Avoid 3/4TB internal drives on Mac Pros?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Joe Saponic, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Joe Saponic, Oct 11, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015

    Joe Saponic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #1
    Hello,

    I emailed a well regarded German dealer about storage in his build-to-order Mac Pros. He told me to avoid 3TB and 4TB hard drives in the spare bays as they tended to render the machine unstable. I asked if it was a generic problem with the 2008-2012 model [other Mac sellers I've spoken to tell me they've never heard of it] or simply the result of the modifications he makes. He didn’t elaborate but it makes sense to think he’d blame the machine’s limitations rather than his own. I'd like to clarify this question if possible. It put me off buying initially but I'm quite keen to depending on the explanation. He said:

    “….we don't recommend to install 3TB and 4TB drives. You can not even deactive [sic] or format these drives. You should use 2TB drives max.” This too:

    “3TB and 4TB can be installed in the machine but it's not recommended cause they are not 100% compatible. For example it's not possible to erase these discs using the disc utility. We don't like to install to these drives but we can do it anyway if you insist.”

    I’ve seen a similar thread on these boards but started a new one because this is the first direct advice from an experienced seller I’ve come across, and as much as I'm reassured to be told ‘trust us, we’ve been doing this a long time’ I just don’t know whether to take his advice as I'm not very computer savvy or experienced in these matters. Any thoughts?
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #2
    Both my 4T and 6T works flawlessly. Format, partition in OSX by disk utility without any problem.
    Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 03.10.55.jpg Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 03.10.58.jpg
     
  3. Joe Saponic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for this. I didn't know they made 6TB disks. Some do have problems I've discovered. They didn't have 4TB disks when 4,1 [my machine] came out. One here calls it a 'known issue'.

    http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/112266/why-doesnt-my-mac-pro-see-my-new-4tb-sata-drive
    https://discussions.apple.com/message/22399399#22399399

    Maybe the poster meant a 'known issue' for machines shipping straight from Apple, because as well as problems there do appear to be solutions - if you're skilled at hacking, which I'm not of course.
     
  4. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #4
    I have several 3TB drives, a few years old. One had to get reformatted with "0" s to cover bad blocks but had more to do with yanking plug during GPU testing.

    Was able to deal with in Disk Utility with no trouble.

    German guy is full of it
     
  5. Euphoria227 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #5
    MacVidCards is definitely right that those 2 things the German dealer said are wrong.

    However there have been massive failures of Seagate 3TB ST3000DM001 drives. There is a lengthy review on Amazon where the reviewer links characteristics of serial numbers to the "good" and "bad" drives under that model number. I have one of the supposed "good" ones but I still feel like it could be a ticking time bomb.

    Western Digital Green drives have also had high failure rates mostly due to frequent head parking.

    I would specifically avoid these models, but not the 3 or 4TB size in general.
     
  6. Mattww macrumors 6502

    Mattww

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #6
    Apart from my boot SSD boot drive I don't have any smaller disks that 3TB installed, i.e only 3TB, 4TB and 6TB models.

    There are certain hard disk models over the years that had poor reliability but this would be the case in any machine not specifically a Mac Pro see for example this data set here: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/best-hard-drive/

    Also note that some recent 6TB and larger models have a different screw pattern so you need an alternative drive tray to install for example see:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MPRODBKTLG6/

    Finally the HGST NAS edition 6TB (only this version not the Helium ones) doesn't mount on restarts only cold boots in OS X 10.8 or later - the disk actually works fine when mounted though.
     
  7. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #7
    Bunch of BS. I hate misinformed sources.

    The only 3TB drives that suck are the Seagates, which have a 40% failure rate.
     
  8. metrocon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #8
    I have two 4TB, a 5TB, and a 6TB drive in my Mac Pro, and have never had problems with any of them. They can all be formatted, read, write, everything. No problems whatsoever.

    Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 12.49.42 AM.png
     
  9. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #9
    I had two Greens, each in a separate computer, and they both failed. They were also pretty slow. It was just a terrible model.
     
  10. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #10
    Seagate has quite a few different models of 3TB SATA drives - only one model was a lemon.
     
  11. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #11
    That's the model I'm speaking of.
     
  12. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #12
    Then don't shame the other 3TB Seagate drives that are as reliable as those from everyone else.
     
  13. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #13
    Ugh
     
  14. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Location:
    SoCal
  15. howiest macrumors regular

    howiest

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #15
    I've been using a 3 TB WD Green drive for a couple of years without issue. It's been the Time Machine drive in a cMP 5,1 the whole time. Hopefully it lives another year or so.
     
  16. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #16

    They actually make 8TB disks. I installed one for TimeMachine in my wife's Mac Pro. They are the new design disks with 2 screw holes in the 'wrong' place for the Mac Pro drive sled which in my case I just used gaffer tape along with the 2 screws in the 'right' place which effectively secured the disk.
     
  17. Joe Saponic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #17
    The German eBay dealer got back to me yesterday [assuming it was the same one]. In what seemed like an attempt to clarify he said it was later Mac operating systems 3TB and 4TB drives had the difficulty with, not the machine's CPUs, and principally because of the bugs introduced 'from 10.8' [other sources I've read say variously 10.8.3 and 10.8.5]. According to his account you're on safe ground with Snow Leopard but all bets are off after that, so he's none too keen on Lion either by the sound of it. Experiences here certainly give cause to question whether he's right but then he does build 'em and, well, ignoramuses like me tend to listen when a German talks technology. Hard drives represent an exercise in pot luck whatever the make really. I know Seagate get a lot of stick but I've a 1.5TB Seagate boot disk that's on 24/7 and is still running my early 2009 with no problems after more than five years. Famous last words...... :)
     
  18. msh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #18
    This is ridiculous. I have been running 4 x 4 tb drives in my 2009 Mac Pro for about three years with no problems at all.
     
  19. Joe Saponic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #19
    I've read of 'workarounds' where users are experiencing difficulties with high volume storage disks. These seem to involve taking the drive out and setting it up as an external, wiping and then reformatting before re-installing in one of the internal bays [something like that anyway]. Apple has an advice page on the matter I'm told. Did you have to go through all that or was it as simple and as plug-and-play as you'd hope for?
     
  20. Mattww macrumors 6502

    Mattww

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #20
    Every large disk is just plug and play same as the smaller ones - you just screw it into the sled and initialise it will disk utility and use it the same as the disk that came in the machine....

    The only time that changed was with models where the screws are in physically different places, but even then you can work around it. These disks still initialise and work the same as any other.
     
  21. Joe Saponic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #21
  22. blacka4 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    #22
    utter crap..I have had a 4tb drive in my pro for a year now with no issues its a WD green drive.
     
  23. avemestr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    #23
    Honestly, it sounds like the seller just want to get rid of his stock of 2TB drives.
     
  24. Joe Saponic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #24
    Such cynicism fair warms my heart. :)
     

Share This Page