Daniel Mauerhofer, Head of EMEA PR in Western Digital has sent us a comment regarding the Critical Design Flaw Found in WD Caviar Green HDDs
article. "What you have described as a “critical design flaw” in a recent article is rather a misuse of a drive, which was not designed for the referenced system type. In summary, this issue is far from critical, does not impair normal functionality or place data at risk, can be mitigated with a utility for the small percentage of systems affected, and is a well understood industry standard.
This design feature is designed for power savings in systems that can take advantage of the Idle 3 mode. With the heads parked in Idle 3 mode, a typical WD Caviar Green drive with 4 platters saves an additional 400mW of power, which is roughly 10% of the power consumed in Idle 2 mode. This has been a standard feature of modern notebook drives.
Many OS’s, including Windows, have been modified to take advantage of this power savings mode (which has been standardized by the T10 and T13 committees) by eliminating a sync operation that occurred every 30 to 60 seconds regardless of host or user inactivity.
The systems in which you are referencing that are reporting the issue has not been modified appropriately, and for these systems, the Idle 3 feature should be turned off.
The WD Caviar Green drives are not recommended for and are not warranted for use in RAID environments utilizing Enterprise HBAs and/or expanders, nor in multi-bay chassis, as they are not designed for, nor tested in, these specific types of RAID applications. For all Business Critical RAID applications, please consider WD’s Enterprise Hard Drives, which are specifically designed with RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER), are tested extensively in 24x7 RAID applications, and include features like enhanced RAFF technology and thermal extended burn-in testing. The Idle 3 feature can be disabled for those systems that are unable to take advantage of this power savings mode. WD has always provided applications engineering assistance to system integrators to maximize system performance while also minimizing the amount of power consumed by our hard drives."