Spinning down a USB drive?

Scott Mitchell scott+lists.freebsd at fishballoon.org
Wed Jun 28 22:07:26 UTC 2006

Hi all,

Does anyone know of any way to ask a USB-attached drive to spin down (or
better yet some way to have it happen automatically after an idle timeout)?
I've tried "camcontrol stop" but it doesn't like that:

(511) llama:~ $ sudo camcontrol stop 1:0:0 -v
Error received from stop unit command
(pass0:umass-sim0:0:0:0): STOP START UNIT. CDB: 1b 0 0 0 0 0
(pass0:umass-sim0:0:0:0): CAM Status: SCSI Status Error
(pass0:umass-sim0:0:0:0): SCSI Status: Check Condition
(pass0:umass-sim0:0:0:0): ILLEGAL REQUEST asc:24,0
(pass0:umass-sim0:0:0:0): Invalid field in CDB

The drive is just a regular Seagate PATA drive in an external enclosure
that can be connected over FireWire or USB.  I've had it running over FW
for a couple of years quite happily; "camcontrol stop" would make it spin
down and "camcontrol start" spin it back up again when connected this way.
Unfortunately the FW interface on either the drive or the machine has died
so I've had to switch over to USB.  The drive is only used for a couple of
hours daily for backups - I'd like to keep it spun down the rest of the
time simply because it gets pretty hot even when idle, and to save a bit of

The USB-ATA adapter shows up like this:

(515) llama:~ $ usbdevs -v
Controller /dev/usb0:
addr 1: full speed, self powered, config 1, UHCI root hub(0x0000), VIA(0x0000), rev 1.00
 port 1 addr 2: full speed, self powered, config 1, USB TO IDE(0x0702), Genesys Logic(0x05e3), rev 0.02

It's using USB 1.1 right now because the machine is running 5.4 where USB
2.0 wasn't enabled by default in GENERIC (and I didn't think I needed it).

I can post dmesg and other info as necessary.

Many thanks in advance,


Scott Mitchell           | PGP Key ID | "Eagles may soar, but weasels
Cambridge, England       | 0x54B171B9 |  don't get sucked into jet engines"
scott at fishballoon.org | 0xAA775B8B |      -- Anon

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