A friend just had an almost new 2tb disk fail mid-read, not because the disk itself failed but because the firmware around it did. Reminded me that I've had the same thing happen in the past year to one mains-powered EHD, one USB-powered EHD, and one internal HD.
In every case the disk itself was fine but the firmware permanently attached to it failed. And, and this is the question, every one of these hard disks was Western Digital. Even though I have 6 different brands of HD and numerically the WD ones are greatly in the minority, it is only the WD ones that have failed. Does this match anyone else's experience?
I might add that although WD in Europe are easy to deal with, I have given up on ever pursuing a warranty claim on WD-USA. They erect so many hurdles it becomes impossible to continue. It might be easier if you live in the USA, I don't know, but if like me you live in Central America then forget it.