sellers I have had good experiences with, and I will go back to that method for future purchases. For my part of the world, Amazon is easier to do returns with as well, should you end up with a non-covered drive and need to make a return.

Hope this helps someone make the choice that works for them.
 

EasyRhino

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Aug 6, 2019
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I have a few used hgst drives bought from a dude on a street corner.

Two died a year apart. The serial number check failed at WD but I realized that they passed when checking in other regions. I filed a support ticket with WD bad asked super politely if they could fix the drive I bought out of the region in the US. They then did manual RMA as a courtesy
 
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tigweld0101

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Are these good drives that can actually be run 24x7 in servers, or are they SMR consumer drives? Or like the old WD Greens that'd die after a few months in a NAS?
 
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