Western Digital HD caught fire!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Day48, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. Day48 macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    My WD external hard drive just caught fire...
    Is there anyway to take it apart and save the info that was on the HD?
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Yes, you can probably take it apart.

    As for the drive itself, it all depends on what happened. What, exactly, caught fire? Were there flames and/or smoke, or was it just hot to the touch?
  3. Day48 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    There were flames and smoke pouring out of it for probably 10 seconds...
  4. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
    After you try and recover your data I would call WD's Customer service. A hard drive should never, ever catch flames, imagine if it had burned down your house.

    I would think the least they should do is to replace the drive for free.
  5. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Very unusual. Was this a bus-powered or wall-wart-powered drive? Where did the flames come from, the drive housing or the power plug?

    In any case, you might consider investing in a USB-SATA drive adapter such as http://www.amazon.com/Vantec-CB-ISA...1I1G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316923971&sr=8-1 or one of several others on Amazon or available elsewhere. Disassemble the fried drive housing, remove the disk, and plug it into one of these. If there's any chance it can be read, this will do it.

    Good luck. And do call WD; this may represent a serious safety issue that transcends warranty issues. You might consider reporting it to the CPSC: http://www.cpsc.gov/talk.html... the next drive that flames out might kill someone.
  6. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Take it apart and see what part of it caught on fire. This is very interesting.
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    More likely it's an electrical problem, which may (if it was the drive power supply) or may not (if it was the residence's electrical line) make it eligible for replacement.
  8. dlegend macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2009
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    I wouldn't take it apart until you talk to WD first
  9. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Cool! Pictures - for those of us who want to see some high tech carnage.

    /sorry about your drive though, and glad no one was hurt - and that it didn't burn down your house
  10. Day48 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    Called Western Digital and they are not gonna do anything about it...They said that they hadn't seen anything like that. I guess they didn't see my point in a HD on fire could be dangerous either.

    So I'll take it apart and post some pictures. Probably tom...
  11. Day48 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    Here is a picture of what caught fire...

    Apparently, it was not the hard drive, but the electrical input connector. You can see on the picture on the right a black spot on the board.

    Attached Files:

  12. cubixs macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2012
    Wow... happened to me also!

    Thanks to the internet I found this topic post regarding a hard drive catching fire. So calling Western Digital support today I was laughed at when I informed them of the drive fire. I was laughed at and he said "so if your refrigerator causes a fire are you going to call GE" WELL YES! ARSEHOLE! You did not have to be rude and insulting. So for the world to see... I am posting the information.

    It's an out of warranty 2009 WD drive wmanu1593973 that caught fire. I've been working with HD's since 80's and I've never seen a drive shoot fire and put off so much smoke. My family and I are lucky that our house did not burn down. I share this information so that if anyone else has one of these drives they can replace it before anyone gets hurt. SAD that WD support was so rude. In fact I never asked for anything for free.

    Model #: WD5000KS-00MNB0
    Product Name: 500 GB WD Caviar Blue SATA Hard Drive
    Warranty Status: Out of Warranty since 12-Apr-2009
  13. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    Were you using this as an internal or external drive and what was the power source? Just concerned because I own a couple of these.
  14. Hawkeye16 macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2009
    Yeah me too... please some more details on the drive and how it was being used. My NAS is a WD... that would suck if it caught fire while I was away (my dog stays at home alone)
  15. cubixs macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2012
    Model # WD5000KS-00MNB0 Product Name:500 GB WD Caviar Blue SATA Hard Drive

    I'm not sure what additional information I can provide. I was using it as an internal drive connected to a standard power-supply. The model is directly from WD support site. Model #WD5000KS-00MNB0 500 GB WD Caviar Blue SATA Hard Drive.

    It was very scary as my 11 year old came home from school and called to tell me something was burning. Naturally I ran home and just in time. The thick black smoke was nothing I have experienced before. You could smell the burnt plastics throughout our 3,500 sqft home for two days.
  16. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Take high quality pictures, and send it to as many internet news portals as possible... include the information on how WD reacted! I'm sure there will be one or more websites that are low on "news" and pick it up.
  17. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    never had a western digital catch fire before. closest thing i heard of electronics catching fire was ipods blowing up and someone had a mac power adapter in a drawer that caught fire. its interesting though because my laptop is a wd blue hard drive.
  18. jwm2 macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2012
    Thats what happens when you outsource your support.
  19. Hardtimes macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2011
    They are trying to avoid a lawsuit and publicity. That hard drive could have killed you and your family.

    Get legal advice.
  20. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    Get legal advice, for what? Electronic devices fail, occasionally catastrophically. This is unavoidable except for not buying any in the first place. Looking for someone to blame is just stupid.

    Hey, news report for you lawsuit-happy people: living is lethal! You WILL die of something, eventually!

    If there's warranty left, get them to replace the unit for you. If it's out of warranty file the incident under "****** happens" and move on with your life. Oh, and if the crappy customer service representative's attitude bothered you, don't buy WD products again. Not that you have many alternatives to choose from anymore, there's Seagate, and...not much else, really.
  21. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    We had a thread like this a while back, although I can't remember that the HDD was the culprit. either way contact Apple the will want to know about this...Also good advice about WD...But make sure you do it...The guy in the older thread got a free brand new replacement....Apple take this kind of stuff VERY seriously.
  22. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
    Absolutely! Bearing in mind the voltage in HDD's is 12v max, the idea of it catching fire is ludicrous! What's more, there is nothing flammable in electronic equipment - and at 12 volts!!?
  23. gola123 macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2012
    "Absolutely! Bearing in mind the voltage in HDD's is 12v max, the idea of it catching fire is ludicrous! What's more, there is nothing flammable in electronic equipment - and at 12 volts!!? "
    Re the above cmment, I believe that cars (in the U.K. at least) have 12 volt batteries controlling the electrics, and you sometimes hear of cars catching fire because of an electrical fault.
  24. trainman macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    Kissimmee Florida
    The 12volt battery in a car is a totally different system. A short in a car batteries 12 volt wiring can deliver well in excess of 400 amps instantly, the HDD power supply is 12 volt and generally less than 1 amp which is enough to heat plastic to a point of thick smoke being produced before the power supplies rating is exceeded and it ultimately fails.
  25. frostywontons macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2012
    I realize that this is an old thread but my google search led me here. Just wanted to say that my internal WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB drive recently self-ignited. Haven't gotten a chance to thoroughly survey the damage but a cursory examination showed the point of ignition to be near the HD's board.

    I'm not sure what caused this random combustion since I've been using this HD for nearly three months. I'm ruling out a faulty PSU because my SSD is fine and rest of the system is okay too. Thinking it could be a wonky chip. Will try contacting WD over the weekday...

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