[rescue] Question about Iomega NAS Server

Nathan Raymond nate at portents.com
Tue Sep 14 10:06:11 CDT 2004

On Tue, 14 Sep 2004, Martin Wedel wrote:

> You can also save a lot on drives if you forgo the 'raid edition' model on 
> the storage drive and go with the 140$-ish 200GB SE 8mb cache drives.

Do NOT do this.  One year ago I bought six 200GB SE 8mb cache WD drives
for $job to go with a system I built (dual Athlon MP, Promise RAID
controller) and it was nothing but trouble.  Both WD and Promise released
firmware updates to work around a fundamental problem with the WD drives
(I've heard the writeback cache in them is not designed correctly at all).
The firmware updates did nothing but reduce the frequency of the problem -
the drives would still appear to 'drop off' their respective IDE channel,
causing the array to go critical (thank god for the hot spare and
auto-rebuild) about once a week instead of once a day.  Neither company
was any real help to me, WD would refuse to offer any assistance above
what was already available on their web site (a firmware download),
installing the firmware was a royal pain (had to hook up each drive as
master on the on-board IDE controller and flash update them from DOS). 
While $company didn't want to spring for six new drives from another 
brand, they were getting pissed at me (despite my attempts to make it 
clear how unhappy I was with WD), and I got them to ok new drives.  After 
some research, I decided on Hitachi 200GB drives, and called up Hitachi 
first to see what their tech support was like - it was excellent, 
responsive and friendly and they also offered to send me any more recent 
drive firmware that I might need, and said they tested their drives to 
work with RAID controllers.  It's been six months, and not a problem with 
the Hitachi drives.  The six WD SE drives were pulled and eventually 
recycled into desktops, where two of them have since failed.  I will never 
buy WD again.

- Nathan

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