safe way to standby sata hdd?

Eric Sandeen sandeen at
Wed Dec 16 15:44:02 UTC 2009

Michał Piotrowski wrote:
> Hi,
> I've got a home database/symfony env/etc../file server. It's based on
> Intel D945GCLF2D Atom board. I've got a two hard drives WD Green Power
> connected through Sata. First drive has / and /home filesystem, second
> has /home/samba4. On the first drive there are two directories
> /home/samba2 and /home/samba3 where I'm mounting ecryptfs.
> /home/samba4 is also crypted by default.
> I'm wondering if there is a safe way for such configuration to put
> second harddrive into sleep (or both drives) after some idle time?
> After some googling I've found some resolutions (haven't tested any of
> these yet):
> - hdparm -S

I use this for the data drive on my mythbox.  I just put this in my
/etc/rc.local -

# Spin down in 1 hours idle time
hdparm -S 240 /dev/sda

(yeah, oddly, sda is not my boot drive) :)

> - sdparm --set=STANDBY
> - and laptop_tools
> I'm really not convinced that these methods are safe for my
> configuration. Anyone have tried this before?

Yep.  What kind of safety are you worried about?  It should just work,
although you want a long enough idle time that you're not constantly
spinning the disk up and down.

Is there any nice user-friendly frontend to set this?  It'd be nice
to expose more power management choices to the users (for anything
that can't be easily defaulted, that is).


> BTW. I'm using F11 on this system - it appears that I even don't have
> /etc/hdparm.conf...
> Regards,
> Michal

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