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Good Drive 05/09/2013
One if the biggest pros of this drive is the price vs features. For the money, you will be hard pressed to find another drive that has the warranty, features, and speed that this drive has. The drive runs cool in a 5 bay Synology NAS reaching a max temp of 100 degrees Fahrenheit during a two day raid 6 data scrub. This drive includes features such as TLER which is critical for a drive that will be used in a raid array as well as a three year warranty from Western Digital who has always been good to me when it comes to honoring a warranty. If you need a 3TB drive that will see a raid array but you don't need the 7200RPM drives then this drive should work perfectly.
Now when it comes to the cons of the drive I want to note that these should all be taken with a grain of salt. What I mean is mechanical drives are subject to failure just like any other heat generating component and all of these drives will eventually fail. That said, I had to return one of five drives because it did not pass my torture test for new drives (I will explain more on that below). One out of five is not that bad considering the testing that I put them through and compared to some other drives from not only this manufacture but others they did rather well. If you are looking for mission critical drives for important data access such as databases or large file structures please look elsewhere. While these drives are definitely not slow, they are made to be used in an environment where access times are not as important such as a NAS or a data storage only array.
Overall these drives fit the bill perfectly for what I wanted to use them for. They had TLER and other features that I needed for a good raid ready drive. They are very fast considering their slower spindle speed and for what I need them for, they saturate dual gigabit connections just fine. They are quiet drives compared to most of your desktop drives that operate at 7200RPM so they are perfect for that bedroom NAS sitting in the corner. They run cool for a drive that delivers performance like that. All that said, don't use these drives in anything that requires fast seek times or that is mission critical because they are not designed for that purpose and you are bound to be disappointed by them.
One other thing worth mentioning is the nature of these drives and how to lesson the potential that you will put your important data on a dying drive. When you get a new hard drive please do your best to thoroughly test the drive before you ever consider putting it in your storage environment. The problem comes when people don't test the drive and it dies a few days later on them. Sometimes people will test the drive and it will pass only to die a few days later regardless. Problem is, drives are sneaky little buggers and tend to not show their flaws completely until they have got a few good hours of use on them. That is why you always stress test them when you get them to run them past the point where you can be sure that they will live a long, working life for you and your data. The method I have developed for testing ANY new mechanical drive is to first run the drive through a 7 pass DBAN cycle while having the drive wrapped loosely in a t-shirt. You want the drive to get warm but never over its specked operating temperature. After the first DBAN cycle if you have no errors let the drive cool for an hour or so then do the same 7 pass DBAN run again. If it passes again then boot into a live linux cd (Ubuntu works well) and format the drive with varying different file systems. Create and delete multiple partitions, and for good measure copy some junk data to the drive a few times. Once this is done go ahead and boot up a tool called HDAT2 (can be found via google) and run the most powerful test under drive tests. This will check every sector on the drive. (You don't need to wrap the drive for this test). If it passes with no bad sectors then format the drive and enjoy some piece of mind knowing that your drive is more than likely going to work well for you for a long time.
If a drive is going to fail it will more than likely do so during all that stress testing. Sure you may have to return some bad drives but you paid the money to have a fully functional drive. Hold them accountable for not having more QQ at the plant before they are released out to customers.
That's pretty much it. I bought five drives (This go around. I have bought many more) and only one failed the stress testing. I would say these are pretty solid drives for the money.
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