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WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves [UPDATE]
04-12-2009, 05:04 PM (This post was last modified: 04-14-2009 12:00 PM by SirComeAlot.)
Post: #1
WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves [UPDATE]
Hi guys,

I'm looking at which HDD to get to put into my HDX-1000.

I thought the WD Green 1.5 TB would be a great choise. Nice and quiet and fast enough and cool.

Then I found THIS thread about some supposedly problem which has got me concerned.

OP from the thread:

Quote:As per SPCR recommendation and nice-sounding specs I and multiple of my friends have bought Western Digital Green Power drives in past half a year. Because the drive is particularly suited for media server applications, this is where the drives have seen their use.

But, alas, within past month news began to hit in that the feature in WD GP drives that helps to save energy, Intelli-Park, is not that intelligent. In fact, with default settings it parks the heads after 8 seconds of inactivity. What this means depends of your OS and usage pattern, but in these low-usage media server machines running Linux it means the drive will reach it's designed lifetime total or parkings in 200-300 days.

What makes things worse is that WD has been completely silent about the issue, and the tool that can disable the Intelli-Park feature is not publicly available. Ie. WD is doing their best to just let the drives die instead of warning the customers about the issue.

What to do? If you are using Green Power drive, check the SMART data to see if your drive has alarmingly high Load_Cycle_Count value. For my WD10EACS drive the count is 87k after two months of usage - almost one third of the designed lifespan spent. If you drive has a high value, contact WD and ask for the wdidle3.exe. It's a DOS program that can disable the Intelli-Park or configure it.

It might also be worth putting a mention about this to the SPCR review recommending GP drives so that people can prepare from the very beginning and thus prevent untimely death of their drive.

Do you guys know about this?

Any thoughts?

ps, don't wanna cuase unnesecary concern, but this seems a valid point so I wanted to share this here...

Cheers
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04-12-2009, 05:21 PM
Post: #2
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves
Mm interesting, can somebody explain me how I can check my Load_Cycle_Count?
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04-12-2009, 06:40 PM
Post: #3
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves
I'm not saying who wrote that is wrong but I don't understand how head parking will wear out a drive? Is the park position on a drive all that much different then any other position?
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04-12-2009, 08:32 PM
Post: #4
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves
drive head floats on air of the spinning disk, it will receive some wear going from 'park' to fast moving surface. so there is also a MTBF for this.


PCH-A100/A210/C200/A400 500GB EXT3 HDD<-->HDMIv1.3<-->Onkyo TX-NR1010<-->HDMIv1.3<-->Panasonic TX-P46S10 + 6 Bowers & Wilkins speakers.
10 NTFS 2TB USB drives on 3 hubs attached to the A400, 2 Seagate blackarmour NAS 3TB, 2 Seagate Central NAS 4TB.


The inability to setup and configure the NMT should not be disguised as a defect of the box...
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04-12-2009, 08:35 PM
Post: #5
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves
There is already a large topic on this.
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/showth...oise+green
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04-12-2009, 09:12 PM
Post: #6
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves
(04-12-2009 08:32 PM)Willem53 Wrote:  drive head floats on air of the spinning disk, it will receive some wear going from 'park' to fast moving surface. so there is also a MTBF for this.

Probably true but I've never seen a spec. on head parking. I'm just wondering where this MTBF number is coming from. WD does not publish such a number.

They seem to be using SMART but it is often a very relative reference. I've had numbers of drives go past what SMART says should be a dead drive. Some by years.
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04-13-2009, 03:27 PM
Post: #7
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves
Yep that what the M stand for mean as in average.
one quit after a month the other goes on for years after the MTBF.


PCH-A100/A210/C200/A400 500GB EXT3 HDD<-->HDMIv1.3<-->Onkyo TX-NR1010<-->HDMIv1.3<-->Panasonic TX-P46S10 + 6 Bowers & Wilkins speakers.
10 NTFS 2TB USB drives on 3 hubs attached to the A400, 2 Seagate blackarmour NAS 3TB, 2 Seagate Central NAS 4TB.


The inability to setup and configure the NMT should not be disguised as a defect of the box...
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04-14-2009, 10:32 AM (This post was last modified: 04-14-2009 01:34 PM by SirComeAlot.)
Post: #8
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves
(04-12-2009 08:35 PM)subbase Wrote:  There is already a large topic on this.
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/showth...oise+green

I was not aware of that, sry for the second thread on this.

It seems though that WD has provided users with some tools to alter the 8 sec idle time before the driveheads park.

******* THESE TOOLS ARE FOR RE2GP DRIVES ONLY! *******

Have a look at THIS for all the info.

Quote from link:
Quote:The problem is this: The Green Power is designed and marketed as a "green" drive, where power efficiency is the primary engineering concern. As part of this concern, the drive is designed to unload the read/write heads after approximately 8 seconds of inactivity. That in itself is not a bad thing — in fact, it's a common attribute of notebook drives, which have different reasons for saving power (battery life). However, certain software (notably, SpeedFan and some distributions of Linux) can cause issues because they access the drive regularly every 10 seconds or every minute or so. This causes a cycle of rapid loading and unloading that is stressful to the drive — far more stressful than "ordinary" use in which the drive is either working steadily or completely idle.

It is worth noting that there are no actual failures attributed to this problem as yet — just a number of drives that are reporting rapid (and unusual) increases in load/unload cycles via the drive's SMART reporting feature. Some drives are approaching the rated specification of 300,000 load/unload cycles after less than a year of ownership. While the drives are extremely unlikely to give up the ghost right as the counter crosses 300,000, exceeding the specification indicates the point where the risk of failure begins to increase.

In some ways, the solution is simple: Don't use software that accesses the drive every 10 seconds. However, for those who can't or won't deal with this on the software level, Western Digital offers a firmware update that either disables the head unload feature or modifies it so that the unload timer is set to longer than 8 seconds (up to 5 minutes is supported). A separate utility is used to control the feature once the new firmware is installed. In either case, the power saving gained by unloading the heads will be lost, but that's probably safer than dealing with potential drive failures down the road. More information about the firmware update (including a new, lower power spin up mode) can be found in this product change notice.

So what do you think NMT owners should do?

* adjust the idle time from 8 secs to ?
* switch off intellipark altogether?
* tweak the NMT software to fix the park issue?

What is the polling rate of our NMT anyway? I believe I read 10 seconds somewhere, is that right?

I think I will go ahead and order a WD green drive now that I know something can be done about the issue...

So how would you solve the problem?
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04-14-2009, 10:53 AM
Post: #9
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves
I also have a WD green TB disk. What utility should be used to update the setting on the HDD? Can it be done directly on the PCH whithout the need to open my box ?
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04-14-2009, 01:29 PM
Post: #10
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves [UPDATE]
Right, I had ordered a WD15EADS but immediatly canceled the order after talking to WD...

Here's why:

They told me there is NO WAY of altering the 8sec intellipark time! The above link pointing to the 2 small WD files are NOT FOR the normal WD green disks! They are meant for RE2GP disks only!! Those are Green Power disks, but intended for RAID use.

Another file the guys at silentpcreview talk about (wdidle3.exe) is also NOT SUITED for the green power drives! They are meant for 2.5" notebook drives.

I was told not to use any of the green power drives wich have the 8 sec setting.

He recommended the WD10EVVS for this purpose, you can find the product page here. These are drives with the green power label, but have a park time setting of 43 seconds.

Appearently linux polls drives every 10 secs, this is not good with the 8 sec intellipark setting as explained in the link in the OP.

I know one can probably tweak linux on the nmt to change the 10sec setting, but I wouldn't know how. Furthermore this would probably mean you'd have to change that with every firmware update (unless they fix it in the firmware which would be the best option for all WD green power dive users).

I hope this helps the issue with the WD green drives.
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04-29-2009, 10:38 AM (This post was last modified: 04-29-2009 10:38 AM by Gravityz.)
Post: #11
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves [UPDATE]
i trhink you got bullshitted by WD

they also told me there was no such utility as the wdidle3.exe

i have the WD10eads and i was able to change the time to 25 seconds(or disable it)

the tool is rather old and was made for older discs

the wdidle command is embedded in the rom of the wd10eads and probably also in the WD15 types

i guess better save than sorry but please do not believe a word WD is telling you. if it is not in their supported list they just ignore everything.


(04-14-2009 01:29 PM)SirComeAlot Wrote:  Right, I had ordered a WD15EADS but immediatly canceled the order after talking to WD...

Here's why:

They told me there is NO WAY of altering the 8sec intellipark time! The above link pointing to the 2 small WD files are NOT FOR the normal WD green disks! They are meant for RE2GP disks only!! Those are Green Power disks, but intended for RAID use.

Another file the guys at silentpcreview talk about (wdidle3.exe) is also NOT SUITED for the green power drives! They are meant for 2.5" notebook drives.

I was told not to use any of the green power drives wich have the 8 sec setting.

He recommended the WD10EVVS for this purpose, you can find the product page here. These are drives with the green power label, but have a park time setting of 43 seconds.

Appearently linux polls drives every 10 secs, this is not good with the 8 sec intellipark setting as explained in the link in the OP.

I know one can probably tweak linux on the nmt to change the 10sec setting, but I wouldn't know how. Furthermore this would probably mean you'd have to change that with every firmware update (unless they fix it in the firmware which would be the best option for all WD green power dive users).

I hope this helps the issue with the WD green drives.
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[+] 1 user says Thank You to Gravityz for this post
04-29-2009, 11:20 AM
Post: #12
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves [UPDATE]
I menaged to disable Intelli Park without the widdle utility. I used the following command in telnet:

Code:
/share/hdparm -B 255 /dev/hda

I added this line in the start_app.sh so it's running every time I restart the PCH. (It might be not necessary, but I think it's loosing the setting after restart.)

Altough I have only a 160 GB 2,5" WD HDD in my PCH, but it shows the sympthom, check the LCC count in the following log:
(Over 46000 in less than 6 months.)

Code:
/ # share/smartctl /dev/hda -a
smartctl version 5.38 [mipsel-unknown-linux-uclibc] Copyright (C) 2002-8 Bruce A
llen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Model Family:     Western Digital Scorpio family
Device Model:     WDC WD1600BEVE-00UYT0
Serial Number:    WD-WXE508H82146
Firmware Version: 01.04A01
User Capacity:    160,041,885,696 bytes
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   7
ATA Standard is:  Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
Local Time is:    Wed Apr 29 11:05:39 2009 GMT
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_
FAILED RAW_VALUE
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x000f   200   200   051    Pre-fail  Always       -
       0
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0003   185   185   021    Pre-fail  Always       -
       1708
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   098   098   000    Old_age   Always       -
       2334
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   200   200   140    Pre-fail  Always       -
       0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x000f   200   200   051    Pre-fail  Always       -
       0
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   093   093   000    Old_age   Always       -
       5721
10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0013   100   100   051    Pre-fail  Always       -
       0
11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0012   100   253   051    Old_age   Always       -
       0
12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -
       36
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -
       1
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   185   185   000    Old_age   Always       -
       46164
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   113   096   000    Old_age   Always       -
       34
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -
       0
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0012   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -
       0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0010   100   253   000    Old_age   Offline      -
       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x003e   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -
       0
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate   0x0009   100   253   051    Pre-fail  Offline      -
       0

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

Media player 01: PCH-A100, 160 GB 2,5" WD HDD, Composite, CAT5 wired.
Media player 02: PCH-C200, 320 GB 2,5" Samsung HDD, LG CH10-LS20 BD, HDMI, CAT5e wired.
Display: Samsung LE-40R88BD
A/V receiver: Yamaha RXV-630 coax conn.
NAS: Synology CS407e, DS411j 8 TB (RAID5)
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04-29-2009, 04:16 PM (This post was last modified: 04-30-2009 01:36 PM by bohlendach.)
Post: #13
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves [UPDATE]
(04-29-2009 10:38 AM)Gravityz Wrote:  i trhink you got bullshitted by WD

they also told me there was no such utility as the wdidle3.exe

i have the WD10eads and i was able to change the time to 25 seconds(or disable it)

the tool is rather old and was made for older discs

the wdidle command is embedded in the rom of the wd10eads and probably also in the WD15 types

i guess better save than sorry but please do not believe a word WD is telling you. if it is not in their supported list they just ignore everything.

Thank you. I asked for such a reply in another thread:
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/showth...#pid181749

Look at this great initiative: [ 3.5" WD Green or any make 2.5" SATA Smart status only]
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/showth...?tid=21512
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06-14-2009, 05:32 PM
Post: #14
RE: WARNING: WD Green Power drives may kill themselves [UPDATE]
I have bought, unknowingly of this particular problem, a WD10EADS 1.0tb hard drive and I'm having this issue.

"/share/hdparm -B 255 /dev/hda"

I tried to set the power management setting, just as mar_tin suggested ( and I've read about it elsewhere too ) but it won't work with desktop versions of WD drives. The utility reports a read/write error.

It's impossible to alter the 8 seconds auto-park feature on the WD10EADS, AFAIK. The PCH seems to be polling the drive at an interval of around 10 seconds, so the hard drive is constantly parking/unparking itself. I have resigned to remove the hard drive from my PCH and will find it another usage.
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