how can i disable continuously parking heads ?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by mantra, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    Hi

    i noticed that some hard drive(desktop ) like seagate and toshiba do continuously park their head/heads every x seconds

    i can understand it could be good for a laptop but for a desktop ,an hard drive used for data mostly that continuously parks it's head/s it's insane

    do you have some drive like these ? did you notice they continuously park their head/s?

    i would like to ask if it a good idea to disable it

    i know hard disk sentinel can do it ,but the paid version
    maybe there are some freeware that can do it

    and if you have disabled it , how can i do it?
    wester digital have a tool to disable it but seagate seems to didn't release similar tool to change APM
    thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  2. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Hi mantra :)

    Personally, I have found CrystalDiskInfo to do a great job at handling APM issues. Under advanced features,
    you can open a control that handles both AAM/APM settings. In my case, I did not disable the APM
    features of the drive, a laptop/mobile WD500GB Blue Scorpio that I am using in a tower setup, but I did
    adjust the APM to "Maximum performance" by setting the control slider to the proper code. This way, no
    head parking, etc., but of course you could always disable if desired. The APM control is very flexible,
    a lot of settings in which you can read about here:
    http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/manual-en/AamApm.html

    Additional instructions can be found here:
    http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/manual-en/

    Since I set the APM to 'max performance', adjusting slide control to "FEh", then click 'Enable', the drive now performs
    as I desire it to, without constantly parking heads and causing delays of program launch, etc. I noticed
    better performance immediately with my drive, no more delays while waiting for drive to respond from
    a parked state.

    i downloaded just the portable version, (Standard addition), but there are several available here: (all free)
    http://crystalmark.info/download/index-e.html#CrystalDiskInfo

    Hope this helps, it has worked great for me, at least it did what it said it could :)

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  3. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    Hi Jim


    but you have to run always crystal diskinfo on every boots to disable heads parking ?

    i use this drive only for data , can't understand why they add this feature , to continuously park their head/s
    can understand for a laptop but no for a desktop

    thanks!
     
  4. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Hi mantra :)

    Not sure about having to have it resident, I simply did the setting, enabled it, then closed
    the application. Seemed to be fine and the drive did not do any more parking. I have not
    booted the tower up this morning yet, but as of last night, the setting did not change after
    I had shut down CrystalDiskInfo. As far as I can tell, the changes was made, and is not dependent
    upon the app running resident, although one can do this if desired for disk monitoring i think.

    I just booted the desktop, and you are correct, I had to reset the APM, so it does appear it is
    per session if one does not keep the app to start with windows. Not an issue for me, but I will likely
    change the app to start with windows if that keeps the setting so i will not have to reset each time although it only takes
    a few seconds to enable.

    I think there are other options out there for apps that handle APM settings, such as "HDParm",
    that I have heard about. On this WD I am using in the desktop, I had tried the WD tool that you could
    boot from and adjust the APM settings, but it only worked on a few models, and it did not work correctly
    on my Blue Scorpio, but this CrystalDiskInfo does work for my needs.

    If I set the app to start as resident, I will let you know if the settings stay, I am sure they will.

    Have a good day :)

    Jim
     
  5. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    Thanks Jim
    i will test it and i will report ,right now i can't test the drive and hard drive
    by the way IBM/Hitachi Drive Feature Tool could set permanently on wd drives ,even it's an old software
     
  6. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    What problems are caused by the head parking ?
     
  7. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Disc wear.
    Most commercial HDDs come with a threshold of 300.000 (and some with 600.000) load/unload cycles.
    When using very aggressive timings like 8s (eg. WD Green and WD RED) the hdds will fail after 2-3 years when used as system drives, on systems that run 24/7 and most of the time are idle.
    The most extreme example (not real life scenario):
    The drive (300.000 threshold) is installed on a system(home media server) that its idle most of the time and is never put to sleep.
    The OS writes the logs every 8,1s
    On that system, the hdd will load/unload the heads 9.720* times per day (or 8.820** times on a day that you'll watch a 2 hours film and the streaming app does not perform any pre-cache of the file).
    That drive will fail after 31 days or 34 days in case you watch a film of 2 hours every day.

    *=[(24x60x60)/8]-[(24x60x60)x0,1]
    **= * - [(60x60x2)/8]

    Panagiotis
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  8. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    Panagiotis may i know they add this nasty apm ?
    so it's a good idea disabled it with crystal diskinfo or hard disk sentel
    i noticed this apm on the new seagate and toshiba , haven't tried wd

    the past barracuda did not park their head every x seconds
    thanks Panagiotis
     
  9. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Ignoring theory, how many drives actually fail due to this ?
     
  10. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    I do not know. (the APM is nice, how they implement load/unload of the heads on the firmware is nasty)
    On recent drives (Western Digital and HGST) modifying the APM fix the problem until you reboot or unplug the drive. After the reset, at least the 2.5 inch drives that I'm testing, APM reverts to default settings and needs to be modified again.
    Panagiotis
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  11. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Don't know but I suspect that I will tell you in less than a year.:ouch:
    I recently bought some HGST travelstars 4 drives 5K1000 and 2 Drives 7K1000 and all six suffer from this.
    When they are plugged in as external drives, no matter the OS (Windows, Linux, OSX) or the device they constantly load/unload the heads every 8-10 seconds.
    I am tempted to zero them out, plug all of them in a system and leave them on for a month or two and then RMA all of them.

    later I'll post some images of their load/unload cycles.

    Edit: From comparing my drives the load/unload cycles are caused much more often on my imac and macmini (both in OSX and Windows with bootcamp)

    Panagiotis
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  12. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    7k1000 system drive on my macmini
    1.JPG
    5k1000 in usb enclosure used only as a backup (after the backup gets unplugged)
    2.JPG
    5k1000 in usb enclosure use as an external drive on my imac; was left plugged in until I noticed the extreme load/unload of the heads....:mad:
    3.JPG
    5k1000 in usb enclosure used on a WD TV media player
    4.JPG

    Panagiotis
     
  13. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Have you contacted HGST/WD - I would be interested to see what they say about the situation.
     
  14. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Yes,

    they responded in 24 hours:thumb:
    ...but their first reply was to use programs like "FeatureTool", "Keep Alive HD" and "hddscan".:blink::(

    Panagiotis
     
  15. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    hi Panagiotis
    but does feature tool really work ?
    it's outdated software , do you think can change the amp definitively ?
    thanks
     
  16. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Yes, and so can CrystalDiskInfo, hddscan, etc. as long as the hdd firmware allows it. But some mobo bioses, uefis, and for certain Apple's EFi, or even other programs can revert it to the default setting. So you never can be sure until you power down your system and verify it again.
    CrystalDiskinfo for windows, hdapm for mac, hdparm for linux come handy in those systems/disks.

    Panagiotis
     
  17. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Thank you Panagiotis for your examples of how your drives are behaving with
    APM.

    The drive I am using is a 2.5" Western Digital WD5000BPVT-16HXZT3 CrystalDiskinfo show a total power on hours of a little over 24 days...the load/unload cycle count is over 150,000. I found this to be even more aggressive
    than some other mfg's APM management. The drive checks out fine, but I found this to be crazy. Then I realized when I first got this drive which came in a refurbished Dell laptop, I had let it often sit in between working with it for hours, and this is likely the periods the load/unload cycles began to grow, it got so bad that I noticed it was parking heads about every 8 seconds which caused systemic delays and it became difficult to continue working with it, so at the time, I removed the drive and replaced it with another drive that did not have such aggressive APM.

    So your example is great and very helpful to see how aggressive some APM can get. I was unable to change this behavior with the "wdidle3" tool WD put out, it did not work with the Blue Scorpio model drives. CrystalDiskinfo does a good job at handling this APM, I was surprised though at the count that built up while I had been letting the laptop often sit idle, in between usage. I thought this cannot be a good thing for any drive. I have not tried the other solutions you mentioned, I was aware of a few of them. I have CrystalDiskinfo set APM to FEh or max performance instead of disabling the APM, is this setting best?...or should I actually disable the APM?

    Appreciate your experience with this issue, it could be a good thing, but as you stated, it is implemented in a nasty manner.

    Have a good day Panagiotis

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  18. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    hi Jim
    do you run crystaldiskinfo at every startup to change the apm ?

    thanks
     
  19. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Hi mantra :)

    I found that is what I had to do, is set CrystalDisk to "Start" and I also selected
    "Resident" but yes, the app must run at start up in order to keep the APM settings
    across reboots. Otherwise it only keeps the APM settings during the current session.

    I will note, it is interesting that on my Dell laptop, with a Samsung 160GB HM160JI drive, the APM setting set to Max performance FEh, is kept without having to use the startup feature. I guess each drive handles APM a bit differently as Panagiotis stated. In the tower, the WD drive has to have the CrystalDiskinfo set to start so it can reset the drive APM.The Samsung in the laptop is SATA1, the WD in the tower is SATA2, not sure if that makes a difference, plus the Samsung is 2 or 3 years older drive.

    Hope that helps.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  20. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    You're welcome Jim.

    About disabling the apm.
    -First check your system settings and disable the setting that puts the disk to sleep after xx minutes
    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/140592-hard-drive-turn-off-hard-disk-after-idle-never.html
    http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201714
    (and for external disks maybe use SpindownHD from xcode)
    http://www.cnet.com/news/managing-overheating-external-hard-drives-in-os-x/
    http://www.hecticgeek.com/2012/09/how-to-disable-or-change-the-hdd-spin-down-time-in-ubuntu-12-04/

    check the smart results, leave the disk idle for half hour and check the smart results again. If the problem is solved no need to adjust apm.

    -If not you'll have to adjust the apm.
    It really depends on the disks. Eg. on some disks disabling and max(FEh or 254 on some programs) is the same thing, on other drives disabling causes the platters to never spin down and on some drives neither max nor disabling prevents the load/unload of the heads to occur.
    So personally I prefer to test the drives apm setting and to put it to the lowest possible that will prevent the head parking from occurring often. I go first with max 254 FEh and check the smart, then go to 240 FOh and check the smart again, to 239 EFh check again, 223 DFh, 207 CFh, and so on (every step is down by 16) until when I check the smart I see the load/unload cycle to be increased by 1. Then I put it to the previous lowest setting where checking the smart did not cause an increase of the parking number. So the disk will keep cool when not in use and won't spin to the max all the time.

    --On most Hitachi, Western Digital, HGST drives the lowest setting that does not allow the parking of the heads is C0h / 192.--

    ps. For laptops that are moved around often, and for HDDs with multiple platters I do not recommend disabling the parking. Those are more likely to have problems and the frequent parking helps a lot to prevent the heads from getting damaged.
    You can find some usefull insight here
    http://xenomorph.net/misc/clicking-hard-drives/

    Panagiotis
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  21. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Great information Panagiotis. Thank you!

    i really appreciate you taking the time to explain the various
    settings and monitoring them. For now I have APM set to FEh,
    max performance and there has been no additional load/unload
    cycling. I will try the lesser settings and check the smart values
    along the way. I think this way is likely best, not disabling the APM,
    but finding the balance in between.

    I did change the power option in the laptop Hard disk setting to "Never'
    and i think that took care of the Samsung issue, although I did also use CrystalDisk
    to set APM at max FEh . But that setting stays across boots without Crystal being
    in Start feature with windows, so maybe the "Never" power setting did take care
    of the Samsung. The WD in the tower is a 2.5" 500Gb Blue Scorpio which I have placed in the
    tower because the original 3.5" drive does not have the performance of the mobile WD
    and had a few reallocated sectors.

    So far the mobile drive is working great and no more head parking but I will also try the
    tapering back on the APM setting in Crystal to find a balance. Nice thing is the mobile WD
    in the tower stays within a good temperature range even at max performance, but I do
    not really push it much. Temp stays about where the laptop Samsung stays, around
    80 F which of course would increase depending upon activity. I am very glad to at least stop
    the cycle count on that WD drive also...150,000 in 24 - 25 days of power on seemed insane to me.
    The Samsung drive in the laptop is 7 years old, but the load cycle count is under 100,000 which
    is sure a lot different than the newer WD drive.

    Very interesting info, much appreciated. :)

    Jim
     
  22. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    What OS? But assuming Windows, just change power options, do not let your disks sleep. Done.
    Any other tweak using third-party tools is dangerous. You do not know what the long-term effect will be.
    Mrk
     
  23. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    And if one thing is of value in your screenshots, based on Google's study, the temperature is too low.
    You're better off in 25-35 deg C range for drive longevity, at least the way Google tested it, and I think it makes sense.
    Mrk
     
  24. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    It is irrelevant of the OS. It happens on my apple systems in both OSX and Windows.
    Changing the sleep settings resolves the problem in the Windows (bootcamp) but not in OSX (especially for drives in external enclosures it does not make any difference).
    As for the temperature, the screenshots where taken write after the system started so it's not a problem in this case.

    Panagiotis
     
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