My last RAID set did not live up to all of my expectations. Maybe there wasn’t enough cooling, maybe it was the selection of the drives. But when compared to my Seagate RAID set, my Western Digital RAID set had numerous failures over the span of only 5 years. I setup a purely Western Digital RAID set with 5x Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB Hard Drive drives in 2008.
In 2010, I had my first warnings. I had a single drive burn out and completely disrupt my system. It was bad, but I was able to recover due to my regular DVD backups and server storage. So, I had to find a way to deal with all of the data and create a secured backups of all my systems, so I went out and got 5x 2 TB drives, Seagate Barracuda LP 2 TB 5900RPM SATA 3 GB/s 32 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Hard Drive ST32000542AS-Bare Drive, into a NOS system that runs independently, is fully cooled, and far away from any other computer system, a great solution.
I ended up taking my main system with the original WD disks and parting out the disks to many of my other systems. One went to my Media PC in the living room, one to a fun Linux box, one to the trash (the failed drive), and two to my main system. In 2011, my fun Linux box HD crashed, so I threw out that drive. Today, which will officially be about 5 years, my Media PC drive failed and became non-recoverable.
All the failures, fortunately I am not losing any valuable data. In five years, 3 of my 5 original drives have completely went out. This encourages me to backup my current system. On the other hand, my 5x Seagate 2 TB drives, totaling 8 GB RAID with a 2 GB Pairing have been running in this mode perfectly for 3 years and no failures yet. I am a little more careful, only booting the system on LAN and shutting off when not accessed. The cooling is terrific, but I had never seen so many HD failures using Western Digital, who used to be my favorite HD provider.
For my Media PC, I am now moving on to only Solid State Drives. More expensive, but more reliable and much quicker. I found an Intel 335 Series 2.5-Inch 240GB SATA3 Solid State Drive SSDSC2CT240A4K5 for $219. I do not need the space because everything is streamed over the internet or my NOS. I have a copy of Windows 8, with a miniature remote control / keyboard / ball mouse that does all the controlling. This should provide an extremely quick startup time and a new and pleasant new Media PC environment.