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WD Caviar Green 2TB drives failure

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by gyrgrls, Nov 7, 2011.

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  1. gyrgrls

    gyrgrls Banned Thread Starter

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    Is it just my rotten luck, or are there a bad batch of these on the shelves this year?

    I had two of them fail within days of each other, and both failed within 2 weeks of purchase.
    One was manufactured on Mar 08, 2011, and the other on Aug 02, 2011.

    Is this particular model a lemon? Has anyone else reading this forum experienced
    similar problems with these SATA drives?

    If so, I need something a little more reliable to store my data.
    But right now, the prices of new SATA drives is artificially inflated, so I guess I'll wait
    to buy new ones. :confused: :mad:
     
  2. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    I have a WD 2 TB Green that I put into service in about Sep 2010 IIRC. No problems.

    I am using it as an archival drive which means it isn't seeing heavy usage.

    You may have found a bad batch.
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    One of our regulars here says that he will never use any of the Green series again since they are so prone to failure. Sounds like you are having the same experience.
     
  4. SUEOHIO

    SUEOHIO

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    I havent had any problems at all with any of the WD drives.However ive had a couple of the seagate laptop SATA drives fail on me and they were brand new.
     
  5. gyrgrls

    gyrgrls Banned Thread Starter

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    I'm afraid so. This "Green" technology seems to be seriously flawed, as well,
    according to what I have read, but I wasn't sure. I will give this a few days,
    and see what others have to say, and if there are any recommendations as to
    which brand / model to use instead. These were going into a RAID 1.

    What good would that do, if BOTH drives failed within days of each other?
    No sir, RAID is sa false sense of security. I am now looking into external backup
    solutions, even including, but not limited to, tape drives.

    This is scary. Data loss is forever.
     
  6. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I generally prefer WD over any other brands. Though I don't have hard stats, my own experiences with them has been good while I have had a lot of Seagate failures and strange incompatibilities with other drives in the system. I'll still stick with WD, but after what I've heard, no "Green".:D
     
  7. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    Over the years, I've had to deal with clusters of failures in pretty much every brand of drive. I've wound up concluding that all manufacturers at one time or another put out a line of turkeys.

    Before I purchased a WD Green drive, I researched it pretty carefully. Now, this was in the summer of '10 and things change sometimes quickly in the hard drive industry, so what I learned then could be totally obsolete now. But what I found then was that the high-capacity green drives were holding up as well or better than most other series of high-capacity drives, when used as intended.

    I also learned, and have observed for myself to be true, that the green drive is not intended for and does not serve well as a system drive. It has to do with how WD sets up the green drive to save power. Result is that the drive does OK in an environment where its role is to store and serve data (movies, photos, etc), but does not do well in an environment where it is intermittently but frequently busy, such as a system drive.

    The green drive parks its head after just a few seconds of inactivity and the number of head parks that are available to a drive before wearout is finite. This proves to be a serious problem in Linux; the way that OS works, the green drive winds up parking its head several times a minute and can reach wearout levels in a matter of months if the drive is used as a system drive. It isn't as serious a problem with Windows, but is still a pretty serious issue.

    I don't know the details of the failures OP or others have experienced with their green drives, but I do know they won't hold up if put in an environment where they are constantly parking/unparking the heads - in other words, where they are intermittently busy with dead times between activity measured in tens of seconds. They will work OK in an environment where they are constantly busy (no head parking) or where they are used for archival data or data that is served in large chunks at irregular but long intervals.

    The green drive isn't a fast drive; slow platter speed which saves power. So, in an environment where it is constantly busy, most probably a faster drive would be a better choice.

    Also, my experience is that the green drive runs quite cool. Mine is usually close to ambient temperature. This can be a problem in and of itself; drive failure rates shoot up if the drive operating temperatures are maintained below about 25C...and most homes will be below 25C much of the time.

    I have mine positioned next to a busy 15K RPM SCSI drive which has the effect of raising its temperature a bit, which is good. Presently, I'm showing my room temp to be 21C, the green drive is reporting it is at 28C, and the SCSI drive next to it is at 34C. I try to keep my drives between 35 and 40C, which is evidently the "sweet spot" for reliability, but that's a bit hard to do...and I can't do it with the green drive. The SCSI drive most certainly is heating the green drive a bit.

    So, my limited experience with them has been pretty good, but I do consider them to be limited in their uses. My research on them has turned up what I've described here. I wouldn't purchase one as a 'general purpose" or as a system drive.
     
  8. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    RAID1 is intended for computers that can't go down. It is not intended as a backup mechanism, and if you are thinking of it in those terms, your thinking is flawed. RAID1 lets you survive a disk failure without going down. You hot-swap the bad drive and the system rebuilds it appropriately. You suffer degraded performance while the rebuild is underway, but you remain up.

    You need a backup system in place in addition to the RAID1. This is true under any circumstances. And the green drive would be a decent drive to host that backup.

    Actually, since you've stated that money is no object and since you are doing video editing, you might want to consider RAID5. This is striping with parity and will increase your hard drive throughput while still protecting you against a single-drive failure. Needs a minimum of 3 drives though. I maintain a server for my company (I'm one of the owners) and it uses 5 Maxtor 1TB SATAs in RAID5 configuration. Drive throughput screams and we have a total of 4 TB capacity (one drive is the parity drive). In the last 3 years, one drive has failed. Hot-swapped it, and the performance degradation wasn't even noticeable as the RAID was rebuilt.

    Oh, also... That server backs up every night to a sixth drive that is there specifically as a backup drive, and every week or so I plug a USB drive into the server and take an archival backup which goes offsite.
     
  9. gyrgrls

    gyrgrls Banned Thread Starter

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    Strange, I have seen many RAID1 and RAID5 NAS unitss, used for shared storage and/or/ backup purposes.

    A backup array must be at least, if not more, reliable, than the servers / clients it is backing up.
     
  10. gyrgrls

    gyrgrls Banned Thread Starter

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    IOW: if i build a RAID 5 out of say, 10 discs, and eight of them fail, then I'm screwed.
     
  11. gyrgrls

    gyrgrls Banned Thread Starter

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    Sorry for digressing. I am just curious about these glorified paperweights, if that's indeed what they are.

    If so, I will tear them to pieces, as hard drive magnets have 1,001 uses.
     
  12. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Well yes RAID can be used in conjunction with a proper backup, but the NAS unit is the backup and the RAID in it is just additional protection. The point is RAID by itself is not a backup. If the NAS is the only medium for storage then that's not a backup and you need another backup solution.

    Your drives have 3 years warranty, use the warranty to get new drives, if you don't want them then sell the replacement drives and buy other drives.
     
  13. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    Well, that's fine. IF they are defined as and used as backup.

    If the RAID array is on your main machine, and it is the drive array to which you routinely write data, then it isn't backup. It simply is NOT backup, no matter what you choose to call it.

    Backup is there to preserve your data regardless of what happens. A drive failure is one thing that CAN happen. But other things that can happen include power failure during disk write which writes garbage across the drives, or a power spike that blows multiple drives, or fire, or theft, or software that goes berserk and writes garbage, or the loose nut behind the keyboard who inadvertently or deliberately types in "del *\*.*".

    Your RAID protects against none of these things. Your backup is there to let you recover from most of these things. Your offsite backup is there to let you recover from those things (fire, theft) that also wipe out your local backup.

    If you know a systems administrator who says "My data is backed up because I'm using RAID1 or RAID5" then you know an incompetent systems administrator. And if he works for me and says that, I'll fire him on the spot.
     
  14. gyrgrls

    gyrgrls Banned Thread Starter

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    You are preaching to the choir. :D

    This should be common knowledge. A RAID in a workstation or server should never be considered a substitute for an offline, offsite, or NAS backup.

    So true. It's sad, though, how many don't appreciate or even understand this.

    He or she wouldn't even get in the door, with me, because I would give him a written and/or oral examination before hiring him or her.
     
  15. gyrgrls

    gyrgrls Banned Thread Starter

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    Ever tried to back up a few hundred gigabytes to Zip Disc? :rolleyes::D:eek::D
     
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