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 Post subject: New HDD and few issues (head parking, 4k sector)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:47 pm
Posts: 9
Hello, spcr users.

My current HDD is 500GB Samsung F3. I was quite happy about this HDD, but lately its louder than before. It's working great, HDTune says its ok, but airbone acoustic level and the vibration are much more annoying than before. Also I ran out of space.

I am looking for new HDD. The silence is first priority. Sadly, I cant afford SSD+HDD configuration, so I'm looking for just one HDD for system and data.
There are few issues that concerns me. I heard that all modest "green" 2 TB drives have this head parking feature ("its not a bug, its a feature.."). Is there any way to turn it off? I already know that it would drive me mad. I also heard that Windows is not affected by this issue?

Second thing is 4k data sector standard. I am using Windows XP and some Linuxes from time to time. Is it safe to buy HDD with this feature for booting WinXP and Linuxes?

If it comes down to the model, I thought about Seagate LP ST2000DL003 or WD20EARS. But its not that important, I am asking about some solid info about abovementioned issues. Of course I googled it, but I got some conflicting info about it. Many people say different things, some claim that you cant switch off head parking, others say you can. And noone can certainly confirm if 4k sector affects XP booting. It is really confusing to me, so I ask for your help.

Thank you in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: New HDD and few issues (head parking, 4k sector)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:47 am
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Location: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
4k is not an issue unless you use Windows XP installer to partition your drives.


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 Post subject: Re: New HDD and few issues (head parking, 4k sector)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:47 pm
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Thank you for reply.
I use GParted, so its not a problem.

How about head parking? Is it possible to switch it off with software like QuietHDD? Also (assuming the answer is yes), that software must be running all the time, or can I just once set parameters responsible for this and close it?


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 Post subject: Re: New HDD and few issues (head parking, 4k sector)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:35 am 
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Location: en.gb.uk
There's an app called WDIDLE3 which can change the wait time before head parking, this works on the 1TB and 2TB WD green drives I believe (as in ... I've used it on 1TB and 2TB WD drives, the 2TB were the EARS I believe). It runs from DOS, but you only need to run it once as the drive stores the setting in non-volatile memory.


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 Post subject: Re: New HDD and few issues (head parking, 4k sector)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:47 pm
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Oh, thats good. Do you or someone else know if its working with WD drives only?

Since I have informations about these issues, can you recommend the HDD itself?
I am considering WD20EARS, Samsung HD204UI and Seagate ST2000DL003.

Vibration level is not that important, as the drive will be suspended, so its about airborne acoustic. Also I'd rather avoid Seagate as I heard about very poor customer care from them. Currently I consider Samsung HD204UI as best buy. I heard that it doesent have head parking issue, and its about $15 cheaper than WD20EARS. Unfortunelly, according to reviews it is 1~2 dB louder than WD20EARS. What do you personally think, should I go with the Samsung?

edit: there is also WD20EARX avaible. Is there any difference between EARX and EARS?


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 Post subject: Re: New HDD and few issues (head parking, 4k sector)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:56 pm 
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Location: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
EARX = SATA3. EARS=SATA2.


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 Post subject: Re: New HDD and few issues (head parking, 4k sector)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:40 am 
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FuryDrone wrote:
Currently I consider Samsung HD204UI as best buy. I heard that it doesent have head parking issue, and its about $15 cheaper than WD20EARS. Unfortunelly, according to reviews it is 1~2 dB louder than WD20EARS. What do you personally think, should I go with the Samsung?


Alas I can't really provide a definitive answer to that question. I have six WD20EARS in my media server/HTPC and I've been really quite impressed by them - they're hard-mounted in a PC-Q08, and there's not really any sign of vibrational noise. There's a soft whoosh from the drives and the rest of the system, but it's easily lost in domestic noise.

I have used the Samsungs too, but not in a quiet environment, so I can't really compare. Seagate - no idea, not used a Seagate drive in years in my quiet builds, since they lost their crown here as the silence champ.


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 Post subject: Re: New HDD and few issues (head parking, 4k sector)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:47 pm
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Hm, I will probably get one WD20EARX.

One more question. Some sources report, that WD20EARX has variable platter rotation speeds. Is that true? Will the drive spin up and down from time to time? Are such things audible? ;]


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 Post subject: Re: New HDD and few issues (head parking, 4k sector)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:47 am
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Location: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
No, it doesn't have variable speed. Never had. It was a myth. IntelliPower is "A fine-tuned balance of spin speed, transfer rate, and caching algorithms designed to deliver both significant power savings and solid performance.". In other words, 5400RPM, quick head parking, high density platters, large hard drive cache. No variable speed.


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