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Thread: Read this thread if you own a Western Digital "Green" HDD.

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    Post Read this thread if you own a Western Digital "Green" HDD.

    Some time ago, I noticed my new netbook's disk regularly lagged when opening tabs on my browser, or playing games (particularly, when Warzone 2100 changed to another music track). These pauses lasted 2-3 seconds and occurred several times a day, which made them highly frustrating. I researched all the possible causes, but no fixes worked until I stumbled upon the following information.

    The "Green" line of drives has an idle timeout (called "Idle3" by Western Digital), which parks their heads when reached. This is supposed to save energy by not making the head work if it's not required. The problem is, said timer is set to a very low value by default, and the head doesn't instantaneously return to operation when work is required once again; there's a delay of a few seconds, which causes the aforementioned freezes. So much zigzagging also wears it out. The disk head becomes a possible point of failure after approximately 600000 parkings, of which an average user burns 40000 a month.

    Unless you leave your computer idle for long periods, or only use your WD drive(s) for data storage, the power saving achieved in this manner is rather negligible, and thus not worth the constant freezing and reduced lifespan.

    You can find many sources for the above information by looking up "Western Digital" plus "idle", "Load Cycle Count" or "APM" in your favorite search engine, including an official support article where the company suggests spacing automated writes to avoid this

    However, there is a solution. According what I've read and then converted into personal experience, there are three possible ways to solve this problem, depending on your model: using an official DOS-based tool to disable Idle3, using several unofficial programs available to disable APM, or both.

    The DOS tool is called WDIDLE3 and can be downloaded here. If you need a FreeDOS disk image with the program included (you can't run it from Windows or DOSBox), to write on a floppy or use with the bootable flashdrive creator of your choice, let me know. Executing WDIDLE3.EXE /R displays the current idle timeout. Using the /D switch turns it off.

    If that's not enough to stop the freezes, you need to also turn off Advanced Power Management. There are many free tools to do that, the easiest I've used being HDDScan. However, there's yet another pitfall. Your particular model might not store the setting permanently, resetting the APM value when power cycled, meaning you'd have to do this after every cold boot. Thankfully, there's a program called quietHDD that stays resident and changes the setting whenever necessary. I personally used a Windows port of hdparm, scheduled to run on startup and whenever the computer resumes from hibernation (that's event ID 1, source Kernel-General, log System).

    After doing all this, the clicks should be gone, and the Load Cycle Count SMART attribute won't go up a few hundred times per day.
    "Come visit sometime, okay? We'll always be here for you. We... we all love you."
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    ozymandis (06.05.15) , starforce (16.11.13) , yoco (17.09.13) , leus (17.09.13) , slikrapid (17.09.13)

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    The disk head becomes a possible point of failure after approximately 600000 parkings, of which an average user burns 40000 a month.
    let me guess, warranty expires after 1 year

    you need to also turn off Advanced Power Management.
    what about the windows option for power settings: 'turn off hard disks', if set to 'never', makes no difference?

    the power saving achieved in this manner is rather negligible, and thus not worth the constant freezing and reduced lifespan.
    interesting definition of 'green', that one


    Parable of the Two Birds

    Two birds, beautiful of wings, close companions, cling to one common tree: of the two one eats the sweet fruit of that tree; the other eats not but watches his companion. The self is the bird that sits immersed on the common tree; but because he is not lord he is bewildered and has sorrow. But when he sees that other who is the Lord and the beloved, he knows that all is His greatness and his sorrow passes away from him...

    ...@ en.wikipedia.org Paramatman

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    ozymandis (06.05.15)

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    Quote Originally Posted by slikrapid View Post
    what about the windows option for power settings: 'turn off hard disks', if set to 'never', makes no difference?
    I'm afraid not. The Windows timeout is different: it spins the disks down instead of merely parking the heads like Idle3 does. I'd recommend disabling that as well, since making the motor start and stop is also harmful (and takes longer).

    interesting definition of 'green', that one


    The idea isn't particularly bad, it's just that the head parking is done more often than it should.
    "Come visit sometime, okay? We'll always be here for you. We... we all love you."
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    Do not buy the green hard disk of Western digital they die fast
    I lost 500 GB of material because of the odd glitch green version of Western Digital
    Too bad I did not see the post before I bought 3 Terra Green
    the slowe end you cenot instol os on this green hd it is green $$hiitttttttt (ops sory)
    Smart court says
    Cheap is expensive
    Last edited by starforce; 13.11.13 at 01:07.
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    anon (13.11.13)

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    Are there also "green" external hdd?
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    Quote Originally Posted by yoco View Post
    Are there also "green" external hdd?
    internal or external dösn't matter. it's the same disk just in a case.
    Your account has been disabled.
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    How do I check if it's green or not?
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    It got Green in its name, written on the Case.
    Last edited by supermarrioh; 13.11.13 at 23:52.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Instab View Post
    internal or external doesn't matter. it's the same disk just in a case.
    Don't forget the USB-to-IDE/SATA bridge. Some are low quality and don't allow you to query SMART values or make changes like turning off APM, which is what this thread is about.

    Quote Originally Posted by yoco View Post
    How do I check if it's green or not?
    If what supermarrioh said isn't an option, you can search the disk's name (as visible in the Device Manager) in your favorite search engine. The specifications should appear.
    "Come visit sometime, okay? We'll always be here for you. We... we all love you."
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    Do not buy the green hard disk of Western digital they die fast
    Blue is what you should be aiming for. They are designed to be used similar to a black WD.

    what about the windows option for power settings: 'turn off hard disks', if set to 'never', makes no difference?
    No. The park timing is located in the drive's firmware and can't be altered by windows.
    What you are referring to is just used to save power at the expense of disk reliability. Think of it like this: HDD will park it's head every x seconds with windows already turning it off/on several times a day, resulting in more head parks... .

    Are there also "green" external hdd?
    Yes. An external is the same as an internal drive. The only difference is the converter, in this case a SATA-USB or SATA-1394(FireWire). What you see is the case (box in which an internal HDD is).

    Here's a nice note I took for myself to remeber what to buy and for what. Maybe it'll help you guys make better decisions.
    Red
    Red is designed for 24/7 operating environment. use it for small office and home use networked attached storage (SOHO NAS).
    Highlights:
    • RPM: 5400
    • Designed for RAID

    Blue
    Blue is designed for solid performance and reliability for everyday computing. Good for desktop PC's and certain industrial applications.
    Notes: For non-intensive disk operations, a blue HDD might perform similar to a black HDD.

    Green
    Green is designed for cool, quiet and eco-friendly. Designed for use in secondary drives in PC's and other applications that needs low noise and heat.
    Highlights:
    • RPM: 5400

    Black
    Black represents maximum performance for power computing. For professionals looking for leading edge performance.
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    My external hdd is called WD My Book 1140 USB Device in my Device Manager. Any idea how to check if it's green?
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    I don't think you can. The only way is either opening the case and take a look inside or getting the serial of the HDD (for instance in HDTune, info tab) and try to search in google.
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    yoco (18.11.13)

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    I downloaded HDTune, and the serial number is WD-WMAZA8571956. But google doesn't find anything!
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    Western Digital Caviar 2 TB,Internal,5400 RPM,3.5" (WD20EARS-00MVWB0)

    If my searching skills haven't failed me, that's the disk inside your case, and yes, it's a green one.
    "Come visit sometime, okay? We'll always be here for you. We... we all love you."
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    How did you find this info?
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