[mythtv-users] warning for anyone with western digital green drives

Ronald Frazier ron at ronfrazier.net
Thu Jan 5 16:47:14 UTC 2012

Recently I got to poking around at the SMART data for all of my
drives. When I did, I noticed that one of my media drives...a 2TB
western digital green drive...had an interesting looking number for
one of it's parameters. The parameter was "Load Cycle Count" and the
value was over 500,000. I looked into it, and this value represents
the number of times the heads have been unloaded on the drive.
Apparently, in an effort to conserve power, the green drives are
exceptionally aggressive at this, unloading the heads after just 8
seconds of idle time. Over the 1.5 years I had this drive, that count
had reached over 500k. The alarming thing is that these drives are
only rated to handle 300k load cycles.

Apparently this is a very common problem noted by many linux users
with these drives. The way to solve this problem is download the
wdidle3 utility (you must boot into DOS to run it) and use it to
either disable the feature or set the timeout to a larger value.

Ron Frazier

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