Green Drives RRS feed

  • Question

  • With the change in WHS I guess it would be ok to use green drives now?
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 2:42 PM

All replies

  • Not if you're going to be using them in a raid configuration.
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 3:26 PM
  • I've been using the "infamous" WD Green Drives in Win 7 and now Vail RC using software RAID 1 (or as MS calls it Mirroring) for a while now without any of the TLER issues that are associated with Hardware RAID.  I think software RAID is a little more forgiving than hardware RAID.

    I've been getting very good speeds as well as I move things around.  Much faster than the previous Vail DE implementation.

    Saturday, February 5, 2011 5:29 PM
  • I've been using the green drives for a long time without any issues..   were there suppose to be some?
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 5:58 PM
  • I think there are two main reasons why WD Green drives aren't well suited for RAID configurations.  One, which is actually pretty easy to fix, is that WD has TLER (Time-Limited Error Recovery) disabled on its Green drives by default.  There is a utility out there, that WD has stopped sharing, that will actually allow you to enable TLER.  The other reason, and I'm not sure what the actual impact is, is that Green drives aren't all created equal when it comes to speed.  They aren't variable speed as WD would have you believe.  They are fixed at a certain speed between 5400-7200 rpm.  I have read that this can be problematic.

    It sounds like William has had some good experience using Green drives in a Windows software RAID setup, so that is promising.

    Saturday, February 5, 2011 6:54 PM
  • Just a few notes:

    • There is currently more than one line of "Green" drives - EARS and EADS are the two that I currently use
    • EARS are the advanced format, they use a larger cluster size.  I think these are still not "optimal" for use as a OS/boot drive, for multiple reasons.  I use them for strictly data storage, and they work well.  You cannot enable TLER on any of these drives, except maybe some of the very early models, the WD tool tells you that it's been disabled in the firmware - I've tried on at least 6 of these drives.  These ones are extremely cheap, and seem to work well.  I haven't had a single issue with any of the drives I have, and I've got six of them currently running.
    • EADS - these are harder to find, likely more expensive(10-30% more), and older.  These do allow you to turn on TLER.  I have had a few blips with my setup, I've got 8 drives currently in a RAID6 array, and one was so troublesome I had to replace it (probably something wrong with it).  I keep an extra around so I can rebuild array when there is a failure though.  I would be cheaper to buy some times as many as 3 to 1 of these against the RE3/RE4 models, so I choose to go that around and stick with RAID6 instead of 5 (allows two devices to fail/timeout before data loss)
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 9:38 PM
  • Personally I stay away from Green drives.  I have had two fail while older non green drives (WD, Seagate, Hatachi) are still running.  All the drives are 1 GB and the two that failed were WD.  My server is up 24X7 and has 7 TB of online stoage.


    Sunday, February 6, 2011 12:41 AM
  • I have a green 1TB drive in my main PC, no problems...

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Sunday, February 6, 2011 2:53 AM
  • In my WHS2011 RC setup, I created an RAID1 array using two of the Samsung HD204UI green drives.  So far, so good.  Decent transfer speeds.  I have a couple of the WD 20EARS drives, but I only use them as singles.
    Sunday, February 6, 2011 3:46 PM
  • droesch,

    Thanks for the extra info regarding the different flavors of the WD drives.  If I was able to do it over, I probably wouldn't buy these EARS drives again... but that's just one of those life lesson things ;-)

    Why do you say that the EARS drives are not optimal of OS/boot? Just general speed issues or something else? Do you think the TLER issue is less of a problem in a software RAID setup versus all the problems people have using these drives with hardware RAID (or is that just wishful thinking on my part)?

    Also, I agree with your post in the other thread about not missing DE.  It's been very entertaining watching all the teeth gnashing because people couldn't use RAID before becuse of DE and now all the angst over losing DE.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011 6:43 PM
  • No problems using green drives, both Samsung and WD on WHS v.1 - you might be thinking of the problems with advanced format drives, which is a different issue on the original WHS, but now supported correctly under WHS2011.

    With WHS2011 TLER will become more of an issue as more people will move to hardware RAID solutions in the absence of DE.  Many of the consumer class drives have TLER disabled.  I think Hitachi and Samsung are currently the drives of choice, with Seagate and Western Digital best avoided unless you can enable it manually or you want to pay extra for their enterprise class drives.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011 10:24 PM
  • My opinion on this "pay extra for their enterprise class drives", sure I pay a little more but I have found over the years that I do not have problems with these drives.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011 10:42 PM
  • I see enterprise level drives fail all day long at work, so I don't trust in that they are enough better to justify ~$250 vs ~$100 (RE4 2TB vs Green 2TB on NewEgg)... especially when you start talking about 8+ of them.  That said, I don't think I would trust running any parity based raid that only covers one drive failure, RAID 5 for example.  I wouldn't do this on any array greater than 4drives, no matter what types of devices they are.
    Sunday, February 6, 2011 11:01 PM
  • My opinion on this "pay extra for their enterprise class drives", sure I pay a little more but I have found over the years that I do not have problems with these drives.


    Don, I agree - but the latest Seagate and Western Digital consumer drives have TLER disabled - so there is more than just a perceived quality differential between their drives.  This may (or may not cause) problems with hardware RAID configurations, the reason for raising this is that TLER was under discussion, and it is something people considering this sort of setup should be aware of before they go and purchase their hardware so they can make an educated decision.

    You can of course risk it with these drives, buy the enterprise drives or choose another brand such as Hitachi or Samsung that don't have it disabled in their consumer class drives.

    Personally, I'd just buy the consumer class drives that have TLER enabled for a home server ;)

    Monday, February 7, 2011 2:30 PM