Optimal WDIDLE3 Setting For WD20EARS Hard Drives

I have a WD20EARS drive… After doing quite a bit of reading I’ve come to understand that the constant loading and unloading of the head will wear my drive down faster over time. I’m computer savvy but don’t know everything since I pretty much taught myself. My question to you is what is best when setting the IDLE timer for someone like me who will only be using the WD20EARS hdd in a usb enclosure under WinXP as data backup, but will be keeping it on most of the time:

  1. Specific idle time [If so please type the command]

  2. Complete disable



I heard from a youtube poster that WDIDLE3 won’t disable the count on WD20EARS drives. & will only set to 3720 seconds [62 mins] if /d is used. Proof: Youtube

Thank You :smiley:

Five minutes sounds right to me. That’s the standard in the instructions IIRC.  You might even go down to 1 or 2 minutes in a USB enclosure.

This is the thread, I’m sure you have already been reading it.


I have not tried it on an EARS drive but other apparently have.

I have kept the bootable thumb drive that I made from the instructions. They are so cheap its worth having a dedicated one.  Added HDSentinel DOS to it, and used that for checking drives on a server that had motherboard mirror raid.


David_Pierson wrote:

Five minutes sounds right to me. That’s the standard in the instructions IIRC.  You might even go down to 1 or 2 minutes in a USB enclosure.

What do you mean by that? Is that an industry standard when it comes to manufacturing hdd’s?

Also why did you recommend 1-2 mins for a usb enclosure as opposed to the 5 mins you recommended before?

I’m just trying to make sure my WD20EARS has a good lifespan while at use.




It’s just the sample time in the web page that has an example of how to use it. Obviously “5 minutes” is not scientifically calculated.

In a USB enclosure you might want it to idle more frequently because you physically pick up these drives and move them around whereas in a tower this is not an issue. A parked drive is less likely to be damaged in moving. Thats all I was thinking about there.

my wd20ears parked at 8 seconds too…

in the first days of use the haddrive had 130 in LCC count

after i changed to maximum of fixe minutes ( i have not disabled the function)

right now i have 235 in LCC count after 3 months of normal use for backups

i have put in disabled at first but it sems better to me five minutes :slight_smile:

8 seconds default is completely stupid and WD sould warn people of their mistakes

Ok well I used “Ultimate boot cd” to import “Wdidle3” into it, and created an iso so I can boot “Wdidle3” to work on a blank cdr. I’m ready to use it on my WD20EARS hdd, but have been advised not to do so by people on other forums saying it’s not intended for use on my hdd model. What should I do? The hdd will be used as an extra data drive so it will be sitting in a USB enclosure for long periods of time, if not 25 or so days without moving it. So far I gather 5 min idle time is ok? Check it out: http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/topic/285453-whats-the-optimal-time-in-seconds-for-hard-drives-to-park-heads/

To completely disable the Idle3 Timer, type "wdidle3 /S[10000000000]

That is a 1 followed by 10 zeros, this disabled the timer for me, where as /D only set it to 62 minutes.

Other details:

  • Used Ultimate Boot CD with both wdidle3.exe and wdidle3.exe compressed as .zip then renamed to .cab placed in the /dosapps folder (to learn how to do this, search Google for “wdidle3 ultimate boot cd” for tutorials.

  • Only the original Ultimate Boot CD worked, modified one gave ISOLINUX checksum error, so I booted with the original, started FreeDOS in silent mode, then switched the cd to the modified one

  • Type “T:”, then “cd ubcd\dosapps” the carry out the command written in the first line of this post

  • You can double check by typing “wdidle3 /R”

Good Luck