Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: WD Black HDDs - Not RAID Compatiable????

06 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
WD Black HDDs - Not RAID Compatiable????

I just finished a new build and put in 3 WD Black 640GB drives in a RAID 5 config. After about 20hrs of runtime the system indicated a drive failure. Intel Matrix Manager confirmed this so I contacted WD support about getting an RMA. The tech wrote back that these drives and any WD consumer grade drives are not suitable for RAID; here is a quote from the tech:

"The Caviar Black are not RAID edition drives. If you install and use a desktop edition hard drive connected to a RAID controller, the drive may not work correctly. This is caused by the normal error recovery procedure that a desktop edition hard drive uses."

My question to the forum is, am I unable to keep this setup? WD seems to be telling me that. Now I wonder if I will have to redo my system completely and set up 3 individual drives.

Any advice welcome.

Thanks. Bob

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2010   #2

W7 Pro 64

I could imagine that officially most consumer HDD manufacturers claim not to suppport RAID and try to sell you enterprise solutions. I have two 750 GB Black Caviar in RAID 1 with no problems. But that doesn't mean much since RAID 1 doesn't strip any data and each HDD "doesn't really know" that it is RAID.

Since Black Caviar is a performance HDD, I would have hoped for some more performance support, like RAID.

Maybe this issue becomes obsolete with SSD used for C: and the HDDs only need RAID 1 for storage anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2010   #3
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X

I ran across this with a friend a few months ago. Using Black HDDs in a RAID config is not a good idea. Even more so than the drives that don't support RAID yet can be used in that config anyway.

You could try it anyway, I see many people out there have, but I would recommend something thats actually RAID compatible, or atleast unofficially raid compatible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Apr 2010   #4

W7 Pro 64

In all honesty, I'm not a friend of those performance RAIDs anyway. But whichever decision the manufacturer makes regarding support of RAID, they should CLEARLY LABEL that so that users and buyers know about the lack of RAID support.

Especially since WD tries to please the performance crowd they really should take into account that someone who buys a black caviar is likely to use it in a RAID 0 or so. If WD BC was a standard DELL HDD it wouldn't matter since that user doesn't even know what RAID is. but the BC series is used by enthusiasts hat likely RAID for performance.

hope my RAID 1 is not affected... Grrrr.

good there are SSD. Now I think even more that new WD raptor is useless in the age of SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I wouldn't run the OS on a RAID 5 array. The parity calculation is going to slow down your performance for all of the very small writes that an operating system is going to do. It's best to run the OS in a RAID1 mirror and have a RAID 5 data partition if you are going to go this route.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #6

Windows 7 Pro 64bit

Thanks everyone for the comments. I agree that drives SHOULD be labeled as to their RAID compatability. I guess I will reinstall my OS and programs and reconfigure the drives. A real waste of time but at least I'm getting better at the process.

Bob K
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2010   #7
Phone Man

Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64bit, Windows 7 HP 64bit

Here is the explanation from WD.

There was a utility to turn on the TLER in the Desktop drives such as the Cavier Black, but I have heard that the new Desktop drives have the feature permanently disabled. WD activates this feature in the RE (Raid Edition) drives.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2010   #8
Product FRED

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit

RAID 1 is probably the most effective. If you're looking for speed, install the OS on an SSD, then keep your own files on a normal IDE/SATA drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

FWIW, before you reinstall....
I am running 2 WD Caviar Black's in a RAID-1 setup (no TLER enabled, etc).
Only once did I run into the issue where it reported that a drive had failed (due to TLER, etc etc), but I believe that was more because of the external HD was connected via monitor USB ports and the monitor went to sleep during a file copy - probably confusing the hell out of everything....
atleast that's my guess...
Rebuild resulted in everything back to normal.

WD has been doing this (disabling the TLER util usage for the non enterprise drives), selling the Enterprise drives specifically for RAID etc - personally, the ER drives are too expensive.
Depending on how old your drives are, you may get lucky and they may work or you may have a rather expensive paper weight.

Having said that, to save you some time, do a backup and use the Intel storage manager app to migrate to a RAID-1 (the ICH RAID lets you migrate between RAID types) and keep the third disk for other stuff? or get a 4th drive for 2 RAID-1 setups... assuming you still want the RAID.
Might save you some formatting time...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

About five years ago, I had two 80 gb Western Digitals in RAID 0 setup and had absolutely no problems. Maybe Western Digital didn't disable TLER years ago.

I recently purchased 3 WD RE3 drives because:

1. I knew I wanted to setup a RAID and some reviews on mentioned something about TLER and not being compatible with RAID. (Until I read those reviews, I didn't even know what TLER is and I thought all I needed to set up a RAID 0 were two identical hard drives.)
2. They were not much more expensive than other drives but I figured five year warranty is worth paying a few extra bucks.

Purchased 3/30/10
Western Digital RE3 WD2502ABYS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" @ $59.99
Western Digital RE3 WD1002FBYS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" @ $159.99


I WAS WRONG! I had only checked the price difference on 250 GB drives. The price difference wasn't huge between non-RE drives and RE drives for that capacity. I just realized that the 1 TB hard drive was $60 more than the Black Edition. My data drive isn't even set up in a RAID.

Looks like I'll be filing an RMA with Newegg and getting a Black Edition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 WD Black HDDs - Not RAID Compatiable????

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
HELP - Backing Up Several Large HDDs to Many Smaller HDDs
I have a small media server. It's a bunch of drives in a full size tower PC, each formatted individually (i.e. no RAID - NTFS). Right now it's 6 drives, either 4TB or 3TB. I have a bunch of smaller (1.5TB and 2TB) drives that I'm not using and would like to use to have a backup of the files...
Backup and Restore
Are HDDs That Were Used In RAID 1 'Marked?'
I can't figure out which terms to search to answer this question. I apologize if it has been answered before. I have three sets of 'matching pairs' of disk drives in hand. Two sets were used in RAID 1 arrays in a previous XP/Pro based system. The RAID was established using Intel Rapid Storage...
Hardware & Devices
What components make enterprise HDDs more reliable than consumer HDDs?
Been googling around for info and haven't been able to pinpoint exactly what makes a enterprise drive more reliable than consumer drives. I understand consumer demand for bigger drives at lower cost so manufacturers have to cut corners somewhere along the line. What/Where exactly are they...
Hardware & Devices
AMD ii X4 965 is not compatiable with the mobo.
hey Guys, I am simply in love with this forum as i have resolved a hell lot of problems just because of this forum.Thanks for that!! - I have an issue with my system - I have recently configured this Rig. - It has the ASUS M4N68T-M LE V2 MoBo. - and the processor is AMD phenom ii X4 965...
Hardware & Devices
Is XP EFS compatiable with 7
I have a few EFS files on my XP machine that I'd like to transfer to a computer that has 7 loaded. I could decrypt on the xp machine and reencrypt on the 7 machine- but I'd rather just give the 7 machine the ability to read the XP files. I tried exporting the pfx file from the XP machine and...
System Security

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:54.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App