I'm looking to get a qnap NAS and am looking for a couple of 2TB drives to put in it. I thought the decision would easy as the WD green WD15EARS looked rather good for the price but after a bit of investigation I found that it has some pretty major LCC (Load_Cycle_Count) problems.

I have seen that some people are using tools like WDIDLE3 to get around this problem but it seems like a bit of a hack... is it or is this an acceptable workaround.

Just wondering what people currently think is the best/most reliable (taking into account cost - i'm looking at around the 100-150 USD mark) 2TB drive atm. Keeping in mind that I'm not planning to use the drives as part of a RAID.

  • for anyone else confused, LCC is the S.M.A.R.T. attribute Load_Cycle_Count. Jun 30, 2010 at 1:36

3 Answers 3


That WDIDLE3 firmware is for specific models of WD drives, using it on other models might brick your hard drive, I checked WD site for the WD15EARS drive and there is no firmware update available for that model yet.


Have you looked at Samsung EcoGreen drives?


They're not a 2TB drive, but I do use WD15EARS drives in my storage server. I used the WDIDLE3 utility to disable the IntelliPark "feature" that runs up the LCC. Its provided by Western Digital, and has worked fine on my drives. They've been spinning nonstop for a couple months, no problems so far.

I would imagine that the WD20EARS drive would exhibit similar properties. I've also heard good things about Samsung's F3EG drive, which I plan on trying out when it's time to expand.


I had also trouble with my HDD, I was a bit worried about the LCC too but most annoyed by the aggressive power saving during my working. I could not just bite in my pizza and swallow without the drives making the typical park click and then needing some seconds to get ready again.

I have (on a windows 7 professional / 64 bit machine):

  • WD10EADS
  • WD15EADS

The only help came from a DOS ISO CD I had to create myself and the WDIdle3 v 1.05 from http://files.hddguru.com/download/Software/Western%20Digital/. However unlike Jeff's experience disabling Intellipark didn't work. The drive setting seemed overtaken but after a reboot the drive made strange noises and loading of the OS was quite slow (unlike my heart pulse and adrenaline level as you can imagine!).

After having set the value to the maximum allowed 300s = 5 minutes with


both drives run smoothly now and I can enjoy my pizza go and get a cup of coffee without the drives parking.

People stating running WDIdle3 works straight away from windows (on some sites) are ignorant. It doesn't: you have to build a DOS Image. I did it with FDOEMCD from http://www.fdos.org/bootdisks/. I had to replace the mkisofs through a 64 bit compliant one thought (this one) to get the ISO image created.

The feature is good meant by WD, but setting the time per default to 8.0s and 12.7s (that were the initial values for my drives) is really too agressive. They should provide a clean supported tool make this setting to a user defined value. Using an "unofficial" tool that is not clearly stated to support this or that drive is not really spreading confidence. That will make some other people sweat too, for sure. I hope this will be improved in some way. The default settings definitively were more annoying than useful for my way of working.

I am now satisfied with these drives but that was a battle (merely a software issue, the hardware was OK). I bought only WD over years as they were always quite reliable (so why change). I had trouble with IBM and some Japanese drives I cannot remember but that was for ages, now IBM doesn't even participate on the HDD market anymore.

It is difficult to make a recommandation but this information might help you in your decision.

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