Re: wd20eads 2.0 TB cannot format


#1

I have the exact same problem with two new 2tb WD20EARS on Windows Server 2003.

At first, I plugged them into the mainboard as-is. They would partition but not format.

I then plugged them into my Adaptec 2610SA. They would partition but not format.

I tried DOS formatting, GPT, dynamic disks, extended partition, etc etc… all with the same results.

I tried using the jumpers…

I put them in my XP box, with or without jumpers, they formatted with no problems. I ran the align utility and they were fine. Put them back into 2003, and they appeared to be OK… but I couldn’t copy more than 1tb of data to them.

I deleted the partitions to start over, but same problem. I can create and format a 1tb partition, but then no other partitions afterwards.

The DataLifeGuard app won’t test either of them, spitting back a data cable error… which i’ve changed with brand new ones, and even reused a known working cable.

Weird thing… a third disk I bought at the same time for a friend worked just fine when I installed it in his 2003 server box. Full size, formatted no problems.

I have updated my BIOS, but I don’t think that would be an issue, as my RAID card showed the same symptoms, and it supports 2tb drives, and I have 4x1tb’s in a 2tb and 1tb partition already, so I know Windows Server is fine with 2tb partitions.

There is no way I could have two DOA drives, right? That would be crazy.


#2

There are a couple of issues that you have going on here:

1)  If you are attempting to use the EARS drives in a RAID environment, you won’t be able to.  First of all, they are not RAID compatible drives.  You will need to look into our RE/Enterprise drives for RAID compatible drives.

  1. They are 4K drives and need to be aligned in order to format correctly.  They cannot be aligned in a RAID environment. 

At this time, the EARS drives are really only for desktop applications where single drives are being used.  They need to be aligned in the partition in order to function effectively.  So far, only Vista, 7, Mac 10.5, Mac 10.6 do this automatically.  (I’m referring to operating systems that we support on the drives.  I’m sure that Linux will align depending on which kernel you use, and there may be utilities out there that will align for other OS’s.)


#3

I’m quite sure I followed up after my last post… and my post was a reply to someone else’s thread, but it seems to have been split into a new topic.

Anyway, it turned out that it was (just barely) outdated nVidia SATA drivers for the mainboard. I found a link to the Seagate website via another thread here on WDC where a member pointed out the solution.

I updated my drivers (to drivers 3 months newer) and all of a sudden both disks would fully format and partition. I’ve had no issues with the drives since, and it was entirely NOT a Western Digital fault, as Seagate forum members were also suffering from the same outdated nVidia driver problem.

Thanks for the reply Bill… i’m not using them in a RAID environment, and i’m curious to know why they wouldn’t work. My RAID controller doesn’t seem fussed on what drive I plug into it. (currently 4x1Tb, but hopefully soon will be full of these new 2Tb’s)

As far as alignment goes… I tried all that… even though WD advises that server2003 doesn’t require it. (I tried with the XP version of Acronis previously)


#4

The real issue with desktop drives like the caviar green, blue and black, is what’s called TLER (Time limited Error Recovery).  When you use a standard desktop designed drive, there is no time limit on error recovery.  That is by design, because it gives you the best chance of recovering your system and files without corruption, etc.  In a RAID environment, that’s a bad thing, because the two drives are functioning as one.  So, if one of the drives go into error recovery, which can last as long as two minutes, it can drop out of the RAID Array.  Drives used in RAID environments have a time limit for error recovery, 7 seconds.  This prevents them from dropping from the array.  If you use two of the same desktop drives, and they never exceed that 7 seconds for error recovery, then it will seem like any regular desktop drive should work.  But, if there’s ever that one time when error recovery takes longer than 7 seconds, you may be looking at some very expensive data recovery if you’re using RAID 0.


#5

Just saw this post.

@steverand

Here you also maybe have the problem that the drive is not on the compatibility list for the Adaptec 2610SA and thus it will not work when connected.

You could maybe use them in a software RAID (where win 2008 handles the RAID) connected to the onboard SATA controller.


#6

DualportSRAM wrote:

Just saw this post.

 

@steverand

Here you also maybe have the problem that the drive is not on the compatibility list for the Adaptec 2610SA and thus it will not work when connected.

You could maybe use them in a software RAID (where win 2008 handles the RAID) connected to the onboard SATA controller.

 

You could definitely look into software raid.