hdparm does not spin down hard disk on inactivity timeout

Bug #875719 reported by Christoph Bier
72
This bug affects 14 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
hdparm (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

First off, I'd like to mention that hdparm -S worked with 10.10. But with 11.04 my external hard disk (Seagate) connected via eSATA ExpressCard on a ThinkPad X200s doesn't spin down anymore on inactivity timeout set to 12 (1 minute). I'm still able to spin down the disk with the -y option---but a few seconds later it spins up again. This hard disk is my backup disk and only in use every 4 hours by a cron job.

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Bob Harvey (bobharvey) wrote :

well, -S does not work in 10.04

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Christoph Bier (christoph-bier) wrote :

Do you mean 11.04?

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Christoph Bier (christoph-bier) wrote :

I upgraded to 11.10, -S still shows no effect

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Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in hdparm (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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Christoph Bier (christoph-bier) wrote :

I just installed hdparm v9.37 from source. I set the S option to 1 (5 seconds) and it worked. But 20 seconds later the disk spun up again (I did not access it). So I tried the Ubuntu version of hdparm with -S set to 1---and it worked, too. But the disk spun up again after 20 seconds. I guess Ubuntu's hdparm is not broken but some process accessing the disk prevents the disk to spin down which only occurs with -S set up high enough. How can I detect which process prevents the disk from spinning down?

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Bob Harvey (bobharvey) wrote :

@Christoph 2011-10-08

No, 10.04. I am using the LTS version on a server

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Christoph Bier (christoph-bier) wrote :

Any activity on this bug? Can I help you with some diagnostics?

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Christoph Bier (christoph-bier) wrote :

Does anybody care about this bug?

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Christoph Bier (christoph-bier) wrote :

Is this bug fixed in 12.04?

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Christoph Bier (christoph-bier) wrote :

Please, I need help on this! I upgraded to 12.04, but the problem still exists.

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Bob Harvey (bobharvey) wrote :

I have upgraded to 12.04LTS server and that does not respect /etc/hdparm.conf either.

My hdparm.conf file looks like this:
------------------------------------------------------
bob@server01:~$ cat /etc/hdparm.conf
/dev/sda{
        spindown_time = 30
        write_cache = off
        sleep
        }
/dev/sdb{
        spindown_time = 30
        write_cache = off
        sleep
        }
/dev/sdc{
        spindown_time = 30
        write_cache = off
        sleep
        }
/dev/sdd{
        spindown_time = 30
        write_cache = off
        sleep
        }

------------------------------

After a reboot my disks are active.

If I issue
sudo hdparm -Y /dev/sd{a..d}
then they go into standby.

Is there a log file that can confirm hdparm is being accessed at all?

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Bob Harvey (bobharvey) wrote :

Is this a duplicate of Bug 595138 ?

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Gerry (gsker) wrote :

I would say it is not. The OP on this bug reported that the drive did spin down but then spun back up.

Bug 595138 is a failure of the hdparm scripts to read /etc/hdparm.conf and properly set the spindown option.

To answer Christoph's question, here's a link to how to figure out what is accessing the drive:

http://info4admins.com/tips-to-spindown-your-hard-disk-in-debian-or-ubuntu/

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Liam Tuvey (0c-liam-wz) wrote :

Can confirm bug still exists in Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS, spindown_time in hdparm.conf is not respected.
I can spin down drives from command line using hdparm.

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vsespb (vsespb) wrote :

Still issue in 12.04, even for drive with no mounted partitions. (hdparm -Y is able to sleep this drive).

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Wojciech Musial (wojciech-musial) wrote :

You may want to consider hd-idle as a workaround. It checks for read/write activity and spins the drive down a la hdparm -Y after a specified timeout.

http://hd-idle.sourceforge.net/

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