Hitachi Harddisks Thread (5K3000, 7K3000, 7K2000)

PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
3,081
1,388
113
No great mystery. Just lots of discussion about how effectively companies handle their warranty process and thought I'd chime in. One thing I'll give Hitachi over Seagate, WD and OCZ - their web site is straightforward, to the point, and easy. The others I've dealt with all have some quirk that just seems designed to make it hard (build and 'account', send and E-mail and get a reply later, whatever). With this one you just click "request RMA", fill in the serial number for a quick warranty check, and then fill out a form with your name address. Done. Nothing unnecessary or quirky about the site at all.

One thing to note: reliability of the drives.

With Seagate, I've RMAd almost half of the drives I have/had (11 of 23, albeit quite a few of the infamous 7200.11s)
With WD I'm at 100% (have had to RMA 6 of 6 drives owned - OK - that was over a 5 year period)
With OCZ SSD I'm over 100% (RMAd 8 of 8 Vertex, some of them twice now...with OCZs rep this is not a suprise)

With hitachi, I'm at 1 of 34. Granted, most of them (20) are less than a few months old now, but most of the 7k2000s are over a year, heavily used, and clearly the most reliable drives I've every owned. In fact, the one that died was almost new.
 

kryptex

Member
May 13, 2011
117
11
18
You're right about the Seagate 7200.11s. I own and owned at least 20 of these @ 1.5 TB (ST31500341AS model) and never had any problems with them. They are relatively fast enough and much more quiet compared to the 7K2000. I had a few with SD15, SD35, SD17 and SD1A firmwares, upgraded with no problem to SD1B. I have some CC1G upgraded to CC1H, no problems whatsoever. [Maybe one thing: these drives tend to develop Reallocated Sectors (between 5-100) early on, when the first writes are performed, but will settle down after a few full writes/formats. Some Spinup Retries from time-to-time when in external enclosures not providing enough current].

On the other hand, 7K2000 are very noisy (I have 4 of them now), though fast and with good access times. I have original FW 3MA and also some upgraded from 3EA to 3MA, but no AAM to set, unfortunately.

Is there any possibility to revert/downgrade to FW 28A (which supposedly has AAM available) ? I'd do that, even if I'd loose some stability/speed (I heard not much...). No way to find previous firmwares on the internet... of course if I e-mail to Hitachi, they laugh in your face when you ask for almost 2 year-old firmware !
 
Last edited:

kryptex

Member
May 13, 2011
117
11
18
I will be able to soon test 4 more 7K2000 drives and quantitatively check the temperature in the same Vantec Nexstar 3 eSATA enclosure, in comparison with the 4-platter Seagate 7200.11 drives.
Some tests done. The Hitachi drives idle @ 48 deg C, while the Seagates @ 47 (after 5 hours in an ambient temperature of 22 deg C). APM was disabled, heads did not park.

Under heavy stress for 1 hour, Hitachi: 54, Seagate: 52 deg. C
 
Last edited:

lifespeed

Member
May 14, 2011
49
0
6
4 each Hitachi 5K3000-0S03230

I just installed 4 of the Hitachi 5K3000-0S03230. Don't know what the difference is between these and the 0S03028. They have FW 580 according to the sticker. These were a screaming deal at pcconnectionexpress at $130 with no tax in California. I'd like to get 1 - 2 more, but they only appear to have the 20 packs now.

They run at 38-42 degrees in my Norco 4220 chassis with 120 mm midplate fan mod (probably less air, not more, but quiet) vs my old Seagate ST31000340NS 1 TB 7200 RPM drives at 43 - 47 degrees. Power consumption is markedly reduced, as indicated by my APC UPS display. Unfortunately it doesn't display watts, just percent.

I haven't run any benchmarks yet, still expanding from 6 TB to 9 TB as I could only plug in 3 drives at first because I hit the limit of my 8 port Highpoint 3520. Copied the data off my old array, two more days to complete the Online Capacity Expansion.

So, what is the story on CCTL (Hitachi version of TLER) on these drives? Does the RAID card send the command at power up? Is it volatile, not surviving a power cycle, but works when given the command at each startup?
 

odditory

Moderator
Dec 23, 2010
358
27
28
The myth and misunderstanding of TLER will continue to circulate the net like "send this to five friends" chain letters originally written in 1998, but the fact is Hitachi doesn't need CCTL enabled to function correctly in hardware raid, and no the controller doesn't send any commands at power up.

The myth is everyone continuing to assume that because WD needs TLER enabled to function correctly in raid arrays, that the same must be true for every manufacturer. In reality some vendors just write shoddy firmware and the TLER setting just *masks* what's really a separate issue, at least in WD's case. Brand new, healthy drives aren't going into a deep recovery cycle within mere minutes and dropping from an array, which is why I say the TLER setting only band-aids some other issue on WD drives. I realize there are claims of other vendors having issue with dropping from arrays as well, but from what I've seen each case is unique and not necessarily because of their error recovery timeout setting.

Regardless of what you believe, bottom line Hitachi's "just work" in raid arrays without the need for any special setting.
 
Last edited:

lifespeed

Member
May 14, 2011
49
0
6
In reality some vendors just write shoddy firmware and the TLER setting just *masks* what's really a separate issue, at least in WD's case. Brand new, healthy drives aren't going into a deep recovery cycle within mere minutes and dropping from an array, which is why I say the TLER setting only band-aids some other issue on WD drives. I realize there are claims of other vendors having issue with dropping from arrays as well, but from what I've seen each case is unique and not necessarily because of their error recovery timeout setting.

Regardless of what you believe, bottom line Hitachi's "just work" in raid arrays without the need for any special setting.
Agreed about shoddy WD firmware or otherwise and dropping out of an array with no bad sectors on the disk. However, bad sectors are a possibility in every HDDs lifetime, even good ones. Even Hitachis.

But I think it should be clear to you that a deep recovery cycle, possibly from a *real* bad sector, associated with unresponsiveness for a length of time causing the controller to drop it from an array could be a problem that might not reveal itself for some time, even years.

Have you seen Hitachi disks accumulate a few bad sectors without dropping from an array? I suppose I would consider this evidence that they don't need CCTL. Perhaps they continue to respond even during a 'deep recovery' of a bad sector?
 
Last edited:

PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
3,081
1,388
113
I have 8 hitachi 7k2000 drives running in a raid-6 array (Areca-1261 controller - SATA, not SAS). They have been running in this array for a little over a year with moderate usage - not heavy like an enterprise array but not just a NAS for DVDs and backups either. They are fairly active when I am doing video production work, which is pretty much 4-5 nights/week.

Of these 8 drives, two of them show any reallocated sectors in their SMART data. One of them has 9 and one has 5. These drives have been dropped by the array controller 1 & 2 times, respectively (yes - the one with more reallocated sectors has been dropped fewer times - I rechecked the controller event log to confirm). No other drives every have ever been dropped. I do not have any history to know if they collected any of these bad sectors without being dropped.

Each time they were dropped I was able to re-attach them to the array and have it rebuild successfully.
 

lifespeed

Member
May 14, 2011
49
0
6
These drives have been dropped by the array controller 1 & 2 times, respectively (yes - the one with more reallocated sectors has been dropped fewer times - I rechecked the controller event log to confirm). No other drives every have ever been dropped. I do not have any history to know if they collected any of these bad sectors without being dropped.

Each time they were dropped I was able to re-attach them to the array and have it rebuild successfully.
You see, this is what I am concerned about!

Despite others dismissing my concerns about 'consumer' drives in RAID arrays, what you have described is not acceptable. There is no reason those drives should have dropped out of the array at all, let alone three times !!

IMHO, a few bad sectors (or any other minor hiccup) should not cause a drive to be dropped from an array. Did this happen because you were running Hitachi 7K2000 desktop drives? I don't know.

But I do know this: I have had a RAID5 array of 5 each Seagate ST31000340NS 'enterprise' 1 TB drives for three years. I have never had a drive drop from the array (Highpoint 3520 SATAII). I think three of the drives accumulated a few bad sectors, and when I noticed I RMA'd them and rebuilt the array with a new drive, mainly because I figured at enterprise prices I was going to get full use out of the warranty.

When I switched to a RAID5 array of 4 each Hitachi 5K3000 0S03220 3 TB drives a few days ago one of the Seagates NS drives had 21 bad sectors. Had I noticed, I probably would have RMA'd it too. I'm going to get another drive and convert my new 5K3000 array to RAID6, just in case. Perhaps I should have sprung for the Enterprise Hitachi drive at 3X the price . . . :rolleyes:

Anybody else have a newer Hitachi drive drop out of an array for no other apparent reason than a few bad sectors?
 
Last edited:

kryptex

Member
May 13, 2011
117
11
18
I would need the 20N or 28A firmware for the Hitachi 7k2000. Is there anybody who has it or any idea how to obtain it ? I would need it for the AAM, since the noise of 3EA/3MA (AAM disabled) drives me crazy. If I won't be able to get a hold on it, I think I'll change my Hitachi drives with Samsung HD204UI...
 

odditory

Moderator
Dec 23, 2010
358
27
28
I would change to Hitachi 5K3000's before I touched Samsung HD204UI's with their 4K sectors and firmware issues.
 

odditory

Moderator
Dec 23, 2010
358
27
28
Agreed about shoddy WD firmware or otherwise and dropping out of an array with no bad sectors on the disk. However, bad sectors are a possibility in every HDDs lifetime, even good ones. Even Hitachis.

But I think it should be clear to you that a deep recovery cycle, possibly from a *real* bad sector, associated with unresponsiveness for a length of time causing the controller to drop it from an array could be a problem that might not reveal itself for some time, even years.

Have you seen Hitachi disks accumulate a few bad sectors without dropping from an array? I suppose I would consider this evidence that they don't need CCTL. Perhaps they continue to respond even during a 'deep recovery' of a bad sector?
Maybe you missed my point, which was that placing let's say 8 brand new WD drives into a RAID6 on an Adaptec 5 series or Areca 1680 controller and seeing them drop out within 5 to 30 min. of beginning an array build operation - well I think you'd agree that brand new drives wouldn't be encountering and going into ERC's that quickly, let alone in a predictable and repeatable pattern. You look at SMART stats and see no reallocated sectors of the "dropped" drives, do a surface scan and see no bad sectors. Try the operation all over again and drives are dropping within minutes again.

So in other words the whole TLER fiasco and paranoia was about some other issue in WD firmware than drives really going into an actual ERC. Most people filling up forum threads never bothered to learn what TLER/CCTL/ERC was and just assumed every non-raid class drive needed it enabled. And because the drops were in my opinion unrelated to an actual ERC, you don't see the same issue happening on for example a Hitachi drive without a time-limited CCTL setting. In my opinion the TLER-enabled setting on specifically WD drives only masked what was really some other issue or incompatibility to begin with. Thus my conclusion that there's no reason to assume Hitachi needs CCTL enabled.

All that aside, my real world experience is that running hundreds of 7K1000's and 7K2000's for years now in hardware raid arrays has resulted in no false-positive dropouts due to CCTL being disabled.
 
Last edited:

lifespeed

Member
May 14, 2011
49
0
6
I did not miss your point at all; I thought that was clear when I said I agreed about the WD junk drives dropping out. I am not concerned about WD drives, nor do intend to use them.

What I am concerned about are experiences like Piglover's. I don't think it is acceptable for drives to drop out of an array 3 times in a year. Piglover has Hitachi drives on an Areca controller, not WD.

Do you think that is OK, or a common occurence? Have you ever had a non-failed Hitachi drive drop out of an array? Like I said before, the Seagates I had never dropped out in three years, even though several of them accumulated a few reallocated sectors. More than Piglover's Hitachis, as a matter of fact.
 

PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
3,081
1,388
113
A couple of drive dropouts in over 8 drive-years of moderate use is not unreasonable. Not a single lost bit, recovery was done on line, so not a single lost minute of productive use either. For me acceptable, especially since spending 3x as much on 'enterprise' class drives means not have an array at all, much lower speed for the video work (a workflow where it actually matters) and real PITA productivity loss when a drive does fail - which they all will, eventually, even the enterprise class ones.

If you feel a need to spend enterprise class money to get enterprise class reliability at home because you don't think it is "acceptable" that is completely your choice. But for 99+% of SOHO users it is a complete waste of money.
 

kryptex

Member
May 13, 2011
117
11
18
I would change to Hitachi 5K3000's before I touched Samsung HD204UI's with their 4K sectors and firmware issues.
Yeah, maybe you're right. I've heard the 5K3000 noise is quite low. In terms of speed, they measure up quite well with 7K2000. Any bad experiences with 5K3000, someone ?
 

lifespeed

Member
May 14, 2011
49
0
6
A couple of drive dropouts in over 8 drive-years of moderate use is not unreasonable.
I suppose everybody is entitled to their own opinion. Mine is that a drive dropping out of an array every once in awhile for no good reason is not OK. I think we all realize that during a rebuild you are at a greater risk to lose the whole array if there is an error (or another drive dropout) during the process.

Unnecessary rebuilds don't seem like a good thing. Don't you wonder why this happens?
 

kryptex

Member
May 13, 2011
117
11
18
I suppose everybody is entitled to their own opinion. Mine is that a drive dropping out of an array every once in awhile for no good reason is not OK. I think we all realize that during a rebuild you are at a greater risk to lose the whole array if there is an error (or another drive dropout) during the process.

Unnecessary rebuilds don't seem like a good thing. Don't you wonder why this happens?
Maybe because manufacturers are *deliberately* programming RAID-related "bugs" (maybe masked under TLER-like names...) into the non-enterprise class drives, just to earn some more money? Most of the people would never buy enterprise drives just for the sake of it, if RAID functions would function correctly in mainstream consumer drives, for third the price... Enterprise drives seem not to be more error-free than standard drives, all they have is extra warranty. Anyway... 5 year WD Black warranty, for example, would surely be enough for anyone.
So the issue here is: money, as usual... By relabeling a drive, writing a good firmware on it (i.e. without RAID errors included) and extending its warranty + triple the price... they call these "Enterprise" drives...

Just look at some forums on the net of people flashing RE4 firmware to Green drives (on WD20EADS more specifically) and having no problems whatsoever in RAID configurations.
Then go ahead and check the Seagate 1.5 TB (7200.11) drives fiasco, for which they have changed so many times, so many firmwares, some of them supporting RAID, others not; some of them having performance issues (CC1G) under RAID, some not (CC1H and SD1A). Of course, for the CC1H firmware... it depends... some of them work perfectly, others not at all. And there it is a newer CC1J firmware on some drives, but Seagate support assures people that it is similar to CC1H... I'd prefer to believe this is not exactly accurate. Why make the same firmware under 2 different names ?

For example (somewhat off-topic), I had a Seagate with CC1G F/W. I could set SATA 1.5 Gbps with the jumper, as specified on its label. In RAID, I've seen only dropouts, totally worthless. Then, under an update to CC1H, the SATA 1.5 Gbps jumper did not work anymore, but the drive became usable in RAID without issues. On the other hand, a factory-released CC1H drive drops out of RAID constantly.
The original CC1H drive in an external Vantec Nexstar 3 eSATA enclosure works perfectly on SATA 3.0 Gbps. On the other hand, the CC1H-updated CC1G drive gives me CRC error rates as soon as I try to write to the drive (and SATA 1.5 Gbps can't even be activated anymore...) I've even read somewhere that it "might" be an issue with the Spread Spectrum (Disabled/Enabled)... which is clearly connected to the dropouts (see WD Green/TLER and Spread Spectrum connections on some forums).

I have never seen this specified anywhere before, but maybe Enabling/Disabling (don't know which one) Spread Spectrum would also solve the dropout issue on Hitachi drives ?? Anyone tried it ? It can be done via Hitachi FTool. Interestingly, my drives are neither Enabled, nor Disabled in FTool, which seems quite strange to me (Ftool can't re-read the last value set...?)

It may seem that tiny hardware changes are constantly made in the same drive model, by most manufacturers; meanwhile firmware updates are sometimes solving the problems only partially... while (re)creating others.

WD20EADS TLER-enabled drives, for example, are performing a so-called "deep sector scan", which is quite annoying (constant seek noise produced by these drives, they wear down quickly... interestingly: no head parking); on WD20EARS, on the other hand, one can't even enable TLER. It may seem that these deep sector scans are enabled in order to prevent head parking on WD20EADS... which is a rather crude solution of a shoddy firmware... as someone already pointed out here.

Just dropped in these lines to scratch some wounds :)
 
Last edited:

PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
3,081
1,388
113
I've no evidence the drop was "for no good reason". In fact, if you read my post, you'd see that these are the only two drives that have hard evidence of bad sector recovery on them too - yet they have far more bad sectors than dropouts. Seems to me that they dropped for very good reasons...and that continued use of the 'bad' sectors as you would get with an Enterprise drive would put your array at far more total risk than just dropping the drive.
 

lifespeed

Member
May 14, 2011
49
0
6
I've no evidence the drop was "for no good reason". In fact, if you read my post, you'd see that these are the only two drives that have hard evidence of bad sector recovery on them too - yet they have far more bad sectors than dropouts. Seems to me that they dropped for very good reasons...and that continued use of the 'bad' sectors as you would get with an Enterprise drive would put your array at far more total risk than just dropping the drive.
Hey Piglover, hope you know I am not trying to rain on your parade and I appreciate you sharing your experiences. As we know, the manufacturers aren't providing a wealth of info on RAID applications.

I do know that bad sectors are not a reason for a disk to drop from an array. That is what the parity drive and RAID card are for - they get reallocated and the array continues as if nothing had happened.

To further this sharing of experience, I just contacted a friend who wanted to duplicate my HTPC/server setup over a year ago. He ended up with 2 TB Hitachi drives, 7K2000 I think. He only has 3 drives in RAID5 on an Areca SATAII controller, 8 port, 1261 I think. He has never had a drive drop from an array. Doubt his use is as intensive as yours, but I don't think that should matter.

When he gets back from his trip I'll get the reallocated sector count.
 

PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
3,081
1,388
113
No rain on my parade. I'm happy as can be with the setup as is. If you want to make other choices and apply an enterprise standard to your home system that's not my business. I'm just trying to make sure the point to your counterpoint is clear in this thread so that others can be informed when making their own choices.
 
Last edited:

lifespeed

Member
May 14, 2011
49
0
6
Maybe because manufacturers are *deliberately* programming RAID-related "bugs" (maybe masked under TLER-like names...) into the non-enterprise class drives, just to earn some more money?

. . .

Just dropped in these lines to scratch some wounds :)
Thanks for chiming in. You're not the only one who has had some frustration with consumer drives and RAID. After hearing stories like yours and Piglovers 3 years ago I was prompted to buy enterprise drives from Seagate. They have worked flawlessly.

But as Piglover pointed out, the price is kind of hard to justify. When I started running out of space and ports on the card I had to do something, so here I am.

It sounds like your experiences have been mostly other-than-Hitachi. So the count so far is 1 array without dropouts, 1 with. Not the largest sample size.

Perhaps Odditory can contribute his experience with Hitachi dropouts (or lack thereof).
 
Last edited: