Meet the 314GB PiDrive

I’ve been writing for tech mags for as long as the Raspberry Pi has existed, and one of the most popular Pi tutorials I’ve seen in the last four years or so is the classic Raspberry Pi fileserver. It’s a no-brainer really, due to the Pi’s size and power requirements; the only thing you need to add is a USB hard drive. On Pi Day Western Digital, popular purveyors of hard drives, released PiDrive, a Raspberry Pi-optimised USB hard drive that you may want to consider for the job.

You may want to get an enclosure for it

You might want to get an enclosure for it

You see, while the Raspberry Pi may be low power, hard drives are basically a chunk of metal spinning at several thousand RPM; this, as you might expect, needs a little more juice. While in the grand scheme of things a Pi fileserver is still a relatively low-power solution, it does make you wonder. The PiDrive, on the other hand, is designed around the Raspberry Pi. It draws all the power it needs straight from the separately available USB power cable [this article originally implied that the cable was included – we’re sorry for the inaccuracy] which then also fits into the Raspberry Pi. With this and optimisations to the way data is transferred, the power draw of the entire system ends up being lower than the usual methods.

As it was released on Pi Day, WD have gone all-in with the Pi references. It has 314 GB of storage and currently costs $31.42 (£22), which is 31.4% off its RRP of $45.81 (£32).

It comes in a lovely box that reminds you what it's good for

It comes in a lovely box that reminds you what it’s good for

At that size it’s probably most useful for your day-to-day Pi use, offering more storage than your standard 8GB SD card. However, there are four USB ports on a Raspberry Pi and you can connect a drive to each of them if you want to go down the fileserver/NAS route – WD reckons PiDrive will work just fine for that kind of purpose.

The PiDrive is on sale now. Give it a look!

112 comments

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Looks great. Only thing to watch is that the kit claims compatibility with the Pi3, but the supplied adapter is 2.0A, which I assume is supposed to power both the Pi and the drive, when it’s actually underpowered for the Pi3 alone. If I knew the adapter was compatible, I’d order one.

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I believe the 2.4A recommendation for Pi3 is already assuming you will have power-hungry USB devices attached to it(?) 5V at 2.4 A is 12 watts, I think if the SoC used all that power it would exceed a safe temperature.

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Not sure why the advertised power draw. Pi3 draws about 540 ma during bootup and 300 to 340 ma when settled down and just doing stuff. 2 amps is way over what it needs for just the unit. Now, if you start adding in power hungry devices, then, yes, you will will need more power coming from the wall.

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Power (and mounting) is the issue we’ve solved with BitScope Blade Duo Pi. We’re awaiting some PiDrives to test it with but it works well with other drives we’ve tested, eg:

https://twitter.com/BitScopeDesigns/status/710094736560750592

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From http://support.wdc.com/KnowledgeBase/answer.aspx?ID=12968 “The WD PiDrive Power Cable is the real star of the kit. By eliminating the need for a powered USB hub, the cable footprint is reduced. The WD PiDrive cable is a versatile and agile solution to the previous mess of wires required to power a Raspberry Pi with other USB devices.”
I am curious exactly what the power requirements are. If the Pi-3 delivers 5V @ 1.2 A via USB, do you need this special cable?

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Adam, JBeale, you can buy the cable on its own for $10, just your your own PSU. The kit comes wit the 2A PSU.

http://wdlabs.wd.com/products/raspberry-pi-accessories/#pidrive_cable

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Would have been nice if they told you the need for a proprietary cable when you buy the drive on 3/14. Delivered on Sat 3/19. Now cables are backordered for 2-3 weeks. ARG!

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Hi, in many/most cases the 314 drive will work with a standard USB2 or USB3 cable. Use a high-quality, short (<24") cable. Use a 2A minimum 5V adapter (2.5A min for Pi3) and set max_usb_current=1 in config.txt. If you don't already have a cable, the Pi Drive Cable (designed for the Pi Drive 1TB) will enable more powering margin whether or not you need it.

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Like that drive! Want it!

Hopefully WDC will finally start selling it worldwide, many European countries added to the previous limited to UK and US list, but it is not available in the Netherlands yet.

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Nope, not in the Netherlands. Thank Tim Kuik and his little friends for that.
/rant

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Not deliverable in Germany. rom UK, and is not even
mentioned on the German WD site. A right pain…

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The product is now available for purchase in other major European markets. Please let us know if you need further assistance.

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Nothing about technical specs! Baaad! Read/Write rate? Dimensions and weight? Read on Pine314 it was nothing but a 1TB drive artificially restrained. Please some sound info :)

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Still 0 technical info. Amazed…

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Hi, copying below from my earlier post further down the page. Thanks.

Hi, the goals of the 314GB drive were: (1) reduce peak current draw; (2) achieve a price aligned to RPi versus legacy applications/markets (e.g. laptops); (3) improve Pi user’s data reliability experience (data integrity and powering); (4) simplify mass-storage integration (eliminate the need for a USB hub in many/most cases and provide special version of Berryboot multi-OS loader) and; (5) launch on 3/14/16!

The drive is as follows:
>Same hardware as our 500GB USB HDD in WD Passport products. Very mature, very high-yielding technology and components.
>Servo firmware changes to reduce peak spin-up current (slower spin-up). Relaxed time-to-ready requirement versus Wintel laptop HDD requirements.
>Set the magnetic recording format (tracks-per-inch vs. bits-per-inch, the aspect ratio of the magnetic bit on the disk) to be optimized around lower capacity versus 500GB, including biasing format selection (factory optimization) to the lowest BPI formats. This reduces R/W channel electronics operating speed/load, which minimizes channel power demand during read/write.
>Force the SATA phy (integrated in the HDD SoC) to operate at 1.5GHz so it won’t negotiate to higher-speed operation (minimize phy power consumption).
>Maintain all factory in-process testing and criteria as normal 500GB product.

The result is reduced peak current demand, and very likely, improvement in magnetic data integrity margin (because the 500GB components are operating at relaxed areal density)- though we aren’t claiming enhanced reliability versus our standard product and our warranty is the same.

We recognize that our storage products were designed decades ago for legacy applications and need to be refactored for today’s applications. This is what we’ve done with the 314 drive. And we’re continuing to pursue more enhancements.

BTW, the 314GB drive is our single-disk, 7mm high platform and the 1TB Pi Drive is our two-disk, 9.5mm high platform.

Thanks!

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That’s really nice work Dave – a lot of thought has gone into it. I’m using a 3.5″ traditional drive on a separate PSU (of course) but it’s going to be great to just pop a neat little box like this on the machine.

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NAS with a 100MBit ethernet, you must be joking! I’m running a small internet server on a Pi and I’ve tested a NAS configuration. Serving simple pages online is fine, but moving large files (ie a film) over ethernet takes ages.

It’s definitely time for the Pi to get a decent network interface!

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I must admit I kind of agree. I’m using my RPi 1 model B as a NAS at the moment but I’m really disapointed by the transfert rates. I get a speed of 3mbps when writing to my USB drive “over ethernet”. The PI is connected to the network via the ethernet port and the USB drive is connected to a powered USB hub which is itself connected to the Pi. From what I understood of my readings, the problem comes from the design of the PI, where the USB and ethernet share the same bus which limitate the speed when used together. If that’s true I don’t really see the use of such a “PiDrive”.

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There are surely lots of uses for such a drive. For example I’m using my Pi to backup a number of computers offsite where the Internet connection is more of a limiting factor. The speed of the backups isn’t really an issue at all but 314G of storage space is nice (most of the computers have under 20G of data to back up).

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” It has 314 GB of storage and currently costs $31.42 (£22), which is 31.4% off its RRP”
Does the disk rotate at 3140 rpm?

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You’re right fdufnews…it should spin at 3, 1416(rounded) rpm. :)

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3140 RPM is a slow Hard Drive. Most cheap hard drives go at 5400 or 5900 RPM, and some really good HDs run at 7200 RPM. I have heard of 10,000+ RPM somewhere though.

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I used to use a server with a RAID array of 15,000 rpm disks, but they used a lot of power – way beyond USB limits. I doubt anyone makes those now, as SSDs are both faster and cheaper.

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Back in ’99 I bought a dual PII intel server that had 5 10K SCSI hard drives in it. When I fired it up it sounded like a jet aircraft taking off. It was amazingly fast with SUSE linux installed on it. But then I had been using an old Commodore A3000 for years before that. Now I’ve got a raspberry pi 3 that can emulate a lot of my old Amiga games. In the 33 years since I bough my first computer I’m amazed at how far things have come.

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Apparently you missed the pi joke there ;)

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No, I got the Pi joke. :)

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nice! rumor has it that the circumference of its disk also is 3.1416 times its diameter.

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horace says:

!nice! rumor has it that the circumference of its disk also is 3.1416 times its diameter.”

Uhhh, GROAN! That is terrible! ;)

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Not SSD?

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Would make it more than $31 at that capacity.

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It’s currently £27.09 not £22. I received mine yesterday, shipped from the Netherlans.

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And it is not even sold in the Netherlands. How did you do it.
I (Dutch) want one too.

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What is the RPM number for this drive, i cant found it anywhere

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Great idea, and I really like the complete solution.

Unfortunately I can’t find any of the PI products on the German e-shop site, so they are a bit hard to order from here.

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The concept is not bad, especially the cable. With a few euros more you get 500 GB to 2000 GB hard drives from WD Elements™ (Compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0) and these can be bought in Germany.

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Thank you! I just ordered 2 of them!

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Would that be an area of discs then :)

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Sri :O Meant Circumference. LOL

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So you have to buy the cable kit separately? I don’t see any mention of it being included with the drive. This makes it a $50 outlay, including the current discount.

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I just picked one of these today from Micro Center, and it’s just a bare disk drive, no cables, not even a sheet of paper inside the box. Just a conductive bag between two anti-static plastic spacers.

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0.56A rating (based on the pic) so not much power required, no mention of a cable… mmm… got one anyway, just hope its more worth while then the wolfson audio board that came out ~3 years ago.

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So is it 5V/0.56A? Thanks

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Manage to run my pi3 off a standard USB port, so perhaps it doesn’t draw as much current as we fear, 4x USB, 4x drives; Raid 5 anyone? :-D

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I do prefer this option for £70:

WD PiDrive Kit, you instantly give your Raspberry Pi 1TB of HDD storage.

http://wdlabs.wd.com/

http://wdlabs.wd.com/products/wd-pidrive-1tb-kit/

comes with:
1TB Native USB 9.5mm Hard Drive
WD PiDrive Enclosure (3 options)
4GB microSD™ card with SD card adapter
Power Adapter (5V 2A) and USB cable
USB WD PiDrive Cable
Install Guide.

Should be enough capacity for most people:)

Richard

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So £22 acutually = £27.02, no surprise there then.

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I just picked one up earlier this afternoon, and so far my only complaint is that they put an insanely bright white LED on the thing that seemingly flashes all the time. I’m considering desoldering it, as it’ll give a slight power advantage over just covering it with black tape. I wonder if there’s any way to disable it in the disk’s firmware…

Also, from the F.A.Q., which is a stupid place for tech specs…
“12. What’s in the WD PiDrive 314GB?
This product is a 314GB, 2.5″, 7mm thick USB 3.0/2.0 native hard drive. USB cable, enclosure and Raspberry Pi sold separately.”

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I forgot to mention that this drive does not support S.M.A.R.T., which is a little disappointing.

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But it does support Dumb………..LoL! I rather use a 512 GB Samsung EVO SSD or higher Capacity you still get decent performance and uses less power than a standard 2 1/2 HD also you may even use a GB or 2 as Ram for the Raspberry Pi B+, Pi 2 and Pi 3 with the speed of SSD vs HD even over USB 2.0 is a better salution! Derf

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It DOES support SMART. Use the -d sat option e.g.
smartctl -dsat -a /dev/sda
which returns:
smartctl 6.4 2014-10-07 r4002 [armv7l-linux-4.1.19-v7+] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-14, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, http://www.smartmontools.org

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Device Model: WDC WD3140LMCW-11D9GS3
Serial Number: WD-WX31A266UTAR
LU WWN Device Id: 5 0014ee 65bdf23bc
Firmware Version: 01.01A01
User Capacity: 314,071,769,088 bytes [314 GB]
etc etc

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Yeah got one too. Good one, but the, flashing light, hmmm.. :p

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Cool! Perfect for, say, a Bitcoin Full Node. : )

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I got mine today. Like other posters, very disappointed to see there is no cable (I expected a short cable for neat bundling with the pi, didn’t even get a standard length cable). When I power it up (using a cable from another WD drive) it lights up brightly (also as mentioned by others) *BUT* beeps continuously. I can’t find any mention of beeping elsewhere. I disconnected immediately and am reluctant to reconnect until I know the cause.

The raspberry pi did recognize it:

[ 61.813146] usb 1-1.4: new high-speed USB device number 4 using dwc_otg
[ 61.994754] usb 1-1.4: New USB device found, idVendor=1058, idProduct=07ba
[ 61.994787] usb 1-1.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=5
[ 61.994805] usb 1-1.4: Product: My Passport 07BA
[ 61.994821] usb 1-1.4: Manufacturer: Western Digital
[ 61.994838] usb 1-1.4: SerialNumber: 575841314143354C4352444A
[ 61.998732] usb-storage 1-1.4:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[ 62.000841] scsi host0: usb-storage 1-1.4:1.0
[ 62.993977] scsi 0:0:0:0: Direct-Access WD My Passport 07BA 1007 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6
[ 63.001017] scsi 0:0:0:1: Enclosure WD SES Device 1007 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6
[ 63.003337] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Spinning up disk…
[ 63.016288] sd 0:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg0 type 0
[ 63.016587] scsi 0:0:0:1: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 13
[ 64.013118] …………………..
[ 117.433423] usb 1-1.4: reset high-speed USB device number 4 using dwc_otg
[ 117.534601] ready
[ 117.874177] usb 1-1.4: USB disconnect, device number 4
[ 117.893812] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Read Capacity(10) failed: Result: hostbyte=0x01 driverbyte=0x00
[ 117.893847] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Sense not available.
[ 117.893954] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
[ 117.893978] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 58 a1 60 ba
[ 117.894073] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] No Caching mode page found
[ 117.894094] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 117.895451] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Read Capacity(10) failed: Result: hostbyte=0x01 driverbyte=0x00
[ 117.895476] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Sense not available.
[ 117.895653] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI disk

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the beeping was due to insufficient power. When I set max_usb_current=1 it stopped. Now it is working I’ve observed that there are times when the white LED stays on solid for some time… then resumes flashing again. No rhyme or reason to it, the pi is idle the whole time. There are no files on the drive yet so it’s not as if the LED reflects that there is a lot of IO going on or anything.

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If you happen to be using Berryboot, for the first 30min or so after installation, Berryboot formats the drive (causing a lot of LED activity).

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beeps when power too low

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The correct Power Supply for the Raspberry Pi 3 is 5V 2.5 Amps if you continue using what you currently have you may Burn out your Raspberry Pi 3 or HD or even Both! Also the Raspberry Pi 3 by it self does not draw much 550 Mah at Starting then drops down to 300 to 350 Mah at idle but you need to remember also if you turn on the Wifi, Bluetooth, USB Thumb Drive and add maybe a USB HD Pi Drive to the mix your drawing more energy there for the 5V 2.5 Amp comes in – Derf

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Hi Graham, I’m on the WDLabs team, just happened to see your note. The problem might be insufficient USB current.

You may already know this, but we recommend the following:

1: Use a 5V power supply with 2A minimum (2.5A min for Pi3)
2: Set max_usb_current=1 in config.txt. This sets the USB bus to high-current mode. If using Berryboot (download at: wd.com/berryboot), this parameter will already be set.
3: Use short, good-quality USB cables (e.g. 18″-24″)

Even with the above, results may vary depending on total current load on the USB bus (other USB devices plugged in; Ethernet active, etc.) as well as overall system current demand. For example, I’ve been running two Pi Drive 314GB units plugged directly into RPi2, with WiFi dongle and BT/keyboard dongle and 3.5A AC adapter. But adding a USB camera causes the rainbow square (power warning) to come on (when using MotionEye).

Regarding no included cable, this enables us to present the HDD at lowest possible price, and considers that many customers may already have a USB cable. And we do offer the Pi Drive Cable, intended for more demanding applications.

Hope this helps!

Dave C.

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“Use a 5V power supply with 2A minimum (2.5A min for Pi3)” – I don’t have the option. This is to be embedded in a beehive where due to physical constraints, the only power comes over a PoE connection from a central location. We want to record video continuously and have already tested large SD chips, large flash drives, and even an SSD drive; and none of them have stood up to the combination of continuous writing and low power availability, so the promise of this drive made it worth the risk of buying one to test in our project. I’ll be hooking it up to the camera later today to see if it can work.

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Your test case sounds interesting. Please let us know your results back on this blog especially under low power constraints. Depending on how they perform I may be interested in these drives as well.

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Dave Chew – contact me by email please. gtoal@gtoal.com

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Shipping to Malta (island, population 445,426)
but not to France (continental, population 66,644,000)…
Why ?

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Hi, we’ll be shipping to France and other countries as soon as language translations are finished (this takes several weeks- web content, packaging, etc.). The initial release included countries that allow product deployment in english-only. Thanks for your interest- we’ll be there soon!

Dave C., WDLabs

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Thank you for your answer !

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Whoa, this looks sweet with such a low profile. Going to have to order one, or more. Now all that’s needed is for Pimoroni to design a case around this with a Pi 3 stacked on top. Ready for a media center/dvr the size of a deck of cards anyone!

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I had this bought within 5 minutes of reading this article! Lol love it!

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I am getting more and more concerned about the lack of published specs and the obviously-a-kludge ‘special cable’.

As noted by earlier posters, all the original documents strongly suggested this was a 1TB drive downgraded to one-third capacity. I have visions of a huge pile of laptop drives that didn’t quite pass 1TB quality checks being re-labelled as Pi. I so hope I’m wrong, but until we see full, detailed specs published I will continue to wonder.

Yes I know I’m being paranoid but I have also been around long enough to see some atrocious rubbish cynically dumped into various marketplaces.

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Hi, the goals of the 314GB drive were: (1) reduce peak current draw; (2) achieve a price aligned to RPi versus legacy applications/markets (e.g. laptops); (3) improve Pi user’s data reliability experience (data integrity and powering); (4) simplify mass-storage integration (eliminate the need for a USB hub in many/most cases and provide special version of Berryboot multi-OS loader) and; (5) launch on 3/14/16!

The drive is as follows:
>Same hardware as our 500GB USB HDD in WD Passport products. Very mature, very high-yielding technology and components.
>Servo firmware changes to reduce peak spin-up current (slower spin-up). Relaxed time-to-ready requirement versus Wintel laptop HDD requirements.
>Set the magnetic recording format (tracks-per-inch vs. bits-per-inch, the aspect ratio of the magnetic bit on the disk) to be optimized around lower capacity versus 500GB, including biasing format selection (factory optimization) to the lowest BPI formats. This reduces R/W channel electronics operating speed/load, which minimizes channel power demand during read/write.
>Force the SATA phy (integrated in the HDD SoC) to operate at 1.5GHz so it won’t negotiate to higher-speed operation (minimize phy power consumption).
>Maintain all factory in-process testing and criteria as normal 500GB product.

The result is reduced peak current demand, and very likely, improvement in magnetic data integrity margin (because the 500GB components are operating at relaxed areal density)- though we aren’t claiming enhanced reliability versus our standard product and our warranty is the same.

We recognize that our storage products were designed decades ago for legacy applications and need to be refactored for today’s applications. This is what we’ve done with the 314 drive. And we’re continuing to pursue more enhancements.

BTW, the 314GB drive is our single-disk, 7mm high platform and the 1TB Pi Drive is our two-disk, 9.5mm high platform.

Thanks!

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Thank you Dave Chew for that very informative note! This is exactly the sort of information I like to see, and was hoping to find somewhere on the website for this drive.

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Hi, Dave Chew. Last time I checked, Australia (outpost of British empah) was an English speaking country, so no need to translate from UK or US English. We’re bilingual.
The 1TB Pidrive is 2.5mm thicker, so the 314 drive is unlikely to be a failed 1TB; its based on the 500GB model (as per media release)and tricked for the Pi. Good one WD.
The support for Raspi from world electronics is remarkable and shows what can be done by enthusiasm and vision. The 314 drive is just the sort of fun support the Raspi name has garnered.
No more weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Rejoice in the Pi. ($2000 for a 20MB HDD was extreme in 1986).
John – Over-70!!

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I wonder if there will be a Raspberry Pi 3+ or R-Pi 4 with USB 3.0.

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Thank you, DaveChew, for explaining the background behind this. It makes more sense now. Whilst there is probably a long term future for the 1TB model, I will be curious to see how long it takes for cheaper midrange SSD drives to make the 314GB version uncompetitive. We must be nearly at the point where the choice is between 128GB SSD or 314GB hard drive for the around the same money. SSD manufacturers can increase competitiveness by reducing prices but had drive manufactures have to increase capacity and abandon the market at the lower end – which is where 314TB is rapidly heading for.

Maybe, taking a leaf from the Pi Drive, the Raspberry Pi foundation should have had its objective to produce a small educational computer for $31.42 ex taxes and shipping.

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Not sure about SSD making the drive obsolete with a 186GB difference. I mean that’s a lot more movies I can store for the same price. Or say the drive is in use with a Pi camera out in the wild taking video recordings and assuming 128GB is one month’s worth of data, then you wouldn’t have to trek back up the mountain to collect the data for 2.5 months versus just a single month with the SSD. Also who’s say to if WD can’t somehow continue optimizing the drive hardware so the full 500GB is usable within the same specifications, which can be sold in a newer release later down the line.

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Dave Chew – What is the discount code needed to purchase at the £22 price stated on this article?

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Hi,

The UK promotional price is 31.4% off the regular price of 39.50 pound sterling (which includes VAT) which is 27.09 pound sterling. Standard shipping is included. There’s no discount code required at checkout.

We’re extending the promotion and working to open sales to other countries (working on language translations).

The sales depleted our launch inventory early last week, but we triggered new factory builds and are working with our logistics team to increase fulfillment throughput.

Thanks!

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Hdd is similar with passport ,same look only piGB( without point) – very small big price

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Funny. Last night I (literally) had a dream of the Raspberry Pi website proudly advertising the newly launched Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 5, and Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+. I have no idea why the 4 and 5 would be launched within days of each other, but that was a little odd and interesting. The photos were just that of the Pi 3.

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I asked WDLabs if this will be available in Australia, response was:

I’m sorry but the PiDrive is not available in Australia. We are working on trying to branch to other countries as we can. You can keep an eye on our site and see when/if it comes available in your country.

Thanks,
The WDLabs Team

Very sad now.

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I’m still waiting for a response to my query about when it’ll be available in Germany

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The current outlook is early April. Thanks for your interest and patience!

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this sucks big D

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BEST IDEA SINCE FREE WIFI! And bacon… Don’t forget the bacon.

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I cannot understand why PiDrive is coming in Europe but
Spain is out.

I hope it will be fixed soon.

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Proper PiDrive should be 3.14 TB ;)

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I am curious; but isn’t the PI using a chip that share network and USB? In this way, any peripherals attached to USB will have to deal with such limitation.

Beside this; it looks nice; being a low power drive is a good item for a lightweight home server.

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why no australia release..???
were english country
speak english etc etc
so why do we have to wait for language translations
answer that mr Dave Chew!!

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Hi James, Australia is a different issue (not gated by localization of the product). The WD on-line store is currently not set up to provide product to the Asia Pacific region, and shipping from the existing distribution centers would be too costly. At one time we had a regional distribution center, but not presently. We’re looking for ways now to support your region. This is particularly challenging as we are driving for new levels of affordability (e.g. the 314 drive), which drives down margin to new levels. Nothing definitive yet, but we’re digging through.

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They can’t release it to Australia until they translate the documentation to remove all the capital letters, apostrophes, and other punctuation. As it stands, the current documentation is largely comprised of properly formed sentences. That’s the real reason. ;)

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I’m in the UK and just I received my piDrive. There are no instructions about how to connect it to the pi and no cable was included. I certainly haven’t got a suitable cable. There was a berryboot info card in the box with a 20% discount code which I’ve now used to order the cable and although the WD page. Their page says:
“Pi has been popular! Our current shipping time is 2-3 weeks but we are doing everything we can to fill your order as quickly as possible! We are sorry for the inconvenience.”
but, on the order checkout pages it said it was in stock and I’ve paid for it and specified 4 day delivery.
Anyones guess as to when it might arrive…

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Hi Mark, in many/most cases the 314 drive can be connected directly to the RPi’s USB port with a USB2 or USB3 cable (without a secondary powered USB hub). There are many factors other than the HDD affecting power loading of the USB system, so we can’t claim that direct-connect will work in all setups. For our 1TB PiDrive, which consumes more current than the 314 (largely due to increased inertia of two-disks/4-heads compared to the 314’s 1-disk, 2-heads), we offer the Pi Drive Cable that provides HDD powering directly from the AC adapter instead of through the Pi’s USB bus. Whether or not you’ll actually need this for the 314, it will provide more margin.

The most critical application points:
Use a 2A minimum 5V adapter for the system; 2.5A minimum if using Pi3.
Set max_usb_current=1 in config.txt. If using Berryboot, this is done automatically.
Use a good-quality, short (<24") USB2 or USB3 cable to connect the 314 drive to Pi.

We're catching up on sales fulfillment. The Pi Drive Cable and other accessories are in our possession- the task has been moving stock between distribution centers and augmenting our kitting, boxing and shipping throughput. The launch inventory on the 314 drive depleted quickly, but we fired-up the factory and the new builds will hit our distribution centers in a few days. This also positions us to continue to offer the 314 at the US$31.42 price.

Hope this addresses your questions. Thanks for your patience!

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Sounds brilliant but at that price, how long will it last running 24×7?

(Three years is the preferred answer.)

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I’m confused. I got a cheap 1tb Toshiba usb3 (obviously working at usb2) 1tb drive this Christmas. It came with a cable, didn’t need to wait for delivery and works perfectly on my pi2 and pi3 with a regular 2a power supply. No USB-max-current or special firmware needed.

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Some people like Toshiba can make a very low power drive USB only! Complete with SMART. I would recommend if powering the drive from a Pi USB port to set “max_usb_current=1 in config.txt”.

Do not use a normal USB drive with anything below a B+ A+ without a powered Hub. A Pi USB port does not deliver the same power as a PC USB port does nor does it have the same protection circuitry. The Star is the power cord that does not power the drive from the USB port.

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Hi Luke, depending on the set-up and system workload, other drive models (including WD’s) may work plugged directly into Pi. However in situations where the power headroom is inadequate, our experience has been that the consequences are inconsistent and difficult to debug. The objective of the 314 drive is to maximize predictably good experience integrating mass storage and to make it very affordable. Our initiative in this community continues on- we’re working on more improvements, additional accessories and solution partnerships with community contributors. Affordability continues to be a top goal. Thanks.

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I just can’t imagine buying myself a magnetic HDD in 2016.

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If it was available in Australia I’d get one but it’s not :( Are there plans to make it available or a way for me to get one?

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Ordered one on 3/15. Didn’t get a shipping confirmation. Called on 3/24, Western Digital Support said they would call back; didn’t. Called yesterday and asked two people for anykind of e-mail. Today received this:

“Due to high demand, we are currently on back-order for the WD PiDrive 314GB. Your order may take up to 3-4 weeks to ship. We are working diligently to get orders out as soon as possible. We will send you an email notification as soon as the product ships. ”

No indication of Backorder when purchased. If I hadn’t of purchased the cable on 3/16 (wasn’t available on 3/15) I would have canceled this order. WD is not making me a happy customer.

Hope this information helps someone.

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Hi Energyi, sorry for your disappointing experience- I would feel the same and am really concerned about customer sat. Our launch inventory was depleted more quickly than expected so we needed to quickly transition production to our high-volume factory. They put top priority on the 314 product (noteworthy, being quarter-end!), executed the new builds and product reached our distribution centers today. Our logistics team will be working overtime to catch up on shipments. We’re messaging 3-4 weeks as a general statement for all customers that have placed orders since launch. Having purchased on the 15th, you’re toward the front of the line.
The 314 drive is specifically and exclusively designed for the Pi application, to address implementation issues and get the price in-line with the Pi price-point. The 314 is less compelling in traditional markets (e.g. laptop; USB attach to PC/laptop; etc.). The 314’s we produce must sell to Pi users- there’s no ability to quickly reconfigure and drop-ship to other channels/markets. As such, our product launch approach was to start with a reasonable inventory, quickly gauge demand trajectory and course-correct as necessary. We designed 314 with very Pi-specific tuning, but did this in a way that it could quickly be ramped in our high-volume factory to support demand. But there’s been a front-end lag due to gauging sales demand and processing the factory new-builds.
WDLabs was formed to enable new ways to support new products and customers- it was difficult to do this under mainstream business process. The 314 drive is the first product to dedicate a design to a community, and we’re working out the kinks as fast as possible.

No excuses, waiting sucks! Really sorry!

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My hat is off to the team at WD for their efforts with the 1TB PiDrive. I just purchase the kit yesterday and was very pleased to see the drive arrived with the neat cables set, micro SD card, angle HDMI adapter, AC power adapter and stand to hold the PiDrive and PI. Does the PiDrive operate with Pi 3 B and if using OPENELEC, are there any hints for setting it up?

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Update: WD Pidrive arrived on 4/11. Diags showed 292 Gbytes, not 314 (yes, I know SI GB, but what if it was the other way around?).

BerryBoot seems OK, but you can’t put your own IMG’s without converting them to squashfs format which is a total pain in the butt! Almost makes Berryboot useless. I like backing up my system to a dated IMG in case something goes wrong. Takes lots of time to get Pi working just right. Would be nice to have all OS at fingertips without squashfs format requirements, like if Win32DiskImager did it.

Other WDLabs customer support challenges describe at http://tinyurl.com/zk8uc9s . Massive amount of packaging shown at that tinyurl. Investigate SSD pi Hat b-4 this WD drive. Hope this helps.

energyi

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Hello. Does anyone know if it will make any difference (more reliable 24/7 use) if I run the PiDrive directly attached to a Pi with the help of a dual male to female USB adapter? I’m seriously considering getting this drive but on the other hand, there are mSATA SSD’s like one made by Kingston which barely run at 3.3V / 0.35A. I’m a bit undecided on what is better for my needs. The drive will be used as a storage for videos (NVR).

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Really disappointed in the sales process for this.
Ordered on the 14th March, finally got a “Thank you for your order with WDLabs” email 15 days later. Still not got my drive or an ETA. 5 weeks and no drive.

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Hi, sorry for your unsatisfactory experience.

I’m on the WDLabs 314 drive product team. Please contact me. My Western Digital email is dave.chew@wdc.com.

Thanks.

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Hi Dave
I sent you an email with some more info about my order.

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Hi AikenDrum, sorry, but I could not find your email anywhere. Could you please resend (dave.chew@wdc.com). Thanks!

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Brilliant customer service from Dave @ WD Labs.
Shipped me a drive as soon as possible after dealing with the problems of my order.
Really happy now I have a PiDrive.

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Is there a way to format Pi Drive from a running PI?
I really would like to keep my OP system as is and just transfer it to PI drive.

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I am currently running a Pi3 server with a Seagate 4TB Backup Plus connected directly to a USB port on the Pi, using a 5V, 3A PS. Spinning up the WD 314 or 1TB should be no issue at all. Use a good quality USB3 cable, 3A PS and set the ‘max_usb_current=1’ in config.txt.

The Seagate uses the Samsung/Seagate ST4000LM016 5400RPM drive with S.M.A.R.T yada, yada.

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Shipping to everywhere but not Canada. No distributors either

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Where can i find technical information about the drive? I am interessted in information about the power consumption and the rpm. (find some infos above, but are they sure?)
At this moment i am using a 256 GB USB Stick.
Will this drive be so much better? (sure, more capacity)
thanks

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The system (Pi3, Swag PS, WD cables, 3.14, new Classs 10 Kingston SD) failed to boot after first sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade -y. WD Labs are incapable of reproducing it (well maybe they have but are not saying) and fixing it even after others have reported identical issues.

The LED is on 99% for no reason and lights up my room and the constant buzzing sounds like a bee in the room. This is truly a product that was rushed out for 3.14.2016. Caveat Emptor.

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Mi Pi3 also died after some intensive compiling. The Pi3 has heat issues and needs proper cooling. I ordered a case with a fan and heatsinks instead.

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