Problems with two brand new 1TB drives


Have a Dell Dimension 8400 which had two WD 160GB SATA drives in a RAID0 config with XP which has been running continually for a number of years. On Friday evening I noticed that XP had frozen. Unable to do anything I powered off the box and when I tried to reboot, the on-board RAID controller reported that one of the drives had failed (the RAID volume was still OK it said, although I could not boot which is understandable given its RAID0). I ran the WD diagnostics on both drives. The good drive reported as good and the failed drive reported as having SMART errors with an asterisk next to the sector reallocation entry.

I bought two brand new WD WD10EALS 1TB SATA drives which arrived yesterday. I installed them, configured them in a RAID1 (Mirror) set, and installed Windows7 without issue including the normal reboots required. This morning I came back and noticed the box was in the middle of the Windows7 install again (CD was still in the drive). I cancelled and as it rebooted, the system reported that the RAID volume and BOTH drives had failed. I ran the WD diagnostics on both drives and both reported error/status 7 (a read sector error?).

Is it likely that both of these brand new drives are bad or should I be looking at MOBO/RAID controller issue? Should I buy a cheap PCI RAID controller to test the drives apart from the MOBO RAID controller?


First of all, neither of the drives are RAID compatible drives, so it’s likely that the one drive went into error checking mode - which is what the diagnostic indicates - and then fell out of the array because of that.  There really is no way to support what you’re trying to do when the drives are not designed for RAID use in the first place.


I’d recommend returning the drives and buying true RAID compatible drives.


Bill, what large capacity drives (1 tb - 2 tb ) range would you recommend for a rig that will be using a SSD for OS and two HDD’s in raid 1 for storage?  I am interested in speed and reliability for use with gaming and video editing .  Do you think the 2Tb  WD RE4 Drives would do the trick?  Or, do you have any other recc’s?



If you’re looking a 1-2 TB drives, the RE4’s are about all there is.