Disk spindown in linux, specifeying spindown idle time

Disk Spin down

There is a probelm with disk spindown via hdparm, the problem is that you must address a disk as /dev/sdc , which changes in the case of USB media and other disks, even when you add slaves,

hdparm -Y /dev/sdb will spin a disk down instantly

hdparm -S 240 /dev/sdb will set this disk to sleep when idle for 20 minutes (5 second units here)

or adding at the bottom of the file /etc/hdparm.conf a section such as

/dev/sdc {
spindown_time = 240

to make those changes persistent across reboots.

To check the status of a disk, here is what you do

hdparm -C /dev/sde

You could get one of the following results
When spun down…
drive state is: standby
When active
drive state is: active/idle

Don’t make your disks spindown too often, 20 minutes is good for me almost in all circumstances.

If the disks don’t spin down, chances are that selftest is enabled…

Check if it is enabled with

smartctl -a /dev/sdb
if it reads
Auto Offline Data Collection: Enabled.

then you need to disable it with
smartctl –offlineauto=off /dev/sdb

then wait for them to finish (if a test is running) then spin down.

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