WD WD100EMAZ and WD Easystore 10TB External Backup Drive Review

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Easystore WD 10TB USB Desktop Backup
Easystore WD 10TB USB Desktop Backup

If you follow STH Great Deals section on the forums, which you should, we saw WD Easystore 10TB USB Desktop backup drives deals start showing up, and many members here purchased a number of these. At the time we first spotted these threads they were running at $180 each which is a great deal for a WD100EMAZ 10TB hard drive.

For many organizations, 10TB external hard drives to provide NAS backups or even to send as a basic form of offline data transport make sense, especially at these prices. Indeed, just AWS data transfer costs on 10TB will exceed the price of two of these devices plus overnight delivery making them a viable transport option, especially where WAN connectivity is weak.

These Western Digital 10TB drives have a secondary use, namely as a less expensive way to get internal hard drives. Inside the WD Easystore 10TB external devices are 10TB helium-filled SATA III hard drives. These are generally white label WD WD100EMAZ 10TB hard drives but we have heard of some containing WD Red variants. In either case, at this time WD 10TB Red NAS drives are going for over $300, so these Easystore drives are an excellent price. Back in 2011, we discussed the value of a hard drive warranty versus shucking drives from external devices like this.

At STH, we purchased several dozen of these kits and wanted to take a look at just what we got in the process and share some of our experiences shucking the drives.

Shucking a WD WD100EMAZ from an Easystore 10TB USB Enclosure

Instead of focusing on a USB 3.0 external enclosure, we are just going to show what our readers are doing and we have done in the lab. We are going to liberate these 10TB drives from their enclosures. The WD Easystore 10TB drive comes as a regular USB 3.0 storage device; we purchase these kits to shuck the drives out and use them in our large NAS storage boxes or servers. There are plenty of videos that show how to shuck the drives. It is rather simple to do, and if you take care, you can reuse the enclosure itself, even install another SATA HDD inside and continue using the drive enclosure. The other option is that you pry for speed and discard the enclosure.

We used the clumsy method with a screwdriver and popped the other case off with no issues.

Easystore WD 10TB Drive Shuck #1
Easystore WD 10TB Drive Shuck #1

After removing the outer shell, we find a WD100EMAZ 10TB white label HDD inside. This is a helium-filled 256MB cache drive, like the WD Red 10TB solution.

Easystore WD 10TB Drive Shuck #2
Easystore WD 10TB Drive Shuck #2

Flipping the enclosure over we see how everything is laid out inside the kit.

Easystore WD 10TB Drive Shuck #3
Easystore WD 10TB Drive Shuck #3

The small circuit board inside is merely a USB to SATA adapter and power port to supply power to the drive via a small power brick. The PCB is held in place by one screw.

Easystore WD 10TB Drive Shuck #4
Easystore WD 10TB Drive Shuck #4

We have taken all the parts out and ready to start testing the HDD.

Easystore WD 10TB Drive Shuck #7
Easystore WD 10TB Drive Shuck #7

Here we have the entire enclosure taken apart; there is a small number of parts, the unit can be put back together and reused, even with different SATA HDD.

Addressing the WD100EMAZ 3.3V Pin Mod

With older power supplies you might find the WD100EMAZ will not show up at all in your BIOS or Windows. We had this issue on our test bench and found we required the 3.3V Pin mod to have the drives work. Just cover the 3rd pin with tape or non-conductive/ corrosive varnish to stop electrical current from passing.

Easystore WD 10TB USB Desktop Backup Pin Mod
Easystore WD 10TB USB Desktop Backup Pin Mod

At STH we have now tested these in a few servers we have in the lab and have not had to do the 3.3V mod in them to date. These include:

Most of the systems we review these days are 2.5″ bay systems but we have a stack of these drives on hand that we use to test in servers. You may also notice that there are five servers on that list we have not reviewed. It may be a glimpse into some of the server reviews we are doing in Q1 2019.

Next, we are going to look at the software before focusing on drive performance.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I did this with the MyBook 8TB drives 2 years ago and put them in my OMV Nas. 6 months later one totally died. At that point I got a IronWolf drive as a replacement to have some differentiation. The other MyBook drive has been chugging along for the last 2,5 years though.

  2. I got 6 of the 8TB version about a year ago. Of the 3 that I’ve pulled so far, all are the WD80EFZX. One is being used as purchased and the other 2 are waiting to be opened probably, once I figure out my longer term NAS setup.

  3. My 2 cents – get a good power supply like a Seasonic Gold or Titanium if you’re having problems with drive failures. My combination of 40 plus various Seagates, WD, and Toshiba have never experienced a drive failure. Drives do fail of course, but clean power is important.

  4. I just got two of the 8TB yesterday they were both the EFZX, even between the two one was about 5-10MB/s faster when I did a 4 hour burn-in. Neither had any 3.3v issues in my system. One was straight to the MB the other was in a 3 disk hot-swap enclosure I got off of Amazon.

  5. I have a question, WHY can’t these drives be set up so that there is a DUEL storage system. Like you write to you D: Drive and it automatically copies the data that you just wrote to THIS 10Tdrive? –you have a double backup of your data? ONE on your principal drive and on the 10 T drive.
    With all of this space, you can then keep a separate BACKUP of data every month! BUT the duel back up happens immediately? everyday! every time you access your hard drive.

  6. AJ, if you want redundancy, I use a Drobo 5N2. 5 bays and you can set them up to be redundant against 1 HD failure or Dual HD failure. But note that dual redundancy really eats up drive space. I’m currently running 44 TB worth of drives (2-10s and 3-8s) and have 31 TB available with standard redundancy and 22 TB with dual redundancy. But since I have almost 1200 movies, over 80 complete tv series, over 6000 albums and some photography work on it, dual redundancy is just the thing for me. I would hate to loose that stuff.

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