It is syslog and cron you are looking for your answer to your question, but their load is very, very low. Also some programs saves their pid in /var/run. File systems like EXT2/3, XFS, and ReiserFS automatically shuffle data around to minimize fragmentation when they are not being accessed.
Ubuntu did not provide a patch because the problem is syslog and cron. Again the load these daemons provides is very, very low.
The load that non-Linux forums are saying is slocate. It is funny that non-Linux forums relates to high load cycle counts thinks it is related to the kernel. Since information that you gathered was from a non-Linux forum, anything the posters say is completely irrelevant unless they state their expertise of Linux and they understand how Linux works.
You can try to use laptop-tools to help you control secondary hard drives, but starting up hard drives multiple times will damage them more than use. The use does not damage them. It is the abuse such as vibrations.