[mythtv-users] 2 TB Hard Drive Recommendations

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Sun Dec 5 21:36:18 UTC 2010

On Sun, Dec 5, 2010 at 1:18 PM, jmk <jmk at foofus.net> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm planning to merge my file server (4x250GB mdadm RAID5) with my
> MythTV backend. I'd like to buy 3 2TB drives for a RAID5 setup to house
> recordings, videos, music, and personal files. I thought this would be a
> simple purchase and the WD20EARS initially looked like a good buy.
> Unfortunately, a bit of reading suggests there are all sorts of issues
> with recent drives I should take into consideration (e.g. 4K sectors,
> TLER).
> Does anyone have some positive experience/recommendations for 2 TB (or
> at least 1.5 TB) drives and mdadm-based RAIDs?
> Thanks!
> Joe

I tried the WD10EARS and they failed horribly. (You possibly ran
across my threads as I was dealing with some time back.)

4k sectors are a non-issue as long as you start your partitions on 1MB

Lack of TLER (in my uninformed opinion) is possibly an issue. The
WD10EARS drive had _major_ holdups trying to write large tar files to
disk. I was told at the time is was likely something that would have
worked better  if the drive had TLER but I don't know that to be true.

Additionally you should look into how the drive ages over time by
looking at the SMART data. After 11 months the one I ended up putting
in my dad's Linux desktop machine, which is powered up 24/7, is
already approaching end of life as per the WD specs. The problem with
these drives (in my opinion) is that they aggressively park the heads
to save power and the Linux kernel aggressively wakes the drive up
every couple of minutes. This causes 30 park cycles per hour and it
only takes about 18 months to run up against the head park spec. (300K

There was the possibility of changing the rate at which the drive
parks the heads using some Windows program which might help although
that raises power consumption. I decided to do good backups and
replace the drive sometime next year when it starts showing issues.

I ended up using 500GB WD RAID Edition drives and have been very
happy, but it's half the storage for a few more buck so more than 2X
the cost.

- Mark

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