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Mixing Hard Drives on the Server


MattG
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When I built my server I used three 4TB WD Black hard drives (for the warranty) for the main drive pool (using stablebit) and a 256GB SSD for the OS drive.

 

I'm running out of space so I figure I should add another drive to the pool.

 

One thing I don't like about these drives is that they never spin down.  I don't hit the server hard, so these drives are constantly spinning for no reason.  When I buy another drive, if I don't match existing and it spins down, will this generate issues for the server?

 

I need to do my research to find out the difference between Blue, Black, and now Gold.  I know there's something called Lights Out! that would automatically put my server to sleep but I have not investigated that fully yet.  The server is mainly used for storage and nightly images of my home computers.


Thanks for your advice!  Stick with the Black and get Lights Out?  Or risk it and get a Blue or Gold?

 

 

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StableBit DrivePool may be why the drive is spun up all the time, actually.

 

If you're not using it, turn off "BitLocker_PoolPartUnlockDetect" (by setting it to "false"):

http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_2.x_Advanced_Settings

 

Once you've done this, you may notice that the drive may actually spin down properly.

 

And if you're using StableBit Scanner, throttle the SMART queries, in the Scanner settings, as this is considered activity, as well. 

 

 

And mixing and matching the different drive types shouldn't be a problem, at all.

 

As for LightsOut, if you want power management, it's absolutely fantastic, and I'd highly recommend it.

https://www.green-it-software.com/

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According to the Wiki, it is set to "false" by default, and my configuration reflects this as well.

I set the Scanner to throttle the SMART queries.  I'm looking through the wiki to see what that does, exactly.

 

Hope this works!  The Black drives have come down a lot in price so there's not a big discount or reason to go with any of the other drives, other than the Gold drives are indicated to be as something for "datacenter".  I have plans for the server to go beyond just file/computer backups, but that's a "someday" project.

Thank you for your help!  I wish I could return the favor somehow! :)

Edited by MattG
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It's off by default for the release version, but not for the beta.  

 

As for the throttling, it limits how often SMART queries occur.  Normally, it's once every minute or so (so it's very close to real time), but Windows counts this as disk activity and will keep the disks awake.  Throttling this will limit the frequency and help allow the disks to go to sleep.

 

http://stablebit.com/Support/Scanner/2.X/Manual?Section=SMART

 

As for the different lines, the warranty period may matter to you.  Longer warranty is generally better, so it may be worth paying a little more to get an additional year or two for the warranty.  Especially, since you live in the US.

 

 

And no worries. I enjoy helping people out, so it's my pleasure. :)

(also, I am biased here, check my signature)

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So this response might be a bit premature, but I'm not seeing a difference in the drives/running status.  Seems like something is always hitting them (based on the light on the case).

 

Is there a way to see what process is causing them to run?  I just RDP'd into the server and it say "no disk activity on the pool", so it might be the SSD that's being hit.  The mechanical drives are definitely running.

I went ahead and increased the throttling to 120 minutes from the default of 60.

I ended up buying at 6 TB Gold.  I figure I'll replace the black as they fail with similar.

Edited by MattG
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