How to reduce "Load Cycle Count" on Seagate drives?


on my new system I installed the drive and did the burn-in tests the last few days. Today, when I checked the S.M.A.R.T. values of my drives i recognized that my Seagate drives have a much higher Load Cycle Count than the Western drives.

My system is runing TrueNAS SCALE and under Storage => Disks the settings for all of the drives are:

  • HDD Standby: ALWAYS ON
  • Adv. Power Management: DISABLED

What can I do to reduce the Load Cycle Count of the drives?



Enabling Advanced Power Management and setting at least Level 128 should do the trick; at least it does on my IronWolvesIronWolfs… my IronWolf drives!


I have updated my settings from

  • HDD Standby: ALWAYS ON
  • Adv. Power Management: DISABLED
  • HDD Standby: ALWAYS ON
  • Adv. Power Management: 128

Additionally, I have set “hdparm -S 0 /dev/sdX” via commandline for my Seagate drives to disable the standby timer (maybe, that’s the same as setting “HDD Standby: ALWAYS ON” in the TrueNAS SCALE WebUI).

However, the Load Cycle Counter still increases faster than on all the WD drives.


Do you have any further ideas on how to “stop” the fast increase on the Seagate drives?

@Davvo, @joeschmuck, @winnielinnie does anyone from you have further ideas?

I believe they do not use APM (I have exos drives too). Download seachest tools and disable epcfeature and powerbalancefeature. However, they are rated for hundreds of thousands of load cycles so it’s not really a problem but still, that’s how you can fix it. It’s an intentional feature of the drives.

Vielen Dank für den Tipp.

Das habe ich nun gerade durchgeführt. Ich beobachte die Platten die nächsten Tage und melde mich wieder.

Auf Reddit gibt es dazu übrigens noch gut aufbereitete detaillierte Infos.

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I think you are spot on. Set it to 0 (zero) to never park the heads, or maybe set it to 1 hour. This will likely yield the same result as the drive would like be active in less than 60 minutes. With my WD Reds I would set it to 0 to disable the timer as well. A lot of us did that. The drive heads will park when the drive shuts down.

Exactly, used to know the precise details but decided I didn’t care for the exos at least since it was rated for so many load cycles.

Unlike you, probably one of the few hardware questions I could answer. Just an armchair hardware guy at best. Seems to be one of your things!

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That post looks correct to me. Good find! I did not recall the details exactly but that will work.

Me too. I do this for fun. I’m not an IT professional, don’t want to be either. I’ve just been doing computer stuff since 1976 when I built my first computer. It wasn’t much, nothing like todays machines. And armchair or not, helping and learning is what this forum is about.

Is it done for the WD drives via the WDIDLE3 tool or is there any other tool?

I don’t recall it having the number three but yes, that was the tool.

Just an update to the Seagate drives:
Before disabling the epcfeature and powerbalancefeature my Seagate drives showed around 30-50 Load Cycles per day. After disabling the features, the drives showed around 0-2 Load Cycles per day over the last three days.

For the WD drives:
I have not used WDIDLE3, yet. However, the drives show a Load Cycle count also in the range of 0-2 Load Cycles per day, monitored for over 6 days now.


What problem are you trying to address?

If the drive is rated for 600,000 load cycles, and does 100 a day, that’s 16 years.

It seems like the vendor isn’t worried about the count and thinks there’s a reason to put the heads somewhere safe. If the drive was developed for a certain duty cycle, what’s the trade-off to keep them flying the whole time? Heat? Power consumption? There’s (usually) no such thing as a free lunch.

Of course I’d also set it to “never”. The idea of sleeping drives annoys me. The mere thought of a moment of latency.

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You are right and your comment is a valid statement. However, I think if the vendor gave a maximum limit of the Load Cycles they seem to be “bad” for the drives in general, even if they don’t damage the drive during your calculated 16 years. For my understanding it might have to do with this today’s “everything must be green” why the vendor parks the heads.

As writtena bove my WD drives don’t park the heads so often by default, so there should also be nothing bad with Seagate drives not parking the heads.

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Yeah I don’t mean to be argumentative, just checking that it’s not fear of a number, when the number isn’t an error count or imminent doom. :slight_smile: