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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 10-27-2007, 11:14 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Near the Canadian border
Distribution: kubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron
Posts: 48

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Exclamation Excessive hard drive load cycles

This is a continuation of this thread:
(the original issue getting smartctl working was resolved)

I am having a problem with excessive spins on my drive (5 -7 per minute). So far, I have read a number of articles, and tried:
1. disabling power management in the bios
2. issuing these commands: $sudo hdparm -B255 /dev/sda1, $sudo hdparm -S0 /dev/sda1

but my load cycles are still ~5 per minute. In the output below, the hours on my drive are 28,164 and the load cyle is 56,510. This might seem ok, except that I am pretty sure most of these load cycles have occured since installing Kubuntu. At 5 per minute, averaging 2 hours per day for 2 months, we have 36,000 loads. Of course, this is my guess only; it may be the problem occured only after I upgraded from Dapper.

I also note in the output below that my disk reads Pre-fail in two instances - this drive is maybe 8 months old.

2 questions:

1. What else can I do to reduce these load cycle times?
2. Does anyone have any important interpretations of the output below? (I have read the man pages, but it is still a little greek to me)

What I do know: I have a SAMSUNG drive (MP0402H Version: YQ20
Serial number: S03WJ10L783528) that may require the -F switch firmware workaround in smartctl, but I really don't know which option is right for me.


tferero@ubuntu:~$ sudo smartctl -d ata -A /dev/sda1
smartctl version 5.36 [i686-pc-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-6 Bruce Allen
Home page is

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:

  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate      0x000f   100   100   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  3 Spin_Up_Time             0x0007   100   100   025    Pre-fail  Always       -       2688
  4 Start_Stop_Count         0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       298
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct    0x0033   253   253   011    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate          0x000e   253   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
  8 Seek_Time_Performance    0x0024   253   253   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
  9 Power_On_Hours           0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       28164
 10 Spin_Retry_Count         0x0032   253   253   001    Old_age   Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       174
191 G-Sense_Error_Rate       0x0012   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       298
194 Temperature_Celsius      0x0022   106   085   000    Old_age   Always       -       44
195 Hardware_ECC_Recovered   0x001a   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       266937
196 Reallocated_Event_Count  0x0032   253   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
197 Current_Pending_Sector   0x0012   253   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable    0x0030   253   253   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count     0x003e   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate    0x000a   100   100   051    Old_age   Always       -       0
201 Soft_Read_Error_Rate     0x0012   253   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
223 Load_Retry_Count         0x0012   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       32
225 Load_Cycle_Count         0x0012   095   095   000    Old_age   Always       -       56510
255 Unknown_Attribute        0x000a   253   100   051    Old_age   Always       -       0


Last edited by tferero; 10-28-2007 at 12:24 PM. Reason: wrapping long column text with [code] method
Old 10-27-2007, 11:34 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Near the Canadian border
Distribution: kubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron
Posts: 48

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I just realized how many hours ~28,000 is (getting sleepy!). This doesn't even make sense - unless this drive wasn't new when I got it. Otherwise, these numbers can't be right. It would make more sense if these were minutes (~466 hours).
Old 10-28-2007, 11:09 PM   #3
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Registered: Mar 2006
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Don't mean to complain, but ... While your post cleanup makes things much easier to read, the column headings still aren't lining up with the columns. (Prior to figuring this out, I was getting really confused! ) I was going to tell you this was a minor edit, but in the meantime I had to repair my own post on UbuntuForums and realized that its not as trivial as I thought. (Post in code tags is mono spaced but edit box is proportionally spaced.) If you want to fix it, probably the easiest thing is to do the output of smartctl on your computer again and then copy & paste the result into the edit box.

Anyway, looking through your values, I don't spot any flagged as a pre-fail value as you stated. As I understand it, the normalized value has to have been less than the threshold value to be considered a problem and I don't see any of those. I also think there would be a timestamp in the WHEN column in that case.

You might also be interested interested in the -H option for smartctl, which lists its "health." It consists of a single line of "passed" or not.

Of course, I am not a guru. Like you, I am still trying to figure this out.

Last edited by blackhole54; 10-28-2007 at 11:47 PM. Reason: corrected erroneous tag
Old 10-29-2007, 01:14 AM   #4
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You have not told us much about your machine. In particular how much ram do you have and what services are you running? A machine that is short on ram MAY access or swap a lot more than one would realize. Some services write to logs on a frequent basis. If it is frequent enough it can keep the drive active or if timed just wrong, fire it up right after it has shut down.

Just a guess.

Old 10-29-2007, 01:39 AM   #5
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Please post your thread in only one forum. Posting a single thread in the most relevant forum will make it easier for members to help you and will keep the discussion in one place. This thread is being closed because it is a duplicate.

Please continue here

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