Automatic means for spinning down disks available?

Jonathan Horne freebsd at
Mon Apr 9 00:17:17 UTC 2007

On Sunday 08 April 2007 18:11:51 Garrett Cooper wrote:
> Gary Kline wrote:
> > On Sun, Apr 08, 2007 at 10:10:17PM +0400, Yuri Grebenkin wrote:
> >> Just wonder if it's better for an HDD not to spindown at all.
> >> Maybe it's safer to spin in peace than to park/launch?
> >> What do you think?
> >
> > 	My guess (really a SWAG) is that it's bettter to leave things
> > 	just happily spinning, 24*7.  In Nov, '99 a power off//on
> > 	destryed my new (105-day-old) 9G SCSI drive.  Off ffor fewer
> > 	than five seconds, then a spike or two, and the drive went
> > 	deadder than a decade-old corpse.  Lost 10 months of files.
> > 	((Well, my tape backup had flubbed up.))
> >
> > 	Who would know???    I've heard both sides, and so far, just
> > 	leaving drive spin seems slightly better.
> >
> > 	{Futureistic[?] idea: maybe a new drive can have a mode of
> > 	 Full-Operation and (slower) Spin.  It wouldn't take more than
> > 	 a second to transition from the slow-spin to full-op mode.
> > 	 Open files, OS states, and whatever could be stored to RAM... .
> >
> > 	 Any little old winemakers, er, diskmakers out there?
> > 	}
> Good point. The worst stress points during a disks life are at spin-up
> from what I've read.
> Also, about the disk spinning at different speeds: many contemporary
> disks have "acoustics" levels where you can adjust the speed on demand
> (assuming you knew the hardware level instructions to send to the
> controllers). Unfortunately I don't know those settings, so I can't say
> what is and isn't possible.
> The only upside is at least all disk makers seem to be amalgamating into
> either: Fujitsu, Hitachi, Quantum, Seagate, and WD, so figuring out the
> standards shouldn't be *too* hard =).
> -Garrett
> > 	gary-the-thrifty
> >
> >>> Hello again all,
> >>> 	I was wondering if there was an automatic, and possibly timed means to
> >>> spin down disks available in either ports or the base system, by
> >>> chance. Just trying to cut down on energy use, and increase my disks'
> >>> lives :). TIA,
> >>> -Garrett
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personally, my solution for solving the "lower power consumption but still 
remotely available" issue, by configuring Wake On Lan.  my web server is 
always on, so i just installed net/wakeonlan there.  simple lines in crontab 
wake all the rest of my hosts each morning (after im gone to the office of 
course) for backups, and then they all power themselves back down about 2 
hours later.  during the day, if i need to get to a system while im still 
remote, i just log into the webserver and wake it backup again.

i would agree that the greatest stress on a disk might just be while its 
turning on from cold... but with the warranties that seagate is offering 
these days, i feel bold enough to power them off/on at least once a day.

Jonathan Horne
freebsd at

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