How to slow down the Load/Unload Cycles?

I was told that the WD Green Caviar has a very high “Load/Unload Cycles”, which will shorten its life. Is that true?

Are there any remedies?

It depends on the type of system using the drive.

You can use wdidle3.exe to either increase the timeout value (all my greens were set to 8 seconds by default) or disable head parking completely. It’s explained in detail in this  StorageReview article. I’ve used the utility myself on a 1,5 and 2,0 TB Green drive and can confirm it works.

Do note that Western Digital explicitely states the wdidle3.exe utility is not to be used on other drives to the ones listed on the wdidle3 download page.

If not, which one is for WD20EARX? I want to prolong its time before failing. According to the website, the Load/Unload Cycles of WD20EARX is 300,000. Let’s say, if its default timing is 8 seconds and cycles is 300,000, its life spanning should be 300,000 X 8 / 60 / 60 = 666.66 hours. If it is operated 4 hours per days, then the drive will probably fail within half year.

Yes it is a ‘one fit for all’ program, the utility will likely work fine on the WD20EARX as stated in that article.

WD just recommends against using the utility on models not listed on the download page. There is no other utility for other drives however and many others and I used it without problems on pretty much any WD green.

I do not know why they recommend against trying it on other drives which is why I just repeated the warning here. If something goes wrong (dead firmware?) you’ve likely voided your warranty. I’d also make a backup just in case.

Just FYI and in case someone already having a high load cycle count visits this page:

Note that the 300 000 or whatever number specified is the minimum the drive is guaranteed to survive. It won’t magically break down after it and I’ve seen drives that survived counts well over their specification without problems.

Heres a 2.5" drive with over 8 million (!!!) cycles on it (I believe it is rated for 300 000). As you can see it’s still working without problems:

(right click image -> open in new window for full size)