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Hacking WD Greens (and Reds) with WDIDLE3.exe

Ericloewe

Not-very-passive-but-aggressive
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Feb 15, 2014
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Probably nonsense, could be a firmware bug in a specific model.
 

joeschmuck

Old Man
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May 28, 2011
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Somebody has posted on a YouTube video saying that the wdidle3 /d command doesn't disable head parking, just the timer, so it actually parks the heads immediately after read/writing.

I'm going to assume that person is completely misinformed? I've had the timers disabled on 4 2TB Blue drives and the load/unload cycle count has barely changed in months. Wouldn't my load/unload cycle count be massive if it were parking immediately?

Pretty sure it's complete nonsense, but just wanted to be sure.
That is fake news!

If the hard drive does respond to the command and the timer is disabled then the heads will load upon spinup of the platters once a specific rotational speed has been achieved. The heads will remain loaded on the spinning platters until the drive is sent a command to park the heads or the drive power is removed.
load/unload cycle would increase much faster.
True statement, the head loading count would increment at the same rate as the power cycles counter assuming the drive is not being commanded to spin down.

So lets say you have a all your hard drives in FreeNAS setup with the head parking timer disabled, but you also have the Advanced Power Management set to a level 127 or less, well then it's very probable that your drives could start parking the heads. We prefer to leave Advanced Power Management set to Disabled. Also, there are some WD laptop drives which while it may state that the timer was disabled, in fact it was not and the drive will park the heads regardless. This is well documented in the forums.

Hope this clears things up.
 

hugovsky

Guru
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
567
That might not be totaly wrong. I've had WD drives that increased head parks by the thousands in a few minutes after using /d parameter. They started to behave as soon as I rebooted tho.


EDIT: @joeschmuck beat me to it. THIS: "
True statement, the head loading count would increment at the same rate as the power cycles counter assuming the drive is not being commanded to spin down.

So lets say you have a all your hard drives in FreeNAS setup with the head parking timer disabled, but you also have the Advanced Power Management set to a level 127 or less, well then it's very probable that your drives could start parking the heads. We prefer to leave Advanced Power Management set to Disabled"
 
Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
837
That might not be totaly wrong. I've had WD drives that increased head parks by the thousands in a few minutes after using /d parameter. They started to behave as soon as I rebooted tho.

This happens if you just reboot after running wdidle, you need to power cycle the drive.
 

Sonik

Dabbler
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
21
Thanks guys, very informative. When I read the post I had a feeling it was wrong, or my LCC would be sky-high.

Sorry to sound like a total noob, but the heads do still park when the drives are powered down even with the timer disabled? Are those two commands still independent of each other? I assume it would completely disastrous to keep the heads on the platter whilst powered down.
 

Pitts

Cadet
Joined
Nov 30, 2013
Messages
4
God I wish I knew this before, my numbers are insane ...
I just lost 2 drives at a time while changing case, maybe they were on the brink of failure and that just killed them ...
Anyway seeing the numbers, that may mean that I should shop new drives ... and pray they don't fail while resilvering

Code:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME		  FLAG	 VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE	  UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate	 0x002f   200   200   051	Pre-fail  Always	   -	   0
  3 Spin_Up_Time			0x0027   182   175   021	Pre-fail  Always	   -	   5866
  4 Start_Stop_Count		0x0032   100   100   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   95
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   200   200   140	Pre-fail  Always	   -	   0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate		 0x002e   200   200   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   0
  9 Power_On_Hours		  0x0032   057   057   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   31642
 10 Spin_Retry_Count		0x0032   100   253   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   0
 11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0032   100   253   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count	   0x0032   100   100   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   95
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   200   200   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   37
193 Load_Cycle_Count		0x0032   001   001   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   966909
194 Temperature_Celsius	 0x0022   111   110   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   39
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   200   200   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   0
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   200   200   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0030   100   253   000	Old_age   Offline	  -	   0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count	0x0032   200   200   000	Old_age   Always	   -	   0
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate   0x0008   200   200   000	Old_age   Offline	  -	   0


Isn't it absurdly high given they are WD red ?
 

pro lamer

Guru
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
626
*NOTE*: Some of this info applies to WD Reds. So if you have WD Reds you may want to read this and see if this applies to you.
TL;DR - does it still apply? I have 2 WD Red 6TB Nasware 3.0 (non-pro) HDDs.

The 2 TBs are thinner (7 or 9mm IIRC).

And not very expensive - one may buy 6x2TB RAIDZ2 cheaper than 2x8TB mirrored (it may be obvious though).

OT/BTW: Is the following worth thinking: 6 2,5" HDDs in caddies like this: 4 bay IcyDock ExpressCage for a 5,25" bay or a 6 bay version? Are they noisy? (correct me if I should have posted it somewhere else please, I am new to forums in general)
 

Sonik

Dabbler
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Sep 30, 2014
Messages
21
Just a quick update. Bought 2 new 1TB 7200RPM WD Blues. They come with new v2 firmware and even these now have a 5min head park timer set.

All previous 1TB 7200RPM Blue drives I'd bought came with v1 firmware and no head parking. So WD has clearly altered all their Blues to now have head parking.

Anyway, successfully disabled on both with no bad effects and drives still running okay.
 
Last edited:

agisthos

Cadet
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
1
Last year I purchased 4x 8TB WD RED drives for my NAS and was very disappointed to find that head parking could not be disabled.

But today I purchased a new 6TB WD RED (July 2018 build date) and wdidle3 worked fine. I use Ultimate Boot CD, with only the one drive connected.

So for RED drives at least, it seems 6TB size and under can be disabled. Don't know about Purple or Blue...
 

Bidule0hm

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Aug 5, 2013
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With Reds you don't need to disable it anyway.
 

Ericloewe

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Yeah, absolute worst case is 5.7 years uptime to reach the 600 000 LCC spec.
 

Bidule0hm

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Yep, my drives are almost at 4 years of use and the max LCC is 208 so it's not a problem at all.
 

John Doe

Guru
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Aug 16, 2011
Messages
586
Hi guys,
Just joined the community to thank the OP for his help.
I did this to two brand new greens. The thing is that after I did it I tried the /R switch to double check, but the command halts at Configure Idle3.
It does the same for both drives. Any ideas why?
Thanks

"Configure Idle3." (machine HALTED, no joy)
I had this same problem: booted to USB drive made, I could run >WDIDLE3.exe /D , which would apparently work (no complaint), but any other cmd (WDIDLE3.exe /S<value> or WDIDLE3.exe /R or anything else no param or mistake/non-sense) would give this and halt indefinitely, had to reboot, appeared hdd value not modified.

SOLN: I went into BIOS and (temp) set the SATA mode from AHCI to IDE, then booted back to USB, was able to run WDIDLE3.exe as expected, for me I set timer to /300 (5min), confirmed value set (reported back by WDIDLE.exe /R)
..of course put BIOS back to AHCI after, so my installed OS would read-load.

Cheers!

RUNNING: HP desktop c.2010, AMD chipset incl SATA controller, WD Green WD15EARS, wdidle3v1.05 on Rufus-made bootable USB flash drive w 'freeDOS' + fat32
 

EvanVanVan

Contributor
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Feb 1, 2014
Messages
187
Is this (still) necessary on shucked easystore *White* label drives? (Which most believe to be just relabled Red drives.)

Thank you
 

:))

Cadet
Joined
Apr 11, 2019
Messages
1
Thx for sharing this.
Look the difference between my wd green and the wd black.
WD Green 4 TB.png green <-> black WD Black 1 TB.png
 

joeschmuck

Old Man
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May 28, 2011
Messages
9,348
Thx for sharing this.
Look the difference between my wd green and the wd black.
View attachment 30016 green <-> black View attachment 30017
OUCH! The green drive is having power cycled on it an average of 5.2 times a day, the black drive is just over 4 times a day. But to address the reason of your posting, the black drive is likely being woke up every 5 minutes due to some maintenance activity (you probably have your Dataset on that drive or are using SWAP on that drive or both. Then after a minute or so the drive sleeps again. The cycle repeats forever. Your green drive looks like it sleeps a lot, just over 5 times a day and thus causing your counts to go up, but the headload count is not the issue, the drive power cycling is of concern. I know you didn't ask for any advice but that is what happens when you post to an active thread.
 

pro lamer

Guru
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Feb 16, 2018
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626
black drive is likely being woke up every 5 minutes due to some maintenance activity (you probably have your Dataset on that drive or are using SWAP on that drive or both. Then after a minute or so the drive sleeps again. The cycle repeats forever. Your green drive looks like it sleeps a lot, just over 5 times
Isn't it the opposite here?

Sent from my phone
 

joeschmuck

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