Ubuntu – Laptop’s hard drive doesn’t really spin down

hard driveperformancespindown

I have a new laptop with dual boot to both windows 7 and ubuntu 11.04. While in ubuntu, the laptop gets significantly warmer than in windows.
My suspect is the hard drive, because I feel it's especially warm above it, and also I believe I feel its vibrations constantly, even when I'm doing nothing with the hard drive and its led is off. (BTW, I checked, and "spin down hard drives when possible" option is checked.)

Whenever I try: hdparm -C /dev/sda
I get: drive state is: active/idle

And the interesting thing is, when I tell it to sleep: hdparm -Y /dev/sda
It says: issuing sleep command
And I can actually feel it stops spinning, but only for a couple of seconds. (It goes back spinning without me triggering anything)

My question is, what can I do to make my hard drive calmer?

(It's a SATA 500GB 7200RPM)

Best Answer

hdparm -B 127 should configure your drive for maximum power savings however if there is a flush to disk then it has no choice but to wake up. To counter this you can install powertop to profile programs that write to disk repeatedly. If it's workable, you might be able to reconfigure those programs to write to a tmpfs mount of your creation, or by using an existing tmpfs like /run is up to your discretion. You could also adjust the swapiness and vm caching attributes to tell Linux to hold onto more ram, thus flushing to disk less. See the VM docs in the linux kernel, http://lxr.linux.no/linux+v3.1.2/Documentation/sysctl/vm.txt and Documentation/vm/.

Related Question