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Old 08-08-2009, 11:50 AM   #1
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Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB (WD10EADS) load cycle count issues?

There's been a lot of talk on (non-linux) forums about abnormally high load cycle counts (LCC) on Linux machines because of relatively frequent disk access by the kernel. Oddly I couldn't find any threads on this board regarding this problem.

So I'm hoping people more familiar with linux can answer my question. I'm wondering if high LCC would occur if the drives were mounted for data storage only. Basically, I envision a setup where I have one drive for all the normal partitions and a pair of 1 TB WD Green drives in software RAID for my home partition (or mount the pair as a completely separate partition for backup only). In that case, will there still be constant disk access on the RAID drives?
Old 08-09-2009, 04:36 PM   #2
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One thing that would help is mounting partitions with the noatime option. You may also want to select a distribution that does not suffer from the issue (distros like Puppy and arch still do while Ubuntu has applied a hack to solve it).

And no, this is not linux specific. XP and Vista are not any safer. The real culprit in this case is Western Digital, which has so far failed to release updated firmware (and from what I have been given to understand from someone who has got in touch with WD, such firmware may never be released at all; they apparently do not have a fixed "recipe" to make their consumer level drives so now they cannot figure out any solution that would accomodate all those different builds).
Old 08-14-2009, 06:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for your response. I guess I wasn't very clear in my original post. I was already aware that the problem isn't linux specific; for example SpeedFan on Windows will also create the same problem. What I was tring to get at is what exactly are the linux distros doing that cause the frequent disk accesses. If it is accesses to files on the root directory or /etc, then LCC wouldn't be a problem as long as the WD drives are mounted as a separate partition where the files aren't being accessed by the kernel.

I saw some bug fix threads for older versions of Ubuntu, not 9.04. So when you say Ubuntu has applied a hack to solve it, do you mean it is applied by default when installing 9.04? This would be good for me since that's exactly what I plan on using.
Old 08-15-2009, 04:27 AM   #4
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It is syslog and cron you are looking for your answer to your question, but their load is very, very low. Also some programs saves their pid in /var/run. File systems like EXT2/3, XFS, and ReiserFS automatically shuffle data around to minimize fragmentation when they are not being accessed.

Ubuntu did not provide a patch because the problem is syslog and cron. Again the load these daemons provides is very, very low.

The load that non-Linux forums are saying is slocate. It is funny that non-Linux forums relates to high load cycle counts thinks it is related to the kernel. Since information that you gathered was from a non-Linux forum, anything the posters say is completely irrelevant unless they state their expertise of Linux and they understand how Linux works.

You can try to use laptop-tools to help you control secondary hard drives, but starting up hard drives multiple times will damage them more than use. The use does not damage them. It is the abuse such as vibrations.


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