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  #1  
Old 08-18-2011, 05:07 AM
lucasbuck lucasbuck is offline
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Caviar Green okay for main drive?

I have to replace my main drive. Running Windows 7 is a green 3 TB green okay for my main drive, or do I really need to go with black? Thanks for any info!
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2011, 07:55 AM
rrhorer rrhorer is offline
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You'll probably find lots of different opinions on this subject. Some like me will say sure, green is OK; others say you should have an SSD for great performance. I use the following three-category strategy and it's worked well for me.
(1) My "main drive", if I understand you correctly, is a smaller drive (500G) divided into two partitions: "C" holds my OS (Win7), SageTV (service/client) with fanart, etc.; "D" holds music and pictures. IMO, this drive can be green, but should be cloned (my preference) or imaged on a regular basis (especially now that Sage is defunct).
(2) At least two recording drives are needed for performance. These drives should be the same size, should not be partitioned and should only be used for recording. With this multi-drive recording setup, Sage will automatically alternate use of the drives as they fill with recordings, providing similar benefits to a raid setup. IMO, there is no need for raid or backup of these drives. If you really want to save a recording, move it to permanent storage.
(3) A separate large drive is used for videos only and the videos (in my setup) are backed up on serveral different locations and different systems. For this purpose, a mirrored raid setup might work as well.

I know it's a long answer just to say green is OK -- depending on how you use it.

Good luck
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2011, 08:40 AM
gambitpvr gambitpvr is offline
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I agree with rrhorer.

A green drive is fine for most users. The speed difference between a green and black is not really noticeable, for the most part. But, if you are running more than 1 HD tuner, I would really recommend running separate boot and recording drives, regardless of if the drive is a green or a black. Windows puts it's swap file on the boot drive and there's also other temp files being creating while you are recording so, that's a lot of data.

I use separate boot and recording drives. I can record 4 HD shows and watch a 5th show at the same time, without any problems. All my current drives are green drives.
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  #4  
Old 08-18-2011, 08:55 AM
carlgar carlgar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucasbuck View Post
I have to replace my main drive. Running Windows 7 is a green 3 TB green okay for my main drive, or do I really need to go with black? Thanks for any info!
I basically agree with rrhorer's comments. But I think your real question is 2 different issues. The first is a green drive OK and I would say yes. The far larger issue is the 3 TB size. I also use a SSD drive so I prefer a very small OS disk. The size issue is whether you want to exceed the 2.x TB limit , I don't think you want to. A 3 TB disk is probably using the Advanced Format which you should not even try with an old motherboard. I have no idea of what your motherboard supports but I think you are just asking for problems with more than a 2 TB disk. My 3 TB disk even came with its own controller to issue it work work internally. I have no plans to try it as an internal disk, I use it only as an external disk using an USB 2.0 disk Dock which works fine.
BTW: I use 3 Green drives for the Sage Videos. I also use a green OS drive before going with a SSD.
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2011, 08:55 AM
will will is offline
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Originally Posted by rrhorer View Post
With this multi-drive recording setup, Sage will automatically alternate use of the drives as they fill with recordings, providing similar benefits to a raid setup. IMO, there is no need for raid or backup of these drives. If you really want to save a recording, move it to permanent storage.
Not sure if I agree with that. How SageTV uses multiple drives is nothing like a RAID array. A RAID array gives you better performance and/or pretty good protection from a drive failure (all depends on what type of RAID array you use).

If you just use single drives for the recording and the drive fails then you have no affordable way to recover the data on the drive. I use a RAID 5 array of four WD750 Black drives for storing the SageTV program files and my TV recordings - no issues.

I do caution about using Green drives or any WD drive that is newer in a RAID array (I have had bad experience with WD Green drives in RAID arrays).
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2011, 10:48 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Originally Posted by will View Post
Not sure if I agree with that. How SageTV uses multiple drives is nothing like a RAID array. A RAID array gives you better performance and/or pretty good protection from a drive failure (all depends on what type of RAID array you use).

If you just use single drives for the recording and the drive fails then you have no affordable way to recover the data on the drive. I use a RAID 5 array of four WD750 Black drives for storing the SageTV program files and my TV recordings - no issues.

I do caution about using Green drives or any WD drive that is newer in a RAID array (I have had bad experience with WD Green drives in RAID arrays).
Green drives are a no-no for RAID. The way they park their heads makes certain forms of RAID think the drive is dead.

For a boot drive I've found that a small boot drive is preferable to having one drive do it all. I recently built a WMC pc for a friend and the 2TB green drive I used as a boot drive was much slower than my old 160gb caviar blue drive. Not sure why, but it seems to be. An SSD is always preferable to anything else, but if you don't get an ssd get a small (cheap) single platter drive from your preferred manufacturer and you'll be good to go.
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2011, 10:56 AM
rrhorer rrhorer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will View Post
Not sure if I agree with that. How SageTV uses multiple drives is nothing like a RAID array.
As I said, there are plenty of different opinions; and that's a good thing. I use two same-sized drives for recording and for no other purpose. I find that I can simultaneously record four programs (I only have four tuners) and watch live TV (on a channel that is recording) without a problem. That is a lot of read/write action. Based on my understanding, Sage will select the drive with most available space to record the next program. This has the effect of alternating drives for multiple simultaneous recordings which, in turn, provides a similar average speed benefit as a raid setup when all of the recordings are taken into account. Obviously, raid 1 or 5 will be faster for a single recording; but the added speed is not needed in that case. And, for me, the added reliability of a raid 5 setup is simply not needed for recordings that will not be a huge loss if a drive fails. The type of restriction you mentioned for initial drive selection (i.e., the need to avoid green drives) and replacements for failed drives (that cannot improve with bigger/better technology) does not seem warranted for recording purposes. Each to his own.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2011, 01:44 PM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will View Post
Not sure if I agree with that. How SageTV uses multiple drives is nothing like a RAID array. A RAID array gives you better performance and/or pretty good protection from a drive failure (all depends on what type of RAID array you use).

If you just use single drives for the recording and the drive fails then you have no affordable way to recover the data on the drive. I use a RAID 5 array of four WD750 Black drives for storing the SageTV program files and my TV recordings - no issues.

I do caution about using Green drives or any WD drive that is newer in a RAID array (I have had bad experience with WD Green drives in RAID arrays).
Problem with a Raid array is that if you loose one more drive than you are protected by (2 drives for Raid 5) you loose everything. Using individual drives you will ONLY loose the number of drive that go bad. Yes if you never loose that many at one time Raid would keep everything and loose nothing. But with the way drives have been failing on me I would rather loose some recordings than loose them all.
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2011, 05:19 AM
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davephan davephan is offline
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I think the OS/programs drive should be smaller and not partitioned for data files. The data files should go on a separate drive or drives. I've heard that an SSD will speed up operations and boot times. I don't have an SSD on my SageTV computer, but I do have one on my general purpose computer. The SSD makes a big difference with boot times and programs respond quicker. RAID isn't really necessary for the boot/programs drive if you back up the drive with images. The smaller drive with only the OS and programs will reduce the footprint for the image files.

You could use RAID for the recording and video storage drives, but I don't. I do have a separate unRAID server that does use green drives. I copy or move files where I want redundancy for longer term storage. Some of the files are also replicated between the independent drives for more redundancy. The image files are also replicated and stored on and off site.

RAID 6 is better than RAID 5, since you can loose two drives and still keep your data. If you loose two drives with RAID 5, all you data is gone. You don't lose any data with unRAID if one drive is lost. You do lose one drive's data if two drives are lost with unRAID, which is better than losing everything. All of this depends on how much redundancy you need.

I think if you were working with a business database server, then RAID on the OS/programs drives would be an absolute requirement. But for a SageTV computer, no redundancy and image based recoveries are fine. But the choice is up to you. You could use one RAID array for your recordings and no redundancy for your OS/programs drive. Or, two separate RAID arrays for the OS/programs and video storage drives. For recoveries, you'd be better off keeping the OS/programs and video storage separated.

Even if you use RAID, you should still use imaging for your OS/programs drive. Sometimes RAID 5 can fail even when you only lose one drive. File replication to other drives or drive sets is another choice that could be used with or without RAID for more redundancy.

If you are loosing drives frequently, you should look into a possible cooling problem with your system. The drives may be failing prematurely due to excessive heat.

If you have enough redundancy, you'll never loose files. It just depends on how much money you have to throw at the extra redundancy and different recovery methods.


Dave
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2011, 06:08 AM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davephan View Post
If you are loosing drives frequently, you should look into a possible cooling problem with your system. The drives may be failing prematurely due to excessive heat.
This may not have been meant for me but I will respond. My bad experience with WD EARS was before they were added to my unRAID server. Trying to add the last 2 drives in my 22 drive server I had 8 drives fail in a row. Either DOA or dead before the preclear finished. All from one supplier. All of my drives are in the mid/upper twenties to mid thirties for green drives and my black drive recording drives are all thirties and lower fourties. So not likely a problem with heat for me.
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  #11  
Old 08-19-2011, 11:07 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobPhoenix View Post
This may not have been meant for me but I will respond. My bad experience with WD EARS was before they were added to my unRAID server. Trying to add the last 2 drives in my 22 drive server I had 8 drives fail in a row. Either DOA or dead before the preclear finished. All from one supplier. All of my drives are in the mid/upper twenties to mid thirties for green drives and my black drive recording drives are all thirties and lower fourties. So not likely a problem with heat for me.
I use the green drives for everything. That is crazy that that many drives were bad in a row. Maybe a bad production run? I've used WD drives for years and have only had 3 fail. Ever. Two were due to overheating and one was bad out of the box. I have a 60gb drive I bought new that still runs just fine. Slowly, but fine. That sucker is older than dirt.
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2011, 11:15 AM
will will is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobPhoenix View Post
Problem with a Raid array is that if you loose one more drive than you are protected by (2 drives for Raid 5) you loose everything. Using individual drives you will ONLY loose the number of drive that go bad. Yes if you never loose that many at one time Raid would keep everything and loose nothing. But with the way drives have been failing on me I would rather loose some recordings than loose them all.
You could always create a RAID 10 with a hot spare to help protect again a drive failure. With a RAID 10, typically two drives can fail before you lose your array. With the hot spare, the raid array will start to rebuild as soon as an error is detected.
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  #13  
Old 08-19-2011, 11:18 AM
will will is offline
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Originally Posted by panteragstk View Post
Green drives are a no-no for RAID. The way they park their heads makes certain forms of RAID think the drive is dead.
That is very true if you are creating your RAID via software or are looking for energy efficiencies. I have managed to use WD Green drives for an array by having my card always keeping them active. I don't recommend this...but if you need a large array on the cheap it is one solution.

I think the best thing I have learned with RAID arrays is to regularly verify their integrity. I verify my RAID arrays monthly so if I detect any anomalies I can backup and attempt to repair.
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  #14  
Old 08-20-2011, 11:21 AM
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jhkoenig jhkoenig is offline
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Three of my five recording drives are WD Green drives. I see no difference between the green drive and the non-green drives. None. I like to lower heat generation though from the green drives. With six (and soon seven) drives in the cabinet, heat is my primary issue.
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2011, 01:15 PM
lucasbuck lucasbuck is offline
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Thanks for all the advice!
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  #16  
Old 08-20-2011, 01:53 PM
speck55 speck55 is offline
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If you are looking for a boot SSD on-the-cheap, TigerDirect, look in their re-certified items- they are selling off Corsair 2.5" SSDs - 32GB $49, 64GB $69 (or so), and I just picked up a 32GB for use as my boot drive as I have plenty of other storage on the box. I plan to move my page file to one of my 2TB WD blacks, my recording drives are 2x2GB WD blacks, all archived/ripped/backup media are on single 2TB greens and have been for years. I started out with a stack of 1TB WD greens, and moved to 2TB greens.

As other posters say, the greens are good for archival storage, and can do 1-2 HD read streams no problem. They aren't speed demons, but they don't require loads of cooling, and deliver better-than-expected performance given their slow spin speed.

A word of caution on the greens though: they park their heads after a very short amount of time (under a minute, I think under 30 seconds, even if the drive hasn't been spun down by the OS IIRC). This results in a very high "load/unload" count in SMART, and many users including myself have used a WD utility (can't remember just now, it's been awhile since I added my latest batch of drives) to set that timeout to either never or something more reasonable like 10, 20, maybe 30 mins.

The utility is a pure DOS utility that writes the setting to the drive's PCB. Google "WD Green Load Unload Count Utility" or "WD Green High Load Unload Count" or similar, and you will find a link to the utility. It is a non-data-destructive operation.

Other than that, I have my server powered on 24x7, and have for quite a long time, with 1 and 2TB greens (think 15 of them housed in (3) 5-bay hot swap external eSATA cabinets) and haven't had a bit of trouble with them. Now that I've said that... Mr. Murphy will come knocking.

As an aside, I used to be purely a Seagate guy for rotating HDD's. A combination of the botched 1.5TB firmwares, and me trying out their Black series drives (both the 3.5 desktop ones, as well as the 750GB Scorpio blacks), I'm a convert. I do have a few Samsung spin points running around here, and their drives would be a close second.

My $0.02.
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:57 AM
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davephan davephan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobPhoenix View Post
This may not have been meant for me but I will respond. My bad experience with WD EARS was before they were added to my unRAID server. Trying to add the last 2 drives in my 22 drive server I had 8 drives fail in a row. Either DOA or dead before the preclear finished. All from one supplier. All of my drives are in the mid/upper twenties to mid thirties for green drives and my black drive recording drives are all thirties and lower fourties. So not likely a problem with heat for me.
Maybe the power supply is the problem. Or, maybe the supplier is the problem. I have 8 two TB green data drives plus 1 two TB parity drive in my unRAID server. I've had one drive fail in about two years. That drive failed after about a week. The unRAID server just runs and runs. I never have to do anything with it. I don't know if unRAID itself has problems when you approach the 22 drive limit. If it did, I think you would hear more stories about drives dropping. Some people say that you should use the more expensive enterprise drives, but I've found the green drives work just fine.


Dave
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  #18  
Old 08-21-2011, 12:52 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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My 2 cents.

First, I use 11 WD green drives (mostly 1TB) for recording (8) and backup/sneaker (3) drives. All but 1 is 3 years old and working just fine.

Second, I would not use a single 3 TB drive for the OS and recording. Get a second cheap drive for the OS. Or, as others say, get 2 or 3 1TB drives. Works better, and you don't loose as much if one dies.

Cons, VERY slow moving LARGE files, but fine for recording and playback.

Take or leave my advice, up to you.
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  #19  
Old 08-21-2011, 02:12 PM
david1234 david1234 is offline
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Originally Posted by jhkoenig View Post
Three of my five recording drives are WD Green drives. I see no difference between the green drive and the non-green drives. None. I like to lower heat generation though from the green drives. With six (and soon seven) drives in the cabinet, heat is my primary issue.
I've started using just laptop drives to cut down on heat. They use much less power, but that's not nearly as important to me.

So far only my unraid server is getting the 2.5" drive treatment, but I haven't had any problem with performance from the drives I've been pulling out of old laptops.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:52 PM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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Originally Posted by panteragstk View Post
I use the green drives for everything. That is crazy that that many drives were bad in a row. Maybe a bad production run? I've used WD drives for years and have only had 3 fail. Ever. Two were due to overheating and one was bad out of the box. I have a 60gb drive I bought new that still runs just fine. Slowly, but fine. That sucker is older than dirt.
Yes I lost a little confidence in NewEggs RMA process. The first two drives from TN were the best they worked for a majority of a 3 cycle preclear then died. The other 6 were RMA drives to NewEgg and some would not be recognized at all. Others the bios would recognize them but Windows and Linux would not. Finally went through WD and got working but refurbished drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by will View Post
You could always create a RAID 10 with a hot spare to help protect again a drive failure. With a RAID 10, typically two drives can fail before you lose your array. With the hot spare, the raid array will start to rebuild as soon as an error is detected.
Waist of space would rather use RAID5 but prefer unRAIDs method so that if I loose 2 drives at once I only loose at most 2 drives of recordings. 3 drives at most 3 drives of recordings, etc. unRAID is just better than RAID5 for situations like this. No it isn't a fast solution compared to other raids but I don't need fast to playback videos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davephan View Post
Maybe the power supply is the problem. Or, maybe the supplier is the problem. I have 8 two TB green data drives plus 1 two TB parity drive in my unRAID server. I've had one drive fail in about two years. That drive failed after about a week. The unRAID server just runs and runs. I never have to do anything with it. I don't know if unRAID itself has problems when you approach the 22 drive limit. If it did, I think you would hear more stories about drives dropping. Some people say that you should use the more expensive enterprise drives, but I've found the green drives work just fine.


Dave
Preclears were done on two different computers my usual preclear computer (has WinXP but boot to unRAID to preclear) and on the unRAID server so not likely to be power supply. Currently have 21 2tb green WD drives on my unRAID server. Mixture of EADS and EARS drives. Had no problems with EARS until this last batch. Had 19 drives running and wanted to add 2 more to complete the server. I have done so now with the refurbished drives. Needless to say was disappointed with NewEgg but I just can't bring myself to order elsewhere as I still get great service on anything else. I have ordered Hitachi drives from them but I use Amazon for WD EARS now. Don't think unRAID has a problem. Mater of fact I think it is the best NAS solution for video playback. Works with most hardware, can be expanded easily, can upgrade hardware easily. This was a NewEgg problem think they need to test drives they are going to use on an RMA. They could test them and keep several on hand for RMAs of each brand. Then when someone like me RMAs a drive they send out a tested good drive and I wouldn't have had to RMA so many times spending the equivalent cost of shipping each time. Yes I know I could have gone to online chat and gotten the shipping charge dropped especially after the first RMA. But having to go through the process multiple times would not happen if they only shipped out tested drives on RMAs.
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