WD quietly starts putting SMR in consumer Red drives

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Mylex

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Not a fan of them failing to disclose this to the customers of these drives. Looking at the forum posts of people that had trouble rebuilding arrays with smr drives this is pretty crappy. I've had trouble with smr drives and btrfs array rebuilds at work so we avoid those like the plague.
 

aokman

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Not a fan of them failing to disclose this to the customers of these drives. Looking at the forum posts of people that had trouble rebuilding arrays with smr drives this is pretty crappy. I've had trouble with smr drives and btrfs array rebuilds at work so we avoid those like the plague.
Yeah it’s pretty BS... SMR is slow as a dog and not really suitable for general NAS use, just cold archive storage.
 
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Arcygenical

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From their site directly

WD Red NAS Hard Drives are designed specifically for NAS systems that have 1 to 8 drive bays in both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch form factors.
So, I guess, I'm never buying another WD product out of principle again. The same way I won't Intel.

I just lost a HGST drive in RAID 1. No essential data, but I'd flip my shit if I couldn't rebuild the array. All the important stuff is elsewhere, but years of built up music to re-rip? I don't even own a CD drive anymore. Havn't bought a new drive yet... Maybe I'll grab 2 new non- WD disks. Maybe I'll grab 2 of those weird PCIe SSD's from the hotdeal's thread.
 
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Red Falcon

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So, I guess, I'm never buying another WD product out of principle again. The same way I won't Intel.
Agreed, this kind of bait-and-switch bullshit is going to bite them, hard.
I suppose they figured the reduction in cost by reusing SMR platters in an existing product line would cost less than the failed/returned drives and distrust in their customer-base.
 
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Arcygenical

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Agreed, this kind of bait-and-switch bullshit is going to bite them, hard.
I suppose they figured the reduction in cost by reusing SMR platters in an existing product line would cost less than the failed/returned drives and distrust in their customer-base.
It just sucks because, other that HGST pre-WD, I've only ever used WD for storage. Always trusted them and they used to have good RMA service in Canada. Maybe I'll go back to printing my media on punchcards or something.
 

vegeta535

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Agreed, this kind of bait-and-switch bullshit is going to bite them, hard.
I suppose they figured the reduction in cost by reusing SMR platters in an existing product line would cost less than the failed/returned drives and distrust in their customer-base.
Doubt it will effect their bottom line anyway. The common person doesn't even know what SMR is and they doing it to get more oem contracts.
 

aokman

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Doubt it will effect their bottom line anyway. The common person doesn't even know what SMR is and they doing it to get more oem contracts.
I would be beyond pissed if I had just built a new array of their drives and cant even stream a 4K lossless movie :ROFLMAO:

I think the Ultrastar DC are still basically HGST drives but I hate giving any money to those WD or Seagate bastards.

Toshiba is a great buy if you can find them.
 

/dev/null

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Anyone know if they do this to SAS drives? I've been buying "cheap" sas encloures that hold 12 drives (typically old hp enclosures) and 3TB sas drives (used) for $20-$40 ea. (new is like $60-$70). I sure hope they don't start doing this to SAS drives if they haven't already.
 

Joust

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Anyone know if they do this to SAS drives? I've been buying "cheap" sas encloures that hold 12 drives (typically old hp enclosures) and 3TB sas drives (used) for $20-$40 ea. (new is like $60-$70). I sure hope they don't start doing this to SAS drives if they haven't already.
I would hope - and think - not.

Man, wish I knew people were looking for these drives around here. Guess I'll put up a thread on my next sale - just sold 10 4tb drives. I will have 16 more to go, once I've migrated to the new server.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Only way to find out is to buy one and discover it's got poor write speeds, apparently. Oh, also, it can cause problems for RAID arrays.
Easy way to tell a SMR drive is they all have 256 MB of cache. The largest capacity non-SMR drive I've recently seen is 3 TB, I'm assuming using three 1 TB platters. Drives having only 64 MB of cache are not SMR because SMR requires large caches to work at all due to the destructive nature of writes needing to be cached.
 

Mav451

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I got a Red Pro (WD6003FFBX) not too long ago - and almost did a double-take when you mentioned the 256 MB cache part lmao.
 

GiGaBiTe

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I got a Red Pro (WD6003FFBX) not too long ago - and almost did a double-take when you mentioned the 256 MB cache part lmao.
There are PMR drives in larger capacities, but they're slowly being phased out in favor of SMR drives because they're cheaper to manufacture. I looked around again and found a few non-SMR 4 TB drives and one 6 TB, but everything above is SMR.

Too bad they won't bring back the bigfoot style hard drive for larger platters. Not sure how popular 5.25" hard drives would be these days though lol.
 

Mode13

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Hmm I was considering setting up my first NAS with some 4TB WD Red drives. this makes me question that. I probably wouldn't end up using ZFS at this point anyway but that's some sketchy behavior from WD.

Any suggestions for similarly priced drives? How about Seagate IronWolf -- They seem in a similar range...

I also see 64MB cache 4TB WD Red NAS Drives on Amazon, would those be better, assuming I'm understanding Gigabites post correctly
WD Red 4TB 64MB cache
Seagate Ironwolf 4TB 64MB cache
 

ND40oz

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There are PMR drives in larger capacities, but they're slowly being phased out in favor of SMR drives because they're cheaper to manufacture. I looked around again and found a few non-SMR 4 TB drives and one 6 TB, but everything above is SMR.

Too bad they won't bring back the bigfoot style hard drive for larger platters. Not sure how popular 5.25" hard drives would be these days though lol.
What are you trying to say? All the WD Reds 8TB and above are still PMR, are you referring to the Seagate Archives that are SMR?
 

whateverer

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I experienced this with my latest USB 2.5" 2TB drive from WD. Write speeds were under half what the previous drive could handle, but I put up with it because it's used for cold storage.

I'm going to be pretty pissed when my always-on media drives have to be replaced, and we're back to the days of glorious USB 2.0 for writes.

Hopefully, the price of 4TB SATA SSDs will be down by then!
 
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Mav451

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I was looking through this German retailer's search - though in my case, I filtered it for CMR drives only, 6TB-10TB.
No surprise - you see Purple, Blue, and UltraStar DC HC310 at the lowest price points; the first two representing the 5400 RPM options.
 

GiGaBiTe

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What are you trying to say? All the WD Reds 8TB and above are still PMR, are you referring to the Seagate Archives that are SMR?
Unless I see a review of the drives in question from a reputable source, I'm going to treat them like the SMR plague and stay away. WD has more than a few SMR drives in multiple capacity ranges under different monikers of theirs, even in places where SMR has no business being, like their black drives.

I stumbled upon SMR by accident, by buying several WD black drives for a storage project that needed better performance. Linux kept locking up and kernel panicking trying to use them. Windows kept BSODing and acting like the drives had bad sectors. WD diagnostics found no issues and RMA'd drives behaved the same, which is when I discovered a Reddit thread documenting the pitfalls of SMR, and confirmed the drives I unwittingly bought were SMR. The few groups doing the research came to the conclusion that drives with 256 MB of cache were almost always SMR drives.

I was looking through this German retailer's search - though in my case, I filtered it for CMR drives only, 6TB-10TB.
No surprise - you see Purple, Blue, and UltraStar DC HC310 at the lowest price points; the first two representing the 5400 RPM options.
Welp, looks like the 256MB of cache is no longer a valid identifier of SMR drives, at least in the higher capacity ranges.
 

Mav451

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Took a look at SMR drives from 4-16TB. It looks like it's a cross-section of select Red and Blue drives for WD; for Seagate you have the Compute, Exos, and Archive lines represented.
Initially I thought you could just differentiate on power consumption or noise, but even that's not always the case lol.

Note - there's two Toshiba drives identified with SMR as well.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Took a look at SMR drives from 4-16TB. It looks like it's a cross-section of select Red and Blue drives for WD; for Seagate you have the Compute, Exos, and Archive lines represented.
Initially I thought you could just differentiate on power consumption or noise, but even that's not always the case lol.

Note - there's two Toshiba drives identified with SMR as well.
Don't forget Black drives as well.
 

ND40oz

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Unless I see a review of the drives in question from a reputable source, I'm going to treat them like the SMR plague and stay away. WD has more than a few SMR drives in multiple capacity ranges under different monikers of theirs, even in places where SMR has no business being, like their black drives.

I stumbled upon SMR by accident, by buying several WD black drives for a storage project that needed better performance. Linux kept locking up and kernel panicking trying to use them. Windows kept BSODing and acting like the drives had bad sectors. WD diagnostics found no issues and RMA'd drives behaved the same, which is when I discovered a Reddit thread documenting the pitfalls of SMR, and confirmed the drives I unwittingly bought were SMR. The few groups doing the research came to the conclusion that drives with 256 MB of cache were almost always SMR drives.
What model Blacks have you run into are SMR? This also needs to be reported also so that people can properly identify them before purchase.

Welp, looks like the 256MB of cache is no longer a valid identifier of SMR drives, at least in the higher capacity ranges.
So far the only confirmed WD Red SMR drives are the 2TB - 6TB, I wouldn't trust a retailer's labeling, at least WD is using separate part numbers so you can identify the new SMR Reds.
 

Grebuloner

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Hold up on the "buying the other guys, now" schtick: Seagate and Toshiba have admitted it, too.

At least we have product numbers to go with everything.

Kind of weird that a WD -AX drive is CMR at 8TB+ and SMR 6TB-. At least most vendors segregate products based on model number and not family/capacity so we can still get the good stuff.

Just wait until the Easystores have an extra level of lottery to the drive inside.
 

Mav451

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Yeah ND40oz I'm with you on that. I didn't see any WD Blacks show up in the search. But we're basing this on the good faith that the German retailer is conveying everything truthfully too.
 

GiGaBiTe

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What model Blacks have you run into are SMR? This also needs to be reported also so that people can properly identify them before purchase.

So far the only confirmed WD Red SMR drives are the 2TB - 6TB, I wouldn't trust a retailer's labeling, at least WD is using separate part numbers so you can identify the new SMR Reds.
They were 2 TB. This was a year ago and I sent everything back because they were worthless, didn't think to write the models down.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Just wait until the Easystores have an extra level of lottery to the drive inside
I have four of Seagate's 8TB equivalent, all SMR. Backup array in ZFS and they were stupid cheap at the time, but yeah, they're slower.

Also: for common non-local backup scenarios, they're fine in this role. Primary is four 6TB Ironwolfs, and if those came in SMR... I'd be pissed :D
 

dbr1

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ND40oz

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They were 2 TB. This was a year ago and I sent everything back because they were worthless, didn't think to write the models down.
I can't find anyone else reporting that Blacks are SMR, it would be nice to get to the bottom of this if they're using SMR on their "performance" Black drives.

I would wager yes.
The WD100EFAX is listed as SMR.
This suggests Geizhals has conflicting information about the drive but testing shows it's CMR. I didn't think any of the WD helium drives were SMR yet except for the 20TB.

https://www.computerbase.de/forum/t...-nutzen-smr-ohne-kennzeichnung.1938050/page-4
 

TheSlySyl

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I would wager yes.
The WD100EFAX is listed as SMR.
That worried me for a second, but my 10TB is a wd100EMAZ.

I doubt i'll be buying any hard drives less than 10TB ever again, but still, its not like hard drives need to be any slower.
 

GiGaBiTe

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I can't find anyone else reporting that Blacks are SMR, it would be nice to get to the bottom of this if they're using SMR on their "performance" Black drives.
Yeah, I regret not writing the models down. If I had predicted how slimy the hard drive industry would become, I'd have been more vigilant documenting it.
 

UnknownSouljer

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This is terrible news. It makes making large arrays cheaply next to impossible.

I'm assuming this is affecting all of the Easystores as well. I haven't collected my money yet, but I was hoping to make a 12-16 drive array shucking 14TB Easystores. The only other option for big and cheap is doing a similar process with Seagate drives, but the largest externals they have is 10TB not 14TB, and that 4TB difference over 12-16 drives adds up considerably.

What are the options then? Roll the dice with old server pull drives? Buy a bunch of refurbished HGST's? The only other option is to pay 2x-2.5x as much on server drives which generally kills the viability of home server builds (for those of us that don't have absurd amounts of money to spend). This just sucks in general.
 

Mav451

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While I don't have firsthand experience with those SAS drives in the CDW thread, I believe those are a good alternative.

H/T to Samir for posting this in that thread - $220 for 12TB SAS
https://www.cdw.com/product/seagate-12tb-sas-7.2k-256mb-3.5in-hd/6003290?pfm=srh

Downside is that these listings come and go, so if you're trying to bulk order a dozen at a time, no guarantee you get these kind of prices.
 

erek

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They're coming out with a new and improved recording technology for Hard Drives soon, ASMR or Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) recording tecnhology
 
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