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Hi I have a failed drive on a server running intel matrix raid array RAID1, I can't get the same model drive anymore to replace the missing one as it is 5 years old. Can I use a regular type workstation drive that is readily available or should I really only use some raid enabled hard drive like the RE4 series from western digital? Thanks.

The reason I am asking is that there is a longer order lead time on the raid enabled drive that I would be looking to use. In this case if I did use a regular workstation hard drive it would be a mixed pair since the old drive that is currently working is indeed a raid enabled enterprise drive.

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2 Answers 2

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Where's the spare drive that should have been bought 5 years ago? :)

To answer your question, the only difference between the WD Caviar Black and the otherwise identical RE4 drives is that the latter has Time-Limited Error Recovery, which reports back to the RAID controller in a shorter amount of time if the drive had to go and repair a bad sector. This lets the RAID controller determine that the drive may be beginning to fail more easily and grab the data from the other drive without having to wait many seconds or minutes for the drive to complete its repair (or fail).

There's an extended discussion of this at Super User that you may wish to read.

If it were my server, I would replace BOTH drives with RE4s. Actually I'd go get a hardware RAID controller and a couple of Seagate Constellation drives...

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Thanks for the reply, yes where is the drive that should of been a spare? Client did not want to pay for it. It was indeed the Time Limited Error Recovery that I was referring to with regards to what makes a "raid enable drive" a raid drive. And finally RAID hardware with enterprise controllers is what we normally deploy for clients, when money is really not an object. I will eventually phase out both Seagate NS drives once the swap around happens. Thanks for the input. –  dasko Jul 26 '12 at 20:23

There's no such things as a 'raid enabled hard drive' - does that answer your question?

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Yes it does answer my question. Maybe is should explain what I meant by raid enabled. I always understood that "raid enabled" from a vendors point of view meant features that were in the enterprise drive that were suited for raid environments. So then the question would be should I be looking for an enterprise drive vs a regular workstation hard drive for this specific application. Thanks again. –  dasko Jul 26 '12 at 19:45
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You're right that there are enterprise drives, but they're pointless in a 'fake-raid' scenario such as an Intel-Matrix array, which is designed with value in mind and as such so long as you stick to a supported drive you'll be just fine. –  Chopper3 Jul 26 '12 at 19:47
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@Chopper3 I dunno that I'd ever classify fakeRAID as being "just fine," but unless he's going to get some real RAID, you're right that enterprise-grade drives would be pointless. Just a waste of money, since the weak link is going to be the fakeRAID. –  HopelessN00b Jul 26 '12 at 19:57

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