Mkv Random stall fixed - NAS / Green Drives

Have looked through many forum posts but I haven’t seen anyone mention this so I thought I would share my mkv stalling fix.


Originally a two bay Netgear ReadyNAS.

More recently a four bay Netgear ReadyNAS V2+.

2 bay originally fitted with a 1.5TB Western Digital Green Drive.

4 bay then fitted with existing 1.5TB WD Green + 2TB WD Green.


Wired Gigabit.


Absolutely random stalls when playing mkvs. Rarely happened with the two bay but was every 15mins or so with the four bay NAS. Image simply froze. Had to back out to menu then resume was possible.


Western Digital green drives park their heads every 8 seconds. Not all models have this stupid idle timeout but the 1.5TB definitely does. You can inspect the Load Cycle Count (LCC) via SMART diagnostics for the disk (on most NAS units). Typical hard disk LCC lifetime is 300,000 parks. My 1.5TB had parked 160,000 times! The LCC was rising on my new 2TB before I implemented a fix.

I am unsure of other manufacturers head parking timeout on green drives… worth investigating. I guess some USB drives may also do this…?


For Western Digitial green drives download an ‘ultimate boot cd’ with wdidle3.exe on it. This is a simple .exe that can modify the head park time or idle 3 timeout. You can disable or set a new idle time (I disabled my idle 3 timers on both drives and let the NAS manage the disk spin down / park. This does not affect the data stored on the disk but as always DO NOT rely upon this!

My conclusion for the new NAS causing the problem more often is that it can read at 70MB/s (over x2 the speed of the old one). This means the network bursts and fills local caches and buffers leaving the disk to idle! Hey presto, drive parks it’s heads! Then it’s NOT ready for the next read.

Hope this helps someone as it frustrated me for a few weeks.


What intervall could you set it too? I never got over 60 seconds with wdidle3.

Up to 6 minutes I think.

I disabled mine completely with the /d option.

My live box is now superb again (was getting tempted to throw it out the window).

Even my other half has breathed a sigh of relief!