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InsaneNutter

Western Digital Green Drives Clicking

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Hi,

 

I have 2x WD 500GB Green WD5000AZRX in different machines i have recently built.

 

About every 20-30 seconds i can hear a click coming from the drive, even when the machine has been sat idle for for long periods of time.

 

Naturally im wondering if the drives are failing, however any test run on it say both drives are fine. Could it be the heads parking? I cant imagine this would be happening every 20-30 seconds though, especially if the machines are idle.

 

 

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dwsyl3.jpg

 

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Not to worry, it is normal. As you suspected it is just the sound of the heads parking, which the green drives do pretty often.

 

If you find it annoying you can use the WDIDLE utility to increase the amount of time before the drives park and spin down.

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Hello,

Not to worry, it is normal. As you suspected it is just the sound of the heads parking, which the green drives do pretty often.

 

If you find it annoying there is an update from Western Digital that increases the amount of time before the drives go to sleep:

 

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=609&sid=113

?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_of_death#Hard_disk_drives

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Hello, 

I doubt it is the click of death in this case. The WD green drives are their power saving line and they park and shut down after being inactive for a while.

About every 20-30 seconds

"Every 20-30 seconds" isn't a while.

Might wanna try this:

http://support.wd.com/product/download.asp?groupid=608〈=en

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Is it only one of the drives making the noise?

Personally, I'd stop using it for anything important.

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Hello, 

"Every 20-30 seconds" isn't a while.

Might wanna try this:

http://support.wd.com/product/download.asp?groupid=608〈=en

 

My apologies, I somehow misread his post as saying "after 20-30 seconds". If it is clicking constantly though you're right there could be a problem.

 

Doing a scan for bad sectors as you suggested would be a good idea.

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If you find it annoying you can use the WDIDLE utility to increase the amount of time before the drives park and spin down.

 

Does that work with newer drives? i read about that in my Google searches however apparently its only for older green drives.

 

Is it only one of the drives making the noise?

Both make the noise, however both drives came from the same place (Ebuyer) and were purchased at the same time so i was thinking it might be a bad batch of drives.

 

My apologies, I somehow misread his post as saying "after 20-30 seconds". If it is clicking constantly though you're right there could be a problem.

 

Doing a scan for bad sectors as you suggested would be a good idea.

Ill run the full scan with the WD tool and see if anything is reported, the quick scan states everything is fine (as per screenshots in my first post).

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I found this post on an Amazon review for the WD5000AZRX:

 

I've only had the drives on for one day but after reading about all the drives that fail after a few months it seems the problem is the head parking itself every 8 seconds if no disk activity. The only reason it does this is to try to save power. Each park results in a load/unload cycle. The first thing I did with my new drives was to run the WDIDLE3.EXE utility on them to disable the 8 second head parking. You can also change the head parking to something like 5 minutes, which would make a lot more sense than 8 seconds. Link

 

If you google "WD Green" and "8 Seconds" you'll find a lot more info about the Intellipark issue. A diagnostic scan certainly wouldn't hurt though.

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I found this post on an Amazon review for the WD5000AZRX:

 

I've only had the drives on for one day but after reading about all the drives that fail after a few months it seems the problem is the head parking itself every 8 seconds if no disk activity. The only reason it does this is to try to save power. Each park results in a load/unload cycle. The first thing I did with my new drives was to run the WDIDLE3.EXE utility on them to disable the 8 second head parking. You can also change the head parking to something like 5 minutes, which would make a lot more sense than 8 seconds. Link

 

If you google "WD Green" and "8 Seconds" you'll find a lot more info about the Intellipark issue. A diagnostic scan certainly wouldn't hurt though.

 

I'm currently running the WD LifeGuard Diagnostics extended test which has 45 mins to go, since starting that on both machines ive not head a single click. So i'm presuming if that comes back ok its the intellipark issue.

 

I will definitely have a look at extending the time if so, that will be good for the drives life and my sanity lol, so win / win.

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 Does that work with newer drives? i read about that in my Google searches however apparently its only for older green drives.

 

Yep. I use it on all my Green and Blue drives. Most recently on a WD10EZRX that wouldn't stay mounted in my crappy (now replaced) USB dock until I ran wdidle.

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I doubt it is the click of death in this case. The WD green drives are their power saving line and they park and shut down after being inactive for a while.

The green are the failed blue & black drives -- they are crap - why do you think they are cheaper ?

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The green are the failed blue & black drives -- they are crap - why do you think they are cheaper ?

 

Nonsense. No, WD is not taking failed drives and putting green labels on them; that's ridiculous for numerous reasons. Most companies have different tiers of products from the cheaper budget models, mid-range and finally their expensive high end products. The WD Green drives are designed to be inexpensive and environmentally friendly low power drives (hence the term green). They are cheaper for the same reason an Intel i3 processor is cheaper than an i7.

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The green are the failed blue & black drives -- they are crap - why do you think they are cheaper ?

I was going to say this. I purchased green drives and had nothing but problems with them. Your data is important so it's equally important to spend a little extra for a better quality drive. I'd say make sure you keep a backup schedule and replace the drive if it starts to exhibit any more abnormalities.

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I have five 1TB Greens here that I've bought over the last few years and all are working just fine. I've never had a WD drive fail (and hope I don't as I use them exclusively now).

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The green are the failed blue & black drives -- they are crap - why do you think they are cheaper ?

 

I really doubt these are like CPU's where they take silicon with failed cores and cache and pass it off as a lower CPU to save on money from the yield.

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Nonsense. No, WD is not taking failed drives and putting green labels on them; that's ridiculous for numerous reasons. Most companies have different tiers of products from the cheaper budget models, mid-range and finally their expensive high end products. The WD Green drives are designed to be inexpensive and environmentally friendly low power drives (hence the term green). They are cheaper for the same reason an Intel i3 processor is cheaper than an i7.

LOL - sorry to burst your bubble - but thats how greens are made, when a drive doesnt quite pass blue or black QC guidelines, and to cut losses - they re-badge them after toning them down a little - its business 101 - sorry.

LOL so Trackerzod, tell me - how many greens do you own ?

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LOL - sorry to burst your bubble - but thats how greens are made, when a drive doesnt quite pass blue or black QC guidelines, and to cut losses - they re-badge them after toning them down a little - its business 101 - sorry.

LOL so Trackerzod, tell me - how many greens do you own ?

Got any proof for this? The binning for silicon is widely known and largely the result of the dies physical placement on the wafer. The closer you are to the center, the less defects you have, the further out, the more. The yields aren't just random and the failures are quite specific: particular cores don't work, parts of the cache is faulty, etc. More than that, the location is going to help dictate the clock rates that the processors are ultimately binned at.

 

I fail to see where QC would come in for the case of these drives. What is the failure mode here?  The only thing I can come up with is that the drive doesn't spin above X rpms, but that doesn't fit with how the greens operate. It isn't like they are "clocked down" in any operating sense and they don't spin any slower than their counterparts. They have variable spin rates and the firmware control spins them down when they are idle to save energy. 

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Got any proof for this? The binning for silicon is widely known and largely the result of the dies physical placement on the wafer. The closer you are to the center, the less defects you have, the further out, the more. The yields aren't just random and the failures are quite specific: particular cores don't work, parts of the cache is faulty, etc. More than that, the location is going to help dictate the clock rates that the processors are ultimately binned at.

 

I fail to see where QC would come in for the case of these drives. What is the failure mode here?  The only thing I can come up with is that the drive doesn't spin above X rpms, but that doesn't fit with how the greens operate. It isn't like they are "clocked down" in any operating sense and they don't spin any slower than their counterparts. They have variable spin rates and the firmware control spins them down when they are idle to save energy. 

Well, I can't answer for hard drives, but have seen many graphics cards that are considered flagship devices, and rebranded products claiming they are the same thing at vastly reduced price, (and someone did mention I high level top contributor on another website, that this is because something failed a quality control, so instead of scrapping the card, they just sell them to others who rebrand them..

 

I just thought it would be safe to assume that this could be the case here also, if I'm wrong, I'm open to explanations.

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Got any proof for this? The binning for silicon is widely known and largely the result of the dies physical placement on the wafer. The closer you are to the center, the less defects you have, the further out, the more. The yields aren't just random and the failures are quite specific: particular cores don't work, parts of the cache is faulty, etc. More than that, the location is going to help dictate the clock rates that the processors are ultimately binned at.

 

I fail to see where QC would come in for the case of these drives. What is the failure mode here?  The only thing I can come up with is that the drive doesn't spin above X rpms, but that doesn't fit with how the greens operate. It isn't like they are "clocked down" in any operating sense and they don't spin any slower than their counterparts. They have variable spin rates and the firmware control spins them down when they are idle to save energy. 

Let me see if I can find it - I want to say I first heard of this process in a Maximum PC interview with a top exec @ Seagate.  It was confirmed when I worked for a pc repair chain with their own clean room for forensic data recovery - I'll see what I can find online.  The process of buying failed top level products are one of the ways how the crap pc manufacturers (acer, Compaq) are able to get lower price points (among a few other things they dont spend money on)

 

I will mention this was a few years ago, it may not be how its done now - but I will certainly look for the info

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Well, I can't answer for hard drives, but have seen many graphics cards that are considered flagship devices, and rebranded products claiming they are the same thing at vastly reduced price, (and someone did mention I high level top contributor on another website, that this is because something failed a quality control, so instead of scrapping the card, they just sell them to others who rebrand them..

 

I just thought it would be safe to assume that this could be the case here also, if I'm wrong, I'm open to explanations.

Well in the case of GPUs it's a bit different because the designs are licensed to and manufactured by 3rd parties so any of the 3rd party distributors could be doing whatever. But, you can do a similar binning process with those as with processors since they are silicon also: using clocks and processing elements. What I imagine happens is that the 3rd parties do redesigns (that deviate from the original design specs) and cut corners to save money in the manufacturing process, and then they sell those for less but on the surface they are marketed as the same GPU model -- even though the reality is that they are inferior.

 

it's also worth noting, I could definitely see WD using cheaper manufacturing processes for the green drives also in the same vein.

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WD Green drives have power saving features that cause this noise, it's normal.

 

However, you can run a utility to prevent this 'saving feature'.

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LOL - sorry to burst your bubble - but thats how greens are made, when a drive doesnt quite pass blue or black QC guidelines, and to cut losses - they re-badge them after toning them down a little - its business 101 - sorry.

 

WD Green drives aren't even made with the same parts or firmware as their blue and black drives. How would they be able to "rebadge" a failed drive and "tone them down"? If a drive doesn't work, it doesn't work. You can't slap a new label on a bad drive and sell it as a cheaper one. You may be thinking of CPUs where they do indeed take chips with cores or cache that don't pass, disable those cores and sell them as cheaper models. It doesn't work that way with hard drives.

 

As others have pointed out the issue with some of the green drives is a feature called Intellipark that parks the heads and puts the drive into standby mode after it has been idle for a few seconds. This was a flawed and honestly pretty stupid idea because constantly doing this over and over every 10 seconds or so wears them out very quickly. You can change or disable this feature with the utility others have mentioned however and hopefully WD learns their lesson and changes this behavior in the future. Overall Western Digital have always made very high quality drives; they just messed up on these models and they need to fix this.

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WD Green drives aren't even made with the same parts or firmware as their blue and black drives. How would they be able to "rebadge" a failed drive and "tone them down"? If a drive doesn't work, it doesn't work. You can't slap a new label on a bad drive and sell it as a cheaper one. You may be thinking of CPUs where they do indeed take chips with cores or cache that don't pass, disable those cores and sell them as cheaper models. It doesn't work that way with hard drives.

 

As others have pointed out the issue with some of the green drives is a feature called Intellipark that parks the heads and puts the drive into standby mode after it has been idle for a few seconds. This was a flawed and honestly pretty stupid idea because constantly doing this over and over every 10 seconds or so wears them out very quickly. You can change or disable this feature with the utility others have mentioned however and hopefully WD learns their lesson and changes this behavior in the future. Overall Western Digital have always made very high quality drives; they just messed up on these models and they need to fix this.

"If it doesnt work, it doesnt work" doesnt really apply when it comes to a lot PC hardware manufacturing.  There are varying levels of what a company might consider "working" for a given product.

a "bad" drive can mean many things.   I will find the interview online and post it.  You can decide for yourself.  Again, this was a few years ago - the one thing that has remained is that green drives are cheaper for a reason.

Shortest warranty, and shortest MTBF - now why is that ? 

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Hello,

The green are the failed blue & black drives -- they are crap - why do you think they are cheaper ?

WOW......Havent heard BS like this in a while.
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