Okay, okay, for those of you who hate RAID. Got it. For those of you who tolerate RAID questions, I look to you for guidance.
I currently have 4 3TB Green Caviar drives and would like to put them on an external RAID controller (Rocketraid 2300) in a RAID 5 configuration.
It has nothing to do with whether I "hate" RAID or not, but I would strongly suggest to re-think things.
The Caviar Green drives are not RAID drives. People keep trying to use them anyways, because they're cheap, and then have no end to the problems. These boards are full of people who've tried using Caviar drives in a RAID 5 array and it hasn't worked, or the controller just marks the whole drive as "bad" when it drops out of the array.
WD desktop hard drives (Caviar Black, Green, and Blue) have been tested and are recommended for consumer RAID applications when using the drives in a RAID 0 (Stripe) or RAID 1 (Mirror) configuration.
Critical: WD Caviar Black, Caviar Green, and Caviar Blue 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.
If you install and use a desktop edition hard drive connected to a RAID controller, the drive may not work correctly. This is caused by the normal error recovery procedure that a desktop edition hard drive uses.
When an error is found on a desktop edition hard drive, the drive will enter into a deep recovery cycle to attempt to repair the error, recover the data from the problematic area, and then reallocate a dedicated area to replace the problematic area. This process can take up to 2 minutes depending on the severity of the issue. Most RAID controllers allow a very short amount of time for a hard drive to recover from an error. If a hard drive takes too long to complete this process, the drive will be dropped from the RAID array. Most RAID controllers allow from 7 to 15 seconds for error recovery before dropping a hard drive from an array. Western Digital does not recommend installing desktop edition hard drives in an enterprise environment (on a RAID controller).
Western Digital RAID edition hard drives have a feature called TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) which stops the hard drive from entering into a deep recovery cycle. The hard drive will only spend 7 seconds to attempt to recover. This means that the hard drive will not be dropped from a RAID array. While TLER is designed for RAID environments, a drive with TLER enabled will work with no performance decrease when used in non-RAID environments.
So... if you go ahead and do it anyway, despite WD telling you up front that the drive may not work correctly, there's very little anyone can do in the way of help to try and get it working correctly when things go badly.