Mixing drives from different vendors on a RAID1 mirror?

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Mixing drives from different vendors on a RAID1 mirror?

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  1. Windows
Hi all,

I have a DS214+ which has been running for about 7 years now (but only 1h per day). It is configured as RAID1 mirror which two WD40EFRX drives.
One of the WD Red Plus drives had a couple of hundred bad sectors about one year ago, so I replaced it with the same model (I happend to have in an external USB drive).

Now the same thing seems to happen to the other original WD Red Plus drive, also a couple of hundred bad sectors and warnings in DSM.
I am thinking about going for another HDD drive vendor, have read some very interesting stuff in the Backblaze Hard Drive Stats.

Can I replace safely the bad 4TB WD Red Plus drive with a Seagate or Toshiba 4TB, will the NAS firmware allow this? I am on DSM 7.01.
I know I should not mix CMR and SMR, so I would see to that.

Also if I wanted to change both drives for new ones from a different vendor, I would need this mixing for first replacing one drive, rebuild the RAID and then replace the second one, rebuild again - without the need to build it from scratch and have a copy of all the data which would be nice.

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I'm OLD... I come from the time where MFG's first started using drives for "Professional" Video editing... I remember one Piece of Shift device that used 20 IDE Drives to record a couple minutes of HD Video Uncompressed.... You'd replace Them quite often...as the drives were never intended to work in unison, so only the best of them worked at all... (I told my boss it was too good to believe, but the $$ was right, so they jumped....piece of crap--MFG didn't last long--)...
Others MFG devices were more robust. The more robust MFG's used more robust drives... At that time Professional Video editing taxed drives to the maximum....
Overall, however, there were 3 rules:
1. Use Only drives specified by MFG....
2. Use same MFG DRIVES of Same Size
3. Have same firmware on each drive

Some MFG's put their own firmware on the drives.... !!!!

These days... Every MFG is afraid to specify drives that can't do Raid work... So if you ask Support, you won't get a straight answer...though they may try and sell you 'advanced' model drives......

YES, it is supported, but -- if you follow rule 2 and 3.... You have the best starting point to start from.... and the least issues...

As a reference point, since the Mid 1980's I have used Spinning (and in past 10-15 years SSD Drives) in a Raid 0 configuration, for temporary storage for video editing & DVD/BR authoring..... but always followed rule 2 & 3 ..... and I've encountered no issues... In some cases, MFG did not know their drives would work in Raid... But I did it anyway.... Following Rule 2 & 3!!!!
Obviously Raid 10 or greater would be more robust.... just keep using rule 2 & 3 and you have the best starting point to proceed from....

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Also if I wanted to change both drives for new ones from a different vendor, I would need this mixing for first replacing one drive, rebuild the RAID and then replace the second one, rebuild again - without the need to build it from scratch and have a copy of all the data which would be nice.
This is supported and it will work this way as you described it.
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Hi all,

thank you very much for your precious insights, very much appreciated.

And sorry if my context may not always be entirely clear, English is not my native language.

I understand from your posts that I can mix drives from different vendors and that the DSM firmware will not hinder this, this was my main concern before buying the new drives.

Like I wrote in my initial post, the WD Red Plus drives failed both within a time distance of about 1 year. I believe that these two WD40EFRX drives don't have the 7 years age as my DS214+, I started with smaller sizes and bought the WD40EFRX like 4-5? years ago, have to check this.

Since both drives are effected, I am not very convinced about reliability of WD Red. Of course it can happen to every drive.
I have programming background with reading S.M.A.R.T. data and dealt with S.M.A.R.T. attributes a lot.
Some Backblaze blogs I read now about failure rates indicated also higher AFR on WDxxEFRX series than many other drives in their comparison.

So I might as well go for IronWolf or so this time.
I am thinking about buying two although I only need one right now, replace first, rebuild RAID and replace second in the process. So I would start anew with the drives.
And you confirmed that this should work.

Thanks a lot.
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Just as a short follow up, I have now replaced both WD Red drives for Seagate Ironwolf in the described manner, first deactivate one, replace, rebuild RAID, repeat the process for the second drive.

No problems so far. RAID was also working fine when I had one WD and one Ironwolf mixed, this was my initial question.

I am bit disappointed about the WD Red though. They are from 2016 and both failed within a time distance of about 1 year. No 24/365 usage, but only 1.5/365. Well, time will tell about the Ironwolfs.

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So a lot of times, drives are perfectly fine with a few bad sectors--they do have spares so they are simply adjusting for their older age as 7 years is a long time.

Now, they weren't used 7 years, but they were turned on and off many, many times. This for some reason seems to wreck more havoc on drives in my experience. So I actually disable the sleep timer on all my nas units for all my drives and let them just keep spinning 24x7.

Now, the type of drive also makes a difference. While nas drives have come along a long way from the re-firmwared desktop drives they started as, they are still not their enterprise top-tier brethen with 5yr warranties (even if they have a 5 yr warranty). So if you can afford full-out enterprise drives, getting those will definitely help.
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