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Windows 7: Hard drive keeps parking the heads (not failing)

07 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Hard drive keeps parking the heads (not failing)

This is not for the laptop in my specs.

I have an Asus 1015PN-PU17-BK and for some reason it keeps unloading the hard drive head anywhere from one to twenty times a minute. In my spec sheet laptop its hard drive has been powered on for 9190hours and has 62232 load cycles (6.77 load cycles an hour average), but in this netbook the hard drive has been powered on only 565hours and has 33870 load cycles (59.95 load cycles an hour average). Just after typing this it's already moved up to 34020 load cycles. I have disabled hard drive inactivity shutdown in Windows and their is no hard drive power saving settings in the BIOS. It doesn't change weather on battery or AC, charged or charging, idle for hours or being used, or if the factory overclocking software is on power saving or super performance. No matter what you can hear every few seconds the heads park and if your hand is on the netbook can feel the hard drive spin down, then a few seconds later it spins up and starts over again, it usually stays spun down for 10-20seconds when idle. I was afraid it was some weird and slow click of death but this drive is giving me zero issues and SMART shows nothing at all, if it wern't for me listening closely I never would of noticed as it runs fine. I'm hoping to get this fixed as my spec sheet laptop needs to get sent in for repairs and this Asus netbook is the only thing big enough to hold all of my files, but I don't trust it if it's destroying the hard drive like this.

Asus 1015PN-PU17-BK
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 32bit (just installed a couple days ago)
Intel Atom N550 Dual core/Quad thread @ 1.5GHz
2GB Crucial DDR3 1333
nVidia Ion - 512MB VRAM
Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD2500BEVT, 250GB, 5400 RPM, 8MB Cache

EDIT: I remembered that one of the drivers I had installed, the SATA controller, came with a status monitor (Intel Matrix Storage Console) but opening it doesn't do much more than tell me "All hard drives are OK", no settings at all. It shows it's set to run at start up so I tried disabling it and restarting but still the same issue.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2013   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

So it looks like I found the problem. After much searching I found a lot of complaints about the new WD Green drives and how they unload the heads too often (complaints ranging from a few hundred to few thousand load cycles a day) and that WD released a program that let them change the amount of idle time before it unloads the heads and spins down the spindle ( WD Support / Downloads / SATA & SAS / WD RE2-GP ). Sadly though as you can see it says to only use on a select few model hard drives, of which mine is not listed and thought it was a dead end till I found these guys ( How to Stop Excessive Load Cycles on the Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green (WD20EARS) with WDIDLE3 | - Storage Reviews ) along with a few other people around the internet have used the software on nearly every WD drive available without issue, including laptop Blue drives like mine. So I downloaded it and put it on my DOS flash drive and believe it or not for some reason the hard drive was set to unload after FOUR seconds of inactivity, even the program says it won't let you set less than eight seconds. So I set it to thirty seconds and restarted, it's doing it a lot less but may go ahead and set it to disabled seeing as Windows can manage the drive fine by itself, going to look more into the inner workings and interconnections of all these hard drive power saving operations. Hard drive firmware, BIOS, SATA controller, OS, etc is a lot of different ways to control a drives power management and they seem to overlap.

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My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hard drive keeps parking the heads (not failing)

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