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.