No longer, My Book

I’ve long un­der­stood, but was re­mind­ed tonight, that there are prod­ucts de­signed with re­spect for the user, and those with mis­trust and maybe even con­tempt. Until tonight, I hadn’t ex­pe­ri­enced any prob­lems with my, ad­mit­ted­ly ag­ing, 250 GB Western Digital My Book Premium USB hard dri­ve.

After over four years of ad­e­quate ser­vice, the My Book fi­nal­ly stopped work­ing. It would click in­stead of au­di­bly spin­ning up, and that it wouldn’t show in dmesg at all when plugged in sug­gest­ed that the prob­lem was like­ly the en­clo­sure, not the disk in­side.

I was right, but couldn’t be sure about this un­til tear­ing the case open and ex­tract­ing the disk, a sim­ple 3.5″ SATA. Tearing isn’t ex­act­ly the right word; I was care­ful and didn’t break any­thing while half-following these in­struc­tions, but I had to put con­sid­er­able amounts of force in­to a few of the steps. Case in point: screws tight­ened by pro­duc­tion line ro­bots, so much so that on­ly ro­bots can eas­i­ly un­screw them, suck.

I re­moved the disk and placed it in an­oth­er en­clo­sure—the kind sold with­out a disk — I had handy. The process (or lack there­of) was lit­er­al­ly a joy com­pared to the fight­ing I had to do with the plas­tic My Book case. Sure, stand­alone hard dri­ve en­clo­sures are de­signed for peo­ple who at least know enough to buy one of those and a 3.5″ SATA disk, not to men­tion that these things ex­ist. It’s not brain surgery, but it’s al­so not the kind of thing you need to know to be a “com­put­er user” these days.

Of course, be­ing such a user means shrug­ging your shoul­ders and los­ing da­ta when on­ly half of your prod­uct breaks.

The choice is yours, but un­less you like headaches, I sug­gest not buy­ing dumb shit.