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 Post subject: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:38 am 
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Hello everyone, I recently bought a Western Digital WD10EALX Caviar Blue hdd and I'm experiencing a very annoying problem: every couple minutes or so the drive spins up for a while before going back to idle, even if there is no activity at all on the disk (it's a data disk, indexing disabled). It's not the quietest drive in the first place, but the continuous up- and downspinning is truly nerve wrecking.

First I figured it was the drive itself but after some experimenting it turns out the drive only exhibits this behavior when Speedfan is running in the background. Close Speedfan and the drive idles properly, open Speedfan and the up- and downspinning is back. I was using 4.43 beta version so I reverted back to 4.42 but the problem remained. The cause isn't just Speedfan though, I have 5 other WD drives and all of them idle correctly with Speedfan running in the background.

I already contacted WD customer service although I have no illusions about them prioritizing my issue. I will also notify the Speedfan author. In the meantime I just wanted to warn other Speedfan users who might be looking to purchase this drive. I'm thinking about replacing my drive with the 10EALS sata 3Gbp/s version, unless someone knows it has the same issue as its sata 6GBp/s cousin.


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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:23 am 
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Try to disable the temp reading for that drive. (Click 'configure' and uncheck all HDx listings)

I'd guess that your other drives aren't temp monitored and thus can spin down properly.


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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:32 am 
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Alright good suggestion, that does the trick. But still not completely satisfactory since I have no problems reading out temperatures from my other disks (although, maybe they're just too silent for me to notice the upspinning). Also, my casefan speeds are based on hdd temperatures, obviously that wont work anymore. But thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:02 pm 
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Ok, I feel a bit silly. First off, apparently my drives have never been idling correctly since I've been using using Speedfan, which is a long time now. I just never noticed because they're so quiet. It would have been nice if Speedfan had given a little warning about this though. But I guess I should be thankful to the new drive for bringing this to my attention.

Then I got the bright idea of testing the EALX outside my case, which is a Lian Li PC-7FN. It turned out to actually be pretty quiet for a speedy 7200rpm hdd. Put the drive back in my case and voila, loud buzzing sound is back again. Most likely because this drive is vibrating a lot more than my other ones, apparently making my case's hdd cage resonate in some very nasty way. Now I'm wondering if I should blame WD, Lian Li or both.


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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:31 am 
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sssttt wrote:
It would have been nice if Speedfan had given a little warning about this though.


It probably did by reading HDD temps in excess of 30c, which would not be the case if the disk was spun down. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:52 pm 
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tim851 wrote:
sssttt wrote:
It would have been nice if Speedfan had given a little warning about this though.


It probably did by reading HDD temps in excess of 30c, which would not be the case if the disk was spun down. ;)


Well, actually my hdd temps were kinda ok...depending on the situation between something like 27-28 and 35 degrees, which I didn't consider very high when looking at some other people who were usually talking about 40 degrees. But likely their drives weren't idling. Also, I think Speedfan was actually the first program to show me hdd temps, so therefore I didn't really notice an idle drive didn't have the temperature it should, which is indeed a lot lower.

Anyway, the EALX vibrates really strongly, at least 3 times as much as my EARS gp drive. It's just too much for the drive cage to handle, although I'm a bit disappointed in Lian Li designers. But maybe the new system with the screws on the drives themselves works better (my drives go in a sled, then in the cage). My only option left is trying the elastic suspension method. But I can't recommend the EALX for a silent system at all.


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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:06 pm 
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Location: ontario
this isn't really a speedfan issue. you cant query SMART data for just a specific piece of info, you ask for smart data and the drive gives you it all. the issue arises in that some smart data is actually stored on the platters themselves, so every time there's a smart query, they've got to spin.

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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:24 am 
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No, the issue is not Speedfan, that's clear to me now but thanks for the explanation. I'd change the subject to "WD10EALX vibrating like mad" if I would post now.

But on a side note, I wonder how many people use Speedfan without knowing the hdd temp reading never allows their drives to idle...or HWmonitor for instance, since it also reads out hdd temps.


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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Location: ontario
if its that bad, and its still under warranty, then i might look to get it replaced. i know that you know this, but that drive really shouldnt be vibrating much at all.

if you end up having to keep it, then aside from all the normal ideas, i just grabbed a 100mm square carpet sample from a local store the other day. its done a decent job isolating a spare ide drive i needed. its in open air so i still hear it spinning, but its not rumbling around on my desk anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:31 am 
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Ok, I went with the elastic suspension method and the result is simply amazing. Not a single vibration is transmitted to the case anymore, completely solving my problem with this drive. The Lian Li drive cage system wasn't able to surpress the vibrations at all but at least it's fairly well suited for using the elastic suspension method. Pics or it didn't happen:

Image

The little rubber screw you see on the original drive sled at the top clearly wasn't up to the job.

As for the vibrations being normal or not, I really don't know. I can only compare to 2 older WD5000AAKS drives and they didn't vibrate much at all. But in the review on this site of the WD10EALS it was mentioned it vibrated quite a lot as well. Apart from the vibrations the drive is fairly quiet, it makes a light buzzing sound but inside the case it's not really noticeable.

Edit: Well, I take that back, sort of. The drive is audible inside my case as well. During the day not so much, but in the silence of the night, with the casefans at low rpm, the drive is clearly audible. Nothing unbearable, but a slight buzzing/humming sound is noticeable none the less. This is not the drive you're looking for if you want an as silent as possible system. Seems we're stuck to 5400rpm green drives for that.


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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:46 am 
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Location: London
Can I ask, is this suspension only possible because the Lian Li has wider 3.5" bays than normal, or will I be able to do this in almost any case?

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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:20 am 
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sssttt wrote:
No, the issue is not Speedfan, that's clear to me now but thanks for the explanation. I'd change the subject to "WD10EALX vibrating like mad" if I would post now.

But on a side note, I wonder how many people use Speedfan without knowing the hdd temp reading never allows their drives to idle...or HWmonitor for instance, since it also reads out hdd temps.


I've been a diehard speedfan user for years now. I never thought about this.

Is turning off the temp sensor enough or does having speedfan running stop the drive from powering down even then?

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 Post subject: Re: WD10EALX + Speedfan trouble
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:31 pm 
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doveman wrote:
Can I ask, is this suspension only possible because the Lian Li has wider 3.5" bays than normal, or will I be able to do this in almost any case?


I don't think it would be possible with the new Lian Li drivecage system where the screws are inserted into hdd itself. If available you could use a 5.25" bay. If it were up to me all cases would be equipped with elastic drive suspension from the factory.

dhanson865 wrote:
sssttt wrote:
No, the issue is not Speedfan, that's clear to me now but thanks for the explanation. I'd change the subject to "WD10EALX vibrating like mad" if I would post now.

But on a side note, I wonder how many people use Speedfan without knowing the hdd temp reading never allows their drives to idle...or HWmonitor for instance, since it also reads out hdd temps.


I've been a diehard speedfan user for years now. I never thought about this.

Is turning off the temp sensor enough or does having speedfan running stop the drive from powering down even then?


Just turning off the temp sensor for the hdd's is enough. Speedfan keeps working just fine, but obviously you can not control fanspeeds based on hdd temperature anymore.

As explained to me the issue is that the smart info is on the platter itself, and therefore it has to spin to be read out. So any program that reads smart info continuously will prevent drives from idling.


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