Ultimate Boot CD with WDIDLE3 Util

The story:

One thing that's annoying at my selfmade nas is, that the harddisk drives keep park thier heads. Any recent hdds do this to save power, and some systems even have motion detectors, that will park the head at forthcoming crashes, to prevent damage. The manufacturer set this value very low. In my notebook, my hdd clicks every 2-5 seconds, if there is no disk usage.

As a matter of facts, you can see in detail here, that one of my drives already parked its head 11.040 times in 283 hours. Since the hdd is designed to do about 300.000 parking processes, you would reach the limit in a few months.

Ready-to-use WDIDLE3 boot image:

Western Digital (WD) offers a tool (WDIDLE3.exe) to increase the idle value till the head parks, or you can completely disable it. The bad, this tool only works under DOS.

Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) is a set of system tools for partitioning your hard disks, check main memory and get information about your system. It's also a FreeDOS live disk.

So, I've made a custom iso image of the recent UBCD (v5.03) with the WDIDLE3 from WD included.

More information about WDIDLE3 at:

Wdidle3.exe on the WD Website
Ultimate Boot CD Website

Disks reported to work (as written in the comments):

WD15EARS, WD20EARS, WD20EARX, WD30EZRX, WD10JPVT.
WD--EFRX (red models 2014)
WD--EZRZ (blue model 2017) (old green series are now blue)

Download:

Changelog:

2012-01-06:

I've made a new image which is lighter and easier to use. Actually it is just a rip off of the current UBCD (v5.11) that only contains the FreeDOS image and the WDIDLE3 binary (Thanks for the comment!).

Program usage:

To use it you just have to boot off the disc and navigate to [HDD]->[Hard Disk Information & Management]->[WDIDLE3]. At the prompt, enter:

# wdidle3.exe /d

This will disable all parking and the click noise on all attached WD drives on your system. Maybe you have to try wdidle3.exe /s300 if you don't have success with wdidle3.exe /d as mentioned in the comments. The tool worked with my WD Green WD15EARS, even if the home page states the drive isn't supported.

To exit the UCBD and reboot:

-> Press F10
-> in the menu with 4 choices, pick "Exit".

Alternatively, type:

# reboot

Syntax and options of WDIDLE3:

WDILDE3 Version 1.05
Copyright (C) 2005-2009 Western Digital Corp.
Configure Idle3.

Syntax:
WDIDLE3 [/S[]] [/D] [/R] [/?]
where:
/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 300 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.

Example of a successful output:

Here, you can see how it has worked on my disk:

WDILDE3 Version 1.05
Copyright (C) 2005-2009 Western Digital Corp.
Configure Idle3.
Model: WDC WD15EARS-00Z5B1
Serial: WD-WMAVU2721167
idle3 Timer is disabled.

Ultimate Boot CD with WDIdle3

S.M.A.R.T output:

before disabling the timer:

[root@neon /home/xen]# smartctl -a /dev/ada1
Device Model:     WDC WD15EARS-00Z5B1
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       283
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   197   197   000    Old_age   Always       -       11040

after disabling the timer:

[root@neon /home/xen]# smartctl -a /dev/ada1
Device Model:     WDC WD15EARS-00Z5B1
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       296
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   197   197   000    Old_age   Always       -       11040

Comments

Keith (not verified)
Tue, 17/05/2016 - 19:23

Your boot cd is still making all much simpler & better. Could have made another ebd from old XP and added wdidle3, but your approach (ubcd511custom) is way much better.

Thank you!

Bobby (not verified)
Wed, 04/01/2017 - 08:39

Was there a wdidle3 v2.0.0.1 version given out just before the WD Red tool (wd5741).

Did this wdidle3 v2.0.0.1 verion work for Blues and Greens also.

Would you be able to source this and remake a new fresh 2017 iso please.

uefi sucks (not verified)
Thu, 06/04/2017 - 14:13

doesn't work if your bios is only uefi like my asus p8h61mle motherboard

in fact there is no solution to use wdidle3 in this case, because wdidle3 NEED a dos system however there is not any dos program working with uefi

zab
Thu, 06/04/2017 - 19:09

That UEFI should have CSM (BIOS emulation layer) support though. Even my newer ASUS Z97 chipset has. UBCD should load with that.

Otherwise I'd try idle3-tools nowadays.

Przemek (not verified)
Sat, 21/10/2017 - 18:11

Thank you. This bootcd saved me a lot of work.
Just boot and disable load :)

Frank (not verified)
Thu, 30/11/2017 - 12:49

Tools and Iso booted fine!! i changed it after i having these two drives for a few months. Head start / stop counters was around 120.000 to 130.000 WTF! Yikes!! inside a QNAP NAS

Changed my two 5TB BLUE EZRZ to 240 secs with this bootCD and a PC ( connected outside the PC cage)and also Disconnect all other WDC drives.
(I have an Enterprise datacenter 1 TB WDC SE and this on showed "DISABLED" timer ... so well well i guess this is not for nothing ... i disconnect this one so the tools wouldn't change his timer as well. )

Anyway when i changed it to 240s and shutdown the PC i heard a ckirrrr sound for 0.1 sec from the EZRZ ??? Hmz ( i read disabled it on some drives suddenly start making noise / clikcy sounds so i set it 240 ) ???

OK well ?? LOL!

inside the NAS they won't be shut down anymore so... let's hope all is good. (they are quiet and no ckirrsr sounds)
... lets see how the performance and counter will do. SMART shows "GOOD" inside the NAS again.

Thanks!

zab
Mon, 22/01/2018 - 21:43

It will alter the drives firmware parameter, not the content of the disc itself. Since it's officially not supported by WD it could potentially render your disc unusable.

David (not verified)
Thu, 01/02/2018 - 14:38

WDIdle3 tool is still working fine with modern red, green or blue drives

More drives models tested and working fine

WD--EFRX (red models 2014)
WD--EZRZ (blue model 2017) (old green series are now blue)

it should work just fine for the next years... it seems that WD didn't changed the parameter section and thats good news

Tom (not verified)
Mon, 09/04/2018 - 16:19

David/Et al,

Do you have any links or information/instructions on updating a WD Blue "WD10EZEX" with a newer firmware in the form of .rom and .rpm files (Windows 10)? I found the preferred firmware, wanted to know if any GUI or command line utilities exist?

Thanks,

Tom

Rune (not verified)
Tue, 04/09/2018 - 14:38

Still works in 2018 :)

One of my WD greens (wd30ezrx) had 264 000 load/unload cycles, finally managed to disable the head parking feature.
Thank you so much for putting all of this together.
Have a nice day :)

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