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What brand of Drives

(@angelonyc)
Active Member Customer

I was wondering what brand of drives people were using.. Don't want to ruffle feathers, but would like to hear of people's experiences..

I bought 5 of HGST's 6TB Helium drives. (5th one as a back-up, spare) Haven't had very long.. so nothing to complain about..

I have a 2nd RAID enclosure, and I'm wondering about the Toshiba 6 TB drives, since they are substantially cheaper..

Also anyone using larger drives.. It's always been my experience, no matter what size drives you have, they are too small after a while.. All this music virtual instrument libraries are getting huge, 30, 50, 60 GB.. It fills as drive fast..

I'd appreciate anybody's experience with this..

Thanx..

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Topic starter Posted : 31/12/2015 6:30 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Anyone is welcome to comment. We are not shy about letting users know Seagate Baracuda line had a terrible run with very high failure rates, tracing back to the floods in Thailand.

You can see a lot of interesting data in the blogs by backblaze.com. (They love Seagate's because of price and they perform well enough for their disk pods).

Hitachi has had a long run of excellent quality drives. Toshiba took over much of Hitachi's production, which was their launch into the 3.5" business. So far, Toshiba quality has been excellent. WD had a spotty past at times, but now seem to be holding up well these days. Samsungs are an unknown to us, we don't see many in supporting SoftRAID.

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Posted : 31/12/2015 7:41 pm
(@angelonyc)
Active Member Customer

Thanx.. Yeah, I hope more people post about what drives they are using. I've been buying drives since the 80's.. and seen different brands rise and fall in quality.. I'm in the market to fill a 2nd raid enclosure, Don't want to spend a fortune, but also don't want to buy something that dies on me..

Do you recommend 'enterprise' class drives'.. The HGST drives I bought are labelled that. I'm gonna check out 'back blaze.com'...

Thanx

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Topic starter Posted : 02/01/2016 8:32 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

We see no reason to purchase Enterprise drives. Just certify any disks you purchase. the main difference is Enterprise drives are pre-tested at the factory. For the most part, they are the same hardware as "consumer" versions.

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Posted : 03/01/2016 12:28 am
(@naerct)
Active Member Customer

I was always led to believe that Enterprise drives were essential to RAID5, because of the way they reported errors. Are you saying that SoftRAID 5 disks do not need this protection from reporting errors immediately before a second drive could degrade? Why don't your instructions say that Certification is unnecessary with Enterprise drives?

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Posted : 12/01/2016 5:13 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

SoftRAID handles error management. Enterprise drives with SoftRAID are pretty much unnecessary. If you certify a consumer drive, you are at the same testing level (Probably more), than an Enterprise drive.

These days, all disks come off the same assembly line. Enterprise drives are tested, consumer drives are not. Enterprise drives may have slight differences in their firmware that are important for hardware RAID enclosures, etc, but are not really necessary for use with SoftRAID.

As additional evidence, large server farms like Google, Backblaze, Facebook,etc, have all published information stating that they do not purchase Enterprise drives, but use consumer drives. There is not enough value to justify the additional expense.

So save yourself the money.

We recommend a user certify all new disks. It is best practice. It lets you know what you are about to put valuable data on is working properly before you do so.

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Posted : 12/01/2016 11:35 am
(@naerct)
Active Member Customer

Thanks for your timely response. After my post, I went back to see if i could find the article I read. It did confirm that consumer drives do try to suppress errors (which can obviously be a killer in RAID5), so I'm especially happy to hear that SoftRAID takes care of that. But i also read about other Enterprise features, whether hardware or firmware, that do distinguish them from consumer/desktop drives. I have been very happy with the WD RE drives I purchased. It used to be that a hard drive warrantee was worthless since losing the information was a lot harder to replace than a HD. With a 5 year warrantee on the Enterprise drives and the ability of the SoftRAID5 to rebuild it almost automatically, I think I will stick with the WD-RE drives until I have more feedback. BTW, the 4TB WD-RE is available for less than $190, making it not too much more than a consumer drive. Warning. There was a factory theft and you need to contact the WD Warrantee Checker, type in your serial number, and it gives you the end of warrantee date. WD killed the warrantees on the stolen drives, so it would be wise to immediately return it to your vendor. I doubt they will give you any guff, since you have proof that they sold stolen goods to you. I have read mixed reports about WD replacing them, after the 30 day vendor contract.

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Posted : 12/01/2016 1:24 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

The WD RE drives are good drives, no problem there, and as you point out, a modest price premium.

Thanks or the theft info, hope it benefits readers here. Our guess is that for the most part, consumers won't discover they have unwarrantied (stolen) drives unless the drive fails in the warranty period.

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Posted : 12/01/2016 1:43 pm
(@naerct)
Active Member Customer

Thanks for your recent response. Here is the link for checking your WD drives
http://support.wdc.com/Warranty/warrantyStatus.aspx
you can type in multiple serial numbers.
One thing I do which might help if there's a problem, I read the serial numbers right through the antistatic bag, so I didn't have to break the factory seal (which may or may not help if there are issues). Be careful, the numbers are mixed with the letters, and for some drives the first three letters like WCC are part of the serial number and for other drives, they aren't.??? Enter your numbers before you install them, but just in case they are already installed, thoughtfully, SoftRAID provides that information in the pop out tile below the disk tile; nice.
Also, as I mentioned previously, if you want the vendor to replace your drives, you must do so in the 30 day return policy. Otherwise, up until the end of the OEM warrantee, I have read that there is a process that WD goes through that involves some time and effort. I hope Im wrong and that WD would honor your warrantee with proof of purchase.

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Posted : 12/01/2016 9:05 pm
(@angelonyc)
Active Member Customer

I bought the HGST enterprise drive.. they have an extra platter, so they come in 6, 8 TB,, and 10TB is coming . filled with Helium and airtight sealed.. This is supposed to reduce friction, results in faster speed, less power consumption.. Also guaranteed.. I used WD for quite a while years ago.. But the last few I bought were defective upon as soon as I powered up..

I know everyone has good/bad experiences with all disk drives.. I've heard from a few sources HGST and Toshiba were good lately.

I have a 2nd OWC Enclosure and might fill with Toshiba, to save money.. and of course Softraid..

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Topic starter Posted : 13/01/2016 12:27 pm
(@naerct)
Active Member Customer

Yes, I liked the HGST drives when I chose the WD-Re. At that point, my guy at MicroCenter in Cambridge noted a recent problem they had with DOA HGST drives, but this may have just been an unfortunate coincidence. He also expressed what we all know, HDs are not to be trusted. Shortly after the floods in Asia, the only brand I could get for my budget was Seagate. Their rep was not so good at the time, but I ended up with 3 of the 3TB desktop model. They are part of my non Raid backup eSATA enclosure, and have racked up long hours and now are only powered up during backups. They are all SoftRAID disks now, and show no errors. I have a third copy of my photo and video imagery, and the best stuff is on M-Disks and 50GB BLU-Ray disks, as well. But, most importantly, I have much more confidence and much better speed from my SR RAID5.
Can you provide us with the BlackMagic numbers for your configuration? I was surprised when my RAID5 with 4 disks inside my MacPro 2009 was faster than the one I built for a client with the same WD drives inside his ThunderBay, connected to a 2012 i7 iMac.

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Posted : 14/01/2016 5:35 am
(@naerct)
Active Member Customer

Yes, I liked the HGST drives when I chose the WD-Re. At that point, my guy at MicroCenter in Cambridge noted a recent problem they had with DOA HGST drives, but this may have just been an unfortunate coincidence. He also expressed what we all know, HDs are not to be trusted. Shortly after the floods in Asia, the only brand I could get for my budget was Seagate. Their rep was not so good at the time, but I ended up with 3 of the 3TB desktop model. They are part of my non Raid backup eSATA enclosure, and have racked up long hours and now are only powered up during backups. They are all SoftRAID disks now, and show no errors. I have a third copy of my photo and video imagery, and the best stuff is on M-Disks and 50GB BLU-Ray disks, as well. But, most importantly, I have much more confidence and much better speed from my SR RAID5.
Can you provide us with the BlackMagic numbers for your configuration? I was surprised when my RAID5 with 4 disks inside my MacPro 2009 was faster than the one I built for a client with the same WD drives inside his ThunderBay, connected to a 2012 i7 iMac.

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Posted : 14/01/2016 7:10 am
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