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I have four physical hard drives in a storage pool:

  • 2x Western Digital 6TB
  • 2x HSGT 6TB

When I create a storage space with a two-way mirror mode, I can get one of these situations:

  • 2x Western Digital with a HSGT mirror (Good)
  • 2x Western Digital with Western Digital mirror (Terrible)

Since the disks are from the same batch, chances are that if one dies, the other does as well.

How can I ensure that the storage space mirrors onto a different vendor disk?

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Can you clarify if you are using Windows' software RAID (disk mirroring) for two 6TB volumes, one large 12TB volume, or a hardware RAID controller for RAID 1 or RAID 10?

In my experience (I fix RAID for a living), even if two disks are the same brand and type and come from the same batch of the same lot, they will fail at different times. Moving parts are unpredictable and getting two to fail at the same hour, even the same week, has astronomical odds.

That being said, segregating these drives is still a great idea, since they are of differing quality.

A decent drive controller will allow you to select which disks are placed in which groups. For instance, on an LSI card, you can create two groups of one HSGT and one normal WD, then use these two groups to create your RAID 10 array.

As for the software mirroring, my recommendation is to add one drive of each type to the system, then boot and create your mirror off of those two. The next two disks you add would then also be mismatched. It would then be impossible to get two of the same type of disks to be in a RAID together.

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  • I am using Software Spaces, the Windows 10 software feature, using ReFS. I don't have any kind of RAID controller in my computer, hence the question, because it is common to configure using RAID controllers. I currently have two storage spaces (1 WD HDD and 1 HSGT HDD per storage space). This ends up as two volumes in Windows, while I would like the entire thing to act as just one. Thank you for your insight on HDD failures!
    – Deathspike
    Aug 17 '16 at 8:02

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