This hack will get you 24TB RAID 5 storage for under $800

Jul 27, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This hack will get you 24TB RAID 5 storage for under $800

Jul 27, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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There’s a sale going on at BestBuy at the moment on WD easystore 8TB External USB 3.0 hard drives. A massive discount which drops the price from $299.99 to $159.99. “What’s the big deal, though?” I hear you ask. “They’re just external USB drives”. Well, yes, but those USB boxes contain Western Digital RED (NAS) SATA drives which normally also cost $299.

It’s easy to open up the cases and pull out the bare drives to use internally. And if getting 8TB storage drives at half price wasn’t enough, the drives contained within these enclosures have double the regular cache. 256MB vs 128MB. With four of these, in a USB3 RAID enclosure, you’ve got 24TB RAID 5 for under $800.

I spotted the deal after a cinematographer friend, Will Tejeda, posted it to Facebook. Will will be putting his drives into a HighPoint RocketStor 6114V, bringing his total to just shy of $1,000. There are less expensive options out there, although performance may vary. Speaking of performance, though, Will also posted a benchmark screenshot of a single drive in action, and they’re not bad at all.

In the comments on Will’s post, one user mentioned that his local store “would only sell me five at a time”. He wanted 10. So, if you’re thinking about stocking up, you might want to prepare for a tour of the local Best Buys.

A normal external 24TB RAID 5 unit costs somewhere in the region of $1,500. So, this is a pretty massive difference. Up to half the regular price overall, with double the cache on each drive vs just buying standard WD RED drives.

Makes me wish I was in the USA. Prices on these are ridiculous here in the UK. We’d be lucky to get 4TB for the cost of one of these.

The deal appears to be available both online at BestBuy.com as well as in-store. No news on when this offer will end.

Even if you don’t want to RAID and just want to pick up an external drive or two, these are well worth getting. You will want to get a pair so that you can have one play backup to the other.

And if you do want to RAID, remember that ripping the drives out of their enclosures probably voids any warranty you might otherwise have.

Update: We’ve been told that not all of the drives have 256MB cache. Have a look at the bottom of the box. If the code is DCM:MGBJRCK it’s a 256MB cache. If the code says DCM:LGBJRCK it’s the standard 128MB cache drive. But it’s still a great price.

Images used with permission. Thanks Will!

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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25 responses to “This hack will get you 24TB RAID 5 storage for under $800”

  1. Robin Mascall Avatar
    Robin Mascall

    Ive done this in the past with lower capacity drives, can be a good way of saving $$$

    Glad to see your article mentions the voided warranty issue too. Nice work!

  2. Marcel Kohlmeyer Avatar
    Marcel Kohlmeyer

    Buying things on sale is nowadays considered a hack? Good to know so now I’m gonna hack now and buy some M&Ms ?

    1. Nicolas Racine Avatar
      Nicolas Racine

      Nowadays everything is a hack because the word “hack” brings a whole lot of clicks. Am I saying this article is clickbait? Well…

    2. Shannon Der Aldinger Avatar
      Shannon Der Aldinger

      technically cracking open the external drives to use internally is the “hack” …

  3. Jyi Offer Avatar
    Jyi Offer

    Bargain for 8tb Red’s for sure!!

  4. James Avatar
    James

    I’d question as to whether these drives aren’t just ‘rejects’ or ‘under-performing’ drives from the typical 8TB Red production line…

    1. Jason McAllister Avatar
      Jason McAllister

      Possibly, or just a production over-run. One does wonder. I’m up to my eye balls in hard drives or I’d be tempted. Currently running a 24tb 8 drive array and extra drives in a box I haven’t quite figured out what to do with yet. 1st world problems…

  5. Ricard Vaque Avatar
    Ricard Vaque

    only for US, isn’t it? Because I can’t register in the store from Europe

  6. Montyedits Avatar
    Montyedits

    Yeah but you have to actually trust Western Digital drives. Every experience i have had with them has not been positive.

    1. Shannon Der Aldinger Avatar
      Shannon Der Aldinger

      I have had quick deaths from various drive manufacturers, lately I have used the stats from these guys to spot the dud models. https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-failure-rates-q1-2017/

    2. Martin Pierce Avatar
      Martin Pierce

      I’ve been through hell with WD, Seagate, and every other drive manufacture out there. Pick one, they’ve all failed me horribly at one time or another. I find that there are just bad production runs form the different manufacturer. And there are very few manufacturers these days.

  7. Daniel Baksza Avatar
    Daniel Baksza

    I would never keep all my work on one drive. Never. Won’t explain why…

    1. Ferencz Torok Avatar
      Ferencz Torok

      That’s why they suggest to buy 5 drives and use them in Raid 5 configuration :p

  8. Jimmi Tofthøj Avatar
    Jimmi Tofthøj

    Gary Britton

  9. Cris Firmo Avatar
    Cris Firmo

    Here in Brazil 1 HDD like that would cost more than U$ 500 :/

  10. Rexford Haugen Avatar
    Rexford Haugen

    RAID 5 should be avoided on Multi TB arrays because it only provides single disk redundancy which increases your chance of data loss due to long rebuild times and unrecoverable read errors. RAID 6 or some form of dual disk redundant hybrid RAID or JBOD should be used instead.
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/raidfail-dont-use-raid-5-on-small-arrays/

  11. Eric Raeber Avatar
    Eric Raeber

    Nice! This set of drives has just arrived on my door step (and they are DCM:MGBJRCK). Has anyone figured out how to pry them open, without damaging the case?

    1. Chuck Joiner Avatar
      Chuck Joiner

      Same question…want to get in without destroying the case.

      1. Eric Raeber Avatar
        Eric Raeber

        I tried this procedure on the first of my drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ6bcpTAO4I Bad advice, it breaks all tabs!

        Next I will try out this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa7QTWRhiUs

        1. Craig A Chapman Avatar
          Craig A Chapman

          You are absolutely correct. this method breaks all tabs. I inserted a long narrow flat and pried outwards towards the case. All 4 came apart smoothly after that. Now have a 20.6TB Freenas box

          1. Eric Raeber Avatar
            Eric Raeber

            Nice! I still have to wait for my motherboard to arrive before I can give these drives a spin.

          2. Craig A Chapman Avatar
            Craig A Chapman

            Im saturating my gigabit link at home transferring to this box. Great find!. Having a gigabit internet connection doesn’t help things. God Bless America!

  • John O'Halloran Avatar
    John O’Halloran

    Following the link, they are up to $199 online now.

  • Samuel Owens Avatar
    Samuel Owens

    Anyone know if the same applies for the 4TB drives? I see those are also on sales sometimes, anyone cracked one of those open to see what the drive is?
    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/wd-easystore-4tb-external-usb-3-0-hard-drive-black/5792400.p?skuId=5792400

  • DebG. Avatar
    DebG.

    Got this deal awhile back on 4 EasyStore hard drives from Best Buy and put them in the High-Point Rocketstor 6114V creating a RAID 5. Seemed to work OK on my 27″ iMac for a couple of months. But now…

    The last several weeks, Rocketstor freezes and is inaccesible after the computer is on for several hours and not being used.

    The Rocketstor can then no longer be accessed through Apple Disk Utility app and cannot run First Aid on it from there.

    Rockestor also cannot be ejected.

    Rocketstor freezing eventually leads to the whole computer having to be
    shut down and restarted. I then unplug Rocketstor while the computer is
    shut down, plug it back in, and restart the computer. It then seems to
    work fine for awhile.

    Everything always seems fine with the Rocketstor Web GUI app and the
    SMART status on the Storage Health Inspector(SHI) always checks out
    fine, including in the detailed view.

    VERY concerned that the Rocketstor will fail and lose my data with this kind of behavior.

    Anybody else run into this problem? Suggestions? Thanks!