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About matt_garman

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  1. I have four of the "RE2" version of the 1 TB WD GreenPower drives (model WD1000FYPS). I'm using them in a software RAID5 NAS. Until yesterday, I was quite happy with their cool and quiet operation. And then I found this thread. It's from the Linux Kernel Mailing List; you can find many archived versions by searching for "Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux". The gist is that the read/write head on these drives parks itself too often. While this does result in power savings while parked, the drives are only designed to support 300k parks (consumer drives) or 600k parks (enterprise/RE2 edition). I don't know if this problem exists on Windows or not. I would assume it does, at least under some scenarios. On Linux, I use a program called smartctl to read SMART data from the drive. This program is also available on Windows (but I'd wager there are also GUI-based tools that do the same). Either way, the smart data will show how many times the head has been parked via the "Load_Cycle_Count" parameter. An (edited) example from one of my drives: smartctl -a /dev/sda Power_On_Hours 3377 Load_Cycle_Count 97972 That averages out to 29 loads/hour... every two minutes! The "solution" so far has been to use the "wdidle3.exe" DOS utility provided by Western Digital to change the head-park idle timer to a different value (or disable it all together). I just found out about this issue yesterday, so I haven't had a chance to actually do try this yet. I found this FTP site that has a copy of the wdidle3.exe program. Anyway, if anyone else has any info on this issue, I'm eager to hear it.
  2. At the end of March, I tried to get an RMA from Seagate for a problematic ST3200826A drive. The online form said my drive's serial number has "Uknown" warranty status. So I emailed them a request with the same information. They repeated the statement that the drive has "Uknown" warranty status, and asked me to send images of the drive. I sent them images of the drive, and they said they would get back to me. The last email I received from them was on March 30. It's been nearly a month, and no word. I contacted them on April 4 and 11, requesting a status update. Still no response. About five minutes ago I went to their website, and submitted a new email (explaining the situation). At this point, I am quite frustrated. This drive was a retail purchase from Circuit City. The drive is supposed to have a five year warranty---I haven't even owned it for a year. In fact, I received a rebate directly from Seagate when I purchased this drive! (Obviously, they must have some documentation on this particular drive.) I just wanted to know (1) if anybody else has had an experience like this and (2) wanted everyone else to know what you might have to go through if RMA'ing a Seagate drive. I think that it is entirely too much to ask of a customer to take photos of a drive (they should have sufficient documentation on every drive that has left their factory). Even worse is waiting nearly a month with no reply. Lucky for me, this is a "spare" drive, but if this were a production drive, I would be extremely unhappy. This just doesn't feel like good customer service to me. Any comments? Thanks! Matt
  3. matt_garman

    Ideal drives for low cost, 24/7 raid fileserver?

    Yeah, I was eye-balling that one myself, after seeing it on SR's Leaderboard. Pluse the WD marketing literature makes it sound as though it's exactly what I want. But then I see threads such as "What is better for a server: SCSI or SATA?" and get worried. Even the reviews at newegg aren't particularly glowing---a fair number of DOA reports. On the other hand, I should know better that to trust anecdotal information. There's enough heresay out there to make any drive the absolute best or the true worst. Being as I'm not in any hurry to spend a ton of money on all this storage anyway, perhaps I'll just wait a while until there's more complete information on the WD4000YR's reliability. I wonder if any of the big storage OEMs (Dell, HP, IBM) plan on using this drive in their offerings? I never even thought about that. I've read about AAM (mostly over at silent pc review, though I've never actually used it. Does the enabling of AAM require Windows software? I.e., can I enable this on a Linux-only computer? Thanks again everyone! Matt
  4. I've got a (homebuilt) fileserver in my basement to which I would like to add a significant amount of storage capacity. As with all my computers, the server will run 24/7. Generally, however, it will see very low utilization or even be idle. So I would like to see what drive model folks are recommending for low-cost-yet-high-reliability drives. Performance isn't too important (as any recent drive should be plenty fast). Basically, if I had unlimited money, I'd just build a SCSI RAID, but that's not the case (and it would be overkill for my application anyway). So what's the next best (affordable) thing for drives that should last a very long time? I realize everyone's experience is different, and there's no "right" answer to this question. But, for example, what brand and model of drives would someone like Dell, HP, or IBM use in a non-SCSI file server? Just looking for suggestions or insights that I may not have already considered. Thanks! Matt