Western Digital Bought Hitachi Global Storage

Now there are only two major players in the storage market Western Digital & Seagate. Western Digital purchases Hitachi Global Storage for $4.3 Billion. I for one purchase a lot of internal hard drives for my storage needs and I have specific drives that I always get. Usually I always get Western Digital because they have quite drives and an excellent warranty & return policy. I don’t often get hard drives from Seagate because they seem to develop issues over time but surprisingly they have the best external hard drives from my experience, much better then WD. Now Hitachi tackles enterprise level hard drives and some of their drives work very well with storage solutions but they do have an annoying warranty service but I’m hoping with this buyout Western Digital processes will apply to Hitachi. This time around I have purchased the 3TB Drives from Hitachi and looking forward to seeing them in action.

Link: MSWHS

ReadyNAS 1100 – HD Failure

ReadyNAS1100

For several weeks now I have been having issues with my ReadyNAS 1100, its been running perfectly for the longest time. I made the upgrade from 4 x 1TB drives to 4 x 2TB drives, with X-Raid configuration I get about 5.55 TB worth of storage on my Network Area Storage device. Overall the ReadyNAS is a fantastic and extremely durable piece of hardware with great support from Netgear if you have any issues that needs warranty replacement. The best part of owning the ReadyNAS is its user base, the online forums have such a wealth of information that you are always helped by someone more experience, be it a network issues or a hardware issues. In my case I began facing issues with it, any file bigger then 400 MB it would hang in the beginning of transfer, from “30 seconds” to “2 minutes” to “55 minutes” then it would just hang.

ReadyNAS2

First thing I did was check health status and go through the logs several times, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary, there were no bad sectors on the hard drives. So I kept checking network for issues, changing different network components, even giving the PC a direct connection to the ReadyNAS mounted on the rack to test it, but I still got the same transfer issue. After going to the forums I found someone with the same issue but going into extreme detail in the forum, told me where to check the Hard Drives for the “Smart +” status and see if there are any issues, and turns out one of the drives recently had over 65000+ Raw Error Rate which would lead me to agree that there is an issue with the drive, a way to test it is to take it out and try another transfer to see if the files transfers without issues.

ReadyNAS1

Turns out the drive that had issues is a drive that had ATA errors that increased to about 6 over time. When I took out the drive and did a transfer turns out that it was the faulty drive. Luckily I already had a spare Hitachi 2 TB drive that I inserted to replace it. Now the annoying process is going through the HD replacement with Hitachi even though it is warrantied for 5 years they are making this a very annoying process, unlike Western Digital who make it such a simple process, Hitachi is annoying with all their back and forth but I will get my Hard Drive RMAed and replaced!

ReadyNAS2

MOC Stopped It

HaloLegendsBD

I have a package from MyUS shipped through DHL which came in with 4 Hard Drives, a motherboard, some ram, and 4 Blu Rays. All the Blu Rays are animated movies, Green Lantern, Dante’s Inferno, Halo Legends, and Justice League Crisis On Two Earths. I have come to the conclusion that you can only buy cartoons on Blu-Ray or DVD into Kuwait so they won’t stop it. Bt I was wrong, it has been two days since they said they would get clearance and I told them its only a cartoon why would you stop it. They really drive me nuts, and they wonder why there is so much torrent downloads in Kuwait, people are honestly willing to purchase but if you make it this much of a headache then they won’t buy online. Put a 5% tax that has to be paid and that is it, no inspection nothing, Customs is supposed to make money for the country rather then waste time inspecting toys and other items. It will probably be clear in a day or two but this is seriously very annoying, and I just bought these because I like these animated movies so much that I decided to buy them. They don’t care about the other items, I have had more electronics shipped in in one box before without it being stopped at all but for movies they stop it.

Office Depot

Since opening in Kuwait I have been to Office Depot a few times, its not 10% of the size of the Office Depots I have seen in the states but its a good change to have inside the Mall. Its come to the point where Avenues is majority clothing or food and not much else, but Office Depot is a refreshing change and I wanted to pass by to pick up some post its and paper since I was heading to the Avenues in the first place.

Its good they have a nice selection of printers, with Brothers being the one with the most features and more reasonable pricing. I like how they have a huge selection of paper and the different kinds of packaging and folders that you can have, I picked up an expandable plastic folder to use to organize my bills and other paper work. I can’t resist looking at USBs and external hard drives and they had a nice selection. Another part of the store that I really like is the pen and pencil section, I’m very particular about pens and pencils, I like to have ones which have a certain amount of ink when used on paper and how it feels. Then there was the calculator section which reminded me of my old scientific calculator and having to store formulas in the memory and all. Overall there should be a few different stores within the mall and its desperately needing a change, maybe a big book store would really help.


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The Graveyard

I have been through a lot of external hard drives, mostly because people ask me to fix them or recover data when they are broken. Or when they are asking for media, tv shows, anime, or movies. I have had some experience with some of these drives and after all the failures I have suffered with externals, I have come to the conclusion about a few drives. Never buy generic drives such as simpltech because you don’t know what your getting on the inside, and I have never had a healthy Maxtor External drive, for some reason they always act up and a majority of Western Digital externals have had issues. Its either the ones that come to Kuwait have issues, they a little too many bumps on the way, or its just been bad luck. Overall I know which external is my favorite and those are the Seagate external drives. Those are just excellent drives and out at least 10 only one was has failed, compared to the others its extremely better. And these drives in the pile up around going out to pasture, I have dissected a few to see what makes them tick and what make them fail and its always fun taking things apart when you don’t have to put them back together.

The Pileup

  • Simpltech x2 – 160 GB- Lasted One Day
  • Maxtor – 160 GB – Lasted a month
  • WD – 320 GB – Last one week
  • Seagate – 160 GB – Lasted Four Years

Barracude Problems… Seagate to be exact

seagatebarracuda

I am running two servers, a few NAS devices, and a few computer. Each running at 3 hard drives up to 18 hard drives. Between all these machine I have installed a lot of hard drives, and some are running 24/7 months on end and only a restart to refresh the machines but other then that they rarely receive a break from their duties.

My ranking for drives from experience are in this order:

  • Western Digital
  • Maxtor (Bought out by Seagate)
  • Seagate

I have been reluctant to upgrade some of the drives to 1.5TB from Seagate due to technical issues that have been faced by these drives. They have even been bricked from recent firmware upgrades, I tried one 1.5TB drive and it kept locking up in the Windows Home Server, I unloaded it and tried it on another machine and I still faced problems with it, I returned to Hawalli for a refund and took the WD 1TB Green Drive, which works perfectly. I have had a few failures on the machines and the majority have been the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drives, luckily I keep the receipts and take them back to the Hawalli store and ask for an exchange for another brand. So after the last couple of years I am sticking to Western Digital drives when ever possible. Its not that drives don’t fail, they will eventually fail but the rate at which they fail is important. It seems Seagate’s track record isn’t looking too good for sometime now.

Drive Space Junkie

One year ago I thought I had more then enough space to satisfy all my downloading habits, I knew I might need to expand later on. I was completely wrong as to the scale of expansion, the amount of space that I have has expanded exponentially over the past couple of months due to my archiving all my Movies, TV Shows, and Anime, then taking all that media and backing it up.

Computers:

Main HQ

  • 2792 GB

Mini Monster

  • 931 GB

Bunker Server

  • 7014 GB

The Bunker:

  • 2094 GB

Alienware Laptop

  • 93 GB

Workhorse Laptop

  • 74 GB

Infrant NV

  • 3724 GB (2739 GB in X-Raid for Redundancy)

Infrants Bunker NV

  • 3724 GB (2739 GB in X-Raid for Redundancy)

Maxtor Network Drive

  • 278 GB

Total: 20724 GB (20.7 TB)

That is the current space that I have available to me, I think I’m using 63% between all the drives, and I haven’t fully backed up everything at this point I know when the 1.5 TB Drives come out, it is going to jump up very quickly.

WHS – Stage 4

I have the server up and running, dumping files from three machines and the Infrant NAS. I have the Videos in duplication mode, so all my videos are duplicated on the server. Most of drives are in the Athena Backplane, most of it is in the storage pool except for one drive which is what I am going to be using to switch data between drives. Its faster to connect that one drive to the SATA drive of each computer and copy the data, then copy it over at one go by connecting it to the Backplane inside the server. Now to transfer the data from the different networks over to the one location, more drives to be added, and then there is the idea of combining the network.

Windows Home Server – Stage 3

Due to complications with the setup we had to change the server case from the Alienware case to the Thermaltake Kandalf which is large full tower case that handle all the drives I was looking to install. The main issue of the Alienware case was that we weren’t able to install the Silverstone 1200 Watt PSU and the Athena Backplane, they were pushing against each other without allowing any of them to fit in.

The Athena Backplane was holing 5 Sata Drives 3.5″ in the place of 3 5.25″ Drives, so basically 3 CD-Roms for 5 Hard Drives. The PSU fit in the Alienware, and the Athena Backplane fit in the in Alienware case but just not together.

The Thermaltake was the only highquality full tower case available in Hawally at the time that we picked up for 75 KD, and even though it is overpriced the case was worth it and needed to continue our work. So we transplanted everything in the Alienware case to the Thermaltake case. I was dismantling while K was putting it together which was going smoothly.

It took us sometime to take off a few pieces from the Thermaltake since they weren’t needed. The hardware wiring was cleaned up, we removed the extra USB/Firewire/Sound connections of the case to fit the 1200 PSU, its a large one so it takes up space. It fits vertically rather then horizontally which makes things very accessible when connecting all the items for power. We fit the Athena Backplane, and everything was going very smoothly. We removed the LED fans and installed quiet fans on this case, these fans would provide ample cooling by pulling cool air from the front and the back to would pull out of the case. Even though there were four fans (1×120 mm & 3x92mm) running, the machine is extremely quiet, this isn’t even including the fan of the PSU.

Then the wiring came into play, we had a total of 7 SATA connections, and one IDE. Then there was the Addonics SATA controller for more SATA connections at a later point. This will help support a total of 15 hard drives if I wanted to fit them in the machine. Right now I have a total of 7 Hard drives in the machine which are enough to start off with.

After all the hardware configuration we started it up, it started which was good without shorting so everything seemed to be connected correctly. We started the Windows Home Server installation but we were too tired to continue except the next day. When we did continue it was only about mounting the new hard drives on Windows Home Server Share pool. It is going to take some time to tweak everything but overall everything is very straight forward in this machine, can’t wait to fully utilize it. There are still some steps to take.

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The Package

I have been following up on my packages everyday since I ordered them from Amazon. There were two things I was worried about, one was the large amount of Hard Drives I was ordering, and the other was the Voip phone which supposedly illegal in Kuwait.

I called up Aramex and they said my package didn’t arrive, so I took the tracking numbers and headed over there to get my packages. The website didn’t update throughout the trip, just that the packages were in the box last Sunday, and then arrived in Kuwait by Saturday. After giving them the tracking numbers they somehow found the items with them and they were cleared which is great.

I wanted to rip those boxes open as soon as I got home, but I waited a little while before opening them.

  • 1 TB Hard Drivers, Qty 8
  • Addonics Host Controller
  • Phillips Voip Phone

I knew that I am probably going to start ripping into my Windows Home Server but that is going to take some time to work on.

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