Disabling idle timer on WDBAAA5000ABK


I need to disable the Idle Timer on my external portable USB drive (details below).

The S.M.A.R.T. ‘Load Cycle Count’ value is over 29,000 (2,752 Power On hours). The value increases after about 10-15 seconds of inactivity. CrystalDiskInfo reports the ‘Advanced Power Management’ (APM) value to be 60h (hex).

I would like to disable the Idle Timer altogether. If that is not possible, even setting it to a higher value (like 5 minutes) will do.

USB Hard Drive     : My Passport Essential 500 GB
Model Number       : WDBAAA5000ABK-PESN
Internal HDD Model : WDC WD5000BMVV-11A1CS0
Firmware           : 01.01A01

I also have a recent WD Elements SE 1 TB external USB portable drive with similar issue. The APM value for this one is 80h. I found a utility (WdIdleDisable_v6.zip) that can disable the Idle Timer on the WD Elements SE (and some other models as well). I haven’t tried it yet as I have to backup the data onto another drive before running this utility.

My question is: How do I disable (or increase the value of) the Idle Timer on the 500 GB My Passport drive above?

My operating system is Windows/DOS (no Linux).

Thank you for your time.


You may disable this using the WD Smartware settings. 

1- Click the Settings tab and Set Up Drive to display the Drive Settings screen.

2- On the Drive Settings screen, click Sleep Timer to display the Set Sleep Timer


3- On the Set Sleep Timer dialog:

a. In the Turn off Drive box, select the inactivity time interval at which you want to
turn off the drive.

b. Click Set Timer.


I followed the procedure you described above.

The Sleep Timer on my Passport drive is currently set to ‘10 minutes’ (this is the lowest permissible value for Sleep Timer). There were other values like 15, 30, 90 minutes and ‘Never’. The current value of 10 minutes is okay.

After reading my initial post again, it seems I was confused. I mixed up between ‘the hard disk idling (spinning down) due to inactivity’  and  ’ the drive heads parking to rest position few seconds after a read/write operation’.

Here is what I am trying to achieve:
1> I want to DISABLE the ‘head parking feature’ on both these drives. This is what is causing the ‘Load Cycle Count’ value to increment by 1 after about 10-15 sesconds. If disabling is not possible, I want to set the duration to a higher value (like 5 minutes) before the heads park.

2> I want both my external USB drives to spin down (i.e. enter ‘Idle’ mode) after 10 minutes of inactivity. This is where the drive stops spinning (or slows down) when it is not accessed for some time.

My primary goal is to prevent the head from parking on both drives. This feature is built into WD Green desktop drives where the drive head parks every 8 seconds and also in the 2.5 inch laptop drives.

As for 2> above, I think the spin down time (Sleep Timer) on both drives is more than 5 minutes. So, that is not a major issue. Sleep timer on the Passport drive is 10 minutes. I don’t know how much it is for the Elements drive.

I mentioned the ‘WdIdleDisable_v6’ utility for disabling the Idle Timer on the Elements drive. There is no README file provided with it. All I know is that it disables the Idle Timer. It is now my understanding that this utility prevents the Elements drive from spinning down ever. I don’t think I need to use it. I was under the impression that this utility will get rid of the head parking feature. There is the ‘wdidle3’ utility for WD Green drives that allows setting the head-parking time to more than 8 seconds or even disable it. Because of the similar names (wdidle), I thought ‘WdIdleDisable_v6’ will fix the head parking feature in the Elements drive. I think it won’t.

So, now my quesion is: How do I get rid of the head parking feature on the two external USB drives below.

The drive spin-down (drive idling) is not a major issue at this time. Anything above 5 minutes works for me.

USB Hard Drive     : WD My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 2.0 external PORTABLE
Model Number       : WDBAAA5000ABK-PESN
Internal HDD Model : WDC WD5000BMVV-11A1CS0
Firmware           : 01.01A01
Manufacture Date   : March 2010

USB Hard Drive     : WD Elements SE 1 TB USB 3.0 external PORTABLE
Model Number       : WDBPCK0010BBK-EESN
Internal HDD Model : WDC WD10JMVW-11S5XS0
Firmware           : 01.01A01
Manufacture Date   : December 2012

Thank you and sorry for the confusion.