Brian

How to Stop Excessive Load Cycles on the Western Digital 2TB Caviar Gr

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Power consumption is one of the hot topics currently being discussed in today’s hard drive market. Manufacturers are looking at many ways to cut down on power draw; either by decreasing spindle speed or in some cases having aggressive parking. On drives that support these newer power modes, excessive head parking can occur under the right circumstances, causing alarm as users watch some drives close in on the manufacturers rated load cycle count in short order. In this article we will look at one way to disable this power profile on Western Digital hard drives like the popular 2TB Caviar Green WD20EARS.

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Have 122414 as a raw value on smart parameter - load cycle count. it's a WD20EADS & seems this is spread over 5145 hours.

This is currently a media drive - pretty sure it always has been.

Do you think it's worth taking the time to try to modify the drive - as a mac pro user suspect it wont be as straightforward for me.

Edited by rtrtrtrt

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Hi Brian, for the stupid (ie me) could you tell me what the best way of measuring the daily load cycles on my WD drive is? Any particular software useful?

Thanks, Noli

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you need a SMART monitoring app for your particular OS. i use SMART Utillity for MacOS.

iirc you need to look at parameter 193 but most software will use the descriptor load cycles anyway.

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Hi Brian, for the stupid (ie me) could you tell me what the best way of measuring the daily load cycles on my WD drive is? Any particular software useful?

Thanks, Noli

HDtune and the SMART tab would probably help out the most. From there, just take note of the load cycle value and watch it rise.

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How to Stop Excessive Load Cycles on the Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green...

It is so simple. Just stop buying these drives. WD have never been trustful when it comes to drives specs.

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Well, I suppose that's one approach :) But the EARS is a wildly popular drive, I'd suppose it's the best-selling green drive out there, even with the surge in popularity of the Samsung F4EG.

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Thank you for this artice. I run a Linux Software RAID5 using WD20EARS-00S8B1 drives and found out that I was affected BADLY by this:

The Output from: smartctl -a /dev/sdX | grep -i "193"

/dev/sda: (no Output, Samsung Drive)

/dev/sdb: 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 061 061 000 Old_age Always - 419519

/dev/sdc: 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 181 181 000 Old_age Always - 58933

/dev/sdd: 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 060 060 000 Old_age Always - 422027

/dev/sde: (no Output, Samsung Drive)

/dev/sdf: 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 061 061 000 Old_age Always - 418590

/dev/sdg: 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 061 061 000 Old_age Always - 417353

/dev/sdh: 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 060 060 000 Old_age Always - 421254

/dev/sdi: 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 060 060 000 Old_age Always - 421207

sdc is a WD20EARS-00J2GB0 replacement drive which I recently received for a failed WD20EARS-00S8B1 drive. Even though I've had this for only 4 weeks or so, it already had accumulated 58.000 Load Cycles!

And all the others are well past their 300.000... I've now set the Timeout with the WDIDLE3 tool to 300sec (up from 8sec previously) and hope that they will at least slowly die in sequence so I can smoothly swap them with RMA-Replacements and then rebuild the RAID5-Parity.

I guess to work in the WD department that makes drive firmwares, you have to pass an IQ test to make sure your IQ score doesn't exceed that of a cockroach. :angry:

Edited by anybody

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Situation, when the drive reports this behavior is still the better one. In my experience, some of the Caviar Green drives were patched to not report the load cycle. Such drive report "normal" values of load_cycle_count, and add +1 only when powering on the computer/drive. So you are happy your drive is not affected, trust SMART information and later you find out the drive clicks every 8 seconds. After utilizing WDIDDLE utility, the 8 sec. clicking disappear. It is obvious the WD "solve" this problem by hiding the real numbers instead of stopping the head parking.

It is highly probable WD cripples the SMART table to report untrue information (to cover drive behaviour). Would you trust such vendor again?

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Should I look into software to stop excessive load cycles on my WD 2tb black?

At the time we wrote this article, we tested the higher performance WD drives. The Black and RE4 models didn't have the idle3 timer enabled (all were disabled) so parking shouldnt be an issue.

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I would really like to understand this, so maybe you guys can help. The power ratings for the Caviar Green 3 TB consist of: 6 - typical, 5.5 - idle, 0.8 - standby, 0.8 - sleep.

Now, the utility to change the timing here is called wdidle which I would think means western digital idle. That would suggest that this 'head parking' is taking it from 6 to 5.5. Note that if correct isn't as strange as it may seem, because other drives that aren't 5400 RPM have a much higher difference between typical and idle, i.e., 11.4 and 5.7 watts for the DeskStar 5k400. Now, what the Caviar has that most don't is this standby/sleep mode.

So, first, is the timeout we are talking about relating to moving between typical and idle or typical and standby or maybe idle and standby?

Second, if you disengage via wdidle the move from typical to idle, does that preclude standby and sleep mode?

I think the whole point of these drives is to get them into standby and sleep when appropriate - that is when the energy savings really come into play. Of course having a nominal energy reading at 6/5.5 vs 11 is great too.

Edited by lightminer

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Thanks for the WDIDLE3 tip. However you must power cycle the drive after the change, else it doesn't kick in (observed), but also it can behave very strangely. Common themes are super-slow performance (I think I just had that on a Green 4TB), and some report noises like the drive is about to die (see http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=15554.0#top).

Please update the article.

Edited by _gl

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