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WD NASWare 2.0 issue


demiurg
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Moderator Edit - This original post appeared with questions about the Smart Array in a Microserver but has since uncovered what may be an issue with WD firmware  http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/7455-wd-nasware-20-issue/#entry82136 (further down this topic).  Topic title was modified to reflect the problem that was solved.

 

 

Hi all.

 

Basic Settings/Model: HP ProLiant MicroServer G8 G2020T, 16 GB ECC-RAM (Kingston), iLO 1.4, Controller Firmware 4.10

 

Case: Installed ESXi HP Custom Image for vmWare (vSphere 5.5 U1 17 March 2014) Release 2014-03-17 (Build: 1623387) directly on microSD Card (16GB). Created 1 Logical Drive with 2 HDDs (in slot 1 and 2). Both Drives were brand new WD se (Model Nr. WD2000F9YZ). Everything boots fine, no error messages, but then after ESXi loaded, the HDDs started to make an unusual, loud double-click, even in idle mode and the LED that shows HDD work in front of the G8 case did not lighted up. This happend with both (!) of them, as i checked it without the one/other also. Also, you could touch the G8 in front of the slots and you could feel the vibrating. Thought it was a HDD defect (reading head) through delivery, and the HDDs are going to die anyway, so changed to two brandnew WD red (Model Nr. WD10EFRX).

 

Then: Builded a new logical drive the same way as before with the two WD Red, nothing else i changed. Interesstingly enough: the loud double-click noise and the vibrating dissapeared, but (!): now after the load of the ESXi, without any reading/writing activity, the LED in front is always on, giving the impression the HDDs are doing something. So its exactly the contrary to the WD se Model in regards to the LED. Also there came a new strange sound: now it sounds like its trying to write/read consecutively and this sound is also very loud and unusual, which makes no sense as the WD red has anyway only around 24db (vs. WD se around 32db). Its hard to describe the sounds, but there is something wrong for sure and I did not found out where the problem lies. Could it may be that the ESXi version mentioned before is not compatible with the Controller B120i? Until now, i did not setup anything else, just the ESXi as the G8 is completely new. Maybe someone has some ideas or help on this. Thank you very much.

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Has your front light changed to orange? This would show a degraded array.

You should begin by entering intelligent provisioning and seeing if your drives are shown. Also log into iLo and check your storage status. If iLO and IP show your array as healthy you have a ESXI issue.

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iLO and IP shows that everything is fine, also front light is blue (and was with the previous HDDs too) -- so the array seems to be fine imo.

I used the follwing customized HP ESXi version: vSphere 5.5 U1 17 March 2014 (and also tried with vSphere 5.5 Feb 2014) found here: http://tinyurl.com/9jt6t2b.

So does anyone have experience or issues with those ESXi versions and installing it on an out-of-the-box G8?

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  • 3 weeks later...

< problem solved >

 

the issue of those strange click noises, the always-on LED of the disks on the front panel and vibrating is an issue of the WD NAS HDDs itself, more exactly: of their new  firmware "NASware 2.0". Similar to the WD Green drives, it seems the WD NAS (and some other WD disks) have an 8 second idle timer, high park cicles ("intellipark"),  sometimes even high load cycles (that can be solved with a tool from WD). There are some forum entries in the web that can be found on such issues. to make a long story short: WD firmware based power management, head parking, etc. seems to brought up the issue.

 

WD TOOL (besides "wdidle3") that may help others to resolve the problem with their WD RED drives: http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=619&sid=201&lang=en.

 

I`ve tried the WD reds with an old firmware (May 2013) and "NASware" labeled (not: "NASware 2.0") and it worked fine, no issues at all. Also tried other drives from other manufacturers (seagate, hitachi) and still working fine without changing anything else other than the disks. Therefore, the issue can be tracked down to the NASware 2.0 of WD imho.

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It will be interesting to see if I can replicate your findings.  I believe I have 2 WD Reds that are NASware 2.0 that I can put into my Microserver to check it out.

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Yes, definitely. I broke down the issue through the method of elimination. My WD REDs were NASware 2.0 with firmware dated february 2014.

There is indeed a factor of unknown variability when reading through forum posts, some exeprience it with the 2TB disks (like mine), some with the 4TB disks not, etc (http://tiny.cc/3cmiex). However, the issue has clearly to do with the disks (i even put my new own drives in another G8 and they still did the same noise there). Some entries that point to the head parking problem et al: http://tinyurl.com/lwe952f /// http://tiny.cc/smmiex ///.

Edited by demiurg
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IMHO, this is a very strange issue to have with WD Reds. They're sold specifically for NAS applications. Why on earth would they have short-cycle head parking?

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Take a look at this article, and the associated Western Digital download (or search for "western digital high load cycle count").  This may help in the case of some drives.

 

I haven't had an issue with any of my NASWare 2.0 drives; that said, I believe Western Digital has been making changes and possibly alleviated the issue in newer drives.

 

http://forums.freenas.org/index.php?threads/wd-utility-for-red-drives-with-high-load-cycle-counts.18095/

 

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=619&sid=201&lang=en

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