USB external hard drive disconnecting

Reid Rivenburgh reidr at
Sat Feb 9 03:34:38 UTC 2008

On Feb 5, 2008 9:43 PM, Reid Rivenburgh <reidr at> wrote:
> On Feb 5, 2008 5:07 PM, Reid Rivenburgh <reidr at> wrote:
> > True enough!  Another person privately mailed me, suggesting I run
> > sdparm periodically to prevent the drive from going asleep.  Before
> > trying that, though, I'm just using the new USB cable.  It's been okay
> > for several hours now, so maybe that was indeed the problem.  I will
> > keep an eye on things and followup here with what I think is the final
> > verdict in a day or two.
> For those following my saga: Something just went wrong again.  I got a
> bunch of "rejecting I/O to dead device" messages, as well as a lot of
> "new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 65" (the number
> varies).  It's unusual this time in that it's not just reconnecting
> immediately, instead showing that message.  Does that mean anything to
> anyone?  It looks like the ehci_hcd messages will go on forever, so I
> guess I will unplug it or power cycle it and hope it comes back.  I
> guess the next thing to try is calling sdparm in a cron job, as one
> person suggested.

Here is (hopefully) my last followup for those interested.  As I
mentioned, someone suggested off-list that I run sdparm in a cron job
like this:

* * * * * /usr/bin/sdparm /dev/sdd > /dev/null

That could very well be overkill, but it seems like a very
light-weight process.  In any case, my USB drive has been up without a
single disconnect for several days now.  Looks like the person was
right: The drive was going to sleep on me.

I hope this information helps someone else.

Thanks all,

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