Looking at the Western Digital Blue Laptop Hard Drive

Looking at the Western Digital Blue Laptop Hard Drive


In the market for a new hard drive?

Recently I needed to replace a failing hard drive on my laptop computer. The system in question was a three year old Toshiba Satellite C75 which kept freezing due to what I believed to be bad sectors on the HD disk. When the problem initially started happening I ran the Windows check disk (CHKDSK) utility in an effort to try to prolong the need to replace the drive with a new one. Plus I wanted confirmation that the HD was indeed going bad if evidence of bad sectors were present during the scan procedure. I got the confirmation I needed and was able to prolong the necessary HD replacement by about four months because I also used the bad sector lockout function in CHKDSK to isolate the bad sectors. As you may know, HD replacement, especially on a laptop can be an arduous task that can take a long time do accomplish. As usual this repair turned out to take a rather long time when I finally got down to doing the actual replacement and software installation.

During the time of what was actually procrastination on my part I readied an older laptop to be used as a backup PC. I also started doing research on the part(s) that I thought I would need in order to get the Toshiba back up and running. My new backup computer was a 10 year old Dell laptop that was running Windows 7. The Toshiba eventually got so bad that this little Dell computer ended up being my main computer until I was able to get myself motivated to do the necessary work. An unfortunate incident hastened my need to do the HD replacement! To make a long story short, I went on a trip and I took the little Dell with me so that I could surf the Internet. Everything was going fine until I spilled a bottle of water on the old Dell and it killed the computer and I was left without a PC. This was unacceptable because like many of us these days I had become reliant on the Internet. I really didn’t want to have to go out and purchase a new computer but that’s exactly what I was forced to do.

No longer having a backup PC when the trip ended I decided to get on the ball and get the repair job accomplished ASAP. Since I had in the past used Western Digital hard drives when building gaming rigs I figured that WD might be a good option now because WD products were always dependable back then and they still are today. I started researching HDs and after some comprehensive information gathering on various other manufacturers’ drives I decided on getting a 1 terabyte Western Digital Blue 2.5 inch laptop HD offering. I read a lot of reviews on various HDs and WD hands down had the best ratings.

In the past WD used names such as Caviar and Raptor for their product line and switched to using a color name in addition to the Caviar, Raptor moniker around 2003. Apparently they soon went to just using the Green, Purple, Red, Blue and Black names also in the early 2000s. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find much information on the history of their various products names so let’s suffice to say that WD now categorizes their hard drive line by using color names. Blue and Black are the most commonly used and sought after WD brand names in use by the general public. The other color names such as Red and Purple can best be described as being specialty products not generally used by the public. WD did have a Green line of HDs that was their low power offering but they folded Green in to Blue and Black in 2015.

In the WD Blue line up you will find a 5400 rpm version for laptops and a 7200 rpm offering for 3.5 inch desktop models. Obviously, I bought the Blue 5400 rpm laptop version and the difference in price between 2.5 and 3.5 is negligible. You can expect to find disk capacities from 500 GB all the way up to 6 Terabyte devices which carry an upward scaling price depending on disk size. From my research it looks like the 500 GB offerings will eventually go the way of the dodo bird and you won’t be able to get them at any price. So with that said, definitely go with the 1 TB incarnation for your laptop repair because it offers plenty of space for a work PC. With Blue and Black being the most used disks in the WD line up there’s really no need to talk about what the other colors are used for. You simply do not want to put the Red or Purple disk in to your personal computer if it needs a replacement. Those two colors are used in data servers.

Concentrating on Blue and Black I can say that Blue is WD’s mainstream offering and it is their bestselling brand which WD describes as being their “bread and butter” offering. Black is the companies top of the line performance disk that is geared more towards the gaming and performance market. In my opinion buying Black for your work or Internet appliance computer is a waste of money. Other than the performance edge that Black has over Blue the only other difference between the two is that Black carries a five year manufacturer’s warranty while Blue has a two year warranty and Blue is less expensive. OEM and the retail box offerings might carry different terms on the available warranties however but you will save money on OEM. The “you get what you pay for” saying certainly holds true in the case of any Black versus Blue discussions when it comes down to choosing a new hard disk. However, Blue in my opinion is hands down the best choice you can have when looking for the best work horse type of HD.

Talking about how the Blue disk performs when dealing with a work computer, length of service is always the deciding factor. Since my Toshiba has only been running on its new WD Blue for about two weeks I will have to rely on what people were saying on the many comments that I read. According to the reviews on Amazon where I bought my WD Blue about 72% of the reviewers gave the WD Blue a five star rating for a solid overall rating of about 4.5 stars. This was better than other manufacturer’s four star ratings average. I can say that the installation while rather difficult at times due to Toshiba’s decision to go with a one piece bottom shell enclosure versus adding doors for component access made the work become quite frustrating for me. However when I finished reinstalling the operating system and setting the computer up the Blue ran nicely. It booted up fine and it is silent when running. So far I’m happy. If you look at a lot of customer comments on the various sales sites you will always come across comments from dissatisfied consumers. From my experience those bad comments might be due to other factors such as not knowing how to actually install the thing or maybe the disk was dropped or came in to contact with a stray electrical charge.

To wrap up this review or actually discussion about hard disks I would recommend Western Digital Blue laptop hard drives simply because they are a good product that is backed by solid support from a company that has been making computer disks for a very long time. I bought my 1 TB, 2.5 inch, SATA 6, 5400 rpm WD Blue on Amazon and I paid $46 plus tax, with no S&H in the US. In a store retail setting the WD Blue goes for about $70 US plus tax.You can check out the Western Digital product line here.