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dockpunk 02-14-2010 09:25 PM

Western Digital Green HDD Question
 
Looking to upgrade my local file server and have my eye on either a 1.5 or 2TB wd green drive over at newegg. I've read that there is an issue with the drive's intelliseek feature which causes it to idle and park the seeker at a much higher rate than normal under linux, drastically reducing the potential life span of the drive.

The most recent thing I've read about this issue is almost a year old though, and nothing stating if the problem has been fixed or not in the newer series of drives. If it hasn't been addressed, I cant find any information on which of the current "Green" models are affected.

So does anyone know for a fact that this is no longer an issue or should I stay on the cautious side and go with a different hdd?

I'm not interested in the fact it's "green", only that I mainly stick to western digital drives and it's the only line they have it that capacity range. They are the best bet cost wise too, but I'd be fine with spending a little extra and trying my luck with another manufacturer if it means i wont be stuck with a 2TB paper weight 6 months from now.

zeno0771 02-14-2010 09:57 PM

My understanding is the WDC Green drives had reliability issues in general which is why I've been advising people to stay away from them, at least until the tech involved in making them "green" no longer interferes with reliability. I didn't know there were problems with them that were Linux-specific as well.

The Blue and Black drives are great performers and the Blue drives are still competitively priced.

Hephasteus 02-14-2010 10:25 PM

It's greener and faster to raid 2 laptop drives than it is to use a "green" drive.

Electro 02-15-2010 01:00 AM

They are meant to be used for media drives when the usage is low. If you are using them as a the main operating system drive, then you are going to have problems with them. The reliability of these models is not any different compared to any mechanical drives. I disagree with zeno0771 because zeno0771 does not know what the Green models are designed for. They are designed for media drives. I suggest the Blue models if you want performance. The Black models are just pathetic because they do not hit the area where they are designed to be in in which is performance.

dockpunk 02-15-2010 12:21 PM

Ok, i think a few of my points have been missed. As i said, i couldnt give 2 poops about it being "green". the black and blue lines do not come any larger than 1TB. well there is a 2TB black but it is $100-$150 higher in price then a green. So if i want a 1.5 or 2TB drive, and wish to continue using western digital, the green is my only option. I would be perfectly happy with any other western digital line as long as it was comparable in size and price, but they don't exist.

It will be used in a file server and will be a tertiary drive so performance doesnt matter, i also dont want to just use multiple smaller capacity drives since that is what my current set up is which i'm trying to move away from. there will be no RAID set up of any kind, so the fact these drives dont deal well with them isnt a factor.

The concern now is related to this http://kerneltrap.org/mailarchive/li...8/4/10/1396844
Basically, one of the power saving features is "intellipark". when the drive goes idle it parks the seeker head. the timer on the drive is far lower than the linux kernels flush timer. that means the seeker is being parked much more often than it should causing more mechanical wear. the drives are only rated for about 300,00 parks, with this issue you could reach that in just a few months.
This is less of a problem for me since it is only for a file server, but i do still worry that the occasional days of sporadic file transfers will significantly reduce the drives life span.
Now that post is close to 2 years old, and the most recent thing i can find is from summer 09, but nothing stating whether or not this is still an issue with the newer models of drives.

I will look a bit more into this, but unless i can find a definitive answer i guess i'll play it safe and go with a different manufacturer. I'm a creature of habit though and western digital has been my go to brand for over a decade.

Quakeboy02 02-15-2010 01:02 PM

I was looking through the WDC site and found this page. It looks like there is a Windows (DOS?) utility to make the timeout longer. I'd unplug everything else before I ran it.

http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc....bCZwX3BhZ2U9MQ

Added:
Read the pdf near the bottom of the page. It looks like it applies to drives created after Dec 1, 2008

jefro 02-15-2010 04:08 PM

Just read up on it.

http://www.osnews.com/story/22872/Li...or_Hard_Drives

dockpunk 02-15-2010 05:33 PM

Quakeboy: thanks for the link, i knew that DOS app existed, but not that they made it publicly available. I know there are some kernel flags you can set as well, but i didnt really want to bother when i could just by a drive that worked properly in the first place.

The pdf on that page is exactly the type of information i was looking for. if i'm reading it correctly it was the drives manufactured before Dec 2008 that suffer this problem. It shows only 2 models of 750GB and 1 model of 1TB as affected. everything created after Dec 2008 has a newer firmware which raises the idle time out from 8 seconds to 5 minutes. so it would seem this has in fact been fixed, which explains why i have found no mention of it in regards to the newer 1.5 and 2TB models.

jefro: not at all the issue i'm talking about, but something to keep in mind just the same.

Quakeboy02 02-15-2010 06:06 PM

Glad I could help. In fact, I've been thinking of buying one of these drives but just haven't gotten off the dime, yet.

zeno0771 02-17-2010 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3863910)
They are meant to be used for media drives when the usage is low. If you are using them as a the main operating system drive, then you are going to have problems with them.

...But then you say

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3863910)
The reliability of these models is not any different compared to any mechanical drives.

I don't know about you but in my 20+ years of experience in hardware, if you have to use it less than a normal drive in order to get it to last as long as a normal drive, there's a reliability issue.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3863910)
I disagree with zeno0771 because zeno0771 does not know what the Green models are designed for. They are designed for media drives.

What media drives aren't in constant use when delivering data? Sounds to me like someone fell for some marketing hype.

Electro 02-17-2010 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zeno0771 (Post 3867168)
...But then you say

..

I don't know about you but in my 20+ years of experience in hardware, if you have to use it less than a normal drive in order to get it to last as long as a normal drive, there's a reliability issue.

..

What media drives aren't in constant use when delivering data? Sounds to me like someone fell for some marketing hype.

In my 20+ years of computer experience, I know in fact that mechanical drives are unreliable. Saying they are reliable which you are saying is completely bull shit. The reason why I stated that the Western Digital Green model should be used as a media drive is because the algorithm is not designed for operating system tasks or as database task. I said nothing about reliability. I said it is best to use as a media drive because its performance or latency is poor. If you are scared of this model, do not buy it. For someone that also has 20+ years of experience, should already know this by now. Also you over clocked your computer to almost twice the given frequency will hurt reliability about 10 fold because heat will make your whole setup fail sooner than expected. The main poster will be using the drive as a secondary drive which is a media or miscellaneous drive.

I did not fell for marketing hype because I know which model is used for certain tasks. A marketing hype is Hyperthreading to make a processor seem that it is faster, so you gave into marketing hype while buying an Intel model that has such features. Media files like videos actually do not read at a constant and steady rate. Video files basically are read a chunk at a time, so there is time for the hard drive is not being access. The Green model has algorithms to work with these tasks while providing low power consumption.

I will be using a Western Digital Green drive in my next computer build.

zeno0771 02-19-2010 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3867507)
In my 20+ years of computer experience, I know in fact that mechanical drives are unreliable. Saying they are reliable which you are saying is completely bull shit.

I said the Blue and Black drives were more reliable than the Greens. I said absolutely nothing about mechanical drives in general. Learn to read.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3867507)
The reason why I stated that the Western Digital Green model should be used as a media drive is because the algorithm is not designed for operating system tasks or as database task. I said nothing about reliability. I said it is best to use as a media drive because its performance or latency is poor.

Most media center software is set up as a database. If a drive can't handle the very thing you allege it's designed for, why on earth would it be considered better for the application???

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3867507)
Also you over clocked your computer to almost twice the given frequency will hurt reliability about 10 fold because heat will make your whole setup fail sooner than expected.

Not only is this completely unrelated to the subject at hand, but FYI the system is water-cooled and the heat generated is outside the case via a radiator. You should really get all the details before you go criticizing someone else's engineering. Also, since when is 4.0GHz "twice the given frequency" of 3.0GHz? How did you make it to 20 years' experience on that kind of math? Never mind, I think I know the answer.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3867507)
A marketing hype is Hyperthreading to make a processor seem that it is faster, so you gave into marketing hype while buying an Intel model that has such features.

4 cores != hyperthreading. Let me guess: AMD fanboi?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3867507)
I will be using a Western Digital Green drive in my next computer build.

...boy, you sure showed me.

Electro 02-21-2010 02:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zeno0771 (Post 3869695)
I said the Blue and Black drives were more reliable than the Greens. I said absolutely nothing about mechanical drives in general. Learn to read.

The Green models has the same reliability as any other drives. You are spreading rumors that are not true and you probably did not test the reliability of these models.

My other system has a Green model hard drives and they work just fine. They are not as responsive as the 7200 RPM drives or versions designed for desktop tasks, but they work just fine.

Could go for another brand like Seagate, but they have more problems compared to Western Digital. Seagate has electronic or firmware problems at these high capacities, but I still will not suggest them even if the firmware has been updated. At least Western Digital is aware of the mechanical problem and provides a little fix. It is easy to get data off if it is not an electronic problem which Western Digital does not have. If there is a mechanical problem which I had my fair share you can still get data off. If there is a electronic problem, you can try forever to get the data off, but you can not unless you take other methods which are more destructive.


Quote:

Originally Posted by zeno0771 (Post 3869695)
Most media center software is set up as a database. If a drive can't handle the very thing you allege it's designed for, why on earth would it be considered better for the application???

I will not say mostly. They usually scan all drives and create an index of where the files are located on the miscellaneous or secondary drive which is the Western Digital Green drive. The index file could be saved on Western Digital Blue drive or other type of memory.


Quote:

Originally Posted by zeno0771 (Post 3869695)
Not only is this completely unrelated to the subject at hand, but FYI the system is water-cooled and the heat generated is outside the case via a radiator. You should really get all the details before you go criticizing someone else's engineering. Also, since when is 4.0GHz "twice the given frequency" of 3.0GHz? How did you make it to 20 years' experience on that kind of math? Never mind, I think I know the answer.

I know the answer. You are a hypocrite. You over clock your computer and include water cooling, but you care too much about hard drive reliability. I use hard drives and understand their reliability. When getting any hard drive, there are good batches and bad batches. I prefer to use air cooling and I do not care to over clock. A good engineer will always think of a backup plan. If something fails, is there a plan in place to save from complete failure. A water cooling setup does not such thing even if multiple pumps are used. An air cooling setup will have the ability provide somewhat of a backup plan if the fan fails. The heat sink will cool the processor the best it can, but the processor will be close to over heating and still be working.


Yes, I prefer AMD setups because they are cheaper while providing the same performance.

zeno0771 02-22-2010 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3871154)
The Green models has the same reliability as any other drives. You are spreading rumors that are not true and you probably did not test the reliability of these models.

Actual customer reviews of the 1.5TB Green drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...CustomerReview

...where 23% of respondents had problems or they dropped dead completely.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...710&CatId=4357

...where a similar percentage said the same.

These. Drives. Are. Failing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3871154)
I will not say mostly. They usually scan all drives and create an index of where the files are located on the miscellaneous or secondary drive which is the Western Digital Green drive. The index file could be saved on Western Digital Blue drive or other type of memory.

XBMC, MythTV (both standalone and distro-specific respins like Mythbuntu), XBOX360...even the current version of Windoze Media Center. Which ones did I miss that more than 3 people use? Further, if you need a "secondary" secondary drive, doesn't it negate the money saved by using a Green drive in the first place?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3871154)
I know the answer. You are a hypocrite. You over clock your computer and include water cooling, but you care too much about hard drive reliability.

Okay, let's try this again: How does my own watercooled rig have ANYTHING to do with Western Digital drives, much less your inability to do basic arithmetic?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3871154)
I use hard drives and understand their reliability.

No, you're a fanboi and a troll.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3871154)
I prefer to use air cooling and I do not care to over clock.

Again, completely unrelated and irrelevant.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3871154)
A good engineer will always think of a backup plan. If something fails, is there a plan in place to save from complete failure. A water cooling setup does not such thing even if multiple pumps are used. An air cooling setup will have the ability provide somewhat of a backup plan if the fan fails. The heat sink will cool the processor the best it can, but the processor will be close to over heating and still be working.

Proving once again you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. No current desktop or server CPU will run with a heatsink alone and if you actually consider that a "backup plan" your future in IT will be short indeed. A backup pump will in fact provide failsafe but since you clearly don't know how that works it's wasted information. Atoms and C7s aren't desktop so don't go there.

Look, I get it; you like/work for WD. Doesn't make you a genius. Your life will be a lot easier if you stop passing off your opinions as engineering and talking out your less-distinguished end about things of which you have no knowledge whatsoever.

This was entertaining at first; now it's just boring. To the OP, I hope you end up with drives that last longer than my patience in this thread. Maybe they'll be Green drives; it's your money.

thorkelljarl 02-22-2010 03:52 PM

Enough...

The argument has provided me with some useful information introduced in the different points of view. However, I alway thought it was better to question the validity of what is presented rather than the integrity of the one who is presenting it.


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