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New SATA HDD connected to controller card causes system to hang when h


Foxbat
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I have a Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB WD5000AADS SATA connected to a SYBA SY-VIA6421-3S1P IDE/SATA/eSATA combo PCI (VIA VT6421A) non-RAID controller card. This particular configuration seems to be causing the system to hang, mainly with larger files about 1GB in size. When the system becomes unresponsive, I could hear the head of the drive continually park and unpark indefinitely every 8 to 10 seconds. Examples of when this happens: while watching a video (freezes at random spots every time, never the same position); benchmarking with RoadKil's Disk Speed (freezes at 8KB blocks and 16 KB blocks, does not happen with Crystal Disk Mark, however); and when performing a binary compare (files are verified to be identical through a different connection). Move and copy operations are unaffected, so I was able to load it up with files.

System specs:
OS: Windows 98SE (RP9, KernelEx, both are unaffected by this problem)
CPU: Intel Pentium III 1GHz
Memory: 512MB
Motherboard: Intel 82815 Motherboard (28-bit LBA BIOS, IAA installed)
HDDs connected to motherboard:
Maxtor 200GB IDE (128 GiB in use)
Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB IDE (128 GiB in use)
AGP and PCI (no conflicts):
Video: nVidia Geforce4 Ti 4200 128MB
Audio: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! Value
USB: Rosewill RC-101 NEC chipset USB2.0 PCI card
NIC: LinkSys LNE100TXv5 10/100 Etherfast
*** Controller Card: SYBA SY-VIA6421-3S1P non-RAID PCI card (VIA VT6421A) ***
HDDs tested and working fine with VIA VT6421A controller card:
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB SATA 6Gb/s (jumpered to 3Gb/s)
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB SATA 6Gb/s (jumpered to 3Gb/s)
Problematic HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB WD5000AADS-00S9B0 SATA 3Gb/s (not advanced format) (jumpered to 1.5Gb/s)

I have been using the controller card for a year with WD Black and Blue SATA HDDs, and it has been running fine, until I started using a WD Green SATA drive. This problem only happens with the Green drive connected to the controller card. It does not happen when connected to a USB to SATA bridge, or connected to another computer. I checked for data corruption; there is none. I've changed ports, and swapped cables with known good ones. I tried it with and without the 1.5Gb/s jumper setting. I've tried smaller partitions without success. The SMART looks as good as it should for a brand new drive. No bad sectors. It passed the WD DLG test.

Going further, I examined the major differences that the Green drive had compared to the others. Green drives run at 5200 RPM and have an 8 second head-park feature. RPM is not an issue, but 8 second-head park has been know to cause problems in very limited and specific conditions. As a precaution, I used wdidle3 to disable the head-park just to see if it might alleviate the problem. It did not.

Additional testing has shown it to be in good, working order. The only possibility I could come up with is some form of incompatibility with the controller card and Green drives, but I was unable to verify this. Syba support only offered the same basic procedures that I have already performed, unplug this, plug that, etc. In order to eliminate any doubt, I returned the Green drive for a replacement. Once the new drive arrived, it was tested for potential problems. It checks out fine, and when I went to reproduce the problem at hand, the same thing still happens. A month of troubleshooting hasn't brought me any closer to a solution, so I am out of ideas.

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NOT what you asked :w00t:, but I have seen more reports of "strange" issues with "Green" WD drives then I would ever had expected, fully functional disk drives that on certain setups behave "strangely", only a confirmation, but no specific solution or work around, unfortunately. :(

However, see if anything here works for you :):

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1367904

It seems like in addition to the WDIDLE, using WDTLER:

https://jackkb.net/western-digital-raid-issues-tler-is-the-culprit/

can solve some issues also in non-RAID setups. :unsure:

Remember YMMGV. :ph34r:

Have you tried to set WDIDLE to /s0 (infinite) instead of /D (disabled)? :unsure:

jaclaz

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/s0 with WDIDLE3 doesn't do anything at all.

From WDIDLE3 help:

Resolution is 0.1 seconds from 8.0 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.

It looks like valid entries are from 8-12.7 and 30-300. Although some sources report /s0 being used, my guess is /s0 would be for older green drives, while newer drives respond to /d.

WDTLER doesn't work on this drive.

Thanks for the suggestions, jaclaz. No solution in sight yet, but it was worth a try.

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I'm surprized that WDIDLE3 any version works (or appears to work) as it is not specified

as software applicable to that model(/model family) of drive (referring to this;)

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=608〈=en

which is reached via this webpage (applicable 'model family' at bottom left of webpage;)

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?level1=6〈=en

_

Although not specifically about your model of drive (but is applicable to the 'model family'),

you may find this webpage of interest;

http://koitsu.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/wd30ezrx-and-aggressive-head-parking/

("RP9, KernelEx, both are unaffected by this problem" - if so, why not try the 98SESP3.xx?)

Edited by buyerninety
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I'm surprized that WDIDLE3 any version works (or appears to work) as it is not specified

as software applicable to that model(/model family) of drive (referring to this;)

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=608〈=en

which is reached via this webpage (applicable 'model family' at bottom left of webpage;)

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?level1=6〈=en

WDIDLE3 is an unsupported tool released by Western Digital to solve specific issues. It was not meant to be widely used, so it is kept deep within their website and not actively advertised. Yes, the tool does what is says it does. Of course, this tool was a candidate for the process of elimination in troubleshooting my problem: head-parking is not causing it.

Although not specifically about your model of drive (but is applicable to the 'model family'),

you may find this webpage of interest;

http://koitsu.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/wd30ezrx-and-aggressive-head-parking/

I am already well aware of the Green drive head-parking issue. The computer silencing enthusiasts community has been talking about this for a number of years. Although the head-parking does cause a few issues, it's the SMART cycle count that is raising eyebrows. It's a case of mass hysteria. People forget that other HDDs also head-park: laptops. Explaining the details would be out of the scope of this thread.

("RP9, KernelEx, both are unaffected by this problem" - if so, why not try the 98SESP3.xx?)

Using a service pack would be redundant as I already have the updates.
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