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Advanced Format Drives Plus WHS – A Match NOT Made in Heaven

We mentioned the other day a post by PricklyTech on how to add an advanced format drive to your Windows Home Server storage pool. But what he hadn’t considered was the performance of the drive, since one reader was only getting 40 Mb/s on his advanced format drive.

So the writer tested his newly added Western Digital WD20EARS drive and found also that the its performance was slow, with testing not being able to complete and the drive totally disappearing from the disk management console.

Conclusion – Although advanced format drives are fine in Vail DO NOT use them in Windows Home Server v1.

More here.

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Comments (6)

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  1. John Maloney says:

    I use a WD20EARS drive as the primary drive for my home built server and haven’t had any issues with it since I used WD tool to set it up to use the drive format in WHS. Initially it was very slow, but I ran the tool right after finishing the install and before I had data on the drive. Here is the link to WD version of Acronis True Image WD Edition Software,
    http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119&wdc_lang=en

    Hope this helps anyone that might get one of these drives.

  2. Justin says:

    John,
    I’ve been told not to use the Green drives as primaries (OS drives) because they like to sleep too much and will cause performance issues since they will have to wake up and spin up so much. Have you noticed anything like this?

    Do you know what the WD ‘tool’ did to the drive to make it work appropriately?

    Justin

  3. John Maloney says:

    The tool I linked above, WD version of Acronis True Image WD Edition Software, is the tool I used. It has a fuction to reset the partitions to the old cluster size. I wish I had known about the recommendation about the green drives, but I haven’t haven’t noticed any problem with lower performance. I don’t do anything to taxing on the system, though. I use it to store my video and music files and watch and listen to them over the network. The only time I noticed a problem was when I was copying a large file to the server, listening to mp3’s and watching a ripped DVD at the same time. The music and movie were stuttering every once and awhile, but I think that is the crappy Netgear gigabit switch that is connecting it all together. I just noticed that issue recently and I’ve been running the Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB since April 2010.

  4. Mike says:

    I did not use the Align Tool on my drive as I had read that the Align Tool did not work on WHS or would cause issues if one Advanced Format drive was jumpered and another one was not. Glad that you guys are happy with your drives …

  5. Gary says:

    Jeez, yet another scare story about these drives.

    1. Buy advanced format drive (get used to them, most new models of drives from all manufacturers will be advanced format now including lower capacity laptop drives)

    2. Apply jumper

    3. Put into WHS

    4. Proceed as normal – no slow down, no issues.

    I’ve got 8 or 9 of these WD drives in my windows home server and have not had a single problem. All you have to do is apply the jumper BEFORE INSTALLATION to warn the drive it’s dealing with XP/2003 era windows and off you go. The WD align tool is not supported in WHS … I’d recommend against it.

    Only thing to remember is to remove the jumper if you later use the drive in WHS2/Windows 7 etc

  6. Stef says:

    Uhm NCIX sells the Acer easyhome WHS with an extra 1TB free HD. And its a WD20EARS. I added an extra 2TB WD20EARS HD to my order. Used jumpers on both of these drives, like other said, and popped them in, added them to the storage pool, and this thing been working great ever since…

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