How to prevent HDD spin-down.

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at
Tue Mar 6 07:37:04 UTC 2018

On Tue, 6 Mar 2018 07:30:59 +0100, Johan Hendriks wrote:
>Op 06/03/2018 om 03:37 schreef J.B.:
>> Hey. I purchased a new WD laptop hard disk drive, but it keeps
>> spinning down and parking its heads after 25 seconds of inactivity.
>> How can I disable that feature or extend the timeout to something
>> less idiotic? I checked the BIOS, but there's no setting for it. I
>> booted into a Linux (Debian-based) OS duel-booting on the same disk,
>> and the disk doesn't spin down, so either Linux is doing something
>> to override that feature, or FreeBSD is doing something to enable it
>> (possibly a package I installed). Thanks.
>I do not think linux is doing something special. I think the disk on
>Linux do not spin down because the OS is touching the disk every so
>second for log or other things. Just install a fresh Ubuntu with no
>special options and boot it. You will see disk activity every x seconds
>even when the box is idle.
>On FreeBSD however there is almost no disk activity if a box is idle.
>So the disks is not touched for 25 seconds and the disk will spindown.
>If you are using Western Digital disks, there is a utility you can run
>to disable this feature or give it a timeout large enough so the os has
>touched the disk. It has been a long time since i used it and if i
>remember it worked only in DOS or windows. Just use google and search
>for your disk and disable headparking.

GVFS and other software much used by default Linux installs wake up
sleeping drives immediately, IOW the spin down and up again and again.
I replace GVFS by an empty dummy packge to fullfill dependencies. But
I'm using e.g. libfm, which suffered from the same issue. Fortunately
a developer fixed it, after I reported this bug, somethging those from
bloated DEs such as GNOME or KDE never ever would do.


A workaround would be to write a script, that would touch the drive,
before it could spin down. Again, don't confuse a drivre that never
spins down, with a drive that spins down and up again and again.

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