Looking to use 2.5" SATA drives with SAS hardware RAID controller but problems with firmware power saving
Posted on 2008-06-18
We have an IBM X3550 server in a RAID 0+1 setup utilizing the built in SAS controller and 4 Western Digital 2.5" 320GB SATA hard drives. The hard drives are: WD3200BEVT WD SCORPIO 2.5 320GB SATA 5400 8MB 12MS HARD DRIVE
We intermittently have one or 2 of the hard drives be determined by the RAID controller to be bad and are put off line with an error light associated with the drive.
Restarting the server solves the problem and checking the disk reported to be bad by the controller results in no errors found (the drives are just fine).
I am not in any pickle since this is not a production machine - I am just trying to work out a way to cheaply increase storage space on a small 2U server with only four 2.5" bays. (high capacity SAS drives are excellent but cost considerably more).
My best guess on the problem is that these new "GREEN" notebook drives, not intended for server use, power themselves down if not accessed for a while and that the RAID controller may become impatient if one of the drives does not answer right away if a request is given to it. Another problem could be that, like with most desktop drives, the hard drive firmware takes longer recovering bad sectors in "idle time" than RAID edition drives and the RAID controller times out.
In any case - it would be great for me to have notebook SATA hard drives in a hardware RAID enviornment where power saving (in the hard drive firmware) can be disabled or just come without any of those "green" features that can potentially messup a hardware RAID.
are there any high capacity SATA notebook drives that do not have power down (spin-down) feature?
are there any utilities that can be used to disable firmware features in SATA notebook hard drives?
is there a particular firmware revision (like an older revision) that can be used to disable power saving in firmware?
Anyone ever use a similar setup as I noted above and be successful?
BTW - I am already aware of power saving features in motherboard BIOS of desktop computers and in Windows XP & Vista - this question relates directly to the firmware of the hard drive and operability in a server RAID enviornment and are OS independent.
Much thanks all.