ED20EARS wont spin down

Hi, I have an WD20EARS Caviar Green attached to USB of my HTPC. AFAIK the drives firmware should spin down after a certain time of inactivity? This never happens. Even when I turn of the HTPC and there is not possibly any more data transfer, the HDD would keep spining and spinning, all night.

I was thinking about using wdidle3 to check and fix idle settings of my hard disk but the description says it is not for WD20EARS:



  1. Is it correct, that the WD20EARS firmware is capable of spinning down?

  2. Can I safly use wdidle3 for my HDD

  3. Any other Ideas why the HDD keeps spinning forever?

Indeed the drive should spin down after a few minutes of inactivity. Why is not happening to your drive I don’t know, but I suggest you to access your computer configuration to verify the hard drive power settings.

In the other hand if the application is not compatible with your drive, I won’t use it.

As I mentioned, the HDD is attached via USB. So there is no system configuration for spin down.

What I want to know is if the drive can spin down by itself when my PC dosent access it. Are there any tools to configure the spin down time for wd20ears

Does the drive spin up and remain spinning if you disconnect its data cable? If not, then it may be that the bridge firmware in the enclosure is keeping the drive awake.

I have disconnected the data cable and left only the power cable connected. Waited for over an hour now and it keeps spinning. Is this an issue with the drives firmware? Should I upgrade?

Your testing would suggest that APM may be disabled in your model. In fact, a little Googling confirms that certain firmware versions do not support APM.

A utility such as HD Sentinel or HDDScan should display the APM settings.

WD’s WDIDLE3 utility may also display the current IDLE3 timer setting, although the tool may not be able to change it (I wouldn’t attempt to use WDIDLE3 to change the setting without researching other people’e experiences beforehand).

Well, ive checked power management settings with HDDScan and it was disabled.

I can use HDDScan to manually command the spindle to spin down and up. Also I can set a timeout for automatic spindown. But once the HDD is powered down, it forgets about the spindown settings.

Ive found via google that other people experienced the issue of forgetting the power settings. What can I do to fix that?

One solution is to have HDDScan automatically start at every boot with a command line that sets the APM level.

Perhaps a better solution would be to automatically launch hdparm at every boot. Hdparm executes and terminates, leaving no impact on system resources. It is a Linux tool, but it has also been ported to Windows.