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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 11-06-2012, 02:28 AM   #1
snafflekid
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Registered: Nov 2012
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Laptop hard drive spinup/down 2-3 times a minute


Hi LQ,

I installed Fedora 17 on a new laptop, dual boot with Win 7 if that matters. ASUS K54C laptop

I am not experienced with the fine details of Linux, so please excuse me if my understanding is low. I notice that my hard drive is spinning down a few times per minute and then within a couple seconds is spinning back up. I assume this is a laptop setting where the hard drive is in a power saving mode. Probably a workstation would not have this issue.

What programs would need to be writing to the hard drive so often? I'm not even sure this is the problem. I would prefer the hard drive to spin down, but constantly on would be the next best thing. Constantly parking the hard drive head cannot be good for it.

Last edited by snafflekid; 11-06-2012 at 02:31 AM.
 
Old 11-06-2012, 03:01 AM   #2
H_TeXMeX_H
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It wears it down pretty quickly. You can turn it off with:

Code:
hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda
You can also see 'man hdparm' for more options, if you still want it to spin down, but maybe more rarely.
 
Old 11-07-2012, 12:10 AM   #3
snafflekid
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Hi TexMex,

Thanks for the info. that setting works when i use it but it doesn't stick after a suspend or reboot.

I have been reading and this problem is rather common. I have a Western Digital hard drive and they seem to be notorious for this problem. What I said was a spinning down of the drive is actually not the problem. The problem is the unloading of the write head and then immediately bringing the head back to the platter. The drive does spin down also but it is not too often. And some have proposed that the problem lies with aggressive power saving features of the WD drive which is highly tweaked specifically to unload the write head when it detects a Windows operating system idle state pattern on the drive I/O. Linux distributions will not have similar looking idle state and this brings the head back to the platter almost immediately. Well, I can't say for sure this is the exact reason but it is beginning to sound reasonable, since I watched using top for anything that would be repeatedly writing to the disk and did not see it. Nor do I find a particularly chatty daemon writing to a log file. Western Digital is not being very helpful with the issue either.

Still searching. hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda may be the only solution or turn off ACPI in the bios.
 
Old 11-07-2012, 01:43 AM   #4
H_TeXMeX_H
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Put the command somewhere where it runs on boot. It varies from distro to distro.
 
  


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