Western Digital NAS drives display a warning message after three years of being on, although there is nothing wrong. The hard disks from Western Digital that are used inside Synology NAS units are now giving warning notices to users simply for being powered on for three years now.
Western Digital NAS Drives Warning Message
If it is that you have owned an HP laser printer just like I have, then you have probably replaced a toner cartridge just because the printer warned you that it was depleted. But buried in the settings of the printer is a way to override that very message and continue printing 100, 200, or even an indefinite number of sheets simply because the toner is actually still good despite the alert message. Shocking right?
That “low toner” warning in question is very much similar to what owners of some Western Digital storage drives say that they are currently seeing with its hard drives and diagnostic software. And just as reported by Ars Technica, many Synology users at the moment are dealing with warning alerts that the Western Digital hard disks they are using in their NAS are bad.
The Synology alert is simply triggered because the Western Digital disks’ WDDA analytics which as you should know is the internal SMART data that reports usage stats as well as monitors health now seems to be set by the manufacturer to flash a warning after it has been powered on for three years.
Synology-Focused Forum’s Part in All of the Recent Development
Back in March, user Andrewilley on SynoForum, the Synology-focused forum found the warnings happened to two of their drives, and both of them seem to be running for approximately 26,400 hours, or a couple of days after three years. And on top of that, the user, however, notes that the warranty for the drives also expired at the three-year mark. And just the previous month, YouTuber SpaceRex also pointed out that these warnings can get people to miss real problems such as reallocated sectors.
Synology Could Reportedly Be At Fault for Signaling the Alarms
Some however state that Synology could be at fault for signaling the alarms on its product in a bid to react to the timer of Western Digital and hoping that users instead buy that company’s disks. But SpaceRex, a tech YouTuber doesn’t seem to think so. He has found that documentation of Western Digital that is valid for Synology’s NAS system software DSM 7 or later that indicates to flag for drive replacement as a recommended action at the three-year mark.
How to Bypass the Error Message
Being powered on for an extended period of time alone, very much like a printer only counting just how many sheets of paper ran through it (and not really how much of ink that was actually used), is at best an arbitrary reason to directly indicate that a drive is in bad health and needs to be replaced. We have reached out to Western Digital to learn more about why the drives are set in this very way but haven’t heard back from them at the time of publishing.
The Synology subreddit on the other hand has had discussions about how to disable WDDA and thereby ignore the warning in question in a bid to use all Synology features again. However, right about now, the subreddit in question is part of the Reddit blackout to protest the intense monetization of APIs of the company, and in the process marking all threads private.
Previous Western Digital Public Issues
Western Digital has however made some other eyebrow-raising moves prior to this. The company was at a time sued due to sneakily refreshing some of its Red NAS drives with shingled magnetic recording (SMR) ones that can effectively hold more data per disk just by overlapping data at the cost of write speed and longevity. Also, SanDisk, which as you should know is owned by Western Digital, just recently had its Extreme Pro portable SSD go on an erasing spree for many of its users, and Western Digital’s very own NAS devices with cloud services went down in the early parts of this year due to a security breach.
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