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Can I use Western Digital Advanced Format drives in current 32 bit version? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have bought a WD10EARS which apparently required Western Digital software to install the drive which doesn't currently support the Server 2003 OS. Question is can I just install the drive without any detriment to the server performance or should I send it back for a non Advanced Format version?

    I plan to upgrade to the x64 version (Vail) when released but I imagine this could take some time?
    Sunday, February 21, 2010 12:21 PM

Answers

  • Here's the skinny on these drives. I don't have any drives in hand to test with (and no immediate plans to get some, as my wife will kill me if I add more drives to my collection), so this is general common sense, knowledge of how the hardware and OS work, and Google-fu:
    • If you don't align the drive somehow, performance will not please you. Don't bother.
    • You can use one as a secondary drive in the storage pool if if you place a jumper per WD instructions before installing the drive. This applies to both OEM and self-built servers, and should be fine.
    • You can't use the WD Align utility on a secondary drive. Everything I've seen says Bad Things™ will happen (see above for disclaimers).
    • You may be able to use one as the system drive in a self-built server. If it's possible, you will do it by installing Windows Home Server in a single drive configuration, then using the Acronis/.iso version of WD Align to align the drive. However, I predict that Bad Things™ will happen, as per using WD Align on a secondary drive.
    If someone has several of these drives, and wants to do the community a favor, drop me an email (address in my profile here; remove the antispam device if you don't want to be autoreported) and I'll lay out the tests that are needed. I think three drives, all as shipped from WD and never installed anywhere, will be enough.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 1:16 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I think the WD Documentation say to put a jumper in to disable the advanced format if you are not going to run it on Vista/W7.  You could do that and then reuse the drive if/when Vail is released.


    --
    Sunday, February 21, 2010 9:34 PM
  • There's an entire discussion on these advanced format drives here
    http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php?/topic/11681-wd-green-2tb-drives-should-we-use-wd-align/
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 11:53 PM
  • Here's the skinny on these drives. I don't have any drives in hand to test with (and no immediate plans to get some, as my wife will kill me if I add more drives to my collection), so this is general common sense, knowledge of how the hardware and OS work, and Google-fu:
    • If you don't align the drive somehow, performance will not please you. Don't bother.
    • You can use one as a secondary drive in the storage pool if if you place a jumper per WD instructions before installing the drive. This applies to both OEM and self-built servers, and should be fine.
    • You can't use the WD Align utility on a secondary drive. Everything I've seen says Bad Things™ will happen (see above for disclaimers).
    • You may be able to use one as the system drive in a self-built server. If it's possible, you will do it by installing Windows Home Server in a single drive configuration, then using the Acronis/.iso version of WD Align to align the drive. However, I predict that Bad Things™ will happen, as per using WD Align on a secondary drive.
    If someone has several of these drives, and wants to do the community a favor, drop me an email (address in my profile here; remove the antispam device if you don't want to be autoreported) and I'll lay out the tests that are needed. I think three drives, all as shipped from WD and never installed anywhere, will be enough.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 1:16 AM
    Moderator
  • Since I have installed the drive (WD15EARS) without any jumpers, I assume I have to remove it from the storage pool prior to adding any jumpers, correct? Is it the 7-8 jumper setting to disbale the advance format?
    Tuesday, March 8, 2011 3:44 PM
  • Yes that's correct, jumpering pins 7 & 8 disable the advanced format.  I've got 2 WD20EARS drives setup this way.

     

    Remove from storage pool

    Remove drive from server

    Add Jumper

    Re-insert drive into server

    Add to storage pool

     

    There should be a sticker, or a note right on top of the drive that tells you to jumper pins 7 & 8.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011 5:56 PM