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Occasional Collector
R37ribution
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-29-2009
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WD6400BEVT power modes and issues with a RAID mirror

I have two 2.5" 640GB hard drives connected to a Silicon Image 5744 controller which I am using to mirror them. When I stream audio or video off these drives the chip alternates the drive its streaming from (i.e. it streams from one for a certain length of time and then streams from the other for a while). The problem is that the drive it switches to has idled for some time (i.e. no activity on the access LED for ~30 seconds) and by the time the chip goes to stream from the other drive it has spun down or entered one of the three power save modes that I found these drives have from reading the doc below.

 

http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=2670

 

Is there a way to disable the power save mode? Does anyone know how long the drive must be idle before it enters each of the three power save states?

Occasional Collector
R37ribution
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-29-2009
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Re: WD6400BEVT power modes and issues with a RAID mirror

I've read around a little bit in the various parts of the support site and found that some of the drives have an Idle Mode Update Utility that "modifies the behavior of the drive to wait longer before positioning the heads in their park position and turning off unnecessary electronics."

 

Is there some sort of utility for the Scorpio series that I can change these same values with? Will this utility work on my drive?

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Zoidberg
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-13-2010
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Re: WD6400BEVT power modes and issues with a RAID mirror

I don't use the 640GB Scorpio in a RAID, but I've installed it in my Macbook Pro and it is always spinning up and down.

I've set system  power preferences to never let the hd sleep, but this drive just ignores it.

Occasional Collector
R37ribution
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-29-2009
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Re: WD6400BEVT power modes and issues with a RAID mirror

[ Edited ]

That's exactly what I'm talking about.

 

I contacted support who eventually escalated me to "level two support", this person was from the USA. He said these drives weren't designed to work in RAID applications and that there wasn't a firmware update tool for them. He asked me to contact the manufacturer of the enclosure and inquire about power mangement settings which there are none.

 

I did some more digging on the SiI5744 processor and found that it has RAID 1 drive racing incorporated into its design. This feature "enabl[es] the quickest drive to produce sought-after data". I'm guessing this has something to do with one of the drives going idle for an unspecified length of time resulting in the drive enabling its power save "feature". Now I imagin the processor periodically checks the other inactive drive to see if it can access the data faster while streaming data. Perhaps when the processor doesn't receive the requested data in a timely manor (needed to compair it with the other drive) it hangs? This is all speculation. The fact remains that when I remove one drive and put the array in a critical state there is no problem with the drive spinning down while streaming data.

 

I partially accepted the fact that these drives are useless to me and I'll have to go buy two new 500 GB ones of a different brand. Zoidberg, your reply stating that they are ignoring your power mangement settings in your laptop seems to only confirm my thoughts. I am disregarding the comment that "these drives weren't designed for RAID applications" after I checked the compatibility chart for the Scorpio Blue drives:

http://www.wdc.com/en/library/sata/2579-701239.pdf?wdc_lang=en

 

This chart shows MANY RAID controllers from multiple manufacturers (including Silicon Image) that these drives have been "tested" with. I did notice that the drive models do not include my specific model (they have a WD6400AAKS listed) but this is the PDF that opened when I clicked on the "compatibility" link under the Scorpio Blue support section!

 

I've always veered away from WD products because of the number of failed drives I've seen and the reviews on new egg about quality control issues WD has with their products. I saw how large this drive was and the price and just figured I'd give WD one last chance. Wow what a $240 mistake will teach you. I work for Comcast and use to repair computers for a living, I'm still good friends with the owner and know a lot of people where I work. I will most definately be telling everyone to stay away from this company. I should have went with the Seagate laptop drives that the servers in our Headends use.

Occasional Collector
R37ribution
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-29-2009
0

Re: WD6400BEVT power modes and issues with a RAID mirror

Well, I found a utility to adjust the idle3 timeout value on these hard drives. its adjustable from 100ms to 25,500ms. The default value on both of my drives ware 4,000ms!! I just disabled the timeout. I'll see how it runs. if anyone wants to look for the Western Digital utility (not supported by WD) just google wdidle3.exe

 

I'm not sure if the results are going to be what I'm looking for but at least its something to try.

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