back to article WD outs 'Mini Me' Red label NAS drives

WD has taken the wraps off its first 2.5-inch hard drive designed for network storage roles, NAS nuts in need of a more compact connected storage box – and, crucially, teensy drives to put in it – will be pleased to hear. Part of WD’s NAS-centric Red series, the notebook form-factor drives come in 750GB and 1TB capacities. Both …

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Anonymous Coward

Personally looking forward to...

when LaCie drops these into a new mini-2BigNAS box for SoHo use. Dead quiet, dead sexy and full cloud integration including both Wuala and iPhone/Android accessibility. QNAP and Synology probably duke it out for claim of 'best' at this level, of course, but their sexy quotient (and low sound levels) arent't quite up there, yet.

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Bring back 5¼"

A 5¼" made with the same tech as a modern 3½" would hold about 10 to 20TB. A pair of mirrored 10TB drives would be handy compared to a stack of 3TB as I do not need many IOPS from NAS. Also if they want to call it a NAS drive, it needs ethernet or even USB3.

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Re: Bring back 5¼"

And a 10TB drive rebuilding in a RAID will take about the MTBF of the other drives? No thanks...

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Re: Bring back 5¼"

If the sustained transfer rate remains unchanged, a 10TB restore from a mirror is under 20 hours. That is comfortably acceptable for my use case. If your MTBF is under a day you should move your disks to a less harsh environment.

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Devil

Re: Bring back 5¼"

I don't think the naysayers have ever touched this stuff.

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Re: Bring back 5¼"

If the average error rate (which has remained constant for the past 20 years or so) is still rated at one unrecoverable error in 10^-14 bits (~11TB), that would mean that during RAID rebuilding you are on average going to lose 1-2 sector of data which you will only get back if you have backups and the file in question hasn't changed since the last backup.

4TB drives are enough of a liability as it is. Making everything bigger and heavier will also make it much, much slower (5.25" disks spun at 3600rpm) and less reliable (bigger platters are going to wobble more and the whole drive will be more sensitive to vibration).

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Re: Bring back 5¼"

Quantum BigFoot - awesome drives. Bring them back. If RAID technology is no longer adequate use something else. Alternatives DO exist.

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Stop

I still haven't forgotten, WD!

I still haven't forgotten, WD, how you modified the firmware of your desktop drives to make them incompatible with NAS boxes running RAID, only so you could charge more for the new RED models.

So your marketing money is wasted on me, and I hope many others also still haven't forgotten.

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Re: I still haven't forgotten, WD!

What is this now? I haven't heard about this before. Can you give more details/links?

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Re: I still haven't forgotten, WD!

Can't find any links directly but the issue was that with certain models / firmware versions (EADS/EARS) WD introduced things that were not OK for RAID usage, like intellipark and insanely big TLER settings, and when they noticed that people were tweaking them with hacks and tools, they locked those settings in firmware so the drives stayed incompatible with RAID. And then the RED line is announced, which has intellipark disabled, lower TLER, all the things people were changing in the normal drives (and that were OK in older models).

Sadly all the internet remembers is tons of forum posts with complaints

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Re: I still haven't forgotten, WD!

I suspected as much from the Reds. I didn't know how they could claim a higher MTBF for what is essentially a Green with tweaked firmware with a moderate price increase.

Now I know - they didn't affect the MTBF at all, they merely adjusted a few settings to make the drive self-destruct later rather than sooner.

There were reports of some Linux boxes chewing up the Load Cycle Counts in 2 years. Even my Black drives after 2.5 years of service have gone though 200,000 of the reputed 300,000 life count - and one of those drives has become flakey too. I'm now running higher end Blacks (WD call them enterprise), and the Load Cycle Count is sitting at 1, after a couple of months.

As long as you stay away from the bottom end of the market (where their bread and butter is) the more you pay, the better you get. Sounds obvious, though I'm sorry to see the relevant utilities no longer work - preventing you from getting a cheap drive that isn't entirely a piece of crap.

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Re: I still haven't forgotten, WD!

I should also tell you that the Reds are PAINFULLY slow. I have used them to replace some Hitachi and some Samsung (both 7k drives), and doing things like loading Adobe Lightroom or copying from memory cards to the NAS take about TWICE the time or more - not just a little slower. The NAS is only a QNAP, but that is what the drives are supposedly designed for. (Write cache can only do so much when you are copying 100GB or more)

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No doubt with WD's usual lying SMART

Thanks, but no thanks. I would not touch WD or Samsung drives with a bargepole. They consistently do things like log a number of pending sectors, but when you overwrite them (which should cause a remap), the pending count goes to 0, and reallocated count always stays at 0.

That means that either the drive is just re-using sectors that have demonstrably gone bad in the past (and I doubt it checks them again after the write - WD disks don't have the Write-Read-Verify feature), or equally bad, it remaps them but doesn't say how many it has remapped. No doubt to reduce warranty claims.

Seagate (for WRV feature), Hitachi (for reliability) and Toshiba for me, thanks.

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