49.7 days firmware problem6/19/2009 1:15:54 PM

Pros: the fastest sata2 drive currently available on the market

Cons: We have discovered a very serious issue that everyone needs to be aware of. We found that after running almost 50 days continuously the drive will throw Time Limited Error Recovery (TLER) errors. These errors will cause a RAID volume to fail. This issue occurs when TLER is enabled When the continuous power on hours hits 49.7 days, an internal firmware time keeper, in the drives firmware wraps. When this time keeper wraps, any active Read, Write, and Flush commands will prematurely TLER timeout. Because this time keeper wraps on all of the VelociRaptor, installed in a system together, at the same time (all powered on at the same time), any RAID volumes on these drives will fail. In our testing, our system RAID volume failed and we were not able to recovery because all of the VelociRaptor failed together. Data is not lost but the RAID controller will think that all of the drives failed because of the incorrect TLER timeout. If the system, with VelociRaptor drives, stays powered on,

Overall Review: it will fail again every 49.7 days. We have also been told by Western Digital that a short term work around is to power cycle any systems with the VelociRaptor drives every 30-45 days to avoid the internal firmware time keeper from wrapping at 50 days. A simple reset or restart doesn't work. The system must be completely power off to reset the internal firmware time keeper. Western Digital is also currently working on a fix and should have something soon to resolve the issue.

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