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8TB EasyStore WD White Label Issue

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Has anybody run into this issue with the WD White Label drives?


I thought I'd share my ordeal just in case anyone else stumbles upon this problem. Had a helluva time finding this issue online for some reason.


I recently found the need for more storage space and after researching a bit, chose the 8TB EasyStore from Best Buy for shucking. I drove on over, it was $200, great stuff. Came home, followed a visual guide to take it apart, also easy and quick! I noticed it had a white label, which seemed odd, but whatever, this was the drive, right? Made in Thailand with 256MB cache, that's the one!


So I removed an older drive from my computer and stuck this one in, only to find it didn't spin up. Crap. I googled around for awhile only to find that this model is the WD80EMAZ rather than the expected WD80EFZX. A lot of forums had people saying they were the same drive, same specs, everything... anyway, I thought maybe it was the PSU I was using (I had to RMA my newer one, using a much older one) so I reassembled the WD and used DC power. Worked immediately. I noticed a couple people on reddit and slickdeals complaining that these drives wouldn't power on with SATA and only worked externally, but tons of other people saying "no problems here I have 3/6/51824 of these in my tower since [the big bang] and they're fine."


I really didn't want to reassemble it and go back to Best Buy to exchange it for... what, maybe another of the same? Maybe a real red? The box doesn't list which internal drive you're getting. So I kept searching and found this PDF from HGST, a company WD owns detailing a "power disable feature" found on some of their drives. This feature uses the 3.3V pin to send a hard reset signal to the drive, a pin which I believe was never utilized by hard drives before this. Anyway, as the PDF states, my PSU was basically forcing the drive into a constant "reset" state, preventing it from spinning up at all. The external board it came with must just bypass this.


My "solution" was to pull the 3.3V (orange) wire from that particular sata connector and cap/tape it off (shown in linked pics). Look at that, immediately spun up and working. I've seen other people say use a molex to sata adapter as that also ignores the 3.3V line, but I've also seen a lot of posts about these melting, so do with that what you will.


Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to make it work in my NORCO SS-500's.


Pics: https://imgur.com/a/PHSYH


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Thanks for the quick reply.


I tried the tape method, but after taping the 3rd pin, it will not allow me to boot into Unraid.


When I remove the tape, I can boot just fine, but cannot see the drive.

Edited by ssean

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Having a similar problem, but a little stranger - two boxes, each with 4 Norco SS-500s running to a pair of Genuine LSI 6Gbps SAS HBA LSI 9211-8i P20s.


One box recognizes the WD80EMAZ drives totally fine (AMI ECS A885GM-A2, Phenom II X4 820).


The other (AMI Supermicro X8SIL, Core i3 540) doesn't recognize a single EMAZ, despite recognizing EFZXs just fine.


My first instinct was "oh, I've finally run into the taping issue people have complained about for years," but this thread makes it seem like taping my EMAZ drives and putting them in the Norco SS-500s will simply lead to unraid not starting up, and there's another solution (in the linked 2011 thread above). I've tried swapping boot order in the BIOS, but that doesn't change anything as far as recognition goes.


Am I making this pre-taping research more complicated than it should be, and the boot order change is what fixes the "unraid won't start" problem that'll occur once I apply tape to my EMAZ drives and place them into the Norco SS-500 hot swap cages?


If so, any idea why one set of cages is giving me trouble while another isn't? I can't find any posted reasons anywhere on the internet (yet) why the X8SIL motherboard would be giving me specific problems with EMAZ drives, but that seems like the only difference (same wires, same cages, same case, same number of drives in setup except the non-EMAZ-accepting box has a cache drive, too).


Thanks for any clarification anyone can provide!

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What kind of tape are you using?


I personally pop the 3.3v pin completely out (no issues with the drive) but I would not recommend it to other people.

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Actually haven't ordered any yet: was doing my research first, and had always been under the (possibly mistaken) belief that hotswap cages bypassed the 3.3V issue (mostly because they always worked in the one box).

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Posted (edited)

That's what's been sitting in my cart - just figured I'd confirm that people've successfully taped drives and installed them in otherwise-not-recognizing SS-500s (specifically SS-500s, like OP had issues with in this thread) before I dropped quarantine funds on something for which I might not have any actual use.

Edited by wheel

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Thought I'd update in case it helps anyone else searching threads: the 3.3V tape trick worked, so I'm not sure what the root problem was, but if anyone has these drives working in some SS-500s but not others, rest assured the tape trick should work on those other SS-500 cages.

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