Pseudic

Best drive for WHS box

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I am building a WHS box and I need to choose which HDD's to go with. I've been reading the reviews of the "green" drives here on storagereview.com and I don't know which of them to go with.

I have my eyes on these 3 drives:

Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB

Western Digital WD20EARS 2TB

Samsung F3EG 2TB

I have read the reviews of the WD20EARS and F3EG, still waiting on the review for the Seagate LP ;) and don't know which one of them to choose.

Right now I am leaning towards the WD20EARS because of the Advance Format and thus being able to cram more space out of the drive.

I've read that the Seagate drive only has a load/unload rating of 50.000 cycles while the others are rated at 300.000 cycles, furthermore I believe the Seagate drive use an older form of head-parking - however the seagate drive seems to be the fastest drive of the three.

A little side question, is WHS capable of handling 4k sectors without problems? Because if it doesn't that would count against the WD20EARS.

Please let me know what you guys think :)

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A number of WHS users are reporting the EARS working just fine. Since it's a software RAID scenario, your odds of success are generally greater than say with a hardware RAID solution. Anyway, you're looking at the right drives. With the 2TB EARS generally under $100 somewhere...I think it's hard to not buy that drive. My only other advice would be to at least consider the Seagate LP (review forthcoming) only because it has the lowest idle power consumption. If power use is a concern for you, the LP is worth considering. That said, a lot of users have reliability complaints with the drive.

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A number of WHS users are reporting the EARS working just fine. Since it's a software RAID scenario, your odds of success are generally greater than say with a hardware RAID solution. Anyway, you're looking at the right drives. With the 2TB EARS generally under $100 somewhere...I think it's hard to not buy that drive. My only other advice would be to at least consider the Seagate LP (review forthcoming) only because it has the lowest idle power consumption. If power use is a concern for you, the LP is worth considering. That said, a lot of users have reliability complaints with the drive.

I just read that Samsung is coming out with a F4EG with 667GB platters and a speed of only 4300RPM, which should be good for power usage aswell i would imagine. Unfortunately I can't seem to source one here in Denmark.

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Those might in fact turn out to be very good drives, but the F4EG hasn't been released yet here either. Should be in the next month or so though...we're on the list for a review unit as soon as possible.

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Ive not had any trouble with my WD15EARS drives, so i dont see why the 2TB drives should be any different.

samsung drives generally run at a lower heat level tho

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I think the key problem with the WD Ears is what do you do:

You can use the align tool - if you get it to work and that aligns the drive - all works.

You can use a jumper and that works.

Else, if you have an unalligned drive you end up in trouble.

On that note, unless you plan to switch to Vail anytime soon I'd suggest the Seagate drives - which in my case also beat the WD drives by about 10€ in price a piece.

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If you get a WD EARS drive to use with WHS, you're going to want to use the jumper. I didn't, and did manage to get it aligned, but it was a big pain in the butt. It requires running programs to find boundary positions, editing various parts of the registry to adjust the values, and then recreating the symbolic links to the drives. You can change the jumper when Vail comes out because you're going to have to reformat anyway.

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"Using the jumper" referred to here with these EARS drives would make them simply perform like standard 512b sector drives in this application, correct?

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"Using the jumper" referred to here with these EARS drives would make them simply perform like standard 512b sector drives in this application, correct?

As far as I understand it, yes.

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The jumper workaround will only be effective for a single partition (the first). Since WHS uses two partitions - the system partition and a data partition - on the primary drive, it's probably best to avoid using an EARS drive as the primary drive in your WHS (v1), but they should be fine as secondary data drives with the jumper installed.

This is what Microsoft says about advanced format drives and WHS:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2385637/en-us

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I think the key problem with the WD Ears is what do you do:

You can use the align tool - if you get it to work and that aligns the drive - all works.

You can use a jumper and that works.

Else, if you have an unalligned drive you end up in trouble.

On that note, unless you plan to switch to Vail anytime soon I'd suggest the Seagate drives - which in my case also beat the WD drives by about 10€ in price a piece.

Or you could use Windows' built in partitioning tool and align the partition however you want.

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Or you could use Windows' built in partitioning tool and align the partition however you want.

To add a drive to the Drive Extender storage pool, you have to use the automated process which wipes and repartitions the drive.

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