[Bug 59695] Re: High frequency of load/unload cycles on some hard disks may shorten lifetime

Igor Nikolic i.nikolic at tudelft.nl
Wed Apr 16 19:50:23 UTC 2008

As a reply to myself at : https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/acpi-support/+bug/59695/comments/431
WD got back to me with this reply :

Dear Igor,

Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and Support.

The drives have a minimum life of 600K cycles. There is a utility that
you can run to alter to a max of 25 seconds, or disable the load/unload
cycles the drive performs. It is recommended to alter the load/unload
cycles rather than a complete disable.

Please see the attached file.

Michelle D.
Western Digital Service and Support

On their support site I found a program called wdidle3.exe.
The accompanying wdidle3..txt says :

WDIDLE3 Version 1.00 for DOS


- DOS Level utility to setup or report the idle3 value.


- Scan for all drives. Non-WD Drives shall only show the model and


- Uses a Vendor Specific Command to set or get the idle3 timer.

- Timer can be set from 100 ms to 25.5 seconds, in 100ms increments.


WDIDLE3 [/S[<Timer>]] [/D] [/R] [/?]


/S[<Timer>] Set timer, units in 100 milliseconds (1 to 255). Default=80.

/D          Disable timer.

/R          Report current timer.

/?          This help info.


0     No error

1     Drive problem

254   Internal program error

255   Invalid command line argument

Since I do not have a floppy drive on this machine, and after a few
hours of  unsuccessful fiddling with FreeDos booting from a USB drive, I
still have no idea if this helps.

But there is an interesting  stuff in the text file. The default is 80,
so 8 seconds. That would mean that the drive is sent to park every 8
seconds? The other weird thing is that the maximum is 25 seconds. That
would be worse then the number of parks right now. Or am I reading this
wrong ?

Anyway, I hope somebody finds this info useful. If not, sorry for


High frequency of load/unload cycles on some hard disks may shorten lifetime
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