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Western Digital Reds Arrive, but Promise let me down

Posted on October 10th, by Shaun Merrigan in News, Photography, Tech. Comments Off on Western Digital Reds Arrive, but Promise let me down

I finally received my shipment of Western Digital Red 3TB Hard Drives which I had initially ordered in mid-August. I had thought that installing several of these drives in my Windows Home Server box would be a simple way to increase my RAID 6 storage space. Alas, I found out the hard way that my Promise Supertrack EX8760T RAID controller does not recognize WD 3TB drives and thus sees the WD Reds as 946GB, Sata II drives. In fact, they are 3TB, Sata III capable drives. A few emails exchanged with Promise Tech Support left me quite disappointed. In a nutshell, the Promise Supertrack EX8760T does not support 3TB drives, and there are no plans to support these drives in the future. Too bad, since the EX8760T is quite a robust card, and it has kept my 2TB Seagate Greens running without a hiccup for 18 months.

So it was out with the Promise Supertrack EX8760T, and in with an Adaptec 6805. A bit of web research on my part suggested that the Adaptec card would support all the capacity and features the WD Red, and this turned out to be correct. The card and drivers installed with no problems, and the array is running optimally now. I am getting about 100MByte per second transfer to the array across my network. The Adaptec seems to handle array management better than the Supertrack EX8760T as well: A 50% larger array has been built and synchronized in much less time (same RAID Level) by the Adaptec compared to the Promise (smaller array, same RAID level). This array comprises the second copy of my digital and scanned digital medium format images (BIG files).

So, the takeaway from this is that the Adaptec 6805 works correctly with the new Western Digital Red 3TB hard drives on Windows Home Server 2011, now, today.

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