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  #1  
Old 10-21-2010, 08:02 PM
btrcp2000 btrcp2000 is offline
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Reallocated Sector Count Warning!?! CAVIAR GREEN DRIVES Problems

Some of you are getting sick of seeing me gripe, but I swear there is a black cloud over my sage server.

Rebuilt onto win7 after two horrific WHS sys drive fails this year that each took a week out of my life to fully recover from (copy TBs of data off, rebuild, update WHS, copies TBs of datA back on, feed kids, sleep, work, etc.). I am six days into relative calm, and all of a sudden I am getting this SMART warning on my Caviar Green 1.5tb drive.

WD Data Lifeguard says:

ID 5 Value 134 Threshold 140 Worst 134 Warranty 1

I assume this is to be taken seriously? If so, this will be green drive number three going back in less than a week. The first two were my RAID1 whs sys drive.
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2010, 08:58 PM
Spectrum Spectrum is offline
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That means the drive has bad sectors and is replacing them with the "spare" sectors that are built into the drive. Yes it's bad, it means the drive is dying. Get your data off immediatly and set up an RMA
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2010, 09:57 PM
src666 src666 is offline
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Every drive has bad sectors, and every drive develops more over time. Unfortunately, this message indicates that yours is accumulating them VERY fast, and this indicates a hardware failure.

Sadly, when you RMA the drive they will send you a refurb unit - they will NOT send you a new one 99.9% of the time. Don't trust it. It has already failed once. You are better off buying a new drive. You can still RMA your drive, and use the refurb somewhere, but don't use it for critical data.

Also, the "Green" drives are not designed for full time use. They are meant to be used in systems that spend a good portion of their time idle and/or powered off. The stresses of running in a PVR system, especially RAID, are outside their design envelope. If you stick with Western Digital, move to the Black series at a minimum. They also have AV-grade drives (intended for DVR/security camera work) and Raid series drives (RE-4). The AV grade drives are OK, run fairly cool, but they are slower than the Black and Raid drives. Black is a pretty good compromise between AV and Raid. The Raid drives are best if you can afford them.

Last edited by src666; 10-21-2010 at 10:01 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-22-2010, 04:55 AM
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gplasky gplasky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrcp2000 View Post
Some of you are getting sick of seeing me gripe, but I swear there is a black cloud over my sage server.

Rebuilt onto win7 after two horrific WHS sys drive fails this year that each took a week out of my life to fully recover from (copy TBs of data off, rebuild, update WHS, copies TBs of datA back on, feed kids, sleep, work, etc.). I am six days into relative calm, and all of a sudden I am getting this SMART warning on my Caviar Green 1.5tb drive.

WD Data Lifeguard says:

ID 5 Value 134 Threshold 140 Worst 134 Warranty 1

I assume this is to be taken seriously? If so, this will be green drive number three going back in less than a week. The first two were my RAID1 whs sys drive.
Have you been using the same motherboard, ps and controller all along? If you have I would seriously thing of building the Sage server with different hardware. I've never heard of someone having such bad luck with so many drives in my life. If it's a different mb then ignore my comment.

Gerry
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  #5  
Old 10-22-2010, 07:08 AM
thomaszoo thomaszoo is offline
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Near the end of last year I bought a 2 TB green drive to replace 2 1 TB green drives that had not given me any problems at all. The first one died within a month. The replacement died within a month. The third one has been running flawlessly ever since . YMMV

Wayne
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2010, 07:59 AM
samgreco samgreco is offline
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Have you checked your power? With all of the problems you've had, I think making sure that you have clean, consistent power might be worth it.
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2010, 09:33 AM
btrcp2000 btrcp2000 is offline
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Yes, same H/W. I have had that thought, but how many times does one have to gut and rebuild?? Plus, I would sooner hold off a bit and see if cablecard becomes more stable, and rebuild to spec for that.

I would love to look into the power issue, but not sure where to start. The whole house has surge protection from the power company, and the server is on an APC UPS. How do I check the cleanliness of my power lines?
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  #8  
Old 10-22-2010, 09:37 AM
dcardellini dcardellini is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by src666 View Post
Every drive has bad sectors, and every drive develops more over time. Unfortunately, this message indicates that yours is accumulating them VERY fast, and this indicates a hardware failure.

Sadly, when you RMA the drive they will send you a refurb unit - they will NOT send you a new one 99.9% of the time. Don't trust it. It has already failed once. You are better off buying a new drive. You can still RMA your drive, and use the refurb somewhere, but don't use it for critical data.

Also, the "Green" drives are not designed for full time use. They are meant to be used in systems that spend a good portion of their time idle and/or powered off. The stresses of running in a PVR system, especially RAID, are outside their design envelope. If you stick with Western Digital, move to the Black series at a minimum. They also have AV-grade drives (intended for DVR/security camera work) and Raid series drives (RE-4). The AV grade drives are OK, run fairly cool, but they are slower than the Black and Raid drives. Black is a pretty good compromise between AV and Raid. The Raid drives are best if you can afford them.
Starting to suspect that this is very true (red highlight above). I have 17 WD20EADS Green drives from Western Digital operating 24/7 (11 drives over past year, recently expanded). This is a RAID-6 array with 3Ware card.

Suddenly over the past month, I have lost two drives, both starting with Reallocated Sector messages from 3Ware on affected drives, increasing in frequency until death. I have a third one now that has thrown Reallocated Sectors messages twice in past two weeks and suspect it is heading south too.

My only option when I started array was Green and RE-4 RAID....and the cost differential was just to much. As I have a lot of redundancy with RAID-6, my strategy for low cost drives may still be sound, even if WD stops warranting my failed drives.

As always, we cannot take this data point as an absolute indicator that Green drives, in general, are not up to the task. Consider this:

WD are refusing to replace my WD20EADS's with like model. They are trying to make me take WD20EARS's, a newer model. Unfortunately, these drives are Advanced Format Drives (4k sectors), and have been disabled by WD to NOT allow TLER (see wikipedia).....both will cause problems with my hardware RAID.

The point of that story: Maybe the WD20EADS is known to have problems, and the newer WD20EARS improves MTBF (and my problems are just related to a marginal specific-model drive design....not a general slam on Green drives).

On the other hand, maybe WD knows these Green drives are not going to go the long haul, and are effectively making it impossible to use in a hardware RAID system for non-mission critical home hobbyists like me.

Last edited by dcardellini; 10-22-2010 at 11:36 AM.
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  #9  
Old 10-22-2010, 11:39 AM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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Just to be fair to WD they do mention here that they are not designed for a RAID environment. But it doesn't sound like btrcp2000 is using them outside the recommended usage.

"*Business Critical RAID Environments – WD Caviar Green Hard Drives are not recommended for and are not warranted for use in RAID environments utilizing Enterprise HBAs and/or expanders and in multi-bay chassis, as they are not designed for, nor tested in, these specific types of RAID applications. For all Business Critical RAID applications, please consider WD's Enterprise Hard Drives that are specifically designed with RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER), are tested extensively in 24x7 RAID applications, and include features like enhanced RAFF technology and thermal extended burn-in testing."

Last edited by BobPhoenix; 10-22-2010 at 11:43 AM.
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  #10  
Old 10-22-2010, 11:59 AM
dcardellini dcardellini is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobPhoenix View Post
Just to be fair to WD they do mention here that they are not designed for a RAID environment. But it doesn't sound like btrcp2000 is using them outside the recommended usage.
Agree....and certainly did NOT mean to bash WD here. I am still a devout WD fan.

Although I have hardware RAID, my drives sit idle more than 90% of time. All recordings are done on a different drive (daily) and batch transfered to RAID array in the wee hours. When reading from drives, it is streaming these recordings. The point is, it is very light duty compared to an enterprise database-a-serv'in system.

So the question is, regardless of whether you use hardware raid, software raid, unraid, flexraid WHS, etc., etc........what profile really constitutes abusive use of this green drive?

Last edited by dcardellini; 10-24-2010 at 07:27 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-22-2010, 12:05 PM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcardellini View Post
Agree....and certainly did mean to bash WD here. I am still a devout WD fan.

Although I have hardware RAID, my drives sit idle more than 90% of time. All recordings are done on a different drive (daily) and batch transfered to RAID array in the wee hours. When reading from drives, it is streaming these recordings. The point is, it is very light duty compared to an enterprise database-a-serv'in system.

So the question is, regardless of whether you use hardware raid, software raid, unraid, flexraid WHS, etc., etc........what profile really constitutes abusive use of this green drive?
Yes doesn't sound like your situation either. I'm hopeful that the WD drives I have don't take the same route in my unRAID server that you all have experienced.
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  #12  
Old 10-27-2010, 08:41 AM
Savage1701 Savage1701 is offline
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Most of those Green-class drives have poor reviews, deservedly so, for durability. They have low load/unload cycle capacity, use slow spindle speeds, and are built poorly. Newegg was trying to unload the 2TB ones for $100 a couple of weeks ago.

I'd look at Caviar Black with 5yr. warranty, about $180 on Newegg, or, even better, enterprise-class RE4's at about $250 a pop (ouch!!!) but they can take the constant-on environment. I have old RE4's that are 6+ years old and doing just fine.

As someone who has used hard drives since 1986 I can tell you that quality peaked about 3-5 years ago at the consumer-class level. Warranties fell to 3 years on almost all drives, and failure rates are definitely higher.

I've read posts from Server-Farm types that they would pull a drive with a single re-allocated sector. But they also argue about SMART data accuracy as well.

That's maybe extreme, especially if you just record, watch, erase, and repeat. But if you use these drives for storing anything you really want to watch, Green stuff is usually poorly regarded, and at the end of the day it saves a few watts. I mean, if you have a SOHO system using a couple hundred watts, does it really matter if it uses 200 watts or 203 watts, because unless you can get that drive to sleep perfectly and wake up perfectly and not do it too much to burn out the cycling controller, what good is it? If your gaming system is drawing 500 watts, it means even less.

I won't touch a green drive for my Sage server or a WHS environment or a RAID setup, unless it's just to stream from.

I've had good luck with the newer 640GB and 750GB WD Blue notebook drives. They are fast enough and built to take it since notebook drives are always looking to lower power consumption but keep performance up, and they draw about 5 watts maximum, about 1/2 that of a hard drive.

I don't think your failure rate on your green drives is just by chance.
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  #13  
Old 10-27-2010, 08:44 AM
ace007 ace007 is offline
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I have 3 WD Green drives in my Sage system. Two 1 GB and 1 1.5 GB. The 1GB drives are probably about 2 years old now and I have not had any issues with them. Even performance is still pretty good with 3-4 HDHR recordings going and watching a show on one or two extenders.

I do not have them in a Raid so I know the risk that if one died I'd love a bunch of recordings but its just TV. I could probably find the missed recordings on the web and all of my other critical data on the servers is backed up using Crashplan to another PC in the house and to a offsite PC at a friends house.

Rob
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  #14  
Old 10-27-2010, 11:40 AM
Savage1701 Savage1701 is offline
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I completely agree with you. If it's just casual or re-obtainable material, I'd go with price also.

One compromise I have found pretty good are the Hitach 7K2000 series of drives. About $120-130 on Newegg, not much on "Green" features, and seem to have decent life and be able to survive a RAID array beating.

Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:22 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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BTW, I have 4 of the 1TB and 2 of the 1.5TG green drives. They have been running for 2+ years, and are all running fine. (non-raid) All are the pre-4K sector type, but 2nd gen Green drive. (Not at home, so don't have the part numbers
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:17 PM
dcardellini dcardellini is offline
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OK. I just lost my 3rd WD20EADS Green drive in three weeks.

11 drives for about 11 months, not a problem.

Then suddenly within three weeks, I lose three. Nothing has changed on the system. Despite on a hardware RAID card they sit idle most of time, written to once a day transferring 2-4 10GB recordings....very light use. Playback happens in evening. Not every evening, and as I record to non-array drives, often time-shift watch recordings off the non-array drive.

Temperatures on array between 37-41 degC depending on slot location. No correlation to the three failed drives as "being on the hotter side."

If MTBF is defined as the statistical time for 2/3rds of a large population sample to fail.....I project my MTBF at about 14 months for these Green drives.

Think I am in trouble on this one.
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  #17  
Old 10-27-2010, 02:50 PM
tonysathre tonysathre is offline
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Planned obsolescence?

I just bought 3 2 TB Samsung Spinpoint F4 drives for $95 each. If you are looking at replacing your WD Green drives, I highly recommend these.
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:16 PM
dcardellini dcardellini is offline
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Thx. I am starting to investigate now. The big question for me is can I migrate to these (or other candidates) as the WD's fail, one at a time, or do I need to wholly replace 17 WD20EADS all at once.

RAID card mfgrs recommend sticking to the same mfg and model in the array. I have no idea what my exposure is pushing this boundary....as I do not understand the underlying reasons.

p.s. as far as planned obsolescence, that is exactly my approach. I slowly build my array until I hit the magic number of 17 (on a 24-port 3Ware). When drive technology has advanced in 2.5 years, I build a second array with new drives at double or more capacity (at lower RAID level) on the remaining seven ports. Copy data over to new array, retire old disks. Have done it once already....(17) WD 750GB drives.

I just didn't plan on replacing my array with 17 identically sized drives after one year. Not planned. Big disappointment. A $1700 (minimum) mistake.

Last edited by dcardellini; 10-27-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:41 AM
Savage1701 Savage1701 is offline
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I should be more clear - I am down on Green drives in RAID configurations other than single disk use, because, well, they aren't designed for RAID. :-)

Also, it seems that one variant of WD's Green drives have the most trouble, if you believe Newegg's proportions of reviews.

Tony - I just got my first Samsung 2TB Spinpoint and am looking forward to using it. Have heard good things about them.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:47 AM
Savage1701 Savage1701 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcardellini View Post
Thx. I am starting to investigate now. The big question for me is can I migrate to these (or other candidates) as the WD's fail, one at a time, or do I need to wholly replace 17 WD20EADS all at once.

RAID card mfgrs recommend sticking to the same mfg and model in the array. I have no idea what my exposure is pushing this boundary....as I do not understand the underlying reasons.

p.s. as far as planned obsolescence, that is exactly my approach. I slowly build my array until I hit the magic number of 17 (on a 24-port 3Ware). When drive technology has advanced in 2.5 years, I build a second array with new drives at double or more capacity (at lower RAID level) on the remaining seven ports. Copy data over to new array, retire old disks. Have done it once already....(17) WD 750GB drives.

I just didn't plan on replacing my array with 17 identically sized drives after one year. Not planned. Big disappointment. A $1700 (minimum) mistake.
dc - I use 3Ware controllers, including the model you mention. Do you verify your array? I'm assuming you do. Have you considered a hot spare and/or migration to RAID 6 with hot spare? I've spent a lot of time with 3Ware techs, and one thing they have told me is that major issues occur when a drive drops out, say due to mechanical failure, and then a second (RAID 5) or third (RAID 6) develops an ECC error that renders the array inoperative. For better or worse I have mixed and matched my drives for years.

Also, the old rule of thumb applies, which you probably know - never buy all the drives at the same time from the same place so if there is a defective lot you don't get hit with 17 of them from the same one.

The times I have had drives fail I have spared them out with whatever is available at the time, since drive models change so much.

Also, I have had the most issues with RAID backplanes circuitry tweaking making my controllers think a drive was at fault when it was not. If I pull the drive from the backplane caddy and hook it straight to the forward multilane SATA port cable, the array has been fine and just re-verifies itself. Just another FWIW if you use backplanes that the drive plugs into and then the backplane has a SATA port for the controller.
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