WDC WD15EARS-00z5b1 appears to be working fine


#1

I just purchased two of these drives, and since there has been a lot of chatter about performance, I’m looking for specific scenarios I can try to verify things are working ok.  What I’ve done so far indicates my drives are performing fine.

Here’s what I’ve done so far.  I’m on Win7 64 bit, and I’ve verified that a 1 byte file takes up 4k of space, so the sector size appears correct.  These drives have a manufacture date of Dec 22, 209.  Intel ICH9 SATA controller on an MSI P35 Neo2 motherboard.

Test data set was 16.7 GB of data, many large and small files.

Copying data from one to the other seems to transfer at ~60-80+ mb/s.

Transferring from itself (copy / paste) seemed to go at about 25-30 mb/s.

It seems pretty compareable to my WD6400AAKS, though sometimes one beats the other. These are super controlled environments, so maybe that’s why.

http://www.harddrivebenchmark.net/hdd_list.php lists:

  WD6400AAKS listed as 619, I scored a 605 and 610.  (this is my system drive)

  WD15EARS listed as 446, I scored a 678 and 659.

Everything appears ok.  I’m going to run a full Win7 Error Checking test on them tonight.

Are there other tests I should perform?  I’ve read about concerns that the head parks too frequently with these drives, meaning they’ll fail faster.  Is there anything I can do to evaluate that?

Thanks.


#2

Well all the tests came back clean, so I guess my drives are fine.  I just wanted to post this because there has been so much negative posting about these drives.


#3

Hello,

To share some other experience with my WDC WD15EARS-00z5b1.

The HD appears to be working fine, but I do feel it slow when the HD is busy (i.e. LED is blinking) in Linux

Every time the HD LED is blinking, the KDE4 window (e.g. konsole, firefox, dolphine, etc) becomes lagging.

I also try to add ionice (ionice -c2 -n6 -p$$) in the startkde script (/usr/bin/startkde), but the lagging still does not disappear.

This lagging is annoying especially when I need to copy/create big files (~1GB) few times, or schedule the script using cronjob.

My KDE GUI will look like totally locked-up and I cannot do anything like browsing, typing, etc.

I can only sit and wait until the copy process completes…

Not sure what causes the lagging.

The hdparm indicates the HD speed is normal:

--------------------------------------------------------------------
# hdparm -tT /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 Timing cached reads:   3526 MB in  2.00 seconds = 1762.88 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  260 MB in  3.00 seconds =  86.55 MB/sec
--------------------------------------------------------------------
# hdparm -tT /dev/sda2

/dev/sda2:
 Timing cached reads:   3498 MB in  2.00 seconds = 1749.48 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  258 MB in  3.00 seconds =  85.88 MB/sec
--------------------------------------------------------------------
# hdparm -tT /dev/sda3

/dev/sda3:
 Timing cached reads:   3414 MB in  2.00 seconds = 1706.68 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  244 MB in  3.02 seconds =  80.83 MB/sec
--------------------------------------------------------------------
# hdparm -tT /dev/sda5

/dev/sda5:
 Timing cached reads:   3318 MB in  2.00 seconds = 1658.71 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  200 MB in  3.01 seconds =  66.42 MB/sec
--------------------------------------------------------------------
# hdparm -tT /dev/sda6

/dev/sda6:
 Timing cached reads:   3498 MB in  2.00 seconds = 1748.53 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  134 MB in  3.04 seconds =  44.09 MB/sec
--------------------------------------------------------------------

My partition layouts are:

  • /dev/sda1 = ntfs (win7 hidden system partition)

  • /dev/sda2 = ntfs (win7 64-bit)

  • /dev/sda3 = ntfs (for data)

  • /dev/sda4 = extended partition

  • /dev/sda5 = ext4 (Suse 11.2 64-bit, kernel 2.6.31.5)

  • /dev/sda6 = linux swap

# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 1500.3 GB, 1500301910016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 182401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xdb9a692f

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1          13      102400    7  HPFS/NTFS 
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2              13       50555   405972376    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3           50555      115826   524288000    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4   *      115827      182401   534763687+   f  W95 Ext’d (LBA)
/dev/sda5          115827      181097   524289276   83  Linux
/dev/sda6          181098      182401    10474348+  82  Linux swap / Solaris

My system specs:

Athlon II X2 235e (dual core 2.7GHz), 4GB RAM DDR3, AMD RS780MN chipset, Nvidia Geforce G210


#4

To add-on: the lagging issue should occur not only on Linux, but also on Windows platform.

This behavior reminds me on the 1st generation of cheap MLC drive (SSD) that has latency on every bit read/written to the drive and causes the SATA controller to pause when the data are being flushed.


#5

hi andjohn2000

your output of fdisk is not very usefull as information for this problem. but I guess that you suffer the same problem than every linux user who just creates partitions as he did the last years. in the meantime untill fdisk and parted use better default values, you have to follow the instructions from this thread to create manualy right aligned partitions:

http://community.wdc.com/t5/Desktop/Problem-with-WD-Advanced-Format-drive-in-LINUX-WD15EARS/m-p/7573/highlight/true#M369

I bet that your lagging in kde4 is away afterwards.


#6

  Hi Darkhog, thanks for sharing your experience with the new WD15EARS.

I too just purchased this new WD15EARS drive yesterday and also using Win 7 x64. I’m wondering if you could let me know how you know your drive is using the new 4K sector?

This is what I’ve done during the installation in W 7 x64:

  1. Was given a choice of MBR or GPT - MBR selected

  2. Format using NTFS, everything else “Defaults”

  3. THe drive is running fine/ WDTV Live could see/access it via CAT 6 cable

However, every tools (HDDScan/CrystalDiskInfo) at my disposal is telling me it’s 512K? or this 512K has nothing to do with the 4k in this new drive from WD?

Thanks.


#7

Dup


#8

Dup


#9

How do I know they are 4k sectors?

I used windows explorer.

I created a 1 byte text file, opened explorer, right click, properties.  There are two sizes in there, one is file size, and one is size on disk.  The size on disk was 4k, so I assumed it was doing the right thing.

But to be honest I’m not 100% sure that is a proper indicator.


#10

Your drive is an Advanced Format drive.

http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=5324


#11

Thanks Darkhog, I created two 1 byte text files, one in WD1001FALS and one in WD15EARS and they both shown 4k under disk size, so what gives? cause only the WD15EARS is using the 4k and NOT WD1001FALS, right?

Best regards.


#12

Actually, I think I have it wrong.  It isn’t the 4k size that matters, it matters whether or not the partition is 4k aligned.  I believe the wdalign tool is the only one that can tell you though?


#13
Update on my side: my kde lagging issue seems to be gone away after applying workaround steps from nuess0r

I deleted and recreated my linux and swap partition using “fdisk -H 224 -S 56” command (well, well… this was very long task as I needed to backup all my data first).

Afterwards, I do not encounter the sluggish issue anymore.

Hi nuess0r, thanks for the suggestion.

Any hint for Windows user?

There is no “fdisk -H 224 -S 56” syntax on Win7…

nuess0r wrote:

hi andjohn2000

 

your output of fdisk is not very usefull as information for this problem. but I guess that you suffer the same problem than every linux user who just creates partitions as he did the last years. in the meantime untill fdisk and parted use better default values, you have to follow the instructions from this thread to create manualy right aligned partitions:

 

http://community.wdc.com/t5/Desktop/Problem-with-WD-Advanced-Format-drive-in-LINUX-WD15EARS/m-p/7573/highlight/true#M369

 

I bet that your lagging in kde4 is away afterwards.