Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

What's The Optimal Time In Seconds For Hard Drives To Park Heads?


  • Please log in to reply

#1
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
I have a WD20EARS drive that parks it's head every 8 seconds when idle [to save on energy and other reasons]... Western Digital released a firmware fix that only changes the idle head parking time. Mainly because most people out there are saying that the 8 second idle park time can wear the drive down shortening it's life span. I can choose any time limit in "seconds" only... Or "disable" head parking altogether indefinitely with the firmware fix.

I'm not as computer savvy as most but I would definitely like to know what most of you think would be the best setting [how many seconds or disable] and why?

I will only be using the WD20EARS hdd in a usb enclosure under WinXP for data backup but it'll be on almost all of the time. Don't know if this is of any use but I have always set Hibernation, and Power Saving modes disabled in XP, so my monitor, drives, etc never turn off.


Thanks

Edited by superstar, 29 August 2010 - 06:08 PM.

  • 0

Advertisements


#2
Neil Jones

Neil Jones

    Member 5k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,476 posts
according to Western Digital, there is no firmware update for that drive.
  • 0

#3
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
That's not true... "wdidle3" was released for the aforementioned purpose. Many WD20EARS owners have been using it to change the idle park time. It's been backed up by some official WD employees on their forum. Even though WD won't tell you it exists when you call them over the phone. Because they don't want to admit to the ridiculous head parking time of 8 seconds.

If anyone knows what time limit is best, or industry standard with WD please reply.
  • 0

#4
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP
a quick google search and a quick search on the WD website shows this http://support.wdc.c...sid=113&lang=en which says:

This utility is designed to upgrade the firmware of the following hard drives: WD1000FYPS-01ZKB0, WD7500AYPS-01ZKB0, WD7501AYPS-01ZKB0.CAUTION: Do not attempt to run this software on any hard drives other than what is listed above. Please make sure that the computer system is not turned off during the firmware upgrade. Doing so may damage the hard drive beyond repair and your data may be lost.


i don't see your particular drive in that list


Edit: also, if you're just using the drive as a backup drive, then it shouldn't actually be active unless you're backing up to it, restoring from it, or your AV is scanning it during a regular scan so you don't particularly have to worry about the park time as the heads will be parked for the majority of the time that the drive is on.

Edited by dsenette, 30 August 2010 - 12:22 PM.

  • 0

#5
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
I am using the drive as a data storage... But like I said it will be on most if not all of the time. If you did some more research you would find a mass comunity of people who are using "wdidle3" firmware update to change the idle time. It's not a complete firmware update, instead it just changes the idle time. Even WD employees have confirmed it's for Wd20EARS drives and others that aren't listed in that quote you just mentioned. Apparently WD doesn't want to admit the fact that the idle time is too low which is why they haven't included some drives in that list. If you call WD they'll even deny the update exists.

Which once again brings to to ask what the best idle time would be for head parking on a hdd in seconds, or is it best to just disable it altogether.
  • 0

#6
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP

I am using the drive as a data storage... But like I said it will be on most if not all of the time

electrically on and in use are two different things. if the drive will be sitting idle for long periods of time (i.e. you don't actually access the data on the drive that much or you don't write to the drive that frequently) then the setting will act as it should and it will save electricity like it's supposed to. if this is a primary storage drive that you're actually using A LOT (i.e. it's where you store your music, and you listen to the music directly from the drive) then it's a bit different. but being as you stated that you're using it as a backup, then I'd imagine that the drive will NOT be in use that frequently, therefore the park time isn't an issue and you might as well leave it as it is and save some electricity (also take into account that when the drive is parked because it's legitimately not in active use for long periods of time you're actually REDUCING wear and tear on the drive by having it parked)

If you did some more research you would find a mass comunity of people who are using "wdidle3" firmware update to change the idle time. It's not a complete firmware update, instead it just changes the idle time. Even WD employees have confirmed it's for Wd20EARS drives and others that aren't listed in that quote you just mentioned.

i did research, and i couldn't find anywhere that specifically referenced anything giving reputable proof of a WD employee that was sanctioned to give any information contrary to what was listed on the WD site. you're free to use the software at your own risk but it's explicitly stated on the WD site that this software is not for your drive. it's ALWAYS a bad idea to do any kind of firmware update with anything OTHER than something certified for your hardware, no matter what you find on the internet.

Apparently WD doesn't want to admit the fact that the idle time is too low which is why they haven't included some drives in that list. If you call WD they'll even deny the update exists.

WD is in bussiness to make money, i fail to see how "failing to admit" a KNOWN issue would make them any money when they've obviously got a very good sollution to the issue. i would postulate that if you called in with a model/serial number of one of the drives that IS listed with the package, that they would in fact point you towards it's existance. since you're NOT calling for a drive that's covered under the update, they'll tell you as such.
  • 0

#7
Neil Jones

Neil Jones

    Member 5k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,476 posts

I am using the drive as a data storage... But like I said it will be on most if not all of the time. If you did some more research you would find a mass comunity of people who are using "wdidle3" firmware update to change the idle time. It's not a complete firmware update, instead it just changes the idle time. Even WD employees have confirmed it's for Wd20EARS drives and others that aren't listed in that quote you just mentioned. Apparently WD doesn't want to admit the fact that the idle time is too low which is why they haven't included some drives in that list. If you call WD they'll even deny the update exists.


If a mass community of people are using this update with no problems, that is no guarantee that you won't have any problems. If you happen to have a power cut through the update process, the drive will be dead anyway. I see lots of posts on forums about people who want to know whether doing this, that and the other is a good idea. For every post that says it's the best thing since sliced bread, you should ideally find an counter-balance of people who've done something and decided it didn't solve whatever the issue was.

In the majority of situations, driver firmware is not interchangable between various models between the same company. Regardless of what the communities say, your best advice is to follow the official line, which is that according to Western Digital, there is no firmware update available for that drive. If it has to go back under warranty to Western Digital with an unofficial firmware, they'll just send it back as "the customer has broken it deliberately".

Which once again brings to to ask what the best idle time would be for head parking on a hdd in seconds, or is it best to just disable it altogether.


For what you've said you use it for, it realistically makes no ends. I'd leave it as it is.
  • 0

#8
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts

electrically on and in use are two different things. if the drive will be sitting idle for long periods of time (i.e. you don't actually access the data on the drive that much or you don't write to the drive that frequently) then the setting will act as it should and it will save electricity like it's supposed to. if this is a primary storage drive that you're actually using A LOT (i.e. it's where you store your music, and you listen to the music directly from the drive) then it's a bit different. but being as you stated that you're using it as a backup, then I'd imagine that the drive will NOT be in use that frequently, therefore the park time isn't an issue and you might as well leave it as it is and save some electricity (also take into account that when the drive is parked because it's legitimately not in active use for long periods of time you're actually REDUCING wear and tear on the drive by having it parked)



It WILL actually be my music drive, movie, and data backup drive. But like I said it will always be on half a day, and always throughout the entire weekend. Does this than change anything?

i did research, and i couldn't find anywhere that specifically referenced anything giving reputable proof of a WD employee that was sanctioned to give any information contrary to what was listed on the WD site. you're free to use the software at your own risk but it's explicitly stated on the WD site that this software is not for your drive. it's ALWAYS a bad idea to do any kind of firmware update with anything OTHER than something certified for your hardware, no matter what you find on the internet.


Green Caviar: High Load Cycle Count after short operation time [From the web]

http://community.wdc...time/td-p/15731

Specific Page That I quoted below of someone who works for WD:

Sorry, but our agent didn't know that this policy was just changed. Current WDIDLE3 works with the RE and GP drives listed below.



RE Drives - WD1000FYPS-01ZKB0, WD7500AYPS-01ZKB0, WD7501AYPS-01ZKB0


GP Drives - WD20EADS, WD20EARS, WD15EADS, WD15EARS, WD10EADS, WD10EARS, WD8000AARS, WD7500AADS, WD7500AARS, WD6400AADS, WD6400AARS, WD5000AADS, WD5000AARS



WDIDLE3

http://support.wdc.c...sid=113&lang=en


Source: http://community.wdc...-p/15731/page/2

Read the pages from the source of the above quote and you'll see many more positive statements, and approval from WD employees.

Also here's a video of someone using what I believe to be a RAID setup and modifying the park time for it, explaining why, and how to use it on a WD20EARS drive...


Edited by superstar, 30 August 2010 - 04:45 PM.

  • 0

#9
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
After a lot of reading I figured out how to create a DOS bootable USB stick... These are my very own steps below for all of you who would like to do this. Remember I am not responsible for any damages you may incur.

Follow the steps outlined below to setup any USB stick as a DOS bootable device:

http://bay-wolf.com/usbmemstick.htm
[Note: You don't need to do the cdrom step. Also note that the 3 files left on the USB stick, on the 2nd last image, from the above page are HIDDEN, so you may NOT see them though they are still present.]

Copy the "wdidle3" application to the root of the USB stick when you have completed the aforementioned steps to setup your bootable DOS usb. You can get WDIDLE3 from here: http://support.wdc.c...pid=609&sid=113

Reboot the pc with your USB stick connected, and enter the bios. Do whatever you have to in order to configure the bios to use the USB stick as your primary boot selection. Keep in mind all of the settings you changed. Save & Exit the bios...

Power off your pc.

Connect your WD20EARS [or other compatible hdd] to your computer via sata data, and power connection.

Power on your pc with the USB DOS stick connected, and it should boot accordingly.

Type the following without the quotes, and press ENTER to check your idle status:

"wdidle3"

To reconfigure the idle time for maximum performance/longevity type the following without the quotes and than press ENTER:

"wdidle3 /s300"

If done correctly your drive should state the following:

“Idle 3 timer is enabled and set to 300 (five minutes)”

To double check the idle time type the following without the quotes:

"wdidle3 /r"

Wait at least or over five minutes before shutting down the pc. You can simply power off your computer via the power on/off button on the front of your pc, since dos doesn't require a command to do so. Your drive should now be set for maximum longevity... Don't forget to set any bios settings back to what they were!

Edited by superstar, 05 September 2010 - 06:33 PM.

  • 0

#10
rsinj

rsinj

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
superstar - thanks for all of the good info you've provided. There are also other articles regarding this.

I have a ReadyNAS and a Stora each loaded with 2x1TB WD green drives - 3 are EARS one is EAVS.

I checked my ReadyNAS SMART info on its disks this morning and sure enough 4000 and 4500 LCC on them and trickling higher every minute.

I followed the instructions and everything worked easily and flawlessly.

Just FYI on what I saw, for others who may have ended out here through googling as I did...

1. wdidle3 will run on all your WD drives when it runs in DOS mode. So, depending on your drives, you may want to disconnect any which you are not looking to reset the idle time on. Mine had an older 80GB WD boot drive, but it showed the idle time was disabled already - didn't hurt it when I disabled it (actually intending to do it only on the 1TB drives).

2. On the ReadyNAS drives (both EARS), after using wdidle3 /D to disable, the LCC stopped trickling higher. It's been about 6 hours and the count is only 5 higher on each. Originally, on these EARS drives, I used /R first and both had been set at 8 seconds.

3. On the Stora drives (1 EARS and 1 EAVS) /R showed that they were both set to 300 seconds (5 minutes) before I disabled. This leads me to believe that the Stora has something in it that it is able to set it on the drive. No other reason could explain why they would have been set to 300 seconds since this is not the default value.

4. Regarding the warnings from those who do what they are told, not to do this and voiding your warranty - hogwash. First, would it be better to simply let the LCC trek higher and as you rightly point out, lead to a premature death? I'm absolutely certain, the LCC issue would lead to failure much sooner without using the wdidle3. In the unlikely event that something does go wrong and the drive fails within the warranty period (which is technically no longer applicable to me having used wdidle3), having a $50 or $60 drive (today) replaced (with a refurb) after paying for return shipping is really not something to be concerned about in my mind. A year from now the 2TB drives will be that price, and if 1TB drives are still sold, they're going to be $25 or $30 at most. In my mind, it's your enormous amount of data on these huge drives that is more valuable and a solid backup plan is what this is all about in the first place, at least for me.

Anyhow, again, many thanks for your investigation and follow through on this.
  • 0

#11
Tomas73

Tomas73

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
Because of high load/uload cycle on my WD20EARX,

I have changed timer with wdidle3 and made a mistake because I changed timer on all of three drives in my rig.

I also have WD500AAKS and WD640AALS.

Timer is now set on 300sec.(5min.) on all my drives and I wanted to do so just on WD20EARX.

Can anyone tell me what is default load/unload cycle time for WD500AAKS and WD640AALS, I want to roll back timer on default for those drives.

It is simple to check them, just type "wdidle3/R" and the information will show up.
I am trying to find those info. for a week, reading different forums but no luck.

Edited by Tomas73, 09 November 2011 - 08:55 PM.

  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP