Jump to content
Covecube Inc.
  • 0

Question about Scanner and Spindown / Head Parking of Drives


Question

Hi there,

I took a look at the stickied topic that goes into detail about how drive spindowns work (very informative) and how it related with StableBit Scanner. Let me go into some detail about the problem I am having. Basically, I purchased a new Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 (3TB) drive on Wednesday and it's already showing it has parked its head 2,506 times according to Scanner's built in S.M.A.R.T. data. According to StableBit, the maximum recommended head parks for the drive is 300,000. If my math is right, that value should hit 300,000 in half a year which is way too short for a drive. Now I do understand that the value is just a guideline and doesn't mean the drive is necessarily going to fail, I am just worried regardless. For example, just 13 hours ago the value was at 1,729. It has parked it's head 777 times over 13 hours while I was asleep, that's too high in my opinion. At least I have my pool duplicated in DrivePool.

So, I am wondering if there are any settings in StableBit (or even DrivePool) that may be causing this? I can see the same occur on another one of my drives (exact same model). I've checked both in Windows and in StableBit and the standby settings are set to never. I just would rather the drive stay idle and spinning over continuing to spin up and down. StableBit has advanced power management enabled and is set to Maximum Performance (no standby). In addition, I have set StableBit to "not use Direct I/O when querying S.M.A.R.T.", "never scan the surface automatically", "never scan the filesystem automatically." I have these settings set thinking that StableBit may be causing the drive to come out of standby repeatedly, but that is just an assumption as I'm not sure how the scanning works.

Has anybody else seen the same weirdness with these drives? If it matters, the drives are in a Mediasonic Probox 4 Bay (non-raid) enclosure. I am unsure if the (or any) enclosure itself has control over when the disk sleeps.

Thank you for your help!

EDIT: Windows *was* set to Balanced mode, but still had the "turn off hard disk" set to Never. Just in case, I changed it to "High Performance." If it helps, I am running Windows Server 2012 R2.

Link to post
Share on other sites

11 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

There may be a firmware update to fix this issue, it appears:

 

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/207931en

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/223651en

 

 

I would recommend that you clear any data off of the drive prior to updating firmware, as if something goes wrong, you can brick the drive and lose everything on it. 

 

 

 

Aside from that, yes, I have seen this (reported) before. 

The issue with the load cycle count is that the head is being parked. Meaning the drive is idle and then woken up.

You need to figure out what is waking it up to fix this issue (and hope that a) you can, and B) that it helps).

 

The first thing to do is to change some settings for StableBit Scanner.

If you open the Scanner Settings, and go the "SMART" tab. Check the 'Throttle queries" option, and set this to 60 minutes (default).

If this helps then leave the setting.

 

Otherwise, you may want to consider contacting Seagate about replacing the drives or seeing if they have a firmware fix.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

There may be a firmware update to fix this issue, it appears:

 

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/207931en

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/223651en

 

 

I would recommend that you clear any data off of the drive prior to updating firmware, as if something goes wrong, you can brick the drive and lose everything on it. 

 

 

 

Aside from that, yes, I have seen this (reported) before. 

The issue with the load cycle count is that the head is being parked. Meaning the drive is idle and then woken up.

You need to figure out what is waking it up to fix this issue (and hope that a) you can, and B) that it helps).

 

The first thing to do is to change some settings for StableBit Scanner.

If you open the Scanner Settings, and go the "SMART" tab. Check the 'Throttle queries" option, and set this to 60 minutes (default).

If this helps then leave the setting.

 

Otherwise, you may want to consider contacting Seagate about replacing the drives or seeing if they have a firmware fix.

 

Hi there,

 

I wasn't aware of that setting. Does S.M.A.R.T. wake up the disk every time it queries? What is the normal querying if the throttle is not on?

 

I have also created a ticket with Seagate, but they haven't responded yet. I did a test using "SeaTools" and it says that the drive is defective (already). The same with my other 3TB drive of the same model.

 

I'll see how the S.M.A.R.T. Throttling works, and may upgrade the firmware if not.

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Yes, querying SMART data can wake up the drive.

 

As for how often it occurs without the throttling setting? Honestly, I'm not sure, I'll have to ask Alex (the developer). But I think it's "as needed" or once a minute. However, that's just a guess, and may be completely wrong.

 

As for the ticket, I should have responded by now. If I haven't let me know the contact number and I'll respond as soon as I can.

 

Regards

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Yes, querying SMART data can wake up the drive.

 

As for how often it occurs without the throttling setting? Honestly, I'm not sure, I'll have to ask Alex (the developer). But I think it's "as needed" or once a minute. However, that's just a guess, and may be completely wrong.

 

As for the ticket, I should have responded by now. If I haven't let me know the contact number and I'll respond as soon as I can.

 

Regards

That makes sense. I am still curious about how often it queries without the throttle, if you get a chance please let me know.

 

As for the ticket, it was opened with Seagate (unless you also work for Seagate) and they said that SeaTools isn't compatible with Server 2012 R2 and that I should download the DOS version. I can't be bothered TBH.

 

On greater news, over 6 hours the head has only parked 19 times. Much more reasonable! I've increased the throttle to 90 minutes.

 

Thanks for your assistance!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I'll ask Alex and get back to you with the answer.

 

As for the ticket, it sounded like it was for us, so I wanted to be sure. 

And yeah, I know what you mean. Though, I do think it will work on Windows Server 2012R2. They list Windows 8 as compatible... so it should.

 

 

And that's fantastic. I'm glad to hear it! 

And you are very welcome.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

My Seagate ST3000DM001 is 1 year and 47 days old and has a load cycle count of 356,600.  I.e. about 1 per minute after accounting for a little down time over the year.  However it is one of three 3TB pool drives and the other 2 non-Seagates have far lower counts.   I've tried a number of things for months to try and stop the disk from parking its heads so much. No software solution (e.g. hdparm) has worked even when staying logged in permanently to ensure it keeps running.  This seems to be a common complaint yet there still is no new firmware. The above change appears to have stopped the parking for the last 30 minutes. So I guess the Seagate actually parks its heads after every SMART query? I doubt this is intended behavior.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Unfortunately, some drives have this issue, and some don't. And like you have said, Seagate hasn't released an updated firmware to address this issue. :(

 

If it's under warranty, I would highly recommend replacing it. 

 

As for the head parking ... if you throttle the SMART queries, this may help significantly. Please do so, and see if that helps.

 

 

 

That makes sense. I am still curious about how often it queries without the throttle, if you get a chance please let me know.

As for the ticket, it was opened with Seagate (unless you also work for Seagate) and they said that SeaTools isn't compatible with Server 2012 R2 and that I should download the DOS version. I can't be bothered TBH.

 

On greater news, over 6 hours the head has only parked 19 times. Much more reasonable! I've increased the throttle to 90 minutes.

 

Thanks for your assistance!

I'm sorry for not getting back to you on this!

 

I believe it queries the SMART data every minute or so. Which for some drives can be aggressive and cause problems. Which is why we have the throttling option. But for a majority of drives, this shouldn't be a problem.

 

And yes, SeaTools for windows seems to work just fine on Server 2012R2. I just think they dont' want to support it, because most large businesses are just going to replaced the drives on a schedule anyways... so why bother.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thank you for posting this. I recently received a replacement from Seagate, and they shipped the replacement drive, a refurb, with CC46. You'd think they would made some effort to update the drive before they sent it to me. These are some of the worst drives I've seen since the horrible Quantum Bigfoot.

 

EDIT: Strangely, mine wouldn't let me upgrade to the latest firmware. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thank you for posting this. I recently received a replacement from Seagate, and they shipped the replacement drive, a refurb, with CC46. You'd think they would made some effort to update the drive before they sent it to me. These are some of the worst drives I've seen since the horrible Quantum Bigfoot.

 

EDIT: Strangely, mine wouldn't let me upgrade to the latest firmware. 

IIRC, there are several "lines" of the specific model... which is stupid, IMO. (It may also be wrong).

 

If you have issues with the new drive, contact Seagate. They may have a fix or something... or even replace the drive with a different model... It's worth inquiring about, at least.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Now that I can read the SMART data, I can see the load cycle count. I was able to look up the RMA to see how long I've had this drive, I received this one toward the end of August 2014. Since then, it's racked up 20101 load cycles. At that rate, I don't suppose it will exceed 300,000 load cycles in 3 years, which is probably longer than the drive will last in reality.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...