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I am setting up an onsite backup server in RAID 1 (soft) with low usage.

I prefer quietness and reliability over performance: so I selected one of these "green" disk.

Some NAS brand recommand these disks which are not recommanded by other NAS brands.

I read a few interesting articles:

But I do not get it.

Is it safe to use a Desktop Edition disk in a RAID 1 setup? What are the impacts?

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3 Answers 3

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I've learned the hard way that "green" drives should never be used in a RAID application. More often than not when the drive spins down to save power, the RAID controller will spit the drive out, resulting in a degraded array. If at any point before you are alerted to this and fix it another drive in the array is booted or fails, then you have the real potential for data loss. I've had good results with the Black series of WD drives in arrays, however for mission-critical storage I would only recommend RAID-specific drives (such as WD's RE4).

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+1 for Black and RE4 Both great choices –  Dave M Feb 1 '12 at 16:32

Green drives are usually not recommended for boot drives. By design they spin down on idle to save power and that creates issues.

There are also other technical issues with green drives as they do not have time limited error recovery (TLER) and that can cause issues including a drive that is suddenly "bad"

In the WD external drives that use RAID 1 they use a green drive and I often find they take a few seconds to spin up and that creates issues for some apps. Great for backup and general storage.

WD Black drives work very well and not a lot more but they do use more energy( not sure how much more) and may be a bit louder but the case can deal with the noise

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See added info and @Garrett answer –  Dave M Feb 1 '12 at 16:33

For what it's worth, I'll play devils advocate and say that you should be fine. I know this question is a year old, but I just found it while looking for information on RAID 1 drives being pulled out and put in another system.

To answer your question, I've had 8x Samsung HD204UI Green drives in a RAID 5 array for over 2 years, and have not had one problem...actually I did, related to a punctured stripe, but that was due to an issue with power loss. The box is up 24x7, for over 2 years straight without one issue. This was with, at the time, 70$ 2TB consumer green drives. Since then, I have upgraded to 5x 3TB 7200RPM Seagate drives, but still use 4 of the 2TB's in a RAID-10 array, and just bought 2 WD Green 2TB drives for a RAID-1 array...all of these consumer drives are so far without issue in 3 RAID volumes in my server.

As long as you have a good controller (I was using a Dell PERC 6/i, now using an LSI 9260-8i), and monitor with a tool like Hard disk sentinel, you should be ok. The drives that others mentioned are rated for RAID arrays, and have added features to make them better choices, but the price point for home users is not justifiable.

Also, since you are using RAID-1, it should be safer as well, since parity is not being calculated, your drives won't get trashed as much as a RAID-5 or RAID-6 array would...raid-1 is mirrored.

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