WD Caviar Green drives + Mac (auto-parking issue)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by macstatic, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #1
    Being on the lookout for a couple of quiet and reliable drives I've been recommended Western Digital's Caviar Green series (WD--EARS). However, it's also come to my attention that these drives attempt to auto-park (WD calls it "Intelli-park") every 8 seconds! No kidding.

    Fortunately it also seems that this "feature" (or bug?) can be turned off using a DOS utility called WDidle 3 (read more here).

    But from all the threads on the subject I've come across there are only Windows or Linux users. I'd like to know if any Mac users have this drive and have successfully turned off the auto-park feature -and if yes; how did you do it? I'm planning to put two (possibly four) of them inside an external Firewire 800 enclosure.
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    It's a setting in the NVRAM of the drive. Connect the drive to a DOS box, run the utility to set whatever value you want and then connect them to the Mac.

    However, I don't "get" it. You want these drives because they are quiet and reliable (and also low power), yet you want to use them "off label" and modify them beyond the design? That may have an impact on power consumption and thus reliability.

    B
     
  3. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a

    pilot1226

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    I think the main concern that has been brought up lately regarding these devices is that the parking and unparking of the heads is what causes drive failure, and by constantly parking/unparking you're accelerating the wear and tear on the platters.

    On another note, my external solution is a Caviar Green 1TB SATA via a USB2 enclosure, and I love it. I can't even tell it's on, even when transferring data.
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    I understand the argument, but reliability isn't that simple.

    WD obviously "tuned" the drives for the 8 second cycle. Deviating from that you can improve the product's lifetime, or not, but you are clearly no longer using the drive according to its design.

    Your mileage may vary, is all I'm saying.

    B
     
  5. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #5
    Yes, I know.
    But I would like to hear if other Mac users who have successfully done this from their Mac, with the drive in an external enclosure and how they did it.
     

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