Word, is it likely that two drives would both be bad in the same, identical way?
Nope different lots, (but "luck of the draw").
I'd concur, bios, drivers, pesky NVidia controllers, or you need to do the jumper trick.
Try a search for "WD or Western Digital Advanced Fromat jumper". That might do it. Can't remember the jumper pins, think it was 7 and 8)