Original Coupon Deal
The Seagate official ebay store deal is back again, but this time you can use the code (PLUS4P) to bring it down even cheaper!
Yes, it's shuckable. 4Tb of goodness
SMR driver, should avoid
Just curious what is better at that price?
seems price if you can buy the smaller usb powered drives for similar or slightly higher prices.
I've always been a supporter of these drives for non-nas situations, however I recently had a bad experience and would not recomend them anymore.
The only use case for these SMR drives without Trim is sequential writes without ever writing more than the drives capacity, ever.
Once you fill / delete, the write performance is untenable.
WD SMR drives are better due to having trim function to tell the drive whats deleted.
What was your bad experience?
I run these as media storage drives in an unraid server.
My usecase was basically as above, sequential writes, with mostly reads required as most of it was for long term storage, at under $25 / TB, at the time these were perfect.
Recently I added additional drives, and wanted to do some reordering between them (I have 3 of these, with a total of 8 drives). Drive A was 80% full, B 75%, C 20% (All the above). I went about moving some of Drive A and B onto C, and some CMR drives I have, which I had no issues with at all.
Later, on, I needed to load about 1.5TB and 800GB respectively onto A & B, well this is where I had issues!
The first lot was through Rsync on drive A, which left running overnight acheived about 400gb of writes then the brakes were slammed on, as the parity process is read/modify/write average speed should about about 50MB/s, I was seeing about 3MB/s in the morning, dropping to 0 for long periods.
I began to realise something was very wrong, and attempted to copy onto drive B, about half way through…. same issue.
After some research, I realised it's because there is no command telling these drives that deleted data has been deleted (TRIM), so once the outer tracks are fully populated all the data needs to be moved by read/modify/write to access the data on the inside tracks, on top of my parity read/modify/write. This resulted in basic crashing of my server, however even without parity these drives would be basically unusable.
I fixed it by moving all data off the drives, as there is no read penality to SMR. Then I wrote zeros onto every sector, and filled them back up again at avg 150MB/s.
TL:DR, once you fill these to capacity (INCLUDING deleted stuff) they are useless without a preclear.
Now IF you intend to use them to capacity, with no deletions or randoms writes, or never fully fill them you are fine.
Not all SMR drives suffer from this, WD drives have a TRIM function that allows the drive to manage this a lot better.
In summary, I'm salty. I didn't lose data but I lost 2 days of stuffing around.
Thanks, I had a bit of a read and WD SMR drives may be able to TRIMed but only if shucked not in their USB case.
Also instead of writing zeros which would take hours couldn’t you just do a quick format of the SMR drive to fix them.
@SamR: No, this is the same issue as deleting data on the drive.
Windows 'format' just deletes the filesystem, it does not change the sectors in the drive. For a CMR drive this just means that windows knows it can keep writing on the drive, which the CMR drive just overwrites the sectors it's told to which has no write penality.
This doesn't work on an SMR drive, because it needs to reshuffle data off the inner tracks FIRST to be able to overright whatever sectors the OS has told it to, it doesn't know what data is deleted or that the file system has been deleted, only where the OS is telling it to write to x sector. So once filled it always acts filled, even if you've deleted data or reformatted it.
A preclear writes 0's on ever single sector, so the drive knows that it can write anywhere.
EDIT - https://blog.macrium.com/macriums-view-on-the-recent-smr-dis...
Good read here, the seagate is missing one of the mitigations, which is why its so abhorant once total capacity has been written to the drive.
ALSO - https://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/comments/g7lqaz/how_i_r...
This guys post helped me once I was ready to RMA both drives.
@thedean: Thanks, I don’t doubt your experiences but the reporting is a little mixed.
My two Seagates 4TB are not shucked and are mirrored. I may try deleting the partition in one, creating a new partition, format it, probably quick and see how it goes.
@SamR: Really depends on the use-case.
Striping drives still only writes sequentially, so without writing the full capacity I can't imagine you would see issues until you to.
My issue is with the longevity of the drives, almost everyone at some point will end up writing more than the full capacity to these drives, and will not understand why the writes tank after that point without significant research / pre-clear, and thats not cool seagate.
I did try leaving the drives to their own devices for 24 hours after my write issues hoping they would fix themselves, but after research I discovered without the TRIM command, once filled they are basically always broken.
SMR drives in general appear to be inconsistently managed, with these particular ones being the worst. I also use a couple of daily laptop smr drives for write cache of large data, don't see any write issues with those. They are however WD, and support trim, and run off the array.
@thedean: Thanks again. You have certainly convinced me to not buy any more SMR drives, I only have the two Seagate 4TB. I have not had any real issues as I used them solely to store my Linux ISOs but why push it?
@SamR: Basically the same, and given every time this has been posted I had been a supporter of these drives for that exact use-case, so I owe it to OzBargin community to correct my stance.
But what if you decide to delete a bunch of ISO's to make space for new ISO's? Write speed ruined.
What if you fill one drive if you get a new drive and want to balance the ISO's across two? The first one will be slow AF.
There is so many variables in the lifetime of a drive that makes it not worth it. You can pick up a Seagate IronWolf for under $150 most of the time on here, now that is a good drive, cool, fast and CMR, and you ensure long term flexibility with your data.
Thank you for an excellent breakdown of your experiences with this drive.
Code doesnt work for me?
Edit.. ahh i see for plus member only
Seems expensive for a desktop drive.
Purchased one cheap as chips a couple months ago and it failed. Seagate support is fine (replaced but had to pay shipping for the return). I would avoid.
This seems to have a faster transfer speed. Why is no one talking abt this?
Because it’s more than twice the price?
How is this packaged? Worried the postman will drop the package
Ordered the day I posted the deal, mine came today. Arrived via startrack (came from Sydney, surprisingly fast!, I'm in Melbourne), in a Startrack bag, wrapped with at least 5 layers of bubble wrap with the tax invoice inside