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Hacking WD Greens (and Reds) with WDIDLE3.exe

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE

Krautmaster

Explorer
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
57
Dear all, currently im trying to rebuild my homeserver rig to have a more energy saving environment.
Its a Xeon D Board with a 16x LSI onboard. ESXI and im passing that LSI 2116 to my Freenas VM.

There are 6x 4TB WD Green inside, I want them to go sleeping if no activity on disk. (the disks where sleeping fine with the LSI 9280 i8 I also have)

Code:
xigmanas: /home# camcontrol identify da2
pass3: <WDC WD40EZRX-00SPEB0 80.00A80> ACS-2 ATA SATA 3.x device
pass3: 600.000MB/s transfers, Command Queueing Enabled

protocol              ATA/ATAPI-9 SATA 3.x
device model          WDC WD40EZRX-00SPEB0
firmware revision     80.00A80
serial number         WD-WCC4E6HS7PKU
WWN                   50014ee20b6d870e
cylinders             16383
heads                 16
sectors/track         63
sector size           logical 512, physical 4096, offset 0
LBA supported         268435455 sectors
LBA48 supported       7814037168 sectors
PIO supported         PIO4
DMA supported         WDMA2 UDMA6
media RPM             5400
Zoned-Device Commands no

Feature                      Support  Enabled   Value           Vendor
read ahead                     yes      yes
write cache                    yes      yes
flush cache                    yes      yes
overlap                        no
Tagged Command Queuing (TCQ)   no       no
Native Command Queuing (NCQ)   yes              32 tags
NCQ Queue Management           no
NCQ Streaming                  no
Receive & Send FPDMA Queued    no
SMART                          yes      yes
microcode download             yes      yes
security                       yes      no
power management               yes      yes
advanced power management      no       no
automatic acoustic management  no       no
media status notification      no       no
power-up in Standby            yes      no
write-read-verify              no       no
unload                         no       no
general purpose logging        yes      yes
free-fall                      no       no
Data Set Management (DSM/TRIM) no
Host Protected Area (HPA)      yes      no      7814037168/7814037168
HPA - Security                 no


My personal goal is to have all VMs running on a 512 GB NVME disk and to have a 6x4TB RaidZ1 + 2 TB Cache via SSD. I want my disks to spin down - and that is the problem. Whatever i try to do, thy dont fell asleep.

With xigamanas it seem slike i could put them manually down by

Code:
xigmanas: ~# camcontrol standby da4 -t 10
xigmanas: ~# camcontrol standby da5 -t 10
xigmanas: ~# camcontrol standby da6 -t 10
xigmanas: ~# camcontrol standby da7 -t 10


but no matter what I configure in the Webclient, the disks stay up. There cant be really disk access, as they stay completely unconfigured during time of testing.

I tried 5 min of idle timeout, 127 power level, and i set SMART monitoring to standby. Disk will not stop at all - but anyhow manually with that command above.
In freenas its slightly different.

If I try ataidle i get this:

Code:
root@freenas[~]# ataidle -i /dev/da1
root@freenas[~]# ataidle -i /dev/da2
root@freenas[~]# ataidle -s /dev/da2
root@freenas[~]# ataidle -o /dev/da2
ataidle: the device does not support power management
root@freenas[~]# /bin/bash /bin/spindown/spindown.sh
How many minutes do you want between spin checks?
1
Monday, Jul 15
  pass0   pass1   pass2   pass3   pass4   pass5   pass6   pass7   pass8   Tmax Tmean
02:45:50  Spin    /bin/spindown/spindown.sh: line 85: let: Tsum=0+: syntax error: operand expected (error token is "+")
Spin    /bin/spindown/spindown.sh: line 85: let: Tsum=0+: syntax error: operand expected (error token is "+")
Spin    /bin/spindown/spindown.sh: line 85: let: Tsum=0+: syntax error: operand expected (error token is "+")
Spin 39 Spin 38 Spin 37 Spin 38 Spin 40 Spin 37 ^40  25.44  ERRc= -8.13
02:46:51  Spin    /bin/spindown/spindown.sh: line 85: let: Tsum=0+: syntax error: operand expected (error token is "+")
Spin    /bin/spindown/spindown.sh: line 85: let: Tsum=0+: syntax error: operand expected (error token is "+")
Spin    /bin/spindown/spindown.sh: line 85: let: Tsum=0+: syntax error: operand expected (error token is "+")
Spin 39 Spin 38 Spin 37 Spin 38 Spin 40 Spin 37 ^40  25.44  ERRc= -8.13


I cant really remember if i used wdidle to disable anything some years back, but i can hardly imagine that this causes my issue.

Any ideas how to get the atadile running like it should?

First thing I will do at home is to check the jumper as i saw this:
https://support-en.wd.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/20944

Someone experience with that?

Thanks for your help.
 

das1996

Dabbler
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
14
I have a wd60ezrz from ~2017 that will not respond to wdidle3 or the idl3ctl commands. Both return a VSC error. I've tried this on newer and old pc's, set as IDE. Oldest being from 2009.

Any other tools that work to disable the head parking?
 

maxxim

Cadet
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
Messages
2
There seems to be yet another tool from WD: wd5746. It seems to be an updated version of wd5741:

Code:
c:\>wd5741.exe /?

WD5741 Version 1
Update Drive
Copyright (C) 2013 Western Digital Corporation

Syntax:
WD5741 [-d?] [-dn] [-dall] [-s] [-bn] [-?]
where
-s          Stop updating on first failure
-bn         Set maximum bytes per command (default=512)
-d?         List available drives
-dn         Update the specified drive
-dall       Update all applicable drives

-?          This help message

c:\>wd5746_win.exe /?

WD5746 Version 3
Update Drive
Copyright (C) 2014 Western Digital Corporation

Syntax:
WD5746 [-d?] [-dn] [-dall] [-s] [-bn] [-?]
where
-s          Stop updating on first failure
-bn         Set maximum bytes per command (default=512)
-d?         List available drives
-dn         Update the specified drive
-dall       Update all applicable drives

-?          This help message


Here's where I found it:
https://support-en.wd.com/app/products/product-detail/p/302#WD_downloads -> WD Red SMART load/Unload utility 2.5" Drive

Also, @cyberjock, you could add some more download links (directly from WD servers):

Sadly, I was unable to determine direct download links for wd5746 Linux binaries. But in this forum post, someone provides Linux binaries that he received from WD support (at least that's what he claims).
 

sretalla

Hall of Famer
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
6,811
Also, @cyberjock, you could add some more download links (directly from WD servers):
The original post is from 6 years ago and Cyberjock hasn't been seen here for at least 2 or maybe more years. Don't expect a response.
 

maxxim

Cadet
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
Messages
2
The original post is from 6 years ago and Cyberjock hasn't been seen here for at least 2 or maybe more years. Don't expect a response.
You're right, it says 'inactive account' when you click on @cyberjock. Well, maybe a moderator can update the original post - this topic is still relevant in 2020.
 

sremick

Patron
Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
319
The original post is from 6 years ago and Cyberjock hasn't been seen here for at least 2 or maybe more years. Don't expect a response.
I wonder what happened to him. With almost 20K posts he was one of the most active users.
 

Sonik

Dabbler
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
21
Just reporting wdidle3 is still working for me in 2020. I have to run wdidle3 from an old low spec Acer PC from 2007 with the traditional BIOS. Tried it on my newest build and even with BIOS set to CSM and SATA mode set to IDE it doesn't work.
Works every time on the ACER PC though, I keep it lying around just for times like these. Bought a few more new WD20EZRZ drives direct from WD and was able to change the head parking timer to 5 minutes on all of them.
 

das1996

Dabbler
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
14
^^Try that on a newer drive, something from the last few years.. it's not likely to work, even on an old pc.
 

G8One2

Patron
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
Messages
242
^^Try that on a newer drive, something from the last few years.. it's not likely to work, even on an old pc.

I tried it on a few WD Blues to no avail. I suspect something has changed in the newer drives. I don't even bother buying anything but NAS drives anymore these days.
 

Sonik

Dabbler
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
21
^^Try that on a newer drive, something from the last few years.. it's not likely to work, even on an old pc.
Not sure about every drive, but just changed the head parking to 300 seconds again on 2 WD40EZRZ drives. Both manufactured in March 2021.
Changed without issues. So it still works for me.

Plus the drives I changed it on from the previous post were all manufactured in 2020. Worked on all 4 of the ones I bought.
All of them have the firmware 80.00A80 (not sure whether that makes a difference though?). And I've also changed it on numerous WD10EZEX 7200rpm drives and never had an issue changing them. Always works first time on my old 2007 Acer PC. That's the only reason I keep the PC lying around to be honest!
 
Last edited:

Trueguy

Cadet
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
4
Hello all!

I would like to use wdidle3 on my WD Green 500 GB HDD with WDC WD5000AZRX-00A8LB0 firmware.

But I am not sure if it would work for me,I am afraid of bricking the drive :(

Has anyone owning a HDD with the same firmware tried it if it would work?

Please tell me.
 

joeschmuck

Old Man
Moderator
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
9,286
Hello all!

I would like to use wdidle3 on my WD Green 500 GB HDD with WDC WD5000AZRX-00A8LB0 firmware.

But I am not sure if it would work for me,I am afraid of bricking the drive :(

Has anyone owning a HDD with the same firmware tried it if it would work?

Please tell me.
The software is very reliable and I've never heard of it bricking a single drive (not that I'm all knowing).

One question I would ask you, are you noticing that the drive is parking the heads too frequently and the head parking count is going up crazy fast? I'm just asking if you actually have a problem or you saw this tool to mitigate head parking and wanted to try it. Or in other words, if you do not have a real problem, don't do it.
 

Trueguy

Cadet
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
4
The software is very reliable and I've never heard of it bricking a single drive (not that I'm all knowing).

One question I would ask you, are you noticing that the drive is parking the heads too frequently and the head parking count is going up crazy fast? I'm just asking if you actually have a problem or you saw this tool to mitigate head parking and wanted to try it. Or in other words, if you do not have a real problem, don't do it.
Thank you for replying!
My drive is a bit old,so I would like to increase its lifespan.
That's all.
 

Trueguy

Cadet
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
4
I've heard that with delaying the time of the HDD heads parking,could prolong its lifespan.
 

joeschmuck

Old Man
Moderator
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
9,286
I've heard that with delaying the time of the HDD heads parking,could prolong its lifespan.
Yes and No. The main reason to change the head parking timer is to minimize the constant head loading that you are apt to experience when using the hard drives in a NAS appliance. If the heads park after 5 seconds of no use and then the drive is asked for data every 10 seconds, well the heads will load again and then parkagain 5 seconds after the last data was requested. Some drives have fast default timers, some do not. the fact of loading and unloading the heads so frequently can cause wear. Some drives have a limit in the warranty for how many head load operations are allowed. My old WD Red drives I disabled the head parking timer so the heads would remain loaded when the drive was powered on. A hard drive tends to last longer while running 24x7 and the heads loading is minimized.

So you would need to know what your hard drives are doing by looking at the SMART attributes, also if you are sleeping the drives often, this pretty much negates most of the positive effects from changing the parking timer.

Will it prolong your hard drive life? Look at your SMART data to see what it says and ensure you are running SMART Long/Extended Tests often.

Good Luck.
 

Trueguy

Cadet
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
4
Yes and No. The main reason to change the head parking timer is to minimize the constant head loading that you are apt to experience when using the hard drives in a NAS appliance. If the heads park after 5 seconds of no use and then the drive is asked for data every 10 seconds, well the heads will load again and then parkagain 5 seconds after the last data was requested. Some drives have fast default timers, some do not. the fact of loading and unloading the heads so frequently can cause wear. Some drives have a limit in the warranty for how many head load operations are allowed. My old WD Red drives I disabled the head parking timer so the heads would remain loaded when the drive was powered on. A hard drive tends to last longer while running 24x7 and the heads loading is minimized.

So you would need to know what your hard drives are doing by looking at the SMART attributes, also if you are sleeping the drives often, this pretty much negates most of the positive effects from changing the parking timer.

Will it prolong your hard drive life? Look at your SMART data to see what it says and ensure you are running SMART Long/Extended Tests often.

Good Luck.
Thank you very much!
 
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