Please consider making this a sticky.
I rediscovered this thread after stumbling across http://www.waldner.priv.at/ramblings/
and contemplating a heads up post to this forum.
I assume you're referring to this post:http://www.waldner.priv.at/ramblings/#wd%20disks
which I've quoted here for posterity:
Western Digital (WDC) "Caviar Green" disks and Idle Timeout ("IntelliPark")
"Modern" WD disks are quite aggressive with regard to trying and save power - so aggressive, in fact, that they'll go and park the read-/write-heads after just 8 seconds.
This often means trouble, as some filesystems per default flush their buffers every 10 or 30 seconds, and certain applications, such as mplayer under some circumstances, read data every 10 seconds, thus nearly instantly re-waking the drive.
And those drives are only spec'd for 300-1,000k load/unload cycles for their heads.
In my setup, this lead to ~600 load/unload cycles per day, which would've meant I'd reach the 300k in ~500 days -> 1.5 years. And with my luck with disk drives, it would've instantly fallen over dead right then.
Affected models, according to WD: WD20EADS, WD20EARS, WD15EADS, WD15EARS, WD10EADS, WD10EARS, WD8000AARS, WD7500AADS, WD7500AARS, WD6400AADS, WD6400AARS, WD5000AADS, WD5000AARS
You can check with smartctl (from package smartmontools):
smartctl -a /dev/sdX | egrep "(Power_On_Hours|Load_Cycle_Count)"
and knowing how much cycles/hour resp. /day you get is just a bit of easy math away.
WD claims that you can disable this timeout via hdparm -B, but on my box this just throws an error, and has no noticable effect otherwise.
But if you click further on that page, you'll get to a tool called "RE2GP Idle Mode Update Utility" or "wdidle3". Of course, this tool is for DOS - DOS, for fucks sake! - which means you'll get to fiddle around with FreeDOS.
I'll give you the short route for how I finally, after many a detour and senseless reboots, got the WD tool to run:
grab an empty USB stick of a couple MB
make a DOS partition (type 04 or 06), don't forget the "bootable" flag (don't make the partition too big, I recommend max. 500 MB)
mount it somewhere
aptitude install libqt4-dev
apt-get -b source unetbootin (maybe with a /unstable tacked on)
dpkg -i unetbootin_*_i386.deb
run unetbootin (it wants the root-pw, because it doesn't use sudo)
select "FreeDOS" and the stick, let it install
grab the "wdidle3...zip" from the WD site I linked to above, unzip it
copy BOTH the .exe and the .txt to your still mounted stick
unmount the stick, boot from it
you can find WDIDLE3.EXE on C:
run it with /R (for report) first
you really, really want to select "no drivers" in the FreeDOS boot menu - HIMEM/EMM386 make the WD tool not work
run C:WDIDLE3.EXE /S90 (or 300, or 12.1 or whatever fits your needs, see WDIDLE3.TXT for reference)
curse WD lots
As an aside: hddtemp allegedly wakes up drives - smartctl -a | grep Temp allegedly doesn't. And smartd (which comes with package smartmontools wakes 'em up, too, so fiddle with the config file (/etc/smartd.conf) so as to not throw away the above effort.
I certainly can't vouch for the validity of this post, but here it is, added to this thread, FWIW.