too aggressive hard disk power saving defaults

Bug #612969 reported by Björn Schließmann on 2010-08-03
This bug affects 7 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
pm-utils (Ubuntu)
Nominated for Maverick by John Rippetoe

Bug Description

Binary package hint: pm-utils

IMHO, the power saving defaults in /usr/lib/pm-utils/power.d/harddrive are much too aggressive. The below mentioned battery values cause my hard disk to spin down after approx. five(!) seconds. This produces much more wear on the hard disk than it's worth for energy saving.

Also, this should be documented (not only what it does, but why those values were chosen) and user changeable. If the default is so aggressive, it also should be adjustable user-friendly, i.e. graphically.

Defaults as per pm-utils 1.4.1-1:

* hdparm -S (spin down): AC 0 (disable), battery 6 (should correspond to 6*5 = 30 seconds, but see above)

* hdparm -W (drive write cache): AC 1 (enable), battery 0 (disable). Why would we need to disable write caching on battery -- just for the case that it runs out of energy?

* hdparm -B (advanced power management): AC 254 (minimum saving), battery 1 (maximum saving). Too aggressive IMHO, causes my HD, provided spin down (-S) is disabled, to frequently unload the heads (SMART load cycle count is skyrocketing).

* hdparm -M (acoustic management): AC 254 (maximum performance), battery 128 ("max quietness" as commented on in [...]/power.d/harddrive). Don't know, may be appropriate.

I'd please like to hear the opinions of the maintainers.



ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.10
Package: pm-utils 1.4.1-1 [modified: usr/lib/pm-utils/power.d/harddrive]
Uname: Linux 2.6.35-999-generic i686
Architecture: i386
Date: Tue Aug 3 14:21:44 2010
PackageArchitecture: all
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: pm-utils

Daniel Hahler (blueyed) on 2010-08-08
Changed in pm-utils (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Triaged
Siep Kroonenberg (siepo) wrote :

This affects me too. After just about every Ubuntu upgrade, I need a different fix for this. This time around I found (just venting some frustration).

Omk (ossi-viljakainen) wrote :

I'm running 13.04 on my Asus F202X, and have this same problem: My harddisk is constantly spinning up and down and then parks (making clicking sounds):

Click -- spin down -- spin up; Click -- spin down -- spin up; Click -- spin down -- spin up.

This goes in about 10 sec sycles. Usually the time between two clicks is 10 sec, but sometimes 7, sometimes 5 sec, sometimes 3 sec, and occasionally 20 sec. And then sometimes it remains quiet for several minutes, even for hours. I'm sure this will break the disk prematurely.

issuing the following stopped this behaviour:
sudo hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda

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