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Tool to keep disks alive (prevent head parking)



For those who aren't already aware of the issue - some drives (particularly WD "Green" drives) aggressively park their heads (every 8 seconds) to save power. This has caused serious longevity issues with those drives.


I was switching disks over to a new server I built, and I noticed the load cycle count was quite high for a lot of drives. For some, I had already used the WDIDLE3 utility in the past, but not for all of them. Since using that tool is such a pain to do, I decided to just write a little script/service to keep the disks alive instead.


Posting it here in case anyone else would like to use it. Edit the "KeepDisksAlive.ps1" file for notes, how to install, how to customize if desired, etc. Once installed, it runs as a system service. It writes to "volume paths", so there's no need to have your disks mounted to letters/folders.


I don't think it will lead to any appreciable difference in power consumption or wear & tear as opposed to just having disks that don't park themselves in general. I monitored my UPS power consumption and didn't see a difference. Also, I monitored the sum of all my drive's load cycle counts before and after to confirm it's working. I included what I used to do that in a subfolder.


(Not a DrivePool issue, but I figured many running DrivePool could take advantage of this)

Edit 12/10/2018: Re-uploaded attachment upon request since the old one was reporting not being available.
Edit 12/10/2018 Part2: It appears that the forum gives a message about the attachment having been removed. Actually though, you just need to be logged in to download it. If anyone else gets that message, just create an account and try again and you should be good.



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Well, you could do this:


Open up StableBit Scanner

Right click on the disk in question.

Select "Disk Control"

Find "Advanced Power Management", and set it to "disabled".

Hit "Set". 


That should disable the head parking, as well.

Note, this doesn't necessarily tell you if it's disabled already, because the drive firmware doesn't like to always give that information.

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My understanding was that Green drives park regardless of any power management settings set via software. That is, that their controllers do so independent of all the other power management stuff that's OS-controlled... I did check just now, though, and all my drives were either set to "APM -> Max Perf (no standby)" or the APM section was entirely grayed out (which seemed to be the case for a significant number of them).

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Well, this specifically interacts with the firmware.  Pretty much everything under "disk control" does.  


It's effectively the same as running "wdidle3" on the drives.



But as you've notice, not every drive supports it, so it varies from drive to drive.  Even the same model may have different firmware versions, and that can affect this. 


As for the displayed settings, these may not be accurate, as the drive doesn't always provide enough info.  However, hitting "set" should update this anyways.



But for the drives that don't allow you to do this or WDIDLE3, then the scribe above isn't a bad idea.

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