Western Digital Drive Shucking

Like oysters, you can shuck WD external hard drives for the pearl inside. The pearl being a WD Red NAS drive or what may be the same thing (but with a different model number). The reason you would want to do this is to save close to $100 per drive, depending on the current deals. At the time of writing this, an 8TB WD Red is $249 and the WD – easystore 8TB External USB 3.0 Hard Drive is around $185. This is not a great deal because I just bought on for $150, so I would wait for a sale if possible. That’s what I am going to do and if the price drops I will pick up another. What you do depends on how much you are willing to spend.

There are tradeoffs by shucking a drive to save money. One being the warranty. A Red drive has a three year warranty and the external drive has a two year warranty (you just need to keep the enclosure and not let them know you opened it!). I have had such great luck with these drives that I am okay with one year less of warranty. Another risk is not getting a drive labeled as a Red. I received a mysterious white label drive with the model number WD80EMAZ. I did research and people advised, like a Red drive, this drive had a maximum of seven seconds for error recovery (anything longer and a drive will likely drop from an RAID array). I checked the firmware on this drive and it was the same as my 8TB WD Red drives (83H0A83). Some people had complaints that this drive has a higher voltage requirement than other drives and would not work in their NAS devices, but it worked fine in my Synology 1815+. It’s been in there for a couple days and there were no issues with the RAID rebuild.

Be sure to test the hard drive before shucking in case it is DOA or has some other issue. I do a full surface test using HD Sentinel before using any hard drive.

As I mentioned, you need to be careful when shucking the drive if you want the ability to return it in case the drives fails during the warranty period. Here’s a video on how to do it. This guy makes it look easier than it actually is your first time, but just be patient. Make sure you have a phillips and torx bit set or else you will need to use pliers to remove the torx screws (this may scratch them and tip-off WD support if the drive is returned).

Happy deal hunting and shucking.

UPDATE 3/25/2018

I have three of the white label WD80EMAZ drives in my Synology 1815+ and there have been no issues. They are playing well with all the other WD Red drives. I would buy more, but I will need to make the move to 10TB or 12TB drives because I am running a bit low on room. I wish could I get some of the new 100TB solid state drives, but I doubt I could even afford one without need to finance it…

2 thoughts on “Western Digital Drive Shucking

    1. I have four or five of these drives running 24/7 and there have been no issues. I don’t have the link at the moment, but a website thoroughly documented a test of Red drives and the white label EMAZ model hard drives shucked from the WD Easystore external drives. The tests showed the Red drives had better read/write speeds, which I believe was about 5MB per second. That was minimal enough for me to buy a 10TB because it was on sale.


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