Latest LQ Deal: Linux Power User Bundle
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Ubuntu
User Name
Ubuntu This forum is for the discussion of Ubuntu Linux.


  Search this Thread
Old 10-09-2007, 09:34 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: India
Distribution: ubuntu 10.04 , centos 5.5 , Debian lenny, Freenas
Posts: 324

Rep: Reputation: 36
Question spinning down hard disk

Hi all,

I was reading the book "Beginning Ubuntu Linux" by thomas keir. In this book there
is a tip given to spin down the hard disk. the author says that it will help a lot in power savings.

he gives the tip as follows

all modern hard disks come with the ability to spin down their motors to save energy.Then,when data is requested,the motors spin up again. There may be a slight delay while this happens, and some people dislike using disk spin-down because of this. However on a notebook, it can lead to a substantial increase in battery life.On a desktop system ,it's worth considering.because over the lifetime of a
computer, it can save a lot of electricity.

on terminal type
gksu gedit /etc/hdparm.conf


you can alter the value to anything you want.each time unit is 5 seconds,so 24 equates to 120 seconds or 2 minutes

when u are finished,save the file.

Reboot for the settings to take effect

Now question is how effective is this tip ???
will it lead to substantial power savings?????
Old 10-10-2007, 04:13 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: NJ, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Debian
Posts: 5,852

Rep: Reputation: 357Reputation: 357Reputation: 357Reputation: 357
It depends if you are on a laptop or a desktop, really.

A spinning HDD uses about 10 watts if I recall correctly, which is almost nothing on a desktop machine, but can make a big impact on a laptop.
Old 10-21-2007, 04:08 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 24

Rep: Reputation: 15
Well if a average PC needs 50-100W (excluding the monitor) and if spinning down the harddrive saves 10W, you will reduce the power consumption by 10 to 20%. But if this is the harddrive where your system is installed on, there will most likely too many accesses to the disk that it wont spin down anyway. However, if you have more than one disk in your system, the second one still can spin down. And this does not only reduce the power consumption, it reduces the noise of your system as well.
Old 10-26-2007, 09:17 AM   #4
Digital Surgeon
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Canada
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.10 - Gutsy Gibbon(Desktop Edition)
Posts: 184

Rep: Reputation: 30
Yes it will save power, but not a lot. It will reduce the lifespan of your hard drive. Because these motors are precise to the revolutions per minute. The up/down in speed will reduce your motors lifespan abit. Thu you will need to replace your hard drive. In essence you can relate it to why school buses dont turn off their motors a lot and transport trucks as it will reduce lifespan of the motor. Its a gamble.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hard Disk not spinning down (is that bad?) l00zer Linux - Laptop and Netbook 2 11-05-2004 11:15 PM
Hard disk spinning all the time. jwijesundra Linux - General 6 08-02-2004 02:32 AM
spinning down hard drives cleff Linux - Software 4 06-20-2004 11:09 AM
why is my disk spinning up? mattl Linux - General 2 06-07-2004 03:58 PM
Hard drives spinning up and down continuously r_jensen11 Linux - Hardware 2 02-26-2004 04:45 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Ubuntu

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:09 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration