I've stumbled upon this thread a while back, and I'm rather interested in it because I'm actually considering WD GP drives for the NAS I am planning.
I have some questions about this issue, though, to which I haven't found answers yet. Since some of you are owners, can you tell me:
1) Which OS are you using? From what I've read, it seems the high load/unload count is more common in Linux, but I can't find much data on Windows OSes, namely WHS.
2) Does the load/unload software "fix" (not the firmware upgrade, just the "sicekick application" WD put up) survive power-cycles? I'm guessing "yes", but I'd like to be sure.
3) Which consumer-grade drives are affected? Every 1st and 2nd-gen GP? Not the WD10EADS? How about the new WD20EADS?
4) Has anyone tried the new firmware on the RE2 GP drives? If so, I'm very much interested in the spin-up power figures with the "low power spin-up". The ~1.7A on the 12V rail seems a little too much for what I want (4 drives + mobo + underclocked/undervolted CPU on a PicoPSU, with Staggered Spin-up still being a big "?" from both the motherboard manufacturer AND WD).
5) As of now, the best choices to avoid this problem altogether are the RE2 GPs with the updated firmware and tweaked unload cycle, right?
Btw, I think I know why WD isn't paying the regular GPs too much attention. They'll probably change the firmware on future iterations of the consumer GP, just in case, but I don't think there will be a firmware release for the older ones.
Why? Well, because those are consumer
-grade drives, which means they are not validated, nor expected to, be turned on 24/7, but at most 5 to 6 hours a day. If you pay attention, only GPs used 24/7 (or about that) seem to have insanely large load/unload cycles. Regular users have somewhat high counts, but well within expected parameters for the useful drive life (a.k.a., 5 years or less).
So, though it sucks big time (it IS an issue, and it should be dealt with), most likely WD will say "heh, that't not a server-validated drive. You shouldn't be using it 24/7 to begin with" to consumers. Which is why I'll probably need to start to ask quotes for the RE version...
In the meanwhile, if someone can prove what I just said wrong, PLEASE do. This is one of those few times I actually WANT to be wrong... hehe