WHSv1 & Advanced Format Drives

Singh400

Distinguished Member
So my WHSv1 box is running out of space. And I'm looking to purchase a couple of 2TB drives. Either a WD one or a Samsung one.

However both of these drives are 'Advanced Format'. And I've read conflicting reports. Some say they work okay in WHSv1, some say they don't work at all.

Does any have a WHSv1 box here with either one of the drives listed above? If so did they work okay? Or was some "faffing" required to make them work properly?

Thanks!
 

gagaga

Active Member
Not used Samsung AF drives, but my i've had over 10 WD AF (EARS) drives in my WHS with no problems at all.

Note - I used them with the jumper to set them to XP/Server 2003 mode (per the label on the drives). This is by far the safest approach - others have played around shifting the partitions/using the WD tool and had success, but using the jumper is the way to go as it's foolproof and just works.

You can buy a bag of the jumpers on ebay for about £1 delivered.
 

Aceshigh

Standard Member
I second GaGaGa's comment - I'm only using 4 of the EARS drives though!

I have never used a Samsung drive, but for the extra £3 I'd stick with the WD as it comes with 64MB cache over the Samsung's 32MB.
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
Thank you to you both. I'm currently a Samsung man (90% of all my hard drives are Samsung) but I have no worries switching to WD.
 

Qu3UK

Active Member
Thank you to you both. I'm currently a Samsung man (90% of all my hard drives are Samsung) but I have no worries switching to WD.

WD don't come with a jumper though, have to find your own.. old mobos are a gold mine for them.. .. although I don't know if this is the same with Samsung..
 
If you are planning to use the advanced format drive as the primary drive then don't bother, WHS v1 just doesn't like it I tried for many many hours to no avail. I ended up installing Server 2008 r2.
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
Nah I just chucked in a 80GB Samsung HDD I had lying round when I first built it back in 2008/2009. Wish I hadn't done that now though, I didn't realise it would partition the drive, and shove the rest into the pool. If I had known that I would have bought the biggest drive available to me then.
 
D

Deleted member 480461

Guest
Bear in mind the Samsung HD204UI drives are faster and better performers then the WD EARS drives.........check StorageReview for some comparisons etc.
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
The WD EARS drives that are advanced format, usually have IDLE3 timers set to silly times, which is where the issues seem to arise - disks set to park the head after 8 seconds I think.

I used WDIDLE3 to turn the head parking off completely and let the NAS box handle power-up and down cycles.

For reference, the head-parking helps WD label the drives as "Eco" due to lower power consumption when set up this way.
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
Bear in mind the Samsung HD204UI drives are faster and better performers then the WD EARS drives.........check StorageReview for some comparisons etc.
These are purely for storage. There will be only a few times data is being off, on and around the drives.

The WD EARS drives that are advanced format, usually have IDLE3 timers set to silly times, which is where the issues seem to arise - disks set to park the head after 8 seconds I think.

I used WDIDLE3 to turn the head parking off completely and let the NAS box handle power-up and down cycles.

For reference, the head-parking helps WD label the drives as "Eco" due to lower power consumption when set up this way.
Do you have a guide that will walk me through doing that? Actually because I'm only adding these drives to the pool, and not using them as a system drive. Surely I can just added the jumper onto pins 7&8 and drop them into my WHS box without faffing around?
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
These are purely for storage. There will be only a few times data is being off, on and around the drives.

Do you have a guide that will walk me through doing that? Actually because I'm only adding these drives to the pool, and not using them as a system drive. Surely I can just added the jumper onto pins 7&8 and drop them into my WHS box without faffing around?

Well, sadly not - you need to use a DOS/command line to set the drives up. I used an eSATA caddy and did it that way. A little fiddly, I totally agree, which is why some people dislike the drives. Instructions on the link below.

WD Support / Downloads / SATA & SAS / WD RE2-GP

The performance on them though, is excellent (in my opinion).
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
Hmmm, I'm tempted to leave the 8 seconds as it is. My biggest concern was the Advanced Format and how WHSv1 was going to handle that.
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
Hmmm, I'm tempted to leave the 8 seconds as it is. My biggest concern was the Advanced Format and how WHSv1 was going to handle that.

Honestly, most people bump it up higher, as in theory, there is a finite number of times the head can be parked before failure. At 8 seconds, theoretically, the drive 'should' fail in about 12 months of average use.

Naturally, this is speculative based on the MTBF, and plenty will be fine regardless. I think a lot of folk opt for about 20-30 seconds as the IDLE3 value, but it's hard to say exactly.
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
Just bought 2 of the 2TB Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green from Scan.co.uk. Got 'em for a total of £115.18 :smashin: Should be with me by Monday. Now all I need to do is scrounge some jumpers off a mate. And dig out some SATA cables.

Hmmmm might as well buy a new case while I'm at it...

Honestly, most people bump it up higher, as in theory, there is a finite number of times the head can be parked before failure. At 8 seconds, theoretically, the drive 'should' fail in about 12 months of average use.

Naturally, this is speculative based on the MTBF, and plenty will be fine regardless. I think a lot of folk opt for about 20-30 seconds as the IDLE3 value, but it's hard to say exactly.
So I take it once you make the change to the hard drive it sticks to it on a hardware level? So for example if I made the change on my Windows 7 machine and then dumped the drive in my WHS box the IDLE3 change will stick (say I chahnge it from 8 seconds to 16 seconds or something).
 
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Qactuar

Distinguished Member
So I take it once you make the change to the hard drive it sticks to it on a hardware level? So for example if I made the change on my Windows 7 machine and then dumped the drive in my WHS box the IDLE3 change will stick (say I chahnge it from 8 seconds to 16 seconds or something).

Absolutely :) it's not a software mod, it's hardware.
 

Aceshigh

Standard Member
The real problem with the drive heads unloading every 8 seconds and WHSv1 is when people use the SMART and/or drive monitoring tools that monitor SMART info and drive speeds etc on the fly - the WD drive parks it's head after 8 seconds and then a few seconds later the monitoring software wakes it up to take a reading, hence the dramatically increased load/unload cycles over a short period of time.

Disable the realtime monitoring and the drive is fine for "normal" use - plus it has a 3 year warranty, so if it dies prematurely RMA it.
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
The real problem with the drive heads unloading every 8 seconds and WHSv1 is when people use the SMART and/or drive monitoring tools that monitor SMART info and drive speeds etc on the fly - the WD drive parks it's head after 8 seconds and then a few seconds later the monitoring software wakes it up to take a reading, hence the dramatically increased load/unload cycles over a short period of time.

Disable the realtime monitoring and the drive is fine for "normal" use - plus it has a 3 year warranty, so if it dies prematurely RMA it.

Indeed! Normal users won't likely have an issue, but if it fails and no backup, then the "I hate 'x' brand as it's always failing" brigade pop-up :laugh:

Our NAS is shared by 8 devices, so is under a relatively constant state of "being hammered" when it is on, so turning off IDLE3 made sense. If drives are going to be intermittent/low NAS use, then bumping the timer up a little might be just fine.
 

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