New pc build with i7 3770K

Started Apr 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,342
just normal usage -- think about it

theswede wrote:

Jim Cockfield wrote:

It's a *very* well documented issue (excessive load cycle counts with WD Green Drives with Linux).   Just "google" for "load cycle count green" (without the quotes) and you'll find many, many forum threads about the issue with them (over a million page hits right this minute when I just used that search).

No idea what those people are doing to their poor systems. I'll go read and see just what's up with that. I have never seen this issue, but then, I also set the systems up to not spin the disks up constantly.

Just normal usage.

Think about it.

The WD Green drives park their heads after only *8 seconds* of inactivity.   So, if anything you're doing accesses the drives frequently at a time more than 8 seconds, you can end up with a constant parking/unparking of the drive heads.

That's why you'll see over 1 million page hits if you do something like search for "load cycle count green" (without the quotes) as mentioned in my previous posts.

Again, that's just one issue that is no doubt contributing to wear and tear on the drive mechanism.  But, as previously mentioned, you can find a utility to disable that kind of nutty behavior to prevent that issue if you're using a setup that it's a problem with (as a lot of people have found out).

From my perspective, the bigger issue is premature problems with WD Green drives due to the way their firmware handles sector read errors and reallocation of bad sectors to spares.

I've seen problems with multiple WD Drive models in various sizes (e.g., 640GB, 1TB, 1.5TB) and none of them had remapped any sectors to spares, even though they had obvious sector read errors.

Zero filling them didn't cause a remap of bad sectors to spares either (even if you used WD's own Data Lifeguard software for that purpose), with SMART still claiming the drives were healthy, even though the wouldn't even pass a self test without read failures.

It's almost as if WD deliberately turned off mapping sectors with errors to spares (that's the impression I have of them so far), and wants users to think drives with problems are still OK.

If it were just one WD Green model, I'd suspect a firmware bug.  But, since I've seen the same behavior with multiple models and sizes, I'd suspect some other intent.

So, there is no way I'm going to consider using them again.  Heck, you could give them to me and I wouldn't consider using them for any important data.  Sorry, but I consider them to be a POS.

As for using them in servers in a commercial environment... you've got to be joking.  In addition to the problems I've seen with them, you see warnings in a lot of places about using them in RAID arrays, because they don't support TLDR (Time Limited Data Recovery) like their Enterprise level drives do (a.k.a., ERC/Error Recovery Control if using Seagate Drives).

But, I suspect the problems users are seeing more often are likely caused by their firmware routines for mapping of sectors with read errors, since if the drives don't even try to remap bad sectors to spares (as I've seen with multiple WD Drives with "hard" sector read errors), you may not see see issues with your data until it's too late.

Instead, you may just find that you lost important data later because of bad sectors, even though the health of the drives looks fine when looking at SMART data.   But, I'd do yourself a favor and run some tests of the drives from time to time, too (using something other than WD's software for that purpose). 

Again, based on what I've seen of their behavior so far, I'm not going to buy any more WD Green Drives.

Their low price is attractive.  But, I'm not going to continue putting my data as risk by using them.

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