How do non-RE Black drives behave in a Raid 0 !?


#1

I would like to use the “free” built-in MB Intel Raid controller in a 4 drive Raid 0 mode as a fast scratch drive for lengthy HD video renderings. How will Black non Raid Edition (non- TlER) drives behave when a bad sector is encountered - assuming the cheapo Raid controller will NEVER declare a drive “unusable” ? Hopefully,  will the Raid just freeze any I/O until the drive finishes remapping - no matter how long it takes? This operation would be acceptable for this application (which would finally be a valid use for the cheaper non RE/TIER black drives). 

TIA for any thoughts, opinions, facts,etc.  -  even if I am declared all wet.


#2

My experience is that drives will constantly drop out of the array and you will rip your hair out.  It isn’t worth it.  

Earlier WD drives used to respond to a utility called WDTLER in which you could turn on TLER in desktop drives so they wouldn’t drop from a RAID array.  I successfully used it on two 640GB Caviar Black SATA drives to keep them dropping from a RAID 1 Mirror.  It took me several weeks to figure it out because one drive was constantly being dropped and rebuilt.  Worked like a charm.  Since then, WD has disabled this capability in the desktop drives so WDTLER won’t work on them anymore.  You’ll have to buy their more expensive RAID Enterprise (RE) drives, or go with a different brand.  Hope that helps.

WD FAQ Answer ID 1397:

Western Digital manufactures desktop edition hard drives and RAID Edition hard drives. Each type of hard drive is designed to work specifically as a stand-alone drive, or in a multi-drive RAID environment.

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.

Note: There are a few cases where the manufacturer of the RAID controller have designed their drives to work with specific model Desktop drives. If this is the case you would need to contact the manufacturer of that enclosure for any support on that drive while it is used in a RAID environment.

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.