Caviar Black drives in Software RAID

I purchased 8 Caviar Black drives to put in a hardware RAID.  Unfortunately, I read about the RAID time out problem these drives have AFTER I bought them.  Instead of returning them, I put them into a software RAID 5 on a Windows 2003 server.

Does anyone know if this will continue to work properly?  I hate to shell out another $1000 for RE drives.  This setup is for my home server, so it’s not like I need enterprise level reliability.

Thanks for any answers that you can give.


AIUI, WD’s RAID capable drives support TLER (Time-Limited Error Recovery).


WD provides a WDTLER utility to enable / disable TLER in the firmware of supported hard drives.

If your drive is not supported, then it may still be possible to enable Error Recovery Control (ERC). ERC is a standard ATA feature. If your drives support it, then you could look for a utility to set the read / write timeout values. Unfortunatley ERC settings are volatile, ie they do not survive a power cycle, so you will need to find some way to automatically configure your drives via a command line at boot time. I know that the Linux version of smartctl can do this, but I don’t know if the Windows port can. Otherwise, keep watching the development of hdparm – I believe ERC is on the to-do list, if not already implemented.

FWIW, this thread may give you some ideas:

That said, would it be possible to modify the way that your software RAID “controller” handles errors, so that you wouldn’t need to touch your drives???