Windows Home Server – Benchmarking Advanced Format Hard Drives

In my previous post I set a jumper on my new Western Digital WD20EARS 2 TB Caviar Green hard drive to get it working in my Windows Home Server (WHS).

While the jumper setting allowed the drive to work without issues I hadn’t considered the performance of this drive and my interest was piqued by Gerrit’s comment that he only got 40 Mb/s on his Advanced Format drive.

I set about installing HD Tach on my WHS and immediately found that it ran very slow against my WD20EARS drive. In fact the test did not complete and the drive disappeared from disk management. Not quite what I was expecting!

I rebooted and found that the boot process hung – I could no longer boot in to Windows on my WHS.

Fortunately I already have a new system drive on order (as the existing system drive had started making a clicking sound) but this leaves me wondering if I should just use my WD20EARS for external back up and put a non-advanced format drive in my server instead?

It’s great that these drives will work fine in WHS Vail – but it would be nice if Microsoft and Western Digital could work together to get these drives supported in WHS (which is a very likely candidate for such drives). As such I can’t really recommend using Advanced Format drives in WHS at the present time.

I won’t recommend using HD Tach on WHS either but at least I already had all my data backed up (just in case). Looks like I will be re-installing WHS very soon!

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