ATA harddrive sleep/spindown timout?

Derrick Ryalls ryallsd at
Thu May 22 11:48:40 PDT 2003

> Is it possible to put ata harddrives in 
> spindown/sleep/suspend mode without putting the whole system 
> to sleep/suspend? I'm building an fileserver with several 
> disks that won't be used more than a couple of hours each 
> day, and in the mean time I would like to reduce the noise 
> level by putting the ATA harddrives in sleep/suspend mode 
> with an timeout.

My first thought is to check the BIOS to see if that option is in there.
You might need to disable some services that frequently access the hard
drive though, like cron.

My second thought is that if this does work for you, then you will be
shortening the life of the hard drive with the daily spinup/down.  If
noise is the biggest concern and not hardware, then go for it.

> This is an *critical* abillity, I like FreeBSD a lot, but 
> without this functionality I'l have to run linux and use 
> hdparm to reduce the noise to an acceptable level.
> Heikki Soerum.
> -- 
> - "In My Not so Humble Opinion" 
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