Need advice on hard disks

by Volker Weber


I need to buy some new drives, preferrably 2TB each, SATA. The catch is that they will be running around the clock in a 6-bay ReadyNAS Pro. It will spin the disks down when they are not accessed, but they might as well be running around the clock. So I will need disks that either don't get too warm or that can handle the heat.

Update: Drives from the HCL with prices

Any recommendations?


The seagate 'green' drives might be good. They dont run at 7200 rpm - they run at 5400, consume less power, run less hot. And obviously a bit slower, but in my experiences, NAS devices arent going to notice a little less performance on the drives...

---* Bill

Bill Buchan, 2011-02-25

I have been warned that the "green" or "eco" drives are for desktops and cannot stand working around the clock. Plus, the ReadyNAS Pro is not your run-off-the-mill NAS. It's actually pretty fast, reading or writing at 100 MBps.

Volker Weber, 2011-02-25

I'm with Bill. Lots of Windows Home Server users recommend Seagate Green too.

Carl Tyler, 2011-02-25

I have had 3 WD drives fail in my Drobo and WHS this year on me, so I'm avoiding them from now on.

Carl Tyler, 2011-02-25

How long do you want them to last? A year? 3 years?

Erik Brooks, 2011-02-25


In any case you should take one of the disks from Netgears compatibility list which can be found at within the support area.


Claude Lehmann, 2011-02-25

you should have a look what drives Netgear uses for their current devices. Since they have to provide warranty, they likely choose suitable ones. At least stick to compatibility list.
In Qnap (my NAS) Forum usually WD drives are recommended prior to Seagate. my WD green drives are running for 1,5 years now under exatly mentioned conditions in a 4 drive NAS. But they are not available anymore and only 1,5 TB

Helmut Weiss, 2011-02-25

Have you asked @rustydust ? ;-)

Jan-Piet Mens, 2011-02-25

I have a Buffalo NAS and had to switch all HDD after 2 Years. What a headache as the Buffalo only supports 500GB Drives and they are hard to getby these days. If I had known when I started to replace the first HDD, I would have bought a new NAS but now I'm a bit stuck.
So, from my experince I would not suggest the Samsung HD 500 Series.
(I think I need that ReadyNAS...)

Chris Frei, 2011-02-25

Jan-Piet, I have. He says: no "green", no "eco", no WD, HCL has drives that don't work. I am really confused. My instinct says Samsung green.

Chris, you want ReadyNAS, if only for X-RAID.

Volker Weber, 2011-02-25

@Volker: AHA!! X-RAID braucht der Mensch, danke. ist ja genial. Das hat aber nichts mit den Herkömmlichen RAID Standards zu tun oder? RAID 1, 3, 5 etc?

Chris Frei, 2011-02-25

Doch, hat es. Lies mal weiter, auch zu X-RAID2.

Volker Weber, 2011-02-25

Be careful with the WD Green series. There was/is a model that does not work well with Unix based OS. This is for many green drives (they might work well for WHS).
The WD black series has 5 years warranties (and some say they need it).
Unfortunately I cannot recommend any regular 2TB drives in a NAS. They all have too many platters and become very hot with 7.200 rpm (and green models often don't like RAID which often is a requirement for a NAS).
Cyberport uses Seagate for their customized ReadyNAS systems (at least that was the case some time ago). Hitachi models are certified for 24/7, even the desktop series but the 2TB model is getting very hot (the 1 TB model is fine).
Best support and return service experience (for home users) so far is from Seagate.
In my opinion there is not much innovation in the hard drive sector and the 4 big vendors (Seagate, WD, Hitachi and Samsung) all have reached a certain quality level.
If I would have to buy a 2TB model now then it would probably be a Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS.

Henning Heinz, 2011-02-25

I've got a ReadyNAS Pioneer NVX and use 2x Hitachi Deskstar 2TB SATAII 7200rpm drives (they're in the recommended list). I don't let them spin down and I have a torrent client running permanently on the box, so there's always something using it. So far, after 3 months, I've not had any issues but then again I keep the NAS in the cool cellar.

Kieren Johnson, 2011-02-25

Man kann auch Synology nehmen, ich bin sehr zufrieden mit den Produkten. Bei denen heißt X-RAID dann SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID).

Zur ursprünglichen Frage: Ich habe nur 1 TB Platten seit längerer Zeit laufen. In einem System laufen seit ca. 2 Jahren 5 Seagate ST31000340NS ohne Probleme, zu Hause habe ich 2 WD1000FYPS, das müssten die WD Green sein. Auch die laufen ohne Probleme seit 2 Jahren mit regelmässigem Spin-Down.

Dirk Steins, 2011-02-25

"He says: no "green", no "eco", no WD, HCL has drives that don't work. I am really confused. My instinct says Samsung green."

Definitely no green, no eco, no WD.

We have tons of experience running many drives in a variety of configurations. The only drives I would completely trust to last 5 years+ in this situation would be Seagate Cheetahs, but those are SAS, not SATA. They are made in an entirely separate factory from all other Seagate drives, and have been the benchmark in server-level quality for years.

The Seagate Barracudas, however, are good, solid drives. I would vote for the Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS also, though we've never tried their Constellation series so I would examine that also. I've heard good things.

Erik Brooks, 2011-02-25

Can you explain why eco/green is bad? They are using less power. Less power means less heat.

Volker Weber, 2011-02-25

My ReadyNAS (NV+, sits in the study) has four drives in it, all of which have been in my NAS for at least 18 months (2-3 years for the older Samsungs). It’s on all the time, and gets heavy use—mainly file and print serving plus Time Machine back-ups (for three Macs) and Bittorrent.

I have two 1TB drives, which are Samsung Spinpoint F1s, and the newer 1.5TB drives are Seagate Barracuda drives (ST31500341AS).

FWIW, when I looked at WD green drives, Netgear hadn’t certified them for use with their NAS products, but I believe that has changed now.

Ben Poole, 2011-02-25

Many green drives have reduced rpm (less than 6.000). You ruled that out yourself. WD Green for example had problems with their parking mechanism. If you contacted support you only got an unhelpful answer that Unix is not supported (this might have changed in the meantime). Some green models are not optimized for a use case where the drive is running 24/7. The Constellation series is getting very hot. While Enterprise series hard drives are a good idea I cannot recommend them if there is bad cooling (the Cheetah is not available with more than 600GB capacity anyway).
My oldest server being 9 years old is running Maxtor IDE desktop drives for 9 years.

Henning Heinz, 2011-02-25

I'm using Seagate Barracuda HDDs (1 TB) in my ReadyNAS. Works perfectly.

Thomas Langel, 2011-02-25

I just bought a Synology 5-bay recently and was looking for drives. Mine doesn't run 24/7 though as I use some scheduling/hibernation and wake on LAN. Cannot give a good recommendation for the drives, though. When I looked I found:
The Samsung F4 and Seagate ST32000542AS all seem to need patches. F4s without the new firmware may not flush their write cache after some S.M.A.R.T. commands and unfortunately have the same firmware no. with and without the patch...
The Seagate model above may or may not need a patch and one may or may not have to use a "forced mode" when patching. This is all "internet nerdy forum hear-say" so pls. take this with a grain of salt.

So I decided to go with the WD 2TB greens as they seem to run fine with their FW and
according to your compadres ( the newer revision type 00MVWB0 has only 3 platers and draw the least power of the current TB models.
But: From the first shipment from a well known german supplier 4 of the 5 disks were DOA. The 4 replacements I ordered are fine.

So all in all I'm on the fence and my own private conclusion so far is: Have Raid 6 and a backup. And yes, I once had 2 drives fail me at once, although in a non-Raid scenario.

Backup and green drives (for private use) are also another recommendation of your fellows (

I think for a power user the enterprise drives are a safer bet (Ultrastar, Constellation) or maybe the older Samsung F3. Let us know what you chose in the end!

Tobias Hauser, 2011-02-25

All that text and I still forgot:

The 5 greens can get up to 80MB/s write and 100MB/s read in a Raid 6 over afp which I think is OK for me.
Drive temperature has always been around 32-33deg in the larger box and around 36 in the smaller 2-bay.

Curious: How are you backing up your data vowe? Any recommendations?

Tobias Hauser, 2011-02-25

Barracuda LP ST2000DL003 and Barracuda LP ST32000542 are currently high on my list.

I am not a power user, but I want to run backups from Macs against the beast, and I have another ReadyNAS for backup of important data from the first one. Assuming not everything fails at the same time, I can restore from ReadyNAS to ReadyNAS Pro in the event of a RAID corruption on ReadyNAS Pro, and from ReadyNAS Pro to Mac if one of those goes down. Plus I am writing data to decommissioned SATA drives for offsite storage.

Volker Weber, 2011-02-25

Volker, do you know Googles disk failure study? It did not show a correlation between disk failure and high temperatures, except for very high temperatures (above 40°C).

I would just pick any disk that is explicitly supported by the NAS vendor (maybe not the cheapest one), and stick with it.

The statistical probability of disk failure might be lower with another disk, but this is only relevant if you plan to use hundreds of them. For a handful of disks, the variability is so high that a bad disk is rather bad luck than a bad purchase decision.

So you can't make perfect decision, but you can't really go wrong either :-)

Timo Stamm, 2011-02-25

In my business environment we've been running four Samsung HD203WI in our NAS setup (2x QNAP TS259 Pro with 2 drives each in RAID1 configuration) for about a year 24/7 without any problems whatsoever.

The drives are silent, extremely cool and configured to spin down after 1 hour of inactivity (which hardly ever happens, though).

In my private NAS I'm also running two of these drives 24/7. No issues so far. Based on my experience I can therefore highly recommend the Samsung drives.

There is one Seagate drive running alongside the two 2TB Samsung HDDs in the same NAS (ST31500341AS, 7200rpm) - it is considerably louder, gets a lot warmer and already has a reallocated sector count of 24. Though this may very well be anecdotal, I've seen quite a few more Seagate drives fail in my professional life than Samsung drives.

Anyway, good luck in choosing the right drives for your NAS!

Jörg Weske, 2011-02-26

I ran an NV+ with 4 x 1TB Hitachi for around 3yrs. I bought the drives on the week of their UK release and they weren't even officially supported in the NV+ at the time. Worked fine without a single issue.

Due to lack of available space, I upgraded these to 4 x 2TB Hitachi in August and the NAS has been online since without skipping a beat. I've noticed no significant noise or heat increases, but the 1TB drives were already very hot and I keep the NAS in a dedicated area external to the main house.

The Hitachi have since been added to the HCL, as shown above they weren't at the time of my purchase I was just confident based on the experience with the 1TB drives.

Main issue with the upgrade was the need to factory reset as I needed a new block size to support the new drives - this was because I added the 1TB drives before they were official support and I used the older block size.

My old 1TB drives are now in my windows server and still working well.

Ben Rose, 2011-02-27

All geeks will suggest Samsung Spinpoint F3s or F4s.

Pedro Quaresma, 2011-02-28

Hi Volker,

just had about the same problem a couple of weeks ago, when I updated my QNAP TS-559 Pro+. Bought the NAS with 6 (5 HDDs + Spare) WD-EARS 2 TB HDDs, but I had to change the HDDs because of incompatiblity issues with the Raid-Controller from the QNAP. Unfortunately the WDs were taken from the vendors compatibility list.
Then I changed to the Samsung F4 - Type 204UI (2TB).

Of course I made a couple of Samba / FTP benchmarks within the lokal network. The WDs were quite fast (advantage of the WD-HDDs is the 64 MB int. Cache, the Samsungs just got 32 MB). The WDs were benchmarked around 90-110 MB/sek. (read) and approx. 70-80MB/sek. (write). The Samsung F4s which I now got up and running turn out to get a worse benchmark performance: approx. 80 - 90MB/sek. (read) and only 60-75 MB/sek. (write). I tested only with large files (> 2 GB)

You won't actually recognize the performance difference if you just copy an mp3 album or a couple of docs / pdfs, but you surely can feel the difference when digging the big suckers over the network.


+ Very silent
+ Very low power consumption (5400-7200 rpm)
+ 64 MB Cache
+ Good thoughput on Raid-5

- Smart LDD Errors (see CT Article)
- incompatibility with certain RAID-Controllers.

Samsung F4 - 204 UI
+ Cheaper than WD20 EARS (approx. 10 bucks :-) per piece - wow )

- 32 MB Cache
- Slower on large file transfers
- a little bit noisier than the WDs in my QNAP NAS.

My opinion:
I would definately go for the WDs if your ReadyNAS Controller can handle the drives, they got a much better performance and they are a little less noisy than the Samsungs - if you got the ReadyNAS in your office (like I got) you surely will appreciate the silence ;-)


Eric Bredtmann, 2011-02-28

I have been looking at NAS units lately myself. The WD Green drives are not recommended to be used in RAID configurations. Take a look through the product reviews at newegg and you'll find a lot of people having a lot of problem with them. There is also some similar information in the ReadyNAS forums.

The bottom line is green drives are not made for 24/7 use in RAID configurations.

Charles Robinson, 2011-02-28

The problem that can happen with some green drives (WD Greens, I've read about in particular), is that they can take a long time doing their sector reallocation process (ie, when they mark the bad/dying sectors and move data to the extra slack space on the drive), thus causing RAID controllers to think the drive has gone bad and mark it for removal.

That said, I'm using 4x1.5TB WD Greens in a Drobo right now, and it works pretty seamlessly - but I think I will be changing drives as they need replacement (if they go bad or I need more (!) space).

Kevan Emmott, 2011-03-01

Ich bin bei den Samsung Ecogreen angelangt.
Die Performance ist absolut in Ordnung und selbst, bei einer Datenbankbereinigung im Homeserver oder beim exzessiven Befüllen mit Daten, laufen die um die 30°C. Die 2TB ist aktuell bestellt, um die allerletzte "unsichere" WD los zu werden. Früher hätte ich Hitachi bestellt, heute sehe ich dafür keinen Grund mehr, die Ausfallquoten sind bei HDDs extrem zurück gegangen. Viele Platten laufen einfach 24/7, obwohl angeblich dafür nicht gemacht. Während früher Ausfälle nach 2 Jahren begannen, sind sie heute so verteilt, dass die Platten entweder in den ersten Wochen kaputt sind, oder nie, weil sie bei mir nach 3 Jahren eh abgelöst werden.

Kai Schmalenbach, 2011-03-01

wenn ich hier mal so fragen darf: was würde denn der Herr V. Weber empfehlen als NAS für eine Heim-Umgebung, non-IT? Musiksystem (sorry Thomas, kein Sonos) mit ca 50GB Musik, etwas Datenspeicher die Bewohner, (20 GB je = 100 GB), ca 100 GB für Filme, also alles in allem heute vorhanden 250 GB. RAID5 wäre ganz nett. Zugriff via Wlan mit Ipad, Netbook, AMX_Steuerung (Musik). auch das REadyNAS? oder das ReadyNAS Pro?

Chris Frei, 2011-03-01

ReadyNAS Pro ist definitiv zu groß und zu laut, es sei denn Du hast einen Keller, wo das steht. Außerdem reicht ein RAID1 (gespiegelte Platte). Ich würde dringend empfehlen, zwei Platten einzusetzen, damit nicht gleich die Daten weg sind, wenn eine hops geht. Dazu kann man regelmäßig alles auf eine weitere externe Platte speichern, damit man sich nicht selbst in den Fuß schießt, in dem man die Daten versehentlich löscht.

Beispiel: ReadyNAS Duo.

Volker Weber, 2011-03-02

"in den Fuss Schiesst..." ;) DAS kenne ich nur zu gut!! Danke für den Tip. weil ich nun aber unbedingt mehr Geld ausgeben will, lege ich mir die RNDU2120 zu, dann kann ich die ganze DVD Bibliothek auch noch draufspielen. Interessanterweise ist die in der Schweiz ganz günstig zu haben bei

Chris Frei, 2011-03-03

digitec wollte ich da noch anfügen.

Chris Frei, 2011-03-03

@Chris, der zwar explizit Vowe angesprochen hat, aber trotzdem:
Wenn es ums Media-Streamen (UPnP, DLNA) geht, kann auch eine NAS mit dem Whindows Home Server interessant sein. Für Windows gibts mehr und teilweise auch bessere Alternativen zum üblichen Twonky auf Linux-NAS. Ein Bekannter hat eine von Acer mit dem WHS. Das Teil war nicht teurer als meine Qnap (Linux) und läuft genauso problemlos.

Helmut Weiss, 2011-03-03

@Helmut: danke für den Tipp, aber die NETGEAR ist schon da ;) und die 2. HDD bestellt. Fun times ahead wenn ich all die Daten kopieren muss.

Chris Frei, 2011-03-07

Wenn die Daten schon auf einer externen Platte sind, ist das einfach. Platte an ReadyNAS hängen, Backup-Job von USB auf Share machen. Richtung beachten. :-) Kannst Du mit loslegen. Wenn die andere Platte kommt, einfach Rahmen rausnehmen, Platte montieren und einsetzen. Den Rest macht das ReadyNAS von allein. Richtig: kein Runterfahren nötig.

Volker Weber, 2011-03-07

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