Trazom

Western Digital 500GB HD problem with RAID5

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Hi,

I thought this info might be useful for some of you, We noticed a big performance issue using WD 500GB hard disks in RAID5. Both WD5000KS and WD5000YS have the problem.

This is what we tried : RAID5 Array (4 disks), we tried stripe size of 16, 64 and 128kb on these controllers: 3ware 9650SE 8ML, 3ware 9550SX 4ML, Highpoint RR2220 and Highpoint RR2310.

In all cases, the RAID5 Array using WD5000KS or WD5000YS drives was very slow to read (60MB/sec roughly over all disk), while the same array config on same controllers with WD3200KS and WD3200YS (320GB hd), give 140 to 150MB/sec read. We tested the speed in 3 different ways (Hdtach RW pro, hdtest and windows file transfer)

We opened a web supports with 3ware and Western Digital (we sent 2 requests for support, no answer received). Finally, we got the following answer from 3ware:

Hello David,

We have a case logged with Western Digital on these drives. We've provided a SATA trace to assist their engineers in finding the issue. It is believed to be a bug in the drive's firmware as we've confirmed what you've found in your testing. This theory hasn't been confirmed by WD yet nor has a schedule been provided to AMCC/3ware at this time.

Thank you,

Mark

So it seems there is really a problem with those drives, that 3ware was able to confirm. Here are firmware versions we have ou our drives:

the WD5000KS have firmware 07.02E07

and the WD5000YS have firmware 09.02E09

I also have to add that those drives show no problem in RAID0 and RAID10, they give the same (good) performance than WD3200KS/YS

If anyone heard of a solution for this, I'll be glad to hear... meanwhile, I hope WD gets a firmware fix for this, because we have 16 of those drives and we need RAID5

David.

Edited by Trazom

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I knew I wasn't the only one with this problem!!!

I have been fighting this since the day I got these stupid WD drives. 4 WD5000YS drives in a RAID5 on a 3ware 9650SE, any stripe size, with or without NCQ, etc ... no matter what we get about ~40-50MB/s reads and ~150-180MB/s writes. Something is horribly wrong here. I start to think it's something to do with the 3ware, then I think its the drives, then I think its the intel 5000P chipset... no idea, I just know seagates work perfectly fine. I opened case # 050207-5051842 with WD to try to get to the bottom of this - please HELP! We have like 50 of these drives and half fail (no firmware update yet) the other other half performance just sucks (firmware updated).

Sam

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Do you have WD model #'s that end with B0 or B1 ? WD played tricks with their firmware update files, they re-released a second firmware without changing the version #... we flashed drives early on and they we're B0. Someone at WD told me to re-flash them because they changed the model # to B1... nice tricks they play huh ? Anyhow, wondering if that helps your problem. Will know more tomorrow.

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built a system with 5 wd5000ks drives not that long ago. using highpoint 2320 even though they are listed as compatible my raid5 array fails all the time. will run stable for weeks at a time then the 5th(spare drive) and any of the first 4 will disconnect. I contacted highpoint and they told me to use the YS drives.

just bought 4 samsung 500gbs to hopefully rebuild the array a drive at a time to eliminate the disconnects. sheesh what a pain the ass.

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Does this problem affect the WD 500AAKS drives? I was thinking of setting up a RAID5 array with them.

I don't believe so. I have 6 5000AAKS drives in a RAID5 on an Areca ARC-1230. I get over 300MB/s read, and over 200MB/s write.

WD5000AAKS-00TMA0 f/w 12.01C01

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Hi David,

I'm seeing similar issues with the same WD5000KS (B0) drives on a 3ware 9550SXU-8LP. In RAID 5 with 64k stripes, I typically see 7MB (megabytes - not bits) writes and 50MB reads. I'm not a RAID expert, but even with the expectation of "slow" performance with RAID 5, that seems pretty low. Software RAID (md on Linux 2.6) consistently achieved 25-30MB reads and writes with the same drives (I bought the 9550 hoping to speed things up - imagine my surprise). Note that these are long (multi-gigabyte) writes - short writes that use the cache on the card are understandably pretty quick.

I have the same firmware on my KS drives as you've noted below. I'll watch this thread and keep my fingers crossed that WD issues a firmware update to speed things up (or write one of the three drives off as a spare, configure a mirrored set and go get some "known-good" drives for the RAID 5 array).

-JT

Hi,

I thought this info might be useful for some of you, We noticed a big performance issue using WD 500GB hard disks in RAID5. Both WD5000KS and WD5000YS have the problem.

This is what we tried : RAID5 Array (4 disks), we tried stripe size of 16, 64 and 128kb on these controllers: 3ware 9650SE 8ML, 3ware 9550SX 4ML, Highpoint RR2220 and Highpoint RR2310.

In all cases, the RAID5 Array using WD5000KS or WD5000YS drives was very slow to read (60MB/sec roughly over all disk), while the same array config on same controllers with WD3200KS and WD3200YS (320GB hd), give 140 to 150MB/sec read. We tested the speed in 3 different ways (Hdtach RW pro, hdtest and windows file transfer)

We opened a web supports with 3ware and Western Digital (we sent 2 requests for support, no answer received). Finally, we got the following answer from 3ware:

Hello David,

We have a case logged with Western Digital on these drives. We've provided a SATA trace to assist their engineers in finding the issue. It is believed to be a bug in the drive's firmware as we've confirmed what you've found in your testing. This theory hasn't been confirmed by WD yet nor has a schedule been provided to AMCC/3ware at this time.

Thank you,

Mark

So it seems there is really a problem with those drives, that 3ware was able to confirm. Here are firmware versions we have ou our drives:

the WD5000KS have firmware 07.02E07

and the WD5000YS have firmware 09.02E09

I also have to add that those drives show no problem in RAID0 and RAID10, they give the same (good) performance than WD3200KS/YS

If anyone heard of a solution for this, I'll be glad to hear... meanwhile, I hope WD gets a firmware fix for this, because we have 16 of those drives and we need RAID5

David.

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[i too am having problems with WD, both its drives and its horrible customer support.

I was using 3 Raptors WD1500ADFD and a WD5000KS, in a Raid 5, using an Intel Ichr7 controler.

Seems to run fine for 3-5 days them the drives show as non-member drives, I replaced the motherboard, and the drives passed WD diags. They still show up as non-member drives in less than a week.

WD customer support is a joke, all I got was an automated reply, and even after 2 updates no response.

I bought Seagate drives, No problems.

Anyone want to buy some Raptors cheap?

Eric

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If you want to achieve better performance with 3ware controllers, you will have to appropriately tune block device settings in linux. There's even pdf on the 3ware explaining the details (particulary nr_requests, read_ahead, max_sectors_kb, scheduler - from what I remember).

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If you want to achieve better performance with 3ware controllers, you will have to appropriately tune block device settings in linux. There's even pdf on the 3ware explaining the details (particulary nr_requests, read_ahead, max_sectors_kb, scheduler - from what I remember).

Thanks Michal - I downloaded and tried all of those. Didn't help much.

I am purchasing a battery backup for the 3ware card as I find that the difference between "Protection" and "Performance" is more significant than I had anticipated. Set to "Performance", my controller gets about 50MB/s out of my RAID 5 array, reading or writing.

From what I read, that's still slow, though. If my expectation is off, please correct me.

Edited by maestro371

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Same issue faced here I have 20 of these 5000YS & KS units and all of them suck in terms of performance when hooked upto 3wares. Waiing for firmware release the 9x some firmware fixed the drive dropping off from controller issue but performance on 3ware controllers is pathetic with these drives. Just ordred a box with seagate to see how they perform . Any updates on the drive firmware and performance issue fix with 3ware would be greatly appreciated.

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Ive got the same situation, just purchased 5 x 5000YS drives and running in Raid5, 128KB stripe/4k sector size/4k ntfs and getting around 59/60mbs average read/write speeds. My controller is a Promise EX-8450.

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We have encountered the same reading problems problem with the WD5000YS in a raid 5

configuration.

They perform well in Raid 0,1 though, and as a normal drive.

WD5000YS have also been known to drop out of raid arrays, this can be fixed with a

firmware upgrade from WDC, but this update doesn't fix the reading problem mentioned above.

In our tests the WD5000YS the performs only about a third of the reading speed of WD4000YR

using 9550SX-8LP, 64K stripe.

The "newly" released WD5000ABYS also drops constaintly out of the Raid array so we

haven't even been able to test it's reading speed yet, three drives dropped out after only two minutes

of testing. Unfortunently we now also have 5 of these and starting to get fed up with Western Digital.

So now I'm hoping for some comments from you all, have anyone used WD5000ABYS in raid 5?

The only 500 Gb from WDC that seems to perform good in Raid 5 is the WD5000AAKS,

however I haven't been able to confirm this myself.

Can anyone here confirm this?

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The only 500 Gb from WDC that seems to perform good in Raid 5 is the WD5000AAKS,

however I haven't been able to confirm this myself.

Can anyone here confirm this?

There you go :)

Does this problem affect the WD 500AAKS drives? I was thinking of setting up a RAID5 array with them.

I don't believe so. I have 6 5000AAKS drives in a RAID5 on an Areca ARC-1230. I get over 300MB/s read, and over 200MB/s write.

WD5000AAKS-00TMA0 f/w 12.01C01

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I have 10 WD5000YS drives connected to Adaptec 2820SA RAID controllers as well as several connected to various motherboard controllers. I have patched all my drives to 9.02 firmware, even RMA'ed a couple of drives and I am still having the drives go offline, even in non-RAID situations! Unfortunately I can't wait for WD, I'm replacing them all with Seagate drives, WD needs to recall all them, I can't imagine how many lost hours of productivity have resulted from these bad drives. I have talked several times with Adaptec about this and they say their service center has been impacted by the number of callers with RAID problems resulting from YS drives.

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Further, just a clarification, if you regularly power cycle these drives (for example in a user workstation) they *may be* fine. The issue as I see it is that the drive's internal self check takes the drive offline. According to the WD support article #1493 it runs about once per month. In my experience this can vary from 1/wk to 1/mon. Although the Jan2007 firmware patch is supposed to fix this problem, it doesn't (although it is likely it has improved it). Not only this, but some non-RAID controllers don't handle drives going offline well and this can result in the controller going down. I would only consider using these drives only in systems that are typically turned off daily until such time as WD issues a new firmware update which is proven to fix the problem.

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Here's the reply I got from WD.

Dear Mr *******,

Thank you for supporting Western Digital.

There are no known issues related to this controller and the WD5000YS hard drives. Our only suggestion would be to try another brand of RAID controller to see if this resolves the issue.

Should you have other enquiries, you are welcome to call or email us again.

-----------------

Hi *******,

Thank you for your reply.

Please test the drives on a controller other than Promise.

-------------------------- And here's what Promise Support said - Note I haven't had any issues with my WD4000KD's in a RAID5 array on this card and other drives whatsoever. --------------------------

******,

The western digital YS series of drives are problematic as far as

any I/O goes, and faulty as far speed goes. Please swap out the drives

to prevent future drive failure. As far as replacement drives please

consider Seagate drives, they are the best as far as reliability go. If

you have any further questions, feel free to cc us here at

***@promise.com. Your configuration setup appears to be perfectly fine.

Edited by endo

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Perhaps these issues are the reason that WD has their RE editions, or Raid editions??? Anyone know if the AAKS series of drives are affected by this issue?

You do realise, that the people having problems in this thread are talking about the YS(RAID Edition2) drives don't you ?

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I'm having the same problem with a backup server we have here (Supermicro 5015M-MT chassis, 3ware 9500S-4LP RAID card, 4 WD5000KS drives in RAID5, no spare). Array performance is degraded, and drives drop from the array randomly (about every 2 weeks at this point). 62360 KiB/s block output, 88127 KiB/s input on the WD system, while I have an identical system, but with 500GB Seagate drives instead, getting 78017 KiB/s output, 122658 KiB/s input.

I can recover by pulling the "failed" drive's tray out of the chassis, re-inserting it, and telling the 3ware controller to rebuild. Still, it's a pain. We run almost 100% Seagate around here and have been really happy, so these WD drives are starting to get on my nerves. Hopefully WD will get updated firmware out (but from what I've seen in their replies above, it doesn't sound likely).

Thanks for the info all.

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Does this problem affect the WD 500AAKS drives? I was thinking of setting up a RAID5 array with them.

I don't believe so. I have 6 5000AAKS drives in a RAID5 on an Areca ARC-1230. I get over 300MB/s read, and over 200MB/s write.

WD5000AAKS-00TMA0 f/w 12.01C01

I can second that. I'm running 4 WD5000AAKS drives in RAID-5 on an ARC-1210 with excellent performance. (Would be even nicer with 6 disks of course. ;) )

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I'm having the same problem with a backup server we have here (Supermicro 5015M-MT chassis, 3ware 9500S-4LP RAID card, 4 WD5000KS drives in RAID5, no spare). Array performance is degraded, and drives drop from the array randomly (about every 2 weeks at this point). 62360 KiB/s block output, 88127 KiB/s input on the WD system, while I have an identical system, but with 500GB Seagate drives instead, getting 78017 KiB/s output, 122658 KiB/s input.

I can recover by pulling the "failed" drive's tray out of the chassis, re-inserting it, and telling the 3ware controller to rebuild. Still, it's a pain. We run almost 100% Seagate around here and have been really happy, so these WD drives are starting to get on my nerves. Hopefully WD will get updated firmware out (but from what I've seen in their replies above, it doesn't sound likely).

Thanks for the info all.

I believe there is a firmware update to fix the 'dropping out of the array' issue. Check WD's site.

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One more person waiting for the answer to this mystery! i have a 3ware 9650SE with 7 WD5000YS drives attached. Firmware is, and has been since i bought the drives, 09.02E09.

I get random disappearing drives from the RAID. Interestingly it has seemed to subside over the past 6 months to the point that i barely get drop outs anymore and usually a power cycle fixes it. Still, my only solution was to have a Hot Spare constantly available to the 9650SE so when a WD dropped off the RAID it would still be redundant. When the WD randomly re-joined the RAID i would then make it the new Hot Spare.

In regards to the read performance, one word, WOW. So slow. 60mb/s or so...MAYBE. And it's very jumpy, jerky to boot. I spent so much money on this setup only to get this. Oh well.

Here's to hoping 3ware or WD come up with a fix! (meaning i'm hoping 3ware does because WD doesn't seem to care much).

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I've had similar experience with the 3ware 9650se-8lpml with both Seagate (ST3500630NS) and WD drives (WD5000YS). I lean towards the 3ware controller as the guilty party.

My performance interest is sequential reads/writes of files > 1 GB. Six WD5000YS drives produce a max of ~60 MB/sec reads for RAID-0, RAID-5, and RAID-6. Seagate drives were around 120 MB/sec for RAID-5 and RAID-6 reads. Write performance is in the expected range of 200-250 MB/sec for both HD brands.

Using the MB's own onboard Intel sata/raid chip with just 4 drives and RAID-5 yields > 200 GB/sec reads for both Seagate and WD units, and write performance is ~120 MB/sec.

The PC is plugged into a UPS, and I've got the higher performance cache enabled.

I've also seen the random drive startup problem, and my own solution has been to plug jumpers onto the WD drives' pins 3 and 4, to configure the 3 ware card to 10 sec spinup time and then configure the MB BIOS to also use a 10 sec drive power up time. Doing just the jumpers and the 3ware spinup time was not sufficient. After a whole 2 weeks, I've had zero startup failures. Before that I spent a lot of time watching drives get reconstructed. (Yes, I know the unit is usable during this reconstruction time).

Good luck to us all. I'm going to take a Halloween break from this particular headache.

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I have 24 of the WD5000YS drives in single raid-5 arrays here and also see some slower performance than what I wanted (though it's still fine for the application that it's doing). I'm replacing them with ES.2 1TB drives from seagate though. This is all on the areca 1280ML cards. On average I'm getting about 200MiB/sec (stripe size 128KiB) for writes and about 400MiB/sec for reads (this is all raw disk speed after caches). The updated firmware solved the dropping problem though.

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