Western Digital Caviar Black

From Eugene Eric Kim

The Caviar Black drives are the highest performance 7200 rpm Western Digital drives.

According to the marketing materials, you're not supposed to use these drives in a RAID configuration. Instead, you're supposed to buy the more expensive RAID-specific drives.

The technical difference between these drives is that these drives have Wikipedia:Time-Limited Error Recovery (TLER) turned off, whereas RAID drives do not. This is a good thing when running non-RAID, but when using RAID, you want the controller to handle the errors, not the drives themselves. With TLER turned off, the drives will timeout and the RAID controller will remove them from the array.

You can turn this feature on using WDTLER.zip, and these drives should work fine in a RAID array. This NewEgg thread has more information. I started with these instructions to create a DOS-bootable CD (or USB key), and I managed to get a bootable ISO with the utilities. Unfortunately, this did not work, because the ISO did not have SATA drivers for my SATA CD-RW drive.

Instead, I followed these instructions for making a FreeDOS bootable CD and installed the WDTLER.zip files there. This worked. When you boot from this CD, make sure you answer "N" to all the boot configuration options. Otherwise, the WDTLER utilities won't work.