Originally Posted by Regeneration;104756
It has come to our attention that Western Digital's Caviar Green HDDs suffer from a critical design flaw caused by an aggressive power-saving feature. Western Digital has developed a new technology called Intellipark (aka Idle 3 mode) and it is designed to reduce power consumption, in part by positioning the HDD's heads in a park position and turning off unnecessary electronics after 8 seconds of inactivity.
According to an in-house investigation and [ub]user reports'[/ub]
, some software and operating systems are incompatible with the Intellipark feature causing endless head parking movement as the HDD continuously goes in/out of idle mode. This abnormal behavior creates stress on the HDD and that could lead to the following issues:
• Loud clunking/clicking/buzzing noises every few seconds.
• Artificially increases the number of load-unload cycles in S.M.A.R.T.
• Possibly shortens life-time of the HDD.
• Possibly reduces performance of the HDD.
Western Digital posted a [ub]knowledge base article[/ub]
, where it claims that "The number of systems using such applications and utilities is limited", a statement which we believe is false and inaccurate. Sending an HDD to idle mode only after 8 seconds of activity is abnormal behavior, which much software doesn't like as they are constantly writing and reading data to/from the HDD.
According to Western Digital, the following models are affected: WD20EADS, WD20EARS, WD15EADS, WD15EARS, WD10EADS, WD10EARS, WD8000AARS, WD7500AADS, WD7500AARS, WD6400AADS, WD6400AARS, WD5000AADS, WD5000AARS, WD1000FYPS, WD7500AYPS and WD7501AYPS.
Western Digital has released a DOS-based utility to modify the behavior of the HDD to wait longer before invoking idle mode. However, since most of their latest HDDs still ship with the default setting of 8 seconds, we strongly recommend users with affected HDDs to use the utility and monitor S.M.A.R.T data immediately (we recommend using [ub]CrystalDiskInfo[/ub]
for this task).How to Adjust Intellipark's Timer
1. Download the [ub]WDIDLE3 ISO image[/ub]
and burn it to a CD/DVD.
2. Ensure that your SATA controller is set to IDE mode from the BIOS.
3. Boot from the CD/DVD, it should take you into DOS.
4. In DOS prompt, type: "wdidle3 /S300" to change the default timer from 8 seconds to 300 seconds (5 minutes).
5. In DOS prompt, type: "wdidle3 /R" to verify the results.
We appreciate Western Digital's efforts to conserve energy and protect the environment, but the 8-second-overkill Intellipark feature could lead to opposite results as more HDDs will be produced to replace defective ones. We sent an email to Western Digital with a link to this article asking for a comment on this matter. We will update this story as soon when we hear back from them.Update #1:
Daniel Mauerhofer, Head of EMEA PR in Western Digital has [ub]commented on this article[/ub]
. "This issue is far from critical, does not impair normal functionality or place data at risk, can be mitigated with a utility for the small percentage of systems affected, and is a well understood industry standard."Update #2:
A user on Western Digital's forum claims that his [ub]Caviar Black HDD is affected[/ub]
as well. "WD2001FASS parks heads after 12.8 seconds. It will eventually kill itself doing this. I was getting around 1400 Load Cycle Count a day due it parking and waking up constantly."