Thursday, 21 June 2012

Western Digital idle head parking issue

How to read LCC (Load Cycle Count) of your hard drive: click

Power consumption is one of the hot topics currently being discussed in today’s hard drive market. Manufacturers are looking at many ways to cut down on power draw; either by decreasing spindle speed or in some cases having aggressive head parking (about every 8 seconds). Drives that support these newer power modes, may have excessive head parking. I will describe now how to disable this power profile on Western Digital hard drives.

1  Download  WDidle3 

2  Download  Rufus

3  Run Rufus, to make a bootable USB Key (to boot into a DOS environment).
Your computer must support booting from a USB device in order to boot from the USB Memory Key.

4  When you're finished, copy wdidle3.exe to your bootable USB key.

5  Enter BIOS and change boot priority to USB device.
The system should boot directly into the DOS prompt from that key you've just made.

6  Type   wdidle.exe /r
This will give you a readout of the drive model, serial and the current timer if the drive is supported

7  Type  wdidle3 /s300 
to set the timer to 300 seconds (5 Minutes)

.. or .. 

Type   wdidle.exe /d
to completely disable the timer

Restart your system and enjoy your quiet hard drive(s) 
Thanks very much to Rey for his help solving this annoying issue

By the way, with the WD SpinUp Utility you can configure the spin up current of your Western Digital Green Power drive(s) to low or super low.

1  Please ensure that any important data is backed up from the hard drive

2  Download the wdspinup firmware for the update

3  copy wdspinup.exe onto your bootable USB key

4  Boot the system with the hard drive to be updated to the USB key

5  Run the file by typing wdspinup.exe at the command prompt and press enter

6  The screen will bring up the WD Spinup Options:
  • R  Report spinup mode
  • L  Set to low current spinup mode
  • S  Set to super low current spinup mode
  • ?  This help info
7  Type in the Option you want and press Enter. When it has successfully completed, it will show that it has been updated to the new mode

8  Once completed, remove your boot media and reboot your system.


  1. this is for the wd15earX too? I did this to a wd10ears, that disk failed over a year and a half.

    1. Hi Jonatan, my drives:


      have been compatible with that tool.
      Check the readout of your drive first.
      If you apply the tool and encounter a significant slow down of data transfer, then re-apply it - type: WDIDLE3 /S300

      « Idle 3 timer is enabled and set to 300 (5 minutes) » .. is displayed if it's successful.

      Please backup data first. Some of the newer WD hard drives may no longer support this function.

      Western Digital Green line of HDDs

      Some users of WD Green hard drives may experience higher load cycle count reported by HDD S.M.A.R.T., which is attributed to WD’s Intelli-Park feature. The Intelli-Park feature will cause the drive to park after 8 seconds during low I/O usage, and then unpark after 30 seconds.

      300,000 LLCs are the minimum cycles suggested by WD, and it should not be the sole indicator of possible hard drive failure. Some users have reported no problems even with millions of LLCs.

      If users wish to lower the frequency of how the HDD head parks/unparks, there is an utility to update the Idel3 timer, which will lower the rate when the HDD will encounter a Load/Unload Cycle.

      /S Set timer, units in seconds. Default=8.0 (8.0 seconds)
      Resolution is 0.1 seconds from 0.1 to 12.7 seconds.
      Resolution is 30 seconds from 30 seconds to 300000 seconds.
      Note, times between 12.8 and 30 seconds will be set to 30 seconds.
      /D Disable timer
      /R Report current timer
      /? This help info

  2. Some peoples lost their HDDs after using this WdIdle utility... Maybe for another reasons, but anyway it's very strange coincidence...

  3. Can you comment whether WD20EZRX (more recent model) has this IntelliPark issue fixed or does it still require usage of WdIdle3 to disable it?

  4. Solution worked for me. Two HDDs (WD20EARX and WD20EZRX) are running like a hell now - despite the fact these are of "green" series so the hell is not so high for them :) Anyway - the speed improvement is significant. Thanks for this How-to.