WD 2TB Caviar Black - No Raid in Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by lbeck, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. lbeck macrumors 6502

    lbeck

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #1
    I've heard from a few reviews of amazon users that any non Enterprise WD drive made in 2010 does not support any RAID Configs?

    Is this true? I was going to get the 2TB Caviar Black but I want it set up as a RAID 0.

    If this is true, then what decent 2TB drive will support RAID configs?
     
  2. cnstoll macrumors 6502

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    Aug 29, 2010
    #2
    I am 99.999% sure this is not true.

    I'm using the Hitachi Deskstar 7200 2TB drives in a RAID-1 configuration and they seem to be doing great. Those are also non-enterprise drives.

    My old 1.5TB RAID-1 in my Power Mac G5 was with Cavier Black drives, so yea, I can't believe they wouldn't work.
     
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #3
    Umm...no. You can RAID any drives that you want. If you are talking about performance, that is where some drives will differ.
     
  4. cnstoll macrumors 6502

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    Aug 29, 2010
    #4
    I am 99.999% sure this is not true.

    I'm using the Hitachi Deskstar 7200 2TB drives in a RAID-1 configuration and they seem to be doing great. Those are also non-enterprise drives.

    My old 1.5TB RAID-1 in my Power Mac G5 was with Cavier Black drives, so yea, I can't believe they wouldn't work.
     
  5. lbeck thread starter macrumors 6502

    lbeck

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #5
    Do any of you have a 2010 WD Caviar Black drive and know that Raid 0 works? I searched on google and its all ver the place, supposedly the new drives from WD that are not evterprise drives do not support RAID configs.

    Western Digital now claims that using the WDTLER.EXE tool on newer drives can damage the firmware and make the disk unusable. The WDTLER.EXE tool is no longer available from Western Digital, and new disks will not be able to have the TLER setting changed. RE disks are only suitable for RAID arrays and Caviar are only suitable for non-RAID use. The utility still works for older disks.
     
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #6
    I have 10 1.5tb caviar blacks from 2009 they all run as raid0 but I don't own any 2010 ones. pm me if you want some 1.5tb blacks.
     
  7. lbeck thread starter macrumors 6502

    lbeck

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #7
    Supposedly it only affects 2010 drives. I'm looking on WD site and cant find anything about it supporting RAID configs.
     
  8. lbeck thread starter macrumors 6502

    lbeck

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #8
    Just called WD support and they said that they do not support or recommend using NON ENTERPRISE drives in any raid config. They said you can set it up as RAID 0 but they do not recommend it and do not gurantee that it wont fall off the RAID config. They said it has been known to fail when set up in RAID config, but only the newer 2010 models. So anything made in 2010 is like that. I cant believe it, that sucks.

    What other manufacturer had drives comparable to WD?
     
  9. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

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    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #9
    There is a difference between a company not supporting it (warranty wise), and it not being possible to do...

    That being said, I have 4 Caviar Green drives in a RAID 5
     
  10. lbeck thread starter macrumors 6502

    lbeck

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #10
    Very true, but it makes you think twice if the manufacturer says they don't recommend it. Especially considering my data is irreplaceable. I have two backups of everything though.

    What does everyone think of he hitatchi 2tb deskstar drive? Its only 32mb cache instead of 64, will I notice a big difference in speed because of that? It's 7200 rpm like the WD drive.
     
  11. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

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    #11
    I think they do it to cover their butts and to make you spend more money on the enterprise drives. I'm sure that the Caviar drives are not equipped for enterprise level throughput in like a SAN environment, but a desktop RAID or SOHO NAS, they should be fine. Plus, the whole point of RAID is redundancy. I rather have a redundant array of inexpensive disks rather than one of expensive disks :D
     
  12. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #12
    Non-Enterprise WD drives lack TLER, which makes RAID arrays stay together. Regular consumer drive will work from time to time, but they are not always 100% reliable.
     
  13. lbeck thread starter macrumors 6502

    lbeck

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    #13
    So theree is a good chance that one would fail if set up as raid 0?
     
  14. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #14
    Yes. If you check the reviews on many retailers you will see people having success and other having drives dropping out of the array entirely and/or destroying the array.
     
  15. cutterman macrumors regular

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    Apr 27, 2010
    #15
    Very true, especially in the context of multiple drives and hardware controllers.

    However, I think the OP just wants to do software Raid 0 with 2 drives. I would not think the failure rate of that configuration is any higher than the failure rate of one drive, which is not particularly high. That being said any Raid 0 array should be backed up frequently.

    I say go for it. Raid 0 is a nice way to improve performance, and software RAID should not impose undue vibrational stress. Just be sure you have good and frequent backups. If there is some particular problem with the 2010 drives, which I have not heard prior mention of, set up your array and stress test it for a while.
     
  16. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #16
    To be honest, I've been using software RAID zeros with my Mac Pro and different WD drives that don't have TLER for more than a year now and never had a drive dropping out of the arrays.

    With a hardware RAID controller, I totally agree that TLER enabled drives are the way to go, but the software RAID which is implemented in OS X seems to handle non TLER member drives pretty well.
     
  17. cutterman macrumors regular

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    Apr 27, 2010
    #17
    One additional thought- 4TB is a large volume to set up as RAID 0. What are you using this for?
     
  18. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #18
    If your data is irreplaceable, then it's a very bad idea to run with RAID 0 in a four drive config with any brand of drive. The more drives you have in a RAID 0, the higher your possible failure rate is. At least you have backups...

    With regards to the WD drives, I recall hearing about this sort of issue with some Seagates as well. Basically it's a bug on the firmware of the drive.
     
  19. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #19
    Manufacturer prefers to sell RE versions of drives. As mentioned above, with SW RAID it's no difference enterprise vs consumer drive, game begins when you wan to create hardware array.
     
  20. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #20
    I have a P6X58D-E motherboard (custom Win7 PC). I'll tell you this much, many of us (same motherboard users) experience problems with non-TLER enabled drives. Software RAID makes it easy, but that still doesn't mean it won't fail. Under RAID 0, I would not even consider a non-enterprise drive. Specially if it's the boot data.

    True nothing may happen, but you live without peace of mind, which I am willing to pay in technology. Also, remember people the general rule of tech; be cheap now, bite you in the ass later.
     
  21. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #21
    True, but nowadays there's no reason to boot of RAID volume. SSDs are much better for that purpose.

    When RAID 0 isn't your boot drive (storage only) and you have backup(s), danger of data loss is reduced to minimum IMO.
     
  22. lbeck thread starter macrumors 6502

    lbeck

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #22
    I didn't realize that RAID 0 was at a higher risk for failure. I use it for my business, I'm a multi-media designer and photographer so I have very larger files and lots of them.

    I liked the idea of having my OS look like its one drive for all my business files but if its not as secure then maybe I'll just not use any RAID at all. MY external backup system is Mirrored RAID 1 so I have two backups of everything.

    So do you recommend not using RAID 0 then? If I dont use RAID 0 then my backup process will take longer since CCC can only backup one drive at a time, right? I'd have to back up one drive, then go to the next and next. Or is there an easier way to do that?
     
  23. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #23
    Exactly, the cost of building a RAID 0 array is the same as buying a decent SSD and booting from it. Not only that, but you get a 99.99% reliability and much faster IO speeds.
     
  24. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    UK
    #24
    99.99% reliability with an SSD? I'd really like to see the source for that number!

    Sorry, but only because you don't have moving parts any more, doesn't mean the drive is not likely to fail any more.
    SSD's do fail (even before their estimated life cycle), so a proper backup is still mandatory, regardless of which kind of drive technology you use.
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #25
    It's to do with the recovery timings established in the drive firmware. The consumer models (i.e. Blacks) have a 0,0 (read, write in seconds respectively), as the recovery is handled by the OS (disks attached to the ICH or a simple SATA controller card).

    The enterprise versions have different timings (7,0), as the recovery is meant to be handled by a RAID card (it takes over this function from the OS, as the card operates differently = necessity).

    Previously, all a user had to do, was get hold of the TLER utility, and adjust consumer drives (this was common with Green versions for data center use, as there weren't any RE versions available in the past). This has now changed (when the RE4-GP came out), so they've now locked the firmware settings in the consumer models = forced to buy the enterprise models for RAID cards (REx or REx-GP), since it's no longer possible to adjust the firmware settings. They make more money this way.

    The TLER utility will still work on the RE versions of the drives (no need to lock it here for profit reasons), as there may be instances where the timings may still need to be adjusted for stability reasons.

    As per consumer disks and RAID cards, it won't be stable if you can even create the array (completes initialization), as disks will keep droping out (random).

    But if the drive will be attached to the ICH (SATA ports included in the base system), then consumer units such as the Caviar Blacks will be fine, as they're not attached to a RAID card. The RAID functions are also part of the OS, located within Disk Utility.

    So in your case, you'd be fine running the Caviar Blacks. If you go to a RAID card at a later date, you'd also need to get new disks (enterprise versions) for it, but the consumer disks can be used for backup purposes for example (i.e. run an eSATA card + Port Multiplier enclosure).

    Hope this clears things up. :)

    Consumer disks are fine on the ICH or simple SATA/SAS card. But when a proper RAID card is involved, the timings aren't sufficient, and drop-outs occur (unstable as hell = massive aggravation, and possibly data loss if the backup was re-deployed with the same problem simultaneously).

    Exactly for both cases. ICH or simple SATA/SAS card vs. proper RAID card respectively.

    IF a user has a proper backup system in place, and can afford the time for recovery (fix the disks, restore the data from backups, and re-perform any missing work that occured between the most recent backup and time of failure), it's fine.

    But in cases where the user's time is too valuable (can't spare it), then other levels (some form of redundancy) would be necessary.

    BTW, no form of RAID can replace the need for a backup system (level doesn't matter; things can and do happen = data loss on the primary array).

    Capacity requirements could matter here (i.e. need more capacity than SSD's could provide for say $200USD or so, and usage is primarily large files = sequential throughput dominant), but in terms of overall performance, I'd agree that SSD is a faster way to go, especially for random access throughput.
     

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