Western Digital Caviar Green

Apparently most (all?) of WD's Green drives have a technology (intelliseek?) that suspends the heads after 8 seconds of inactivity. This is normally not a problem and something you can adjust with hdparm, however this is not possible, at least not with the two drives I have.

Changing APM (Advanced Power Management) is apparently not possible, this is the error i get when trying to change it on my WDC WD20EARX:

$ sudo hdparm -B 255 /dev/sdb

 setting Advanced Power Management level to disabled
 HDIO_DRIVE_CMD failed: Input/output error
 APM_level = not supported

When I try to change the timeout value, hdparm reports no errors but the loadcyclecount continues to increase, fast.

$ sudo hdparm -S 0 /dev/sdb

 setting standby to 0 (off)

$ sudo smartctl --all /dev/sdb | grep 193 && sleep 8 && sudo smartctl --all /dev/sdb | grep 193
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   198   198   000    Old_age   Always       -       7945
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   198   198   000    Old_age   Always       -       7946

Because the LoadCycleCount increases we can assume that smartctl wakes up the drive, even though we tried turning of the standby function.

I also tried different values for the standby timeout, 0, 251, 240, 253 (vendor-specific) and 255, nothing stopped the LoadCycleCount from increasing.

The problem with this is that the drive is rated for 300k load cycles, which would mean my drives will fail in under two years (my drive have been powered on for 360 hours, that is 22 load cycles per hour).

Apparently there are tools from WD that might help, however I have not yet tried them. This link describes some ways to fix the issue, but they did not work, as you can see above, it does also link to another page which in turn links to two tools which I might give a try to see what happens.


Here is some links that take up the subject, I have not tried anything posted on any of the links, however that's my intention.