Western Digital is giving away 140 GB free with some hard drives

It's not everyday that a corporation gives back to the consumer. Sure, when we purchase a product, we expect it to live up to the manufacturers specifications and perform as noted on the packaging. But sometimes, companies know how to spread some goodwill among their users and in this case, West Digital is giving away a few extra gigabytes free with some hard drive purchase.

Neowin reader scurbox has sent us a tip that when he purchased a 2.5inch Western Digital 500GB Scorpio Blue hard drive, it actually came with 640GB. This gesture by Western Digital goes the extra mile for customer retention by giving its end user more than they were asking for. 

The images clearly show the additional storage and a note from Western Digital outlining their good deed. The extra space only adds to the value of the product, besides, who doesn't like getting more than they were expecting?

While we can't confirm what line of products Western Digital is adding the additional storage too, this particular unit was purchased from Fry's in San Diego. 

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These drives use 2 x 320gb platters. Only difference on the 500gb drives is that 140 extra gb is usually locked. Only thing they did was unlock the 140gb that was always there. Cost them the same either way. But yeah good gesture from WD.

This has annoyed everyone for years. It wasn't so noticeable when the average drive was 20 Gb that formatted to 19.53 Gb, but when they call a drive '2 TB' but it's only 1.81 TB it annoys me that they can get away with calling it a 2 TB drive when it's not.

chadlachlanross said,
This has annoyed everyone for years. It wasn't so noticeable when the average drive was 20 Gb that formatted to 19.53 Gb, but when they call a drive '2 TB' but it's only 1.81 TB it annoys me that they can get away with calling it a 2 TB drive when it's not.
That's probably down to the difference between TiB and TB. Mac OS X recently switched to the latter to make the numbers add up closer.

HDD makers should go back to the standard 1024 bits = 1KB and so forth and stop shortchanging everyone on the size of the drives. You get to 2TB and there's atleast over 100GB if not more of space missing

My mybook essentials will not work in windows 7, called WD 3 times they said they can't help anymore to just live with it. when I upgrade new software it won't work tech told me to not upgrade,If so why do they do updates? I see now why they get 1 star ratings

Phixion said,
Who buy 500GB HDD's anyway?

My system drives are 500 GB in a RAID array... and I never use more then 50GB on that array..... so whats the point of having larger ones?

Nick (gdiza) said,
I don't trust WD drives. They are way worse than Seagate. Each to their own I guess.

How is that even possible... well yeah, maxtor did prove it was possible, but that was before.

Nick (gdiza) said,
I don't trust WD drives. They are way worse than Seagate. Each to their own I guess.

Agreed, I figured this was a way to make people buy their products Goodwill gesture or marketing strategy? Hmm...

I really like WD. I think they make good drives and support is great.

I once had a unique 150GB RaptorX (windowed) and after like 18 months it failed. I was ****ed because there will be no other drive like this one and I wanted to keep it as a collection item. They were not able to send me another, it was discontinued. They had to send an equivalent or better product so they were looking for a 150GB Velociraptor but they had none so they sent me a refurbished 300GB Velociraptor. A little more performance than my RaptorX and twice the capacity. Close to a year after that the drive failed. Again they had no 300GB so this time they sent me a refurbished 600GB.

So I said at the beginning that I think they make good drives and I still think that. I just hope I just got unlucky and that my current drive will last forever. It may think it's nice to receive what look like to be cool free upgrades but it's first a pain in the ass to spend a day to diagnose and try to fix the problems to realize you will have to send back the unit and wait and rebuild the system and restore the data and get back to where you were before it happened.

MTBF? lol!

These are really chinese knockoffs. They report as being 640GB, but when you try to copy that much data, only the last 500GB is usable

hmm. is this another way of them saying its now cheaper for them to make the 640gb model?
by the way, at the beginning of the year I had to RMA the WD20EARS 2TB so users beware.

This is probably due to some parts like platters not being available during manufacturing of an order for a retailer. This probably is just some creative problem solving to meet a deadline for delivery.

I think it is an economic decision: The fine for late delivery is greater than making a slightly more advanced model ---> lets make the 640 GB ones!

Seems the obvious reason to me too, it would of been better for them to do that and lose sales of that sized drive to another company.

To get an RMA on a hard drive you have to give the the serial # from the drive, it then says whether or not it qualifies for RMA. Most stores do not accept hard drives back after 14 days anyway. So most likely your going to have to deal with the OEM anyway.

as far as raid goes, you can replace 500 gig drives in an array with 640's with 0 issues other than loosing that free 160 gigs, which isn't REALLY 160 gigs anyway. A 640 drive formats to what, 590Gig anyways. If you have autocarving enabled you can normally even utitilze the extra space in the raid as well.

xpclient said,
Yeah sure that extra 140 GB would be useful to accomodate %windir%\WinSxS and %windir%\System32\DriverStore.

That might work if you pulled it on a non tech site. You know a place where not everyone knows how WinSxS works and that it's not takign the space yout hink it does.

HawkMan said,

That might work if you pulled it on a non tech site. You know a place where not everyone knows how WinSxS works and that it's not takign the space yout hink it does.

It not taking the space you think it does doesn't mean it doesn't take any space at all. Even though SOME of the files are hardlinked, most of them aren't and the size keeps on increasing over time as you install more updates. This isn't good OS design from a disk space perspective.

What if you lose the note and try to return the drive?
"Sir this box says 500GB but the drive is 640GB. What are you trying to pull on us? Extra space when you bought the 500GB I dont think so"

Doli said,
What if you lose the note and try to return the drive?
"Sir this box says 500GB but the drive is 640GB. What are you trying to pull on us? Extra space when you bought the 500GB I dont think so"

I thought of that and decided that it was best to make copies of the paper with that number on it. That way I'm sure the manufacturer will accept it as an RMA.

well at least i hope they would...

scurbox said,

I thought of that and decided that it was best to make copies of the paper with that number on it. That way I'm sure the manufacturer will accept it as an RMA.

well at least i hope they would...

Who would complain if you tried to return an even better drive than stated on the box?

TRC said,

Who would complain if you tried to return an even better drive than stated on the box?

The manufacture when its their money being wasted. You are returning the drive for a reason, it either doesn't work or you don't want it. If you tried to give them a different drive back chances are it was because it didn't work.

Doli said,
What if you lose the note and try to return the drive?
"Sir this box says 500GB but the drive is 640GB. What are you trying to pull on us? Extra space when you bought the 500GB I dont think so"

They match it against the serial on the drive. There won't be an issue for RMAs and I don't tend to ship them back in the box anyways. That reminds me...

shinji257 said,

They match it against the serial on the drive. There won't be an issue for RMAs and I don't tend to ship them back in the box anyways. That reminds me...

Internal hard drives (non USB) come in retail packaging? I have never seen an internal HDD in retail packaging, I always buy OEM. The packaging is such a waste anyway.

smithy_dll said,

Internal hard drives (non USB) come in retail packaging? I have never seen an internal HDD in retail packaging, I always buy OEM. The packaging is such a waste anyway.

Walk into Walmart, Bestbuy, Target, or pretty much any retail store that carries computer hardware and you'll see them on the shelf.

smithy_dll said,

Internal hard drives (non USB) come in retail packaging? I have never seen an internal HDD in retail packaging, I always buy OEM. The packaging is such a waste anyway.


You do realize that some retail boxed drives come with power/data cables and often setup/cloning software, right?

The 640GB shouldn't do anything to your 500GB HDD Raid Array; you'll just ba able to use 500GB instead of 640GB.

TheReasonIFailed said,
The 640GB shouldn't do anything to your 500GB HDD Raid Array; you'll just ba able to use 500GB instead of 640GB.

Performance is better with the same model/size.

hondaa said,

Performance is better with the same model/size.

But hard drives only come in set sizes any ways. When RAIDing, you should use the same drives/models which is right, but that's all you need to do any ways, doesn't matter if WD is doing this. Also, just because you got a 640GB hard drive from WD and then a 640GB hard drive from seagate doesn't mean they'll perform the same since drive platter sizes etc come into play.

Epic0range said,
I'd actually be ****ed if I bought 2 or more of those for a RAID and found that one or more had more storage.

Haha lol, true

Epic0range said,
I'd actually be ****ed if I bought 2 or more of those for a RAID and found that one or more had more storage.

Why? The extra 140GB will just go unused...

Frazell Thomas said,

Why? The extra 140GB will just go unused...

Different drives can equal different specs and raids are best perform with identical model drives if possible.

Why would anyone use a bunch of slow ass laptop drives for a RAID? The blue edition aren't meant for high performance.

Owen W said,
This is great... unless you wanted the 500GB cause you were making a RAID array...
I thought of that! lol
I'm currently shopping for two new HDD's to replace the old ones in my RAID0 array. People looking for two drives should be thankful. On the other hand, persons looking for just one to put into an existing array, not so much

Nevertheless, this is a good PR move for WD.

Owen W said,
This is great... unless you wanted the 500GB cause you were making a RAID array...

It's not like you couldn't still use it. And you could have the extra 160 free in another partition, or just not used.

Owen W said,
This is great... unless you wanted the 500GB cause you were making a RAID array...

They want you to get the raid editions anyways

Owen W said,
This is great... unless you wanted the 500GB cause you were making a RAID array...

Their drives don't play nice with raids unless you get the raid edition drives.

AJerman said,

It's not like you couldn't still use it. And you could have the extra 160 free in another partition, or just not used.

You cant make another partition in a drive that is in a RAID array.

hondaa said,

You cant make another partition in a drive that is in a RAID array.

Actually that depends largely on how the RAID array is made.
If it's software RAID then you can both Linux and windows will happily do it.

Owen W said,
This is great... unless you wanted the 500GB cause you were making a RAID array...

There aren't too many laptops that allow you to install multiple hard drives anyway, so I doubt that it would be much of a problem with this drive.

roadwarrior said,

There aren't too many laptops that allow you to install multiple hard drives anyway, so I doubt that it would be much of a problem with this drive.
Everex xt5000t for the win!

shinji257 said,

Their drives don't play nice with raids unless you get the raid edition drives.

since when did this happen I've had an raid0 array going for the last 3 years with two WD2500AAJS hdd's no problems at all and before that it was an 4 yr old raid0 array with 2x WD800JD hdd's which by the way still works perfectly

they're not really giving it away free just rebranding the hardware in a way that seems like they're giving it away free... this is more then likely just a sucessor to the WD6400AKS or whatever being sold as 500 and oh look at that get some for free...

edit: my bad it's a 2.5" drive in which case still same as above as WD use 640GB platters in a lot of their drives.

sexypeperodri said,
And here I ordered a 2TB one and didn't get 140GB free.

Last year, when i sent a 1TB MyBook disk for assistance to WD, they sent me back a 2TB disk, this was really great

ramik said,
Last year, when i sent a 1TB MyBook disk for assistance to WD, they sent me back a 2TB disk, this was really great
Same, only they gave me a 1.5TB for my faulty 1TB.