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Just RMA'd 10 Seagate ST4000DM001 4TB Drives


RFOneWatt
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So I just RMA'd a box of ten 4TB drives that were just about two years old and I had a couple of questions regarding these drives and Stablebit Scanner.

 

IN That time these drives racked up a load cycle count of over 300,000. It's kind of scary I didn't know they had an issue until Scanner told me once they hit over 300k.

 

Is there a way I could have been notified sooner or do I not have something set correctly?

 

The other question I have is there are still currently two drives running in a the system showing this SMART error and Scanner / Drivepool is not evacuating the drives. Shouldn't it be?

 

I'm pretty sure I'm missing something.....

 

Thanks!!!

 

~RF

 

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To be honest, we try to use the manufacturer specified values whenever possible, "just to be safe". 

 

However, as Lee1978 mentioned, the LCC values generally can be ignored. Unless you're seeing other SMART values being flagged or drive issues, they generally can be safely ignored. 

 

 

And no, StableBit DrivePool doesn't evacuate the drives in the case of SMART warnings by default. This is because values like the temperature, or the Load Cycle Count value are generally non-critical and would trigger that behavior. 

 

You can enable that functionality in the StableBit Scanner balancer in StableBit DrivePool, if you would like.

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Hey Guys -- Thanks for the responses and sorry for the late reply. 

 

Well, I just got the new drives installed in both servers. They are up to 500-700 on their load cycle count within 20 hours. They are running different firmware.   Argh.

 

I can't say I like that answer but I get it....however it's going to bug the heck out of me knowing that it's "not right" and the drives heads are being racked constantly.

 

<rant>

 

I have two new 8TB Seagate archive drives I put in when I first started the RMA process 12-14 days ago. They are up to just 25 on their load cycle count.

 

All of my Hitachi Drives, mostly two years old only have about 300-400.

 

I checked a six year old drive in another server and that's at about 500.

 

Hmmmmmm...any ideas why I can't use any of the APM functions in Scanner?  I keep getting "CAN'T SET APM for this disk." 

 

This happens on all disks in both servers on both Highpoint & LSI controllers.

 

Are these drives just ignoring APM or any clues as to whats going on?  (Excuse my ignorance, I haven't done much reading yet)

 

-Tony

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Yeah, I think there are some serious flaws with the STx000DMxxx line, in general. And I'd recommend just not using them for anything but actual cold storage.

 

 

That said, if you're using StableBit Scanner, try throttling the SMART Queries, as this may actually help with the rapid increase.

http://stablebit.com/Support/Scanner/2.X/Manual?Section=SMART

 

 

As for the APM settings, that is more of an issue with the drive's firmware.  If the options are present, StableBit Scanner will display them. But as for their effectiveness... Yeah, the drive may ignore the, or jus display the info and ignore input. 

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I hear that.  I'll see what I can do about throttling SMART queries on scanner.

 

Now I'm stuck with eight (now, refurbished) 4TB drives and two 2TB drives that I can't use in either Scanner/DrivePool server.

 

I'm going to call Seagate tomorrow just for the heck of it.  They know there is something up with these drives but I couldn't get it out of them.

 

Thanks for the responses guys.I think I'm going to try these drives in a different configuration and see what I come up.

 

I'll reply if I can add anything else - thanks again.

 

~RF

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Worst case, offer to pay the difference for "upgraded" models (i'd recommend the VN drives, aka the NAS drives). 

 

Also, if you actually call, make sure you record the call, and disclose that you're recording it. Sometimes knowing that they're recorded changes how companies respond. Doesn't work for every company... but ...

 

 

 

Also, ... I knew I saw this somewhere, and I'm glad to spent the time to dig, because I think this might make you giddy...

 

There does appear to be a way to permanently disable the APM functionality of these drives. However, this is a firmware hack, so there is absolutely a risk to the data ... and warranty. 

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=68760

Lifted from here:

http://community.covecube.com/index.php?/topic/1327-load-cycle-count-on-seagate-backup-plus-5tb/&do=findComment&comment=12860

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When I did call I asked about upgrade paths and "he" (I'm gonna say HE rather than THEY because I know when I call again I'll get a different story) said there was nowhere to go with these drives. That's not what I remember when dealing with Seagate in the past, I think I'm gonna have to be a squeaky wheel -- They absolutely KNOW there are issues with these drives.  Heck, they RMA'd three drives that were almost a year out of warranty.  (I just found four more 2TB units also.. they are gonna love me!)

 

THANK YOU THANK YOU for that link.

 

I'm reading through it now and it looks like it's going to do the trick!

 

It appears any problems people were having had to do with fumbling with a boot disk and the CLI  --- The firmware modification appears to work fine though.

 

I did some research a few weeks ago and I downloaded a firmware package from someone who said it was sent to them by Seagate to fix the problem.. I downloaded it and it's the same version of firmware that shipped on the drives I just got. (CC54)

 

I'm going to call Seagate Monday but as soon as I get the chance I'll do a couple drives and report back, I've got a couple shelled 5TB drives that need it regardless.

 

Thanks again for doing my research for me Drashna -haha-

 

-Tony

 

BTW, I throttled the SMART queries to once every 60 minutes and I think it has had a positive effect. Not quite sure yet.

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Fun. 

 

Well, if you send the drives in, don't forget about the swedish fish theory. :)

It may be a cheaper way to get the better models (though, no guarantees). 

 

 

And you're very welcome! If I still used the STx000DMxxx drives, I'd probably test this out myself. 

As for "doing your research", well, some of this stuff is super obscure and it can take weeks to stumble accross the right article. 

And somebody else did the work for that info, not me. So I can't really take credit. 

 

 

 

As for the SMART queries, from the times when people have reported this sort of issue, the throttling has definitely helped. But in this case, while it may help, it won't be as effective as the firmware hack.

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Man, I have a bunch of these drives.... :wacko:

 

You just reminded me that I need to return the bad drives to Seagate before they charge me. ;)

 

I haven't had a chance to modify the firmware on any of the drives, which appears to be the best solution (you rock, Drashna) but I do need to do my 5TB pretty soon.

 

For now I throttled the SMART queries in Scanner and at first glance I think its helping..  How much, I haven't had a chance to check yet... 

 

-T

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I had a bunch of the STx000DMxxx drives, and of course they were the 3TB model. :(  Out of all of them, I have one still alive. I use it as a duplication drive only. Because DrivePool is so configurable, it is pretty easy to set them to only hold duplication data. In this case, as long as I only lose the Seagate, I can always pop another in and DP will re-duplicate to the new drive, and I haven't lost any data.

 

One thing - Seagate and Samsung merged at some point (someone please correct me if this is incorrect) and I found a Seagate patch for a few Samsung drives I had that were racking up LCC, and that had already been replaced under warranty. I had to jump through some hoops to make the flash stick as the normal method stated that my firmware was not compatible with the drive I was trying to flash. Well, sure enough the LCC stopped racking up, but after about a year these drives failed too. So, in this case, I'm not sure that head parking had anything to do with the failures.

 

I have heard some rumors (I can't validate) that the LCC on the WD Green has something to do with failures. One thing I do know, is that WD has declined some warranties on the green drives with high LCC count with them stating the drives were used outside of stated capacity or something like that. They are not intended to be used in "always on" PCs, which is kind of funny because that is where a green drive might actually show some minor benefit. 
 

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You just reminded me that I need to return the bad drives to Seagate before they charge me. ;)

 

I haven't had a chance to modify the firmware on any of the drives, which appears to be the best solution (you rock, Drashna) but I do need to do my 5TB pretty soon.

 

For now I throttled the SMART queries in Scanner and at first glance I think its helping..  How much, I haven't had a chance to check yet... 

 

-T

 

 

Well, talking with Alex about this, the "Disk Control" section of Scanner can do this as well.  Just uncheck the "Advanced Power Management" option and click on "Set".

The problem is, that while it may confirm and go through, the disk's firmware is very bad about reporting the actual status. 

 

If the "set" command goes through, the window is updated and stays "correct". But if you close and re-open it, it will appear to have reverted. This is "normal", but yes, a PITA. 

 

So you can do either method, just keep an eye on the disk and see which works. 

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I had a bunch of the STx000DMxxx drives, and of course they were the 3TB model. :(  Out of all of them, I have one still alive. I use it as a duplication drive only. Because DrivePool is so configurable, it is pretty easy to set them to only hold duplication data. In this case, as long as I only lose the Seagate, I can always pop another in and DP will re-duplicate to the new drive, and I haven't lost any data.

 

Isn't that really nice though. So you know that you won't lose anything if the drive fails. Peace of mind. :)

(also, shameless self promotion) :)

 

 

One thing - Seagate and Samsung merged at some point (someone please correct me if this is incorrect) and I found a Seagate patch for a few Samsung drives I had that were racking up LCC, and that had already been replaced under warranty. I had to jump through some hoops to make the flash stick as the normal method stated that my firmware was not compatible with the drive I was trying to flash. Well, sure enough the LCC stopped racking up, but after about a year these drives failed too. So, in this case, I'm not sure that head parking had anything to do with the failures.

 

 

Yes and no.  Samsung sold it's hard drive division (and patents) to Seagate. Meaning that Seagate owns and is "responsible" for these drives. 

 

No merger, though. 

 

And yeah, it can be difficult to flash the firmware on newer systems.  All these tools want you to use a DOS disk even still... and non support the EFI shell....

 

 

 

I have heard some rumors (I can't validate) that the LCC on the WD Green has something to do with failures. One thing I do know, is that WD has declined some warranties on the green drives with high LCC count with them stating the drives were used outside of stated capacity or something like that. They are not intended to be used in "always on" PCs, which is kind of funny because that is where a green drive might actually show some minor benefit. 

 

It's a possibility.  But generally, if you don't see any other issues, the drive is probably fine.  

The theory is that if the drive is always on and parking it's head all the time, it's additional wear and tear on the actuator mechanism, as it's doing unnecessary parking.  The WDIDLE3 utility is supposed to increase the idle timer or disable it altogether.  

 

As for the troubles with WD, I couldn't comment on that, as I've never experienced it myself.  But then again, I've avoided WD Green drives. 

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