I am looking to buy two drives to RAID.
(Edit: I understand that RAID0 doesn't fit the Redundant part of the acronym, but it is listed as a standard RAID level on Wikipedia.)

I'd like to create a RAID 0 array within windows disk management.
(Edit: For the purpose of increased performance, with the understanding of increased risk.)
My initial plan was to buy two WD Blue 1TB drives.

As I have researched I have found that in RAID arrays TLER is recommended to avoid drives being dropped when they take too long to report an error. On the other hand, several sources seem to vaguely imply that software based RAID arrays are more forgiving on the time out, and therefore a TLER enabled drive is not necessary. I cannot find any specific information on the Windows 8 Disk Management Stripe to confirm this in my specific case.

How important is TLER in Windows 8 Software RAID?
Should I purchase WD Blue drives, or make sure to find TLER enabled ones?

(the WD RE drives are a bit out of my price range, and the WD Red drives run at 4500rpm, which I'd like to avoid)

  • RAID 0 is not RAID. – Daniel B Aug 6 '14 at 17:40
  • If you have a clarification, please elucidate and I'll edit with the changes. – Ruthalas Aug 6 '14 at 17:43
  • RAID 0 is striping, something you do to increase performance vs. reliability. It makes the resulting volume faster and less reliable (and larger) than a single disk alone. Given that, why do you care about the WD-specific error timeout implementation known as TLER? See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TLER – Mark Allen Aug 6 '14 at 17:44
  • I understand the cost/benefit of RAID 0. I specifically desire faster read/write and understand the further risk to my data. I have read the wiki article. I am concerned that by buying the WD Blue drives I will unnecessarily lose my array because of a small issue like a bad sector. – Ruthalas Aug 6 '14 at 17:46
  • You should not loose your data due to a bad sector. Worst case the array will fail and you will have to reboot. Since you are using RAID 0 I assume that reboots are fair game. – Hennes Aug 6 '14 at 17:56

You are using RAID0 so, as you are aware, the loss of a single drive will result in the (practical) loss of all of your data.

TLER is useful if you have other means of recovering the data. With RAID5 or RAID6, for example, the loss of a single drive will not result in any lost data because you can recover the data from the other drives.

In a RAID0 array, though, you explicitly WANT the drive to try as hard as it can to deal with any read/write errors. If it is unable to do so, the drive will be marked as bad and your entire RAID0 array is done. Your RAID setup, whether software or hardware, isn't going to be able to get the missing data any other way.

The Wikipedia article on TLER specifies that manufacturers do not recommend their use in non-hardware RAID environments. That's uncited and I'm not convinced it is accurate. It certainly is the case that TLER doesn't offer any benefits in a RAID0 environment, however.

I'll offer a possible counter-argument to the above, though. If you have reliable and up-to-date backups, you MAY prefer that the drive fail fast (via TLER, for example) if it's about to go. This would let you know sooner that the drive is failing and give you a chance to replace it before the failure became catastrophic.

  • Thank you ChrisInEdmonton. That is a thorough answer with an excellent counter-point. One further clarification; what would happen if a drive had a bad sector and took several dozen seconds to assess this and write the data to a different sector? Would the array fail? Permanently? – Ruthalas Aug 6 '14 at 19:57

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