Areca RAID cards and WDC desktop-class HDDs (non-RE)

First of all, avoid any green drives (including WDC RE-GP drives) at all cost for RAID setups.

I have Areca’s ARC-1210 and ARC-1220 RAID cards installed on my Tyan servers (with S5397 and S5211 motherboards).  Some of these servers are using WDC GP drives (my vendor ordered the GP drives), despite having TLER-enabled, they will drop from the RAID sets within days or weeks.  Enabling TLER does help, but don’t count too much on it.  This is caused by the IntelliPower feature that limits its RPM to 5400.  RAID drives are supposed to be fast, GP drives are slow.

Few weeks ago I tried to get a pair of WDC WD2500AAJS-22VTA0 to run Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition.  The installation went well until few days of uptime, the server rebooted itself after showing this error message:

The instruction at “0x76946203” referenced memory at “0x76946203”. The required data was not placed into memory because of an I/O error status of “0xc000000e”. Click on OK to terminate the program.

Prior to this error message, it showed a yellow popup (like the low disk space popup) on the systray but I couldn’t get a screenshot as it happened really fast.  It states (IIRC) that files are missing/corrupted in the RECYCLER folder.

I tried disabling write cache on the RAID card and Windows, but no luck.  Tried to enable TLER (it wasn’t on before), also no luck.  Finally I consulted Google and found out that disabling NCQ help on some hard drives.  I disabled NCQ and rebooted the server, so far it has been up for almost a month.  Before this, it couldn’t even reach a week of uptime.

Now I use the WDC RE3 drives (WD5002ABYS) to replace the GP drives.  The temperature of the RE3 drives are much lower (8-10C lower) than the desktop drives, despite having less cooling in the room.

Hopefully this post can help others to avoid the issues I encountered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *