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I've just bought an expensive NAS drive for data reliability

qubit

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#1
I've used WD Green drives for years for my data storage, but they do start to corrupt data after a few years and/or make odd bearing wear noises. My latest is a 4TB Green, which started corrupting my data a few months ago, even though there's only a "minor" warning from Hard Disc Sentinel about a handful of weak sectors that should get mapped out. Of course it's out of warranty, so I gave it one more chance. I moved all my data (except the corrupted files) to an old 1.5TB WD Green drive that works fine, zerod out the 4TB drive. I then then created a new partition and NTFS formatted it just to hold my Steam games, all 2.3TB worth of them - the original partition got significantly scrambled causing games to bomb out and Steam to behave strangely. Note that I've always kept my data on its own partition. I've now got two drives in my system while I test the suspect drive.

I then duly forgot all about it for several months, cuz I'm dippy like that. :p I only realized I had this temporary arrangement yesterday when I fired up Paragon Hard Disc Manager to check something. I did an error check using the right click tools on the Steam partition on the drive in This PC and sure enough, it came up with lots of errors. Thankfully, they were all recoverable though, some requiring a reboot. Clearly this drive is unreliable and cannot be used for mission critical data storage any more. The old 1.5TB checked out fine on the error check and in HDS. So that's it, time to get a replacement.

After doing a bit of research Googling for WD and Seagate drives, I decided to go all out and get a NAS drive with a proper 5 year warranty and built for reliability, so I settled on the Seagate ST4000NE0025 4 TB IronWolf Pro 7200 rpm drive for £155 from Amazon. My only concern is that this drive might be noisy and periodically make recalibration noises - I've come across one or two forum posts saying this, but the reviews don't report this (but they can't be trusted). Since it's gonna sit in my desktop PC that has the side panel permanently off and sits right next to me in a quiet room, noise performance is critical to maintain what's left of my sanity lol. If this proves to be a problem, then I'm not quite sure what I'm gonna do, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

https://www.seagate.com/gb/en/internal-hard-drives/hdd/ironwolf

Note that even a regular data backup like I do to a 1TB SSD doesn't help to relieve data loss in this situation, since I use a very simple mirror backup, so it simply copies over the garbage to the backup. I was lucky that it didn't hit my 2.5GB Outlook .pst file. I might move to a more sophisticated backup regime one day, but that would cost significant money for extra drives and likely a NAS to isolate them from the main system.

The drive should arrive in a few days, so I'll let you know then how I get on with it. I'm gonna flog the faulty drive on eBay where it belongs, once I'm set up with the new one.

UPDATE 02SEP18 Got a big update in post 13. :)
 
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cdawall

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#2
I run a stack of refurbished enterprise level seagates still in my NAS. Let me know how the actual NAS level drive works I have been thinking about swapping these out.
 

qubit

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#3
Will do.

Remember when consumer drives used to have 5 year warranties as standard and seemed to last forever, but now come with just two or three? I've definitely noticed a dropoff in reliability since they shortened those warranties. Garbage built down to a price. :rolleyes:
 

cdawall

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#4
These are ancient loud hot 2tb models. I think the part number is floating around in my NAS build thread. No idea what the original warranty was, but they are dual bearing with like literally zero noise reduction built in. Draw way more power than modern drives too.

Fast little suckers though. That's the one that worries me about going to something like the consumer level (or Nas?) bigger models.
 
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#5
Green drives are trash in my experiance. Why continue to use them if they have posted problems for you too?
 

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#6
I’d be curious to know your thoughts, we don’t use any sea gates and our only NAS drives are for our slower cold arrays, but our WD gold Ana hitachi DC drives are like @cdawall mentioned power hungry and loud.
 

qubit

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#7
Green drives are trash in my experiance. Why continue to use them if they have posted problems for you too?
I'm not. I've just bought that NAS drive haven't I? Also, it takes a few failures to see a pattern and as it's taken years for it to emerge, I've been using them until now.

Finally, the Blue drives are just rebadged Greens afaik and have two year warranties so I've steared clear of them.
 
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#8
I would be interested in some S.M.A.R.T. data for the drives that gave you trouble. How many power-on hours did they accumulate? Age? Operating temps?

I still use my original first ever HDDs, an 80GB and a 200GB Samsung drive. They still work and I have room for them in my case. Only had to let the IDE one stay in my backup PC after IDE got dropped on newer platforms. I don´t have much data and read-write wear. I think everything combined would fit on a 4TB drive.
Most recently I went a bit overkill for my usecase with a WD Gold.
 
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#9
I'm not. I've just bought that NAS drive haven't I? Also, it takes a few failures to see a pattern and as it's taken years for it to emerge, I've been using them until now.

Finally, the Blue drives are just rebadged Greens afaik and have two year warranties so I've steared clear of them.

Fair enough, every laptop I have worked on with HDD issues has been almost exclusively green or blue, and there are a lot of Dell servers with crappy green and blue drives that die like clockwork, about 6 months after their warranty expires.
 
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#10
Fair enough, every laptop I have worked on with HDD issues has been almost exclusively green or blue, and there are a lot of Dell servers with crappy green and blue drives that die like clockwork, about 6 months after their warranty expires.
Are Blues bad too? At some point in time they were considered pretty decent, but it probably depends on the specific models I guess.
 
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#12
Are Blues bad too? At some point in time they were considered pretty decent, but it probably depends on the specific models I guess.
I wouldn't recommend them. Perhaps the newer higher capacity drives are better, but there are better drives out there for the same price.
 
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qubit

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#13
Ok, I've had the new drive now for a few days so have an update for everyone.

First off, my worries that the drive would be an auditory nightmare messing with my sanity didn't come true. The bearing noise is only a bit more than the old Green and just makes a very subtle shushing noise that's not bothersome at all. Crucially, there are no regular clicks and whirs from the drive, which have caused me to return drives before. In fact, the head access noise is that little bit better than the old Green in that it's not as high pitched and is a very subtle, kinda pleasant sound. The drive does run a few degrees hotter, but nothing excessive (don't forget this is a 7200rpm drive versus 5900 or so rpm for the Green). It also seems to be rather better at handling multiple access requests at once, ie two or more processes hammering it at once, which doesn't surprise me. It also showed as perfect in Hard Disk Sentinal, as expected, so I don't think a long soak test is necessary. Some of you might want to do this with all new drives, regardless.

Right, so after confirming that I'm very happy with it, I tried to copy the data off the failing Green - all 2.28TB worth of Steam and Origin games. It started off well enough, but then it started slowing right down and point blank refused to read some files, causing Windows to pause the copying and prompt what to do, Retry, Skip, or Skip All. After trying a couple of times, I selected Skip All. The copy did eventually finish, but the Green was clearly struggling to read the files for much of the copy and overall took around 18 hours or more to complete.

The copy now actually has 3GB less worth of files than the origjnal, so that's a lot of messed up games. I'm therefore currently in the process of verifying all the game files on the copy. I'm roughly halfway through and there have been surprisingly few files that needed to be re-acquired. Should be a lot more towards the end, I expect.

Thanks to shortsighted design by Valve, the Steam client can only handle verifying one game at a time, so I'm forced to do them one by one. The only way out of this is to run a script off the internet or an executable, but I don't trust those not to have embedded malware, so I'm doing it the slow way. Once that's finished, I'll have a closer look at that Green and see if I can get it to work well enough to flog on eBay as a working drive. From what I've seen, I'm not too hopeful.

Finally, this drive with its 5 year warrany is about 50% more expensive than a regular drive with only a 2 year warranty for the same capacity, but if you want quality and long term data reliability, it's totally worth it. Note that it also comes with a data recovery service for the first two years as standard, which bumps up the price. I'd have liked the option to skip on this and pay less, but that's not possible.

*** MODS PLEASE DON'T CLOSE THIS THREAD. I want people's feedback and I'll have further updates soon. ***

EDIT: Looking at the free space on the various partitions, I can see that it's actually a bit tight and that's not great when you've just bought a drive, so the irony is that after all this I'm gonna return this one and get the 8TB model for £260.99 from Amazon. Forgot to check properly before I bought it. I'll let you know if that one is as well behaved as this one.

ANOTHER EDIT: The reason that I don't need two identical drives, is that my games don't need backing up, since they can all be downloaded again from the cloud if the files are lost. That's my Steam, Origin and Uplay games. My 1TB SSD has plenty of room for backing up my data and music.
 
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#14
Thanks to shortsighted design by Valve, the Steam client can only handle verifying one game at a time, so I'm forced to do them one by one.
Oh man yes. That and no way to disable updates globally is very, very annoying indeed.
 
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#15
please dont sell that old beat up drive for anything less then parts or repair. i can only see some poor person picking it up on a budget and then having more problems they cant figure out.
 

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#16
Oh man yes. That and no way to disable updates globally is very, very annoying indeed.
Good point, I hadn't thought of that. I suspect that they put in these inconveniences because it benefits them in some way.

In my case, I have about 230 games, so it's a lot to go through. All you can do is take Steam offline or the whole PC offline, which isn't ideal.

please dont sell that old beat up drive for anything less then parts or repair. i can only see some poor person picking it up on a budget and then having more problems they cant figure out.
Well... depends how well it works. It's still ok for testing and emergency use. It's actually in very good condition physically. Looks like new and has never been abused. Just, doesn't quite work...
 
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#17
Looking at these Ironwolf Pro drives for my upgrade for my NAS box.. Eventually I'll be needing about 8 for the NAS box and then another 4 for backup.. I suppose I could go with cheaper drives for the backups (as they are only turned on and connected when I do a physical backup of the NAS... but I prefer to know that I have stability and reliability as well as I don't want to loose any of this data, but I could always fall back on blu rays or even the tape drives I have here... sorry I digress...)

Very interested in reading the thread and definitely more interested in buying these for my WD Red replacements.. I look forward to some further updates :)

Also just noticed about the Steam update thing as well, you can set it under the options to say when it updates??

1535906675730.png


Not sure if that helps :) I only have a few games installed on my drive currently, I don't have the storage space yet to cope with 2Tb of games lol I would love to grab some 500Gb+ SSDs for all my games and do away with HD's for games and just use them as storage drives, but not so lucky just yet :(

Also just noticed this as well playing about with Steam...

1535906925885.png


Just right clicking on a game you can turn it off unless you play the game, so might this be another option? Or maybe a helpful option... :)
 
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#18
Good choice, I believe having a NAS-oriented drive enhances the experience.

An infrequently accessed NAS could in theory be right-o with the new Blues. They may very well work in a number of other situations, however, I would probably get frustrated by Blues. My HTPC/NAS is active enough to notice the difference (rips, encodes, playback, shares, services). It has three NAS drives (4TB, 4TB, 8TB) which respond near-instantly because they do not spin-down and are firmware-tailored for this, taking advantage of a 256MB cache vs a 64MB Blue cache.
 
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#19
Seagate changed the firmware to reduce the parking and the noise on the Ironwolf drives. Some noise is normal but nothing like the old 3Tb enterprise drives
 
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#20
Like any other drive, the one you pick should address the service. As we saw with the silly Backblaze survey, using consumer drives in a server environment, held in place with rubber bands is a bad idea. The very features of a consumer drive, make it a bad choice for server environments.

-If you have a server, use a drive whose design and firmware are optimized for the server environment
-If you have a NAS, use a drive whose design and firmware are optimized for the NAS environment
-If you have a surveillance setup, use a drive whose design and firmware are optimized for the surveillance usage
-If you have a gaming box or workstation, use a drive whose design and firmware are optimized for the those environments
-If you have budgetary restrictions, and performance / longevity is not an issue, use a drive whose design and firmware are targeted to that environment

Cross purposing brings less to the table, not more.
 

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
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Video Card(s) Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Edition
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB | WD Green 4TB
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Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe
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Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
#21
I've finished verifying all 230 games now and was surprised by how few bad bad files Steam had to reacquire, with only some games showing 1 or 2 bad files. Only the very last game showed a ridiculous 6875 files needing to be reacquired. That's so many, that I wonder if that number is even accurate. Anyway, Steam downloaded 48MB to fix this one. In total, there's nowhere near the 3GB discrepancy that I saw after that 2.28TB file copy. As I've now wiped that old Steam install, I can't double check it.

I'm currently secure erasing the old 4TB Green drive with Hard Disc Manager with hex pattern 55 (alternating ones and zeros) and noticed something interesting. Starting up Hard Disk Sentinel now shows the drive to be "perfect", whereas before it reported 10 weak sectors. Presumably they've finally been remapped.

Before I started the erase, I ran the official WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows where it failed immediately every time. I'll try it again once the erase has completed and see if it passes. It's got about another 11.5 hours to go. I still wouldn't trust this drive though, but it might be good enough for flogging on eBay. I have an old 200GB Maxtor that loses all its partitions randomly and without warning, trashing the data and then shows disc errors. Erasing it like this restores normal operation - until the next time.


@phill I think they'll be fine in your NAS box, but you'll definitely need good cooling as it runs quite warm. Running 8 of them in a small enclosure will cook them without good airflow.
That's not the Steam setting, unfortunately. If you look under individual games you'll see a setting that tells Steam to autoupdate the game or not. There isn't a global setting for that when there should be.

@John Naylor I broadly agree with that and can say that I effectively have a "mini NAS" in my PC, since the drive stores all my data (backed up, of course) and is accessed all the time. I'm not sure where so-so reliability from the Greens (and maybe Blues?) fits in, since a drive that tends to corrupt data after a couple of years isn't good for anything.
 
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#22
@qubit I use the HD Tune software to test my drives, I guess it will do exactly the same as the software you're using... I think if a drive started doing that to me, I'd trust it with some games and that's about it.. I don't like it when drives act up, loosing data even if it's only game data can sometimes be very frustrating :(

The NAS box I have currently is a Fractal 804 case, it'll fit in 8 drives on one side and then two on the other, it's not a bad case but I do wonder about the air flow but the WD Reds that I have in there, normally hover about the 30 to 35C, maybe they might hit 40C if under a long copy or use like a virus scan but otherwise they are ok I think. It would be interesting to see what the 8Tb drives are like in there, as you say they can run warm and I'm not surprised with the size of the drive or the spin speed.. Roll on cheap 8Tb SSDs lol :)

I think the individual game settings are the only way to do it.. Failing that, only install a select few games that you want and just tweak the settings :) I'm limited by disk space so I only have a few downloaded, I tend to leave Steam do it's thing and not worry about it too much :)
 

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
15,502 (3.93/day)
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Location
Quantum Well UK
System Name Quantumville™
Processor Intel Core i7-2700K at stock (hits 5 gees+ easily)
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 16GB (4 x 4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz)
Video Card(s) Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Edition
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB | WD Green 4TB
Display(s) BenQ XL2720Z | Asus VG278HE (both 27", 144Hz, 3D Vision 2, 1080p)
Case Cooler Master HAF 922
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX 850W v1
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
#23
@phill Those Reds are pretty cool running drives. These Seagates run 40-46C and feel pretty hot to the touch. Ok, just checked now as I write this and the 8TB Seagate is showing 34C and only feels mildly warm. Still, my old 4TB Green definitely runs cooler, but also spins slower. I think because the room is just a couple of degees cooler, it's having a disproportionate effect on the temperature of the Seagate drive. I still think you might have to add an extra fan or two if you put these in your NAS box.

Note that these Seagates are 7200rpm drives and don't the Reds spin a bit slower, which would run them cooler?
 
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#24
I've always found the cooler you can keep an HDD the longer it will last one of the reasons I bought a couple of Antech 3x 5.25" to 4x 3.5" HDD cages they come with an 120mm fan on the front that keeps my HDD's nice an cool even while doing large file copies

Like this

 

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
15,502 (3.93/day)
Likes
9,124
Location
Quantum Well UK
System Name Quantumville™
Processor Intel Core i7-2700K at stock (hits 5 gees+ easily)
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 16GB (4 x 4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz)
Video Card(s) Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Edition
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB | WD Green 4TB
Display(s) BenQ XL2720Z | Asus VG278HE (both 27", 144Hz, 3D Vision 2, 1080p)
Case Cooler Master HAF 922
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX 850W v1
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
#25
Absolutely. I've actually got a twin fan HDD cooler somewhere that screws in underneath the HDD, but it's noisy and tends to interfere with HDD mounting so I don't use it. If heat was a problem in my rig, I'd have a fan of some sort for sure.
 
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