Debra, regarding your second to last sentence. if you run WDIDLE3 with the /r switch, it will tell you what your drive Idle3 setting is currently.
Regarding question 3 “Does this load cycle indicate the number of times that the disk is accessed by the system, in 24 hours?” No it only indicates when the heads have been commanded to “park” over a special non-data section of the drive. The concern arises from the fact that this is a metric which the manufacturer has given an “expected life cycle” number to, which would be reached relatively quickly when set to 8 seconds. It’s doubtful that it would affect the warranty, since that is time based, but we are all concerned that it could affect the operating life of the drive. Good luck, we must all be masochistic.
Just a quick update to my earlier post. The 4TB REDS (WD30EFRX) are now on the ReadyNas supported drive list, so I just purchased two. I checked before installing and they both came with an Idle Timer value of 300 seconds. So now my LCC numbers are hardly moving (3 after 39 hours on). So this seems to have resolved the LCC issue.
I do hear drive activity and a soft “clunk” sound every 3-5 seconds regardless of whether there is data on the nas, shares turned on or off, antivirus on or off or connected to the network or not. I suspect this is a ReadyNAS issue and not the drives. Netgear tech support has been unable to explain the activity as normal or not, but uncommanded drive activity just bugs the heck out of me. So I will chat this up on the Netgear boards.
Thanks to everyone here for their input.