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It can be used as an alternative to the official wdidle3.exe proprietary utility, without the need to reboot in a DOS environment.
A power off/on cycle of the drive will still be mandatory for new settings to be taken into account.
Modern Western Digital "Green" Drives include the Intellipark feature that stops the disk when not in use.
Unfortunately, the default timer setting is not perfect on linux/unix systems, including many NAS, and leads to a dramatic increase of the Load Cycle Count value (SMART attribute #193). With the default timer setting, the drive will spin down *every eight seconds* if idle and this may get the spindle motor to burn out in a few months or so.
If you have a Western Digital EADS or EARS drive, please check you SMART information before it's too late by running the following command:
sudo smartctl -A /dev/sda | grep "^193"
If the Load cycle count (which is in the last column) exceeds 1000, you're probably affected by the idle3 timer problem.
IDLE3CTL(8) IDLE3CTL(8) NAME idle3ctl - disable, get or set the idle3 timer on Western Digital HDD SYNOPSIS idle3ctl [ flags ] [device] .. DESCRIPTION idle3ctl can disable, get and set the value of the infamous idle3 timer found on recent Western Digital Hard Disk Drives. Idle3ctl can be used as an al more»
idle3-tools (0.9.1-1) unstable; urgency=low * Initial release Closes: 668248 -- Anibal Monsalve Salazar <email@example.com> Tue, 10 Apr 2012 17:28:22 +1000
Format: http://www.debian.org/doc/packaging-manuals/copyright-format/1.0/ Upstream-Name: idle3-tools Source: http://sourceforge.net/projects/idle3-tools/files Files: * Copyright: 2011 Christophe Bothamy <firstname.lastname@example.org> License: GPL-3.0+ Files: sgio.c (from the hdparm package) Copyright: 2007 Mark Lord <email@example.com> License: You may freely use, modify, and redistribute the h more»