24/7 hard drives
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Old 03-25-2008   #1
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Default 24/7 hard drives

Built myself another Windows Home Server (WHS) box a month or so ago and put four brand new 1 TB hard drives in it. The main hard drive was the vaunted Western Digital RE2 green drive, reputed to be built specifically for server applications. It died after about a week, requiring a complete rebuilt of the home server. The other drives were the low power Western Digital standard green drives. WHS just reported that one of those drives is about to fail, so I'm going through the tedious and time-consuming process of replacing that.

Now admittedly WHS beats the crap out of hard drives, thrashing them with this or that activity almost all the time, but still: I've never had such a high defect rate with hard drives. I see from reading reviews on newegg.com that I'm not necessarily alone.

Seems like there should be such a thing as a reliable, 24/7 hard drive. Have any of you had experiences with particular brands that I might try?

I can't wait for high-capacity solid state drives...

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Old 03-25-2008   #2
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Default Re: 24/7 hard drives

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Have any of you had experiences with particular brands that I might try?
Yup...but they're never Western Digitals.

Seagate Cheetah II 10K SCSI drives lasted me 5 years of 24/7/365 with downtime measured in hours (ie me shutting things down for something like a server shuffle). The new 15K SAS Cheetahs were running great after a year when I left that company.

I had Maxtors die in a month. Wouldn't put WD's in my data center. Everything else, I'll try in a hardware RAID 5 or 10 as a single drive. If it lasts a year, I'll let it run in production.
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Old 03-25-2008   #3
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Default Re: 24/7 hard drives

If you've got the available spares, you might consider putting your OS on one drive or set of drives and your data volumes on a different drive. You shouldn't need that much capacity for the OS and apps. That way, if one fails, you don't have to rebuild the other side of it, too.
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Old 03-25-2008   #4
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Default Re: 24/7 hard drives

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If you've got the available spares, you might consider putting your OS on one drive or set of drives and your data volumes on a different drive. You shouldn't need that much capacity for the OS and apps. That way, if one fails, you don't have to rebuild the other side of it, too.
Windows Home Server is odd. It wants you to put your largest disk as the primary one. It partitions that into a 20GB partition for the OS and the rest for data.
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Old 03-25-2008   #5
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Windows Home Server is odd. It wants you to put your largest disk as the primary one. It partitions that into a 20GB partition for the OS and the rest for data.
Lack of that level of control would make me shy away from it, I think. I make the decisions, not the operating system.
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Old 03-25-2008   #6
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Default Re: 24/7 hard drives

Solid state is nice. People want a decrease in cost. Remember when drives used to cost a lot more for not even close to space.

I had a couple WD's go out recently, not to happy. The raptor in my machine though has been going well.
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Old 03-25-2008   #7
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Solid state is nice. People want a decrease in cost. Remember when drives used to cost a lot more for not even close to space.
I paid $1,100 for my first hard drive - a massive 10 megabytes.

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Old 03-25-2008   #8
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I had a couple WD's go out recently, not to happy. The raptor in my machine though has been going well.
I'm not sure why I trusted WD again. Gave up on them years ago and just recently dipped my toe back in.
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Old 03-25-2008   #9
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I'm not sure why I trusted WD again. Gave up on them years ago and just recently dipped my toe back in.
Only to have it eaten by a bunch of piranha.
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Old 03-27-2008   #10
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Default Re: 24/7 hard drives

I always thought it was just me, but of all the different drives I've had over the years Western Digital are without doubt the least reliable. I'm sure they make brilliant kit but as the old saying goes, once bitten twice shy (or in my case - three times bitten, avoid at all costs).

Personally I've had lots of success with Samsung and Seagate, but no doubt there are others out there with opposite experiences.

I presume your disks are in some sort of redundant array? That will extend your MTBF. If you're not, then that will certainly decrease your MTBF .


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