HGST Drive Compatibility (4TB)

Has anyone installed or using 4TB Deskstar drives in their EX2?

I installed 2 x 4TB. Tonight I noticed that the temperature of the EX2 was hot (Diagnosis shows “Critical”). Not sure if this is related.

I don’t see a 4TB Deskstar on the compatibility list. ->  http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=1180#tab9

Most folks, who like me bought it diskless, prefer to go with a drive that is a NAS-specific drive. If not, then at least with one from the compatibility list. If you try a different drive, you might get it to work. I just wouldn’t advise running a NAS on a drive that was meant for desktop use. There is a reason the hard drive companies have tweaked their firmware to adapt to the 24x7-on drives of a NAS. Some people try to save 20-30 bucks but end up paying in the long term when the drive fails. Of course, with hard drives, even NAS drives are expected to fail at some point. But using something for it’s intended purpose gets you the best chances of a longer life on the drive. Then you don’t have to worry about the NAS drive grinding away for days when you first dump a load of media files - they were designed to handle that kid of operation. Some people moan and groan about that non-stop hard drive spinning, but they don’t realize, if they bought a NAS-intended drive in the first place, the drive’s firmware isgeared towards optimizing the drive performance for that kind of non-stop work.

Anyway, having said all that, I am not sure what you intention is to do with the answer to the question you posed. Even if someone has, all you’ll be getting is whether or not someone has been able to get it to work. You won’t get an answer on the long term results of using an incompatible drive…since the EX2 is only about 5 months old. You may get an answer saying that yes someone did use the drive, but you won’t find out right now that their drive failed after a year.

Okay - you edited your question while I was writing my reply…so didn’t see that you posted the reason why you were looking for answer to that question. Again, you just pointed out exactly why using desktop drives in NASes is not such a good idea. High temp will shorten the life of your drive, if that continues to stay hot.

I will quote this from last year’s reviews of the 4TB WD red drive - “On the other hand, if a cool-running system is the need of the hour and performance is not a major concern, the WD Red makes an excellent choice.” (see ->  http://www.anandtech.com/show/7258/battle-of-the-4-tb-nas-drives-wd-red-and-seagate-nas-hdd-faceoff/5))

On the compatibility list, the HGST Deskstar is limited up to 2TB. Is there a difference between “desktop NAS” drives and other “NAS” drives? I observed noticeable write / read differences between the HGST version and the WD Red.

Essentially, the WD Red was “crawling” – I got faster write / read speeds with my Apple Time Capsule (latest version). The HGST were giving the same speeds.

My intention off purchasing the HGST was for the 7200 rpm.

For a NAS that’s gonna be on 24x7, you need to have different considerations than you do for a desktop usage. 7200 rpm will give you just slightly faster performance but using it in a NAS will set them up for failure much sooner.

The difference is all in the firmware of the drives that manage the physical mechanics of the disk read-write operations. A desktop drive’s firmware is usually geared for a single user performing read-write operations for limited times, and at most 2 simultaneous read-write operations (even with just two simultaneous read-write operation you’ll notice how a desktop’s/laptop’s performance comes to its knees) and being shut down after a day’s or two’s worth of use. A NAS-specific drive’s typical usage on the other hand is simultaneous multi-user read-write ops and 24x7 use. And the firmware on those drives is optimized for the more stressful vibrations, etc. of a NAS drive. A desktop drive’s firmware on the other hand is geared towards the less stressful operation in a normal desktop usage.

In the end, you get a slightly, very slightly better performance, from using your desktop drive but you end up with much faster wear and tear than the desktop drive is meant to withstand. Result is quicker drive failures. And keep in mind, most of the time the real bottleneck in a low powered NAS isn’t so much the drive but the low-powered CPU and to a lesser extent, the network bandwidth. So you gain very little by putting a desktop drive on a NAS like the EX2. If on the other hand, you put the drive on a custom built Intel-CPU powered NAS running an OS like FreeNAS, then I guess you could somewhat justify the better performance benefit of using a desktop drive in a NAS…even though you would still be shortening the lifespan of your desktop drive by using it in a NAS environment even then. But at least you’d be achieving more tangible gain on the performance aspect.

So you said, that the WD Red drive was crawling. I guess that means you do have one or two Red drives. If so, I would strongly recommend you switch back to them. You will lose only a little bit of performance but you’ll not have to worry about drives failing much sooner. You should also see your drive temps go down. It is up to you.