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-   -   What is the best 1TB hard drive for RAID? (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/storage/30995-what-best-1tb-hard-drive-raid.html)

TheGregster76 April 13, 2010 09:50 PM

What is the best 1TB hard drive for RAID?
 
What is the best 1TB hard drive to get for a RAID set-up?

I have four 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black (WD1001FALS) hard drives and I am having issues with these drives in RAID 0+1. These drives keep getting errors on them and degrading the RAID array. I am using the onboard RAID on my motherboard (ASUS Rampage II Extreme). Yeah, I know I should have done more research on these hard drives to see if you can actually put these hard drives in RAID. Western Digital recommends the RE3 version of these drives for RAID. The only thing is that I do not have the money for 4 RE3 1TB drives.

What are the cheapest RAID 1TB capable hard drives you recommend with similar performance to the Western Digital Caviar Blacks that will run in RAID 0+1?

Also, do you recommend a RAID controller card over the motherboard RAID? And are there any 4-port RAID controller cards out there that will fit the top PCI-e x1 slot on my motherboard without removing any cooling fins on the chipset cooler?

Please help me. I am getting quite frustrated with my computer. I just want to get back to using it and having it just work.

E}{ile BFG OC 4GHZ April 14, 2010 01:59 AM

first of all check how the cluster size and allocation size are set if messed up they could give you problems. but probably its the mother board or the hard drives i would recommend to test the drives one by one:thumb:

if you want to buy a good Raidcard it will probably cost you well over 200$ cheap once are the same of not worse than the on board once but a good Raid card will have internal processing and that really helps Because it removes the load off the cpu and speeds up transfer rate.

Google the difference between true hardware Raid and fake hardware Raid.


For hard drives I really like Samsung but that is just a personal opinion :biggrin:

Digikid April 14, 2010 03:36 AM

The best ones are the ones that you ALREADY have. Western Digital. Those are the top name in Rotational Hard Drives.

Next up? SSD if you can afford it.

If you must stick with rotational drives then you can downgrade to Samsung....they are the next best drives.

0o0 April 14, 2010 08:12 AM

here's a proper answer: enable TLER on them.

Those drives aren't made for raid, they're end consumer drives. WD made raid versions of those drives (which I'm not too familiar with) which as you mentionned, they're called RE3, and they have TLER enabled by default. Some of these black 1tb's are TLER locked, if they've been manufactured after last summer it probably can't be done. There's probably nothing wrong at all with the drives themselves, it's just that the raid controller (SB) thinks they're dead because they're not responsive for 8 seconds. WD just wants you to buy the raid edition drives for their unlocked TLER.

rpgurd April 14, 2010 09:18 AM

Seagate drives work for RAID
 
Fortunately, I found out about the problems with using WD Caviar drives in RAID before I bought my the drives for my new system a couple of months ago.

Seagate consumer drives are advertised as being RAID capable and, in fact, I have been running two 750G 7200.12 drives in RAID 1 with no problems.

TheGregster76 April 14, 2010 01:06 PM

I had all four hard drives tested and there were no issues with any of them. What might be the problem is the error occurs on a hard drive after a few hours of use. A hard drive test might not catch this issue.

I also had TLER enabled on these drives. Can TLER be used on hard drives that are in RAID 0+1? I thought TLER is more for striping, not for mirroring.

If I RMA'ed the bad WD1001FALS back to Western Digital, I would probably get a new hard drive would have TLER locked. Therefore I am leaning towards getting rid of the WD1001FALS.

I also had the most recent motherboard BIOS's flashed and up to date before RAIDing the hard drives.

My issue is that I do not have a spot open for a RAID controller on my motherboard. My X-Fi soundcard is in the bottom PCI slot due to the fact it cannot fit in the top PCI-e slot on the ASUS Rampage II Extreme motherboard. It was designed only for the ASUS soundcard that came with the motherboard. The cooling fins for the INTEL X58 chip get in the way of the Creative PCI X-FI soundcard that I use and I do not want to remove any of these fins. The other slots that are available are covered by the graphics cards (not now, but will be in the future with a pair of GTX 480's). I was wondering if a four port RAID controller fit in the top PCI-e X1 slot?

Another issue I have with RAID controller cards is that I cannot find a card that is compatible with the WD1001FALS hard drives. This is due to Western Digital not allowing people to RAID these hard drives. Most likely I'll have to buy new hard drives that will work with whatever RAID controller that I buy.

As for SSD drives, I am waiting for a while before I get on the SSD bandwagon. Also, I cannot justify the price point on these drives. SSD's are roughly $1.00 per GB whereas 3.5" SATA drives are around $0.10 per GB. Yes, I'm Dutch (literally, my Dad was born in the Netherlands)!!!

I was talking to a computer shop in London, ON who would take my four WD1001FALS hard drives as trade-in and replace them with four Seagate 1TB (I hope they were the Barracuda 7200.12's) hard drives for around $150 (labour and taxes included). Is this a good deal?

Digikid April 14, 2010 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 0o0 (Post 363484)
here's a proper answer: enable TLER on them.

Those drives aren't made for raid, they're end consumer drives. WD made raid versions of those drives (which I'm not too familiar with) which as you mentionned, they're called RE3, and they have TLER enabled by default. Some of these black 1tb's are TLER locked, if they've been manufactured after last summer it probably can't be done. There's probably nothing wrong at all with the drives themselves, it's just that the raid controller (SB) thinks they're dead because they're not responsive for 8 seconds. WD just wants you to buy the raid edition drives for their unlocked TLER.

Quite helpful as I did not know of this "feature".

Thanks OoO

miggs78 April 14, 2010 02:23 PM

Same here.. that's good to know, but sounds more like a marketing scheme to try and sell those drives.

You can get those, but you'll be paying a premium price of probably around $150 or even more. Or you can get the WD 1TB Black ones for under $100. TBH these 1TB Blacks are pretty darn good, and I believe per HWC reviews they are rated to be one of the best for Cost per GB.

0o0 April 14, 2010 04:39 PM

Try other brands, they may have it unlocked. The wd black 640gb's still have tler unlocked. If you can enable tler and you still get errors, I honestly have no idea what it could be lol, could be anything...

rpgurd April 14, 2010 06:42 PM

Here is what Western Digital has to say about using their desktop drives in RAID:

"Western Digital manufactures desktop edition hard drives and RAID Edition hard drives. Each type of hard drive is designed to work specifically as a stand-alone drive, or in a multi-drive RAID environment.
If you install and use a desktop edition hard drive connected to a RAID controller, the drive may not work correctly. This is caused by the normal error recovery procedure that a desktop edition hard drive uses.
Note: There are a few cases where the manufacturer of the RAID controller have designed their drives to work with specific model Desktop drives. If this is the case you would need to contact the manufacturer of that enclosure for any support on that drive while it is used in a RAID environment.
When an error is found on a desktop edition hard drive, the drive will enter into a deep recovery cycle to attempt to repair the error, recover the data from the problematic area, and then reallocate a dedicated area to replace the problematic area. This process can take up to 2 minutes depending on the severity of the issue. Most RAID controllers allow a very short amount of time for a hard drive to recover from an error. If a hard drive takes too long to complete this process, the drive will be dropped from the RAID array. Most RAID controllers allow from 7 to 15 seconds for error recovery before dropping a hard drive from an array. Western Digital does not recommend installing desktop edition hard drives in an enterprise environment (on a RAID controller).
Western Digital RAID edition hard drives have a feature called TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) which stops the hard drive from entering into a deep recovery cycle. The hard drive will only spend 7 seconds to attempt to recover. This means that the hard drive will not be dropped from a RAID array. While TLER is designed for RAID environments, a drive with TLER enabled will work with no performance decrease when used in non-RAID environments.
"

(found at What is the difference between Desktop edition and RAID (Enterprise) edition hard drives?)

I suppose it is possible the the original poster's drives might not need so many "deep recovery cycles" after a while, so that they would then start to behave more reliably in RAID.


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