Advanced Format (4K sector) Compatibility - 2TB drives

Hi fellow Sharespace users. I’ve been doing lots of reading on the new “advanced format” drives from WD (eg WD20EARS) and have to admit I’m confused on their suitability for the Sharespace (any version).

I know the 2TB version has “EADS” series drives installed and from my readings to date there seem to be two main differences between the “EADS” and “EARS” drives (excluding stuff like cache). Firmware tweaks (wdidle and tler) and 512b Vs 4Kb sector size.

Ignoring the firmware stuff (lots already out there),  I was wondering if the most recent versions of the Sharespace (eg 8TB) have the EARS installed, or are they being shipped still with the earlier model of drive?

I guess my real question is whether the Sharespace firmware supports this new 4K sector size natively, or do the new EARS drives need to be “jumpered” (pins 7-8) for behave like the earlier model.

I could only fine one short post about these drives and this NAS so wanted to see what others were deciding on.


I’m not really sure about all of your questions, but you need to make sure ALL 4 DRIVES IN THE SHARESPACE ARE IDENTICAL to the model that came in your unit.  I have several of them and each have different model drives- it seems the enclosures require the same kind of drive that came in it, and may not accept drives that work even on other sharespaces. It’s a minor issue, as it’s usually pretty easy to find the right model drives.

Thanks Ardvark for your reply.  My NAS came with the EADS series, but in Australia (anyway) they are getting harder and harder to find. By the sounds of it the hardware is just as sensitive to drive changes has the firmware would be. A bit unfortunate I guess.

Might see if I can borrow an EARS series drive and test. If anyone has had any success with different drive model combinations, it would be great to hear about it!


I don’t know whether you ever settled this, but, in case you didn’t, here is my experience.  I tried replacing all the 1 TB EADS drives in my ShareSpace with 2 TB EARS drives.  It was then unable to build the RAID configuration.  I checked with WD support, and they said that it wouldn’t work with Advanced Format drives.

Hi, Sorry I didn’t update anyone on my experiences. Got caught up with work. If you still have the EARS drives, try “jumpering” them (applying a jumper pin to 7-8 pins). I initially purchased two 2TB WD20EARS and installed OK (as spanned). I then went crazy and purchased another two and after confirming they were recognised OK, created a RAID 5 array (which took best part of 3 days).

I currently have about 1.8TB of data with no errors (so far) and all drives reporting good. I didn’t even try installing unjumpered because wanted to keep things as “standard” as possible.

I did notice that any information popups (estimates on format finish times etc) relate to 1TB drives, but I accept that I’ve pushed things some-what :wink:

I would also recommend connecting to a UPS during the format process as even a few second power outage will need the process re-started. And from the posts I’ve read here, probably not a bad idea generally.

Also, having an up-to-date backup of your data can avoid problems if they decide to update firmware which somehow makes this setup (with EARS drives) fail.

See how you go :slight_smile:

I’ve been running two WD 2TB EARS drives in bay 1 and 2; RAID 1 configuration for several months with no issues.  I did have a problem when upgrading from two 1TB drives to two 2TB drives in which I started by installing all four and creating a second share.  I attributed the problem to the different sized drives rather than the EARS drives, not sure if that was part of the problem.  The process is detailed in the following post:

Creating a Second RAID1 Volume

Regardless, following the rebuild the 2TB EARS drives are working fine with no jumpers.  I have had no performance issues, although I haven’t specifically measured it.  Pushbutton backup of the shares to an exernal 2TB HD via the front USB port of 1TB of data (multiple shares, one at a time) took about 10 hrs for the largest 650GB share.