Need advice setting up seven WDBFJK0080HBK-NESN (WD80EZZX)(HGST) drives for 40TB RAID?


New Member
Dec 28, 2017
These came out in 2016. I have taken them out and inside is a WD80EZZX drive, which in fact is a HGST drive. Here are links for them on and

I have 7 of them - never used - and want to put them in a 40TB RAID-6 type of setup using some cheap-ish RAID card (limited budget) or RAIDZ2 (using FreeNAS, with which I am NOT familiar but am willing to learn).
The other possibility is to just use the built-in RAID5 on my Supermicro X11DPG-QT motherboard (C621 chipset) and keep one drive as a cold spare.

The storage will be used for personal files and homelab things - I do not foresee heavy load.

There are two issues that I am aware of:

--- The drives have "tler" disabled - if there is a bad sector, the drive can take a long time (over the standard 8-seconds limit of RAID cards) to try to recover the data. After 8 seconds most cards will mark the drive lost. This setting can be changed using some program "smartcti" but the setting resets on each reboot.
--- The drives are configured to spin down very quickly after each use. I am concerned in them having to constantly spin-up/down and more importantly each time they spin-up it takes many seconds before the data is accessible.

I have searched online for several hours but there is less information now than back in 2016. I wish I had saved it back then.
Any advise on the above two issues or on anything else I might not be aware of?

Thanks for your help!


Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
Raid 5 with 8TB drives is just a very bad idea. In case of a single drive failure, the rebuilt time is so long another drive (under stress of rebuild) may just crash and poof. all data is gone.
So Raid6 aka dual parity aka raidZ2 is the way to go. So 2 disks for parity, 5 for data. ZFS will take another few percents for the file system storage or so you'll end up with around 34 TB usable but with about 80% ZFS max utilization, roughly 28TB practical storage.
ZFS Capacity Calculator -
So, why ZFS? Well, unlike the issue you well aware of hardware raid controllers and TLER-less drives - not a great combo, ZFS talks directly to the drive so TLER isn't an issue here.
Your existing board has 8 SATA3 ports on the intel PCH (I'd use these for your data disks) and two more on Supermicro controller - I'd use these only for small SSD for FreeNAS install. You could also use a pair (mirror) of USB sticks for FreeNAS os install.
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