Raid 5 with WD15EARS

I’m building a RAID5 and wondered if there’s anything I should know beforehand. 

Is there a firmware update I should use?

Should I avoid the Advanced Format Drive setting?

I’m running Win7 64bit, which will boot from its own drive.

The drives are WD15EARS 00S8B1

The  WD15EARS 00S8B1 drives are not RAID drives and will probably drop out of the RAID array sooner or later.  If you have them set up for RAID 0, you will lose all your data.

It’s raid 5, what should I replace them with?

I’m not trying to be a salesman, but the link below will show you our Enterprise drives.  These are capable of being put in RAID arrays, especially our RE drives.  Regardless of whether you use our drives or someone else’s, you need to make sure that they are RAID capable.

No that’s ok, you can do sales :slight_smile:

But I wont be buying any $250 drives soon.  If this solution doesn’t work because of dropping these drive and doing 7hr rebuilds all the time, I’ll probably go with a BD backup system, possibly mirroring.   I lost a 500 and a 750g drive last hear, hence the new method of avoiding restores.   It’s just a convenience of having all that data available all the time, no business need here. 

What is different about the RE drives that makes them better for raid?

It’s called TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery).  Most desktop drives can and do go into error recovery and can take up to 2 minutes to do it.  If that were to happen in a RAID environment, the array would time out waiting for the drive to recover and the drive would be dropped out.  TLER limits the amount of time for the drive to do error recovery to 7 seconds.  This prevents the drive dropping from the array. 

The other difference is that WD puts the drives through more stringent development and testing for failure rates, since these kind of drives will usually be running 24/7.

Is there a way to set the error recovery time on these drives to 7s then, or to tell an NVIDIA mbd raid to wait longer?

You may like to experiment with the ATA Error Recovery Control menu in HDAT2.