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Thread: hard disks do not spin down

  1. #1
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    hard disks do not spin down

    Hi,

    I have the following problem:

    I have two 1 GB hard disks set up as a RAID-1 array which is working fine. I have set both hard disks to a spindown delay of 2:30 minutes using hdparm (spin down is checked in power management as well).

    Code:
    sudo hdparm -S 30 /dev/sda
    sudo hdparm -S 30 /dev/sdb
    The raid array consists of two partitions. It is installed in a small server running from a USB stick (i.e. no swap or other system critical partitions on the harddisks).

    Even if I dismount both partitions of the RAID array (which, at least to me, should mean that no writing or reading from the array should take place), I can hear the clicking of the hard disks from time to time and the hard disks refuse to spin down (checked via hdparm -C /dev/sda: harddisk is active/idle).

    Any suggestions? Should I stop the RAID array perhaps, too? I would prefer a solution which does not require dismounting the partitions.

    Thanks
    Run Seven

  2. #2
    dino99's Avatar
    dino99 is offline Ubuntu addict and loving it
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    Re: hard disks do not spin down

    You can set spindown time in /etc/hdparm.conf if you uncomment the line with #spindown_time = 24

    maybe you need to update rc.d too

  3. #3
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    Re: hard disks do not spin down

    Quote Originally Posted by dino99 View Post
    You can set spindown time in /etc/hdparm.conf if you uncomment the line with #spindown_time = 24
    Thanks, I did that... unfortunately still no spindown

    maybe you need to update rc.d too
    Sorry, I don't know how I would do that... and Google didn't help me much in this matter... what would I need to update rc.d for if hdparm.conf is edited the way you suggested?

    Update: Even with the raid array stopped, the hard disks won't spin down. What the hell is Ubuntu doing with my hard disks?

    Update 2: if I spin down manually (hdparm -y /dev/sdx), the drives remain spun down. Still, why not automatically?
    Last edited by Run Seven; May 20th, 2010 at 06:51 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: hard disks do not spin down

    I have spent a few more hours tinkering but still, the hard disks do not spin down. Any suggestions, anyone?

  5. #5
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: hard disks do not spin down

    I am suffering from the same problem with my system.

    I have two hard drives, one is purely storage, the other has root file system, swap and another storage partition on it.

    hdparm -Y will powerdown both drives, although the root file system drive spins back up quite quickly.

    hdparm -S will not work, they will occasionally spindown only to come straight back down.

    I have set noatime on all partitions which I thought would at least alleviate the problem on the pure storage drive, but nope...

    Perhaps a problem with hdparm?

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Re: hard disks do not spin down

    If you're using Lucid, have a look at this:

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/568120

    cheers,

    Oscar

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: hard disks do not spin down

    Thank you Oscar. Indeed, I run Lucid. Unfortunately, the solution in comment #21 does not work for me. I guess I will have to wait until this problem is fixed. In 9.10, everything worked fine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: hard disks do not spin down

    Hello,

    Has anyone any more info on this issue?

    I've just built a 10.04 home server (Atom D510) with 3 x 1.5TB Samsung 'green' drives in an mdadm RAID5 array.

    I'd like them to spin down when inactive for an hour or so using something like...
    Code:
    /dev/sda {
    spindown_time = 242
    }
    in hdparm.conf.

    But judging by this thread (and the bug report already mentioned) this won't work...

    Is this really the case?

    If so, how long before this is addressed?

    Cheers
    The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

  9. #9
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    Re: hard disks do not spin down

    It is working for me now with 10.04. I got the solution in the link Oscar provided at last to work. For your convenience, this is what worked for me:

    Just install the current ubuntu version of hdparm and add

    Code:
    /dev/sdx {
        apm = 255
        apm_battery = 254
    }
    to your hdparm.conf in /etc (replace /dev/sdx with your drive).

    Feel free to replace the values as you wish (e.g. some people might want to use "apm = 254").
    Last edited by Run Seven; July 27th, 2010 at 05:07 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: hard disks do not spin down

    RunSeven, I just want to clarify:

    Code:
    apm_battery
    is irrelevant for desktop systems.

    Code:
    apm = 255
    disables the APM feature on the disk. I'm guessing the reason for this, is that enabling APM interferes with the spindown value? However disabling APM seems to be counterintuitive.

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