[SOLVED] New WD HDD can only run 1 process at a time without freezing up?

foxfries

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hi! a couple weeks back i bought a new HDD since my old one started to make weird noises and i wanted to be safe. It's a WD Blue, 2 TB, this one (newegg link). it's intended purpose is to store steam (and other) games, but also some regular files.

a problem i've noticed that i didn't have with my old HDD was that it can apparently only run one process at a time - meaning i can either move/copy some files around OR play a game OR create a zip archive on the same drive, but not 2 of these at the same time.

i first noticed this some days back when i was copying a 12gb folder from a usb to the related drive and i tried starting up a game that's located on the same drive. it took about 30 seconds to open in the first place and then froze immediately until the moving process completed.
yesterday i had the same issue - i was already playing a game when i started copying a folder from the same drive to a different one. my game didn't freeze entirely, but about every 10 seconds my game would freeze for about 3-5 seconds and then "catch up" if i tried moving during that period.

right now i am creating a .rar archive of a folder on the drive. i tried copying another folder to a different drive at the same time, only 84mb big, and the windows moving process started but does the same as my game: it's overall unresponsive and only progresses every 5-10 seconds by a few percent. the archiving process also more or less froze.

i don't remember having this problem on my old drive, but i don't know enough about HDDs to know whether this could be normal on some drives. should i contact the seller and file a warranty claim to get the drive replaced? or did i just buy a bad drive overall?
 
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i think if you bought a 7200rpm ones, with the size of 256MB cache, then it could be the cause. the HDD is a SMR drive, and my experience with that drive (WD20EZAZ), is terrible. i had the same exact problem as yours, and i compare the procedure on my 1tb drive, nothing happened, swapped sata cable and sata port, the 2tb still acts up. So i quick sold my hdd after finding out that an SMR drive is not my typical all i can do drive, and i went with seagate skyhawk 2tb (since it's cheaper during xmas sale in my country, the other candidates are wd purple), and it does perform great until now, like how my 1tb CMR drive does.
 
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Lutfij

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How old is old? Older drives were built more robustly and yes you could do some multi tasks but the app's and games of today are more demanding when compared to yesteryears...so if anything, as a game library you should have it on a cheap SATA SSD while the HDD is kept primarily for storage of mission critical files. the other question is, how many partitions does the WD Blue drive have?
 

foxfries

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How old is old? Older drives were built more robustly and yes you could do some multi tasks but the app's and games of today are more demanding when compared to yesteryears...so if anything, as a game library you should have it on a cheap SATA SSD while the HDD is kept primarily for storage of mission critical files. the other question is, how many partitions does the WD Blue drive have?
ty for the reply!
not "old" as in "age-old" haha, i bought it around Nov. 2019. it's a seagate constellation 3TB, 7200RPM. it started acting up shortly after i got it but my warranty was only 1 month so i didn't want to bother going through a process since it would only act up sometimes and could usually be momentarily fixed by disconnecting and reconnecting the drive to the psu.

like i said i've never had freezing issues this bad on any of my other HDDs, it makes sense that all current processes run a lot slower but freezing repeatedly or entirely seems a bit excessive. i have a 1TB SSD i use for bigger or online games but that one already cost me 90€ on sale and i just cannot afford that atm, also because i'd like at least 2TB of space for my third drive. i don't mind HDDs or their read/write speed so i'd really prefer to get another HDD, i'd just like for it to not freeze upon running 2 processes at the same time.
 
i think if you bought a 7200rpm ones, with the size of 256MB cache, then it could be the cause. the HDD is a SMR drive, and my experience with that drive (WD20EZAZ), is terrible. i had the same exact problem as yours, and i compare the procedure on my 1tb drive, nothing happened, swapped sata cable and sata port, the 2tb still acts up. So i quick sold my hdd after finding out that an SMR drive is not my typical all i can do drive, and i went with seagate skyhawk 2tb (since it's cheaper during xmas sale in my country, the other candidates are wd purple), and it does perform great until now, like how my 1tb CMR drive does.
 
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foxfries

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Feb 14, 2019
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i think if you bought a 7200rpm ones, with the size of 256MB cache, then it could be the cause. the HDD is a SMR drive, and my experience with that drive (WD20EZAZ), is terrible. i had the same exact problem as yours, and i compare the procedure on my 1tb drive, nothing happened, swapped sata cable and sata port, the 2tb still acts up. So i quick sold my hdd after finding out that an SMR drive is not my typical all i can do drive, and i went with seagate skyhawk 2tb (since it's cheaper during xmas sale in my country, the other candidates are wd purple), and it does perform great until now, like how my 1tb CMR drive does.
ty for the reply!
that's interesting, i've never heard of those terms before. i tried googling, but is there an easy way to tell whether an HDD is SMR, CMR or PMR?
i googled the serial number of mine, which is "WD20EZBX ", and it does say it uses SMR technology. is looking up the serial number a reliable way to figure out whether an HDD uses SMR?
 
ty for the reply!
that's interesting, i've never heard of those terms before. i tried googling, but is there an easy way to tell whether an HDD is SMR, CMR or PMR?
i googled the serial number of mine, which is "WD20EZBX ", and it does say it uses SMR technology. is looking up the serial number a reliable way to figure out whether an HDD uses SMR?
CMR and PMR are similiar, where the read and write block could be accessed with less delay, or i could say its R/W is 1:1 based on how they access the platter (both write block and read block are similiar one each other).

While SMR, is like a shingles in a roof, which takes alot of time to write a data or modify a data IF there is already a data in that sector, it uses the method of Read-Modify-Write, which basically read the part of the sector, modify it in the cache, and write it back to the sector, and it took alot of time and did alot of latency penalties to do it compared to CMR/PMR drives, hence why when you tried to access the drive simultaneously (you're writing something while you're reading something which not on the sector), it could freezes up the operation. the best speed i ever reach on these drive, on all zones, is 10MB/s, yes, i am doing a full format of my drives and it took hours to complete compared to my CMR drive.

This picture should explain how CMR/PMR drive differ to SMR:
 
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foxfries

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CMR and PMR are similiar, where the read and write block could be accessed with less delay, or i could say its R/W is 1:1 based on how they access the platter (both write block and read block are similiar one each other).

While SMR, is like a shingles in a roof, which takes alot of time to write a data or modify a data IF there is already a data in that sector, it uses the method of Read-Modify-Write, which basically read the part of the sector, modify it in the cache, and write it back to the sector, and it took alot of time and did alot of latency penalties to do it compared to CMR/PMR drives, hence why when you tried to access the drive simultaneously (you're writing something while you're reading something which not on the sector), it could freezes up the operation. the best speed i ever reach on these drive, on all zones, is 10MB/s, yes, i am doing a full format of my drives and it took hours to complete compared to my CMR drive.

This picture should explain how CMR/PMR drive differ to SMR:
oh that's really helpful actually, thanks for the explanation. what was SMR made for then? it seems to have little to no upsides, but i could be wrong lol. maybe SMR works better as drives used for system-backups, or long-term data storage?

either way, guess i'll try returning this HDD and getting a different one. the site i bought i on didn't say anything about SMR, so maybe i'll get lucky claiming it as "not working as intended". thank you!
 
oh that's really helpful actually, thanks for the explanation. what was SMR made for then? it seems to have little to no upsides, but i could be wrong lol. maybe SMR works better as drives used for system-backups, or long-term data storage?

either way, guess i'll try returning this HDD and getting a different one. the site i bought i on didn't say anything about SMR, so maybe i'll get lucky claiming it as "not working as intended". thank you!
You could find 2tb drives with 64MB cache, and it would gurantee you that it is a CMR drives. if the cache is big for a low capacity consumer drives = smr, and you could find the product code on the wd site itself so you would avoid that one, basically smr drives are for archiving use, since it's read is superior compared to it's write, combined with the low cost of manufacturing (decreasing disk platter, increasing density, ease of method).
 
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