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Alternatives to WD RE4 drives?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I'm on my third Seagate HDD as the previous two (250GB and 500GB Barracudas) died on me so I'm looking for a long term, reliable option that I can eventually move into. I'm a little paranoid now that my current Seagate drive will follow suit.

I did a search and people seem to say that the RE4 Enterprise drives are made for reliability but are expensive. The 500GB RE4 is $75 which is a little high but still okay if it lasts a long time. Are there any other viable (and preferably cheaper) options?

How reliable in comparison are the WD AV-25 and WD Caviar Black series? I've also read that a 5400RPM drive can be more reliable than a 7200RPM. I'd be willing to sacrifice performance if it meant it would have a low chance of death. I'm sick of having a HDD fail every 6-18 months. I don't know why they last for so short of a time, it's not like I'm hitting them with a baseball bat in the mornings.
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post #2 of 15
WD RE4 drives are designed for RAID. They have no error recovery, which makes their performance extremely consistent, but means they have to run under a RAID controller that takes care of that.

Don't use them as lone drives.

WD AV drives - again, tweaked for no error recovery. (You don't want the drive EVER locking up if it's recording security footage - just keep recording, and if data doesn't get written properly, it's only a tiny blip)


WD Blacks are very reliable, and are the drives you should be looking at. In particular, the WD 1TB Blacks. Many of us have WD Blacks that are years old and are still going strong. Most WD drives die slowly and leisurely rather than overnight, so keep an eye on your drive's SMART status (with a tool like HDTune) and your data should be pretty safe.
     
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Gah, didn't know those drives were for raid. Thanks for the advice, I'll look into getting a WD Caviar Black in the near future. Can always count on OCN for excellent advice
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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post
WD RE4 drives are designed for RAID. They have no error recovery, which makes their performance extremely consistent, but means they have to run under a RAID controller that takes care of that.

Don't use them as lone drives.
Not quite. The error recovery period is set to 7 seconds, after that the drive will send a fail signal to the RAID controller, and then its up to RAID controller to handle that condition, either by finding a copy of that data from another drive (RAID 1/10/0+1) or calculating the missing data from parity (RAID levels 4, 5 and 6).

This behaviour can be tweaked using the WDTLER tool. If you set the TLER period to 60 seconds, you can use the drives singly I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post
WD AV drives - again, tweaked for no error recovery. (You don't want the drive EVER locking up if it's recording security footage - just keep recording, and if data doesn't get written properly, it's only a tiny blip)
Correct. I think the AV drives have their TLER set to zero seconds, and I doubt it can be manually adjusted. These drives have to be used in redundant RAID if data integrity is vital to the use case.

@OP
The problem with the Blacks is that WD will not support you if you choose to use them in RAID. I'm not sure if they have altered their stance on that point - considering that the drives have a 5 year warranty and are sold at noticeable premium over their rivals, not supporting RAID is a little bit silly.

As for alternatives...if it's for an OS, I'd go for a 7200RPM drive, from the likes of Samsung and Hitachi. I've had several Hitachi drives running constantly for several years, and only two have died on me.

For a data drive, "green" drives are perfectly OK. I have 7 Samsung F4EG (5400RPM) 2TB drives, 5 of which are in RAID 5. I've had one replaced due to failure, but the others have been absolutely fine. Hitachi 5K3000s (5900RPM) are also worthy candidates for data drives - I chose the Samsungs over the Hitachis due to warranty (3 years rather than 2).
Edited by parityboy - 7/25/11 at 6:44am
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post #5 of 15
Since I run a ton of blacks on arrays, I can assure you WD will give you no crap about using them in Raid arrays.
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post #6 of 15
I can vouch for WD Caviar Black, buying another one soon, (1TB, 64mb, 7200rpm) great drives all I've ever owned.
    
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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by slavearm View Post
Since I run a ton of blacks on arrays, I can assure you WD will give you no crap about using them in Raid arrays.
Ahhh, but do you tell them you're running them in RAID, when you have to RMA them?
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post
Not quite. The error recovery period is set to 7 seconds, after that the drive will send a fail signal to the RAID controller, and then its up to RAID controller to handle that condition, either by finding a copy of that data from another drive (RAID 1/10/0+1) or calculating the missing data from parity (RAID levels 4, 5 and 6).

This behaviour can be tweaked using the WDTLER tool. If you set the TLER period to 60 seconds, you can use the drives singly I believe.



Correct. I think the AV drives have their TLER set to zero seconds, and I doubt it can be manually adjusted. These drives have to be used in redundant RAID if data integrity is vital to the use case.
I appreciate the corrections. You are correct.

It's worth noting that the AV drives should be in RAID-5 or RAID-6, so that you can rebuild corrupted data from parity if necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post
Ahhh, but do you tell them you're running them in RAID, when you have to RMA them?
They don't care. They say on their website WD Blacks are suitable for home RAID use. Here's the excerpt:

-> http://wdc.com/wdproducts/library/?id=213&type=8
Quote:
Applications
Power computing applications such as multimedia, video and photo editing, and maxed out gaming computers.
Desktop / Consumer RAID Environments - WD Caviar Black Hard Drives are tested and recommended for use in consumer-type RAID applications (RAID-0 / RAID-1).

- Business Critical RAID Environments – WD Caviar Black Hard Drives are not recommended for and are not warranted for use in RAID environments utilizing Enterprise HBAs and/or expanders and in multi-bay chassis, as they are not designed for, nor tested in, these specific types of RAID applications. For all Business Critical RAID applications, please consider WD’s Enterprise Hard Drives that are specifically designed with RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER), are tested extensively in 24x7 RAID applications, and include features like enhanced RAFF technology and thermal extended burn-in testing.
As you can see, right below it they say they are not recommended for Enterprise use.
Edited by Kramy - 7/25/11 at 3:06pm
     
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post #9 of 15
haha, so you can now go from lying about using them in RAID at all, to lying about which RAID level you use when you configure them - obviously RAID levels 4/5/6 are considered "enterprise".

"Sir, do you use your drives in RAID?"
"Yes, yes I do."
"And which RAID level are they used in?"
"RAID 10." *gives the phone sidelong looks*
"You have three drives in RAID 10?"
"Yes." *whistles breezily*

I wonder if you can adjust the TLER on them...if you can use them in RAID 1, you'll need this feature. Oh, and you can't leave your machine on 24x7, and you can't put the drives in an IcyDock RAID cage either...

Seriously though, if a drive has failed, it has FAILED. Who cares if it's connected to a RAID HBA? "clunk clunk" means it's dead. Simples.
Edited by parityboy - 7/25/11 at 5:47pm
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post #10 of 15
Apparently RAID-1 and RAID-0 are unaffected by TLER. Not sure how true that is, but that's what I heard somewhere.
     
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Seasonic Platinum 1000w PSU - SS-1000XP Fractal Design Define R5 Steelseries Rival 6500 dcpi Mousepad + Desk 
AudioAudioOtherOther
Onboard Realtek® ALC 892 Cyber Acoustics CA-2992 2.0 Speakers Razer Krait 1600 DPI nGear G-C1601 Card Reader 
OtherOther
Pisen Card Reader Gigabyte M7 Thor 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
VIA Eden C7 1200mhz Jetway J7F4K1G2ES-LF VIA Onboard 512MB PC2-4200 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
A-Data FlashDrive None Fanless Linux 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Headless None 65w Power Brick Antec ISK300-65 
MouseAudio
None Onboard VIA 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Barton XP-M 2400+ FJQ4C Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe 256MB BFG 7800GS OC 2x512MB Samsung PC3200 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Raptor 74GB/Seagate 120GB Windows 2000 Pro 60hz 17" CRT Brandless PS2 Keyboard 
PowerMouse
Antec Neo HE 550w Logitech G5 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8350 @ 4.6ghz 1.425v Sabertooth 990FX Zotac GTX 1070 Amp! 32GB (4x8GB) Kingston Fury 1866mhz CL10 1T 1.5v 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Hitachi 2TB - HDS723020BLA64 Crucial M500 960GB - CT960M500SSD1 WD 4TB Black - WD4001FAEX WD 4TB Black - WD4001FAEX 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Seagate 2TB - ST2000DM001 WD 640GB Black - WD6401AALS Seagate 6TB - ST6000DM001 Micron M500 - MTFDDAK480MAV 
Optical DriveOptical DriveOptical DriveOptical Drive
Pioneer DVR-115DBK Samsung SH-S243D/BEBE LG GH22NS90 Lite-On EBAU108 External DVD 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Noctua NH-D15 Fractal Design 140mm Fan - FD-FAN-140 Fractal Design 120mm Fan - FD-FAN-120 Windows 7 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Samsung 2343BWX 23" (2048x1152) BenQ GW2765HT 27" IPS LCD Monitor (2560x1440) Genius Keyboard KB-G235 PA 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Seasonic Platinum 1000w PSU - SS-1000XP Fractal Design Define R5 Steelseries Rival 6500 dcpi Mousepad + Desk 
AudioAudioOtherOther
Onboard Realtek® ALC 892 Cyber Acoustics CA-2992 2.0 Speakers Razer Krait 1600 DPI nGear G-C1601 Card Reader 
OtherOther
Pisen Card Reader Gigabyte M7 Thor 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
VIA Eden C7 1200mhz Jetway J7F4K1G2ES-LF VIA Onboard 512MB PC2-4200 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
A-Data FlashDrive None Fanless Linux 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Headless None 65w Power Brick Antec ISK300-65 
MouseAudio
None Onboard VIA 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Barton XP-M 2400+ FJQ4C Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe 256MB BFG 7800GS OC 2x512MB Samsung PC3200 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Raptor 74GB/Seagate 120GB Windows 2000 Pro 60hz 17" CRT Brandless PS2 Keyboard 
PowerMouse
Antec Neo HE 550w Logitech G5 
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Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Hard Drives & Storage › Alternatives to WD RE4 drives?