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4TB+ Hard Drive Models

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by telemark, May 16, 2014.

  1. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    Another point to add is that you have to get past 4TB before you get NASware 3.0 drives (the new refresh-cycle ones), due to clearing out inventory, first. The 4TB and lower ones are part of the refresh, though. Resellers like NewEgg are pricing the 2.0 ones to sell, to sell-off inventory. Since the recent inventory seems to have a lot of DOA drives in it, I'd rather go with 3.0. But, NewEgg doesn't even sell the 3.0 ones, below 4TB, at this time (unless I'm just missing the secret on how to get them). Even if there's no benefit for TiVo use, I'm holding-out, for something that's not part of the bad batches of drives plaguing the market. Considering the 3.0 NASware "improves" things that were part of NASware 2.0, like how the drive handles power outages, I worry the "improvements" are more like "fixes". So, I want the 3.0, or I'll wait it out, before buying any more 4TB, or less, drives made by WD.
     
  2. telemark

    telemark New Member

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    Nov 12, 2013
    That is odd. The NASWare 3.0 - 4TB should be called WD40EFRX which is the same model number as the existing NASWare 2.0 one.

    Code:
    WD Red Lineup 2014 Updates - Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices
      Model			Model Number	Price (USD)
      WD Red - 5 TB		WD50EFRX	$249
      WD Red - 6 TB		WD60EFRX	$299
      WD Red Pro - 2 TB	WD2001FFSX	$159
      WD Red Pro - 3 TB	WD3001FFSX	$199
      WD Red Pro - 4 TB	WD4001FFSX	$259
    One thing I read said the 2.0 to 3.0 upgrade is a firmware change but the reason it's not field upgradable is because it requires a calibration which the factory would have to do. It doesn't sound like you're convinced of that.
     
  3. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    You seem to be missing the "Pro" designations for the >4TB drives in your list. Those are NEW 7200RPM models, not to be confused with anything before the "Pro" series was released. Smaller than 5TB drives, of the non-Pro line are missing from your list.

    I don't know what you mean about the firmware. I'm convinced (never had a doubt), and I repeatedly state (in many past/recent posts) you can't upgrade NASware v1 to v2, or v2 to v3, etc. I'm making it a point to warn people that if you buy a WD Red NAS below the new 5GB and greater sizes, you'll get NASware 2.0, while 3.0 is the newest. Once inventory of the 2.0 drives has depleted, you'll get 3.0. If you want 3.0 now, you have to find that product page, that specifies 3.0, and order from that page.

    WD keeps the model, like WD20EFRX, the same, regardless of the firmware/NASware version. "NASware" is mostly just firmware with a specific set of functions enabled/disabled/available, and some things that are exclusive to the Red NAS line, like complete queued commands upon detection of power loss. I don't see firmware, alone, being able to make this happen (nor do most review sites).

    FWIW, it wasn't that long ago that the 2.5" WD Red NAS 750GB & 1TB drives came out. They started at NASware 2.0, and I bought a 1TB drive. Just the other day, I was able to go to Newegg, and the product page had been changed to state it had already scaled to 3.0, and the additional drives I just bought came with 3.0 (on the label).

    My guess is that the 2.5" would have been v3.0 upon release, except WD wanted to announce v3.0 for 3.5" drives, first. So, it's entirely possible the 2.5" drives were 3.0 already, just labeled 2.0.

    Even my own post, trying to explain WD's half-assery, is giving me a headache...

    One thing that nobody will debate is that NASware 1.0 drives had terrible compatibility issues, and many had a false impression the 2.0 version was just a flash update away. This gave WD a black-eye in their reputation, with those who bought the 1.0 version, and couldn't update to 2.0, or get the compatibility issues resolved.

    While I'm aware of there being no update possible (per WD's word), I believe some of the "improvements" of 3.0 are truly bug fixes, being called improvements. Since if you buy a cheap sale v2.0 drive, you are stuck with 2.0, like I am with the five I bought for three TiVos, last year, I simply warn people to be aware v3.0 is the new product, and v2.0 is the old product.

    WD has never been a company to (publicly) release firmware updates, unless they have no choice (usually on a per case basis, I think), or it's as part of a product refresh cycle. OTOH, Seagate usually has multiple firmware updates, per drive model, after it hits the shelves. I have yet to find myself in possession of a (modern) Seagate drive, that didn't have updates available. The 500GB ones that came in my TiVos even had updates available.

    It makes me wonder if WD thinks their poop doesn't stink, and perhaps Seagate is now a better choice. Seagate releases firmware updates to fix bugs, without waiting for a refresh cycle to do so. Seagate doesn't require a support ticket to consider an update to fix bugs. When was the last time you heard of any internal WD drive, consumer-grade, having a firmware update for it? It's been a long time, no?

    But still, too be clear, I get that some things can't be done via firmware update alone. Things that would require recalibration would be an example.

    It just would be nice to see WD own their bugs, and publicly release what can be fixed with firmware. It would be nice if my 3TB Red NAS drives could make up their minds what transfer mode they use. I have to hot-plug them to specific ports on my Core2Duo era SATA mainboard, just to get full speed. If I don't do it that way, they select SWDMA0 for mode. That seems like something easily addressed with a firmware update, even though it makes no sense that a drive as new as Red Nas w/Nw2.0 doesn't get along with such an established chipset. Even though the drive is SATA3, and the Intel ICH is SATA2, SWDMA0, or UDMA-6 (if I unplug and re-plug a few times and perform animal sacrifice)?

    Sorry, I'm not trying to be rude/harsh. I'm just reconsidering my brand loyalty, again...
     
  4. telemark

    telemark New Member

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    Nov 12, 2013
    I copied that from an article on the new models that came out, but it matches what's on WD's website.

    That is, the 5TB and 6TB are non-Pro's. The 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB are missing because they're semi-pre-existing.
     
  5. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    Lovely for the run-of-the-mill consumer that might be considering going with Red NAS, right?

    I'm almost to the point of joining ConInPhx, and simply saying I wouldn't recommend them. Like the WD Purple, they have a compatibility list, of what they are supposed to work with. If you buy Red/Purple for off-the-list use, it's kind of your own fault (going by WD's own language) if/when you have problems, and you think it has something to do with the drive (regardless of if you can/can't prove it).
     
  6. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    @telemark: Have you checked out Anandtech, for info?

    They seem to (usually/mostly) get it fast, right, and are thorough, often with follow-ups to fill in the gaps in available info. They seem very good at not "stating facts not yet in evidence". Every site slips on making predictions, better left to the evidence, every now and then.

    It took some squinting (3 & 2 are hard to tell apart from some angles/sizes), for me to see that their WD-provided samples, and what was placed next to them, were not quite what the dictation had led me to believe. Then again, it's not unusual to place older drives in the empty spot where a newer drive should be (which they don't yet have in-hand).

    I have a NASware 3.0 in-hand, that a picture of is not on their site, the 2.5" 1TB one. It was predicted by them, but never confirmed, so I was shocked to find it at Newegg (of all places, even though it's my go-to store). I guess I should send them a photo, maybe? :)

    So, as it turns-out, you are right (not that I doubted you). If < 5TB NW3.0 3.5" drives exist, they are in a vault somewhere. I was under the impression they were just "tucked behind" existing inventory.

    WD redecorated their site and marketing between my last visit, and going back to check if I had missed more. The sites with "WD Stores" baked-in have updated to reflect what you saw.

    I see more focus on the NW3 and how it's tied to balance calibration, and a few big matters promoted, but the "improvements" (to what 2.0 has) are conveniently hard to find mention of, now (of the sort that would make NW2 drive users yearn for an update for, and would seem to be possible to provide, minus things that would require recalibration). I mean, if WD resolved some issue with their power-loss handling, and it was all done via firmware, that sounds like something that could be related to weak sector writes, if the drives were, say, mistaking a slight dip in power as a sign of a power failure, falsely.

    Have you been able to find out what is different between Seagate and WD, that one publicly releases firmware updates, while the other doesn't?

    I had sent back a batch of almost 2yr old Green drives, and the recerts I got back said the same firmware as the ones I sent back, which was something like "FW1.00A" In two years, there was nothing to be improved upon? Is WD "that good", that they release a FW and that's it, for the product cycle? Is Seagate so bad, that they need to release 8 FW updates in that same span?

    Something just doesn't "gel" about this difference. I don't know everything, and this is something that I just can't stop wondering about.

    Considering how many cool drives tools came from manufacturers, now bought by the "Big 2 companies", like Hitachi Feature Tool (Hitachi, now "a WD company"), I wonder what's to become of things like HFT. WD has a new policy where you can only download tools and utilities, while logged-in, and you must have the drive the tool/utility is intended for, registered to you, under your account.

    It's my understanding that WD knows/fears that more of the public knows how many drives are higher-class drives, with a crippled firmware, so they can sell to both worlds, and profit. When WDTLER.exe leaked, and people were flipping on TLER on drives that had it crippled, WD made sure to change their shipping firmwares to reject the change. It's almost like it's not firmware anymore. It's like they make it program once, update/modify never.

    Are you familiar with the PC3000, or whatever suite that costs a lot of money, and is hard to get? It's meant to give you raw, unrestricted access to the firmware, and reserved areas of the platters, where much of the SMART data resides. I guess some criminals have used software to hide things there (some rather large amount of data can be raw-written/read there, hiding it from (most) forensics tools.

    Info on this is at HDDGuru and on Wikipedia, but it's all linux talk, which I don't fluently speak (and can only understand some of). You seem to like challenges. Perhaps you could figure out some areas I've become stuck. Apparently, if you are good enough, and have the resources, you can read the firmware off the drive, tweak it, then send it back. It sounds like this is what it's coming down to, and the days of wdidle3.exe and hdparm being able to change drive behavior is limited. Soon it will be pick a color, and make sure it's exactly what you need as-is, because everything is locked down.

    If I'm right about the way things are headed, what's to stop WD from making non-AV drives cause hiccups when used in a TiVo? While I've stopped advising people to just buy cheap green drives, and done a 180 on all my old arguments, I still think WD could do this, and get away with it. Then, they could re-establish the price-gap between the two, like it used to be, again...

    I'll stop here, and let you correct me if you think I'm off on a paranoid tangent.
     

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