Fulll Timeout in Caviar Green

I have a Firewire DROBO with three Seagate 1TB drives in it and one WESTERN DIGITAL WD10EADS Caviar® Green 1 TB, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3 Gb/s 1TB SATA 3.0 5400 RPM 32MB Buffer Hard Drive in it.  I went with the WD last time because of the awful Seagate firmware fiasco’s lately.

While doing some routine troubleshooting with the DROBO techs they said :

After reviewing your diagnostic file, the drive in slot 4: WD-WCAV51020621 WDCWD10EADS-00M2B0 has had one FULL timeout. I recommend you remove this drive if it is still in your Drobo.

They implied imminent drive failure etc.  The drive is only 9 months old and I am sure its still under warranty and I will persue that but I wondered if someone could explain this “FULL TIMEOUT” thing and what it means and if WE would take this as reason to replace the drive…



is that DROBO acting as RAID or JBOD?

WD disks that aren’t RE (Raid Edition) disk flipout when attached in RAID sets

this is known issue with non RE WD disks because they temporarily go offline for SMART issues like sector recovery / reallocation

what happens is the disk might have a SMART notification and sector realocation in progress or pending and
when the controller attempts to access the disk the disk ignores the controller and the controller flips out and says
Disk: TIMEOUT / Disk: FAIL or whatever

also it appears that some RAID controllers even when the disk is not a member of a RAID set
still flip out when the disk is doing some internal maintenance and is ignoring the controller

Well, according to them the DROBO is a “software” RAID and not a “hardware” based RAID.  They are quite certain the drive is headed for failure.  I think they sell the WD Green as an option with their box so I guess I have to believe they know what they are doing.  I think its ironic that after putting 3 Seagate 1TB drives in the thing I decided that their firmware issues were just too ominous so I decided to fill the remaining box with the WD … and its apparently the one that is heading south.

Since I need to replace the drive in the DROBO before I can pull this WD drive, now I have to decide what to replace it with.  Kinda hard to want another WD though I was hoping my WD experience would be better than a few years ago when I went SG because all my WD were failing first.  Now, I don’t know which way to go :)  Clearly, the users here are WD likers and I’d like to be.  Got to do something soon…