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Old 03-23-2012, 02:06 PM
Stefan Monnier
 
Default USB drive spins up every hour

My USB-connected drive spins up every hour (or even half-hour).

This is a serious problem since it's a 3.5" drive, it's almost always
idle (I only use it once a day for backups) and it's not in a place
where I can easily plug it in and out.

Googling, I found a very similar looking problem that occurred a few
years ago in libatasmart and which caused DeviceKit to spin up the
drives every hour or so. But I have no DeviceKit here (running Debian
testing).

Using /proc/sys/vm/block_dump tells me that there is no disk activity
that justifies spinning up.
I have smartmontools installed, but "ps auxw|grep smart" confirms smartd
is not running.
There is no `cron' activity around the time the disk spins up either,
not anything disk-related in the logs.

Any idea what it might be and how to find out and fix it?


Stefan


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Old 03-23-2012, 03:05 PM
Camaleón
 
Default USB drive spins up every hour

On Fri, 23 Mar 2012 11:06:05 -0400, Stefan Monnier wrote:

> My USB-connected drive spins up every hour (or even half-hour).
>
> This is a serious problem since it's a 3.5" drive, it's almost always
> idle (I only use it once a day for backups) and it's not in a place
> where I can easily plug it in and out.
>
> Googling, I found a very similar looking problem that occurred a few
> years ago in libatasmart and which caused DeviceKit to spin up the
> drives every hour or so. But I have no DeviceKit here (running Debian
> testing).
>
> Using /proc/sys/vm/block_dump tells me that there is no disk activity
> that justifies spinning up.
> I have smartmontools installed, but "ps auxw|grep smart" confirms smartd
> is not running.
> There is no `cron' activity around the time the disk spins up either,
> not anything disk-related in the logs.
>
> Any idea what it might be and how to find out and fix it?

IIRC, this setting can be defined using hdparm ("-M" flag and also "/usr/
share/doc/hdparm/README.acoustic") but as the man page/doc says, the
possible options for this value depend on the hard disks model.

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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Old 03-23-2012, 04:47 PM
Stefan Monnier
 
Default USB drive spins up every hour

>> My USB-connected drive spins up every hour (or even half-hour).
>>
>> This is a serious problem since it's a 3.5" drive, it's almost always
>> idle (I only use it once a day for backups) and it's not in a place
>> where I can easily plug it in and out.
>>
>> Googling, I found a very similar looking problem that occurred a few
>> years ago in libatasmart and which caused DeviceKit to spin up the
>> drives every hour or so. But I have no DeviceKit here (running Debian
>> testing).
>>
>> Using /proc/sys/vm/block_dump tells me that there is no disk activity
>> that justifies spinning up.
>> I have smartmontools installed, but "ps auxw|grep smart" confirms smartd
>> is not running.
>> There is no `cron' activity around the time the disk spins up either,
>> not anything disk-related in the logs.
>>
>> Any idea what it might be and how to find out and fix it?

> IIRC, this setting can be defined using hdparm ("-M" flag and also "/usr/
> share/doc/hdparm/README.acoustic") but as the man page/doc says, the
> possible options for this value depend on the hard disks model.

hdparm only sets the timeout for spin DOWN. My drives spins down just
fine, the problem is that it spins *UP* even though I don't use it.


Stefan


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Old 03-23-2012, 04:57 PM
Camaleón
 
Default USB drive spins up every hour

On Fri, 23 Mar 2012 13:47:36 -0400, Stefan Monnier wrote:

>>> My USB-connected drive spins up every hour (or even half-hour).

(...)

>>> Any idea what it might be and how to find out and fix it?
>
>> IIRC, this setting can be defined using hdparm ("-M" flag and also
>> "/usr/ share/doc/hdparm/README.acoustic") but as the man page/doc says,
>> the possible options for this value depend on the hard disks model.
>
> hdparm only sets the timeout for spin DOWN. My drives spins down just
> fine, the problem is that it spins *UP* even though I don't use it.

I think both settings can be tweaked. "man hdparm" is long but worth for
a slow reading.

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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Old 03-24-2012, 01:15 AM
Stefan Monnier
 
Default USB drive spins up every hour

>>>> My USB-connected drive spins up every hour (or even half-hour).
> (...)
>>>> Any idea what it might be and how to find out and fix it?
>>> IIRC, this setting can be defined using hdparm ("-M" flag and also
>>> "/usr/ share/doc/hdparm/README.acoustic") but as the man page/doc says,
>>> the possible options for this value depend on the hard disks model.
>> hdparm only sets the timeout for spin DOWN. My drives spins down just
>> fine, the problem is that it spins *UP* even though I don't use it.
> I think both settings can be tweaked. "man hdparm" is long but worth for
> a slow reading.

You're confused. Spin up happens when the drive is accessed and that's
all there is to it. There is no setting for it because there's no
reason to spin up the drive if there's no access to it, and there's no
way to satisfy an access without spinning the drive, so there's
basically no choice of when to spin up, from the drive's point of view
(except for accesses to meta-data via things like smartctl and hdparm).

My problem is that apparently some application somehow accesses the
drive but not in a way that block_dump catches.


Stefan "already familiar with the hdparm man page, which
incidentally also mentions that these operations
often don't work for USB-connected drives ;-)"


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Old 03-24-2012, 06:41 AM
Camaleón
 
Default USB drive spins up every hour

On Fri, 23 Mar 2012 22:15:38 -0400, Stefan Monnier wrote:

>>>>> My USB-connected drive spins up every hour (or even half-hour).
>> (...)
>>>>> Any idea what it might be and how to find out and fix it?
>>>> IIRC, this setting can be defined using hdparm ("-M" flag and also
>>>> "/usr/ share/doc/hdparm/README.acoustic") but as the man page/doc
>>>> says, the possible options for this value depend on the hard disks
>>>> model.
>>> hdparm only sets the timeout for spin DOWN. My drives spins down just
>>> fine, the problem is that it spins *UP* even though I don't use it.
>> I think both settings can be tweaked. "man hdparm" is long but worth
>> for a slow reading.
>
> You're confused. Spin up happens when the drive is accessed and that's
> all there is to it.

Well, that's not always the case. There are external drives which have
embeded in their firmware the power saving routines and spin-down/up
automatically based on that, regardless the disk is being accessed or not.

> There is no setting for it because there's no reason to spin up the
> drive if there's no access to it, and there's no way to satisfy an
> access without spinning the drive, so there's basically no choice of
> when to spin up, from the drive's point of view (except for accesses to
> meta-data via things like smartctl and hdparm).
>
> My problem is that apparently some application somehow accesses the
> drive but not in a way that block_dump catches.

Mmm... if you so sure the disk is awaked by an external application, then
don't mount it unless you need it, that way the disk can be still powered
on but it will inaccessible for the system and programs.

> Stefan "already familiar with the hdparm man page, which
> incidentally also mentions that these operations often
> don't work for USB-connected drives ;-)"

This is hit-or-miss, you have to try first :-)

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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Old 03-24-2012, 01:03 PM
Curt
 
Default USB drive spins up every hour

On 2012-03-24, Stefan Monnier <monnier@iro.umontreal.ca> wrote:
>
> My problem is that apparently some application somehow accesses the
> drive but not in a way that block_dump catches.

It won't spin up if it's not mounted, will it?

I mean, I believe you mentioned you only use the drive once a day
for back-up purposes, so that it could remain unmounted and unspinupable
at all other times.

--Curt

(who knows nothing about hard drives and how they get that way).


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Old 03-26-2012, 04:15 PM
Andrei POPESCU
 
Default USB drive spins up every hour

On Sb, 24 mar 12, 14:03:58, Curt wrote:
> On 2012-03-24, Stefan Monnier <monnier@iro.umontreal.ca> wrote:
> >
> > My problem is that apparently some application somehow accesses the
> > drive but not in a way that block_dump catches.
>
> It won't spin up if it's not mounted, will it?

If it still does then at least Stefan will know it's not some
application doing it

Kind regards,
Andrei
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:46 PM
Stefan Monnier
 
Default USB drive spins up every hour

>>>>> My USB-connected drive spins up every hour (or even half-hour).
>>> (...)
>>>>> Any idea what it might be and how to find out and fix it?
>>>>> IIRC, this setting can be defined using hdparm ("-M" flag and also
>>>>> "/usr/ share/doc/hdparm/README.acoustic") but as the man page/doc
>>>>> says, the possible options for this value depend on the hard disks
>>>>> model.
>>>> hdparm only sets the timeout for spin DOWN. My drives spins down just
>>>> fine, the problem is that it spins *UP* even though I don't use it.
>>> I think both settings can be tweaked. "man hdparm" is long but worth
>>> for a slow reading.
>> You're confused. Spin up happens when the drive is accessed and that's
>> all there is to it.
> Well, that's not always the case. There are external drives which have
> embeded in their firmware the power saving routines and spin-down/up
> automatically based on that, regardless the disk is being accessed or not.

Regardless of where the code responsible for the spin-up resides, if the
drive spins up when the drive is not accessed, it's a bug.

> Mmm... if you so sure the disk is awaked by an external application, then
> don't mount it unless you need it, that way the disk can be still powered
> on but it will inaccessible for the system and programs.

Even when not mounted (and with its LVM volumes deactivated) it still
spins-up.


Stefan


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Old 03-28-2012, 01:51 PM
Andrei POPESCU
 
Default USB drive spins up every hour

On Mi, 28 mar 12, 09:46:59, Stefan Monnier wrote:
>
> Even when not mounted (and with its LVM volumes deactivated) it still
> spins-up.

This sounds like BIOS or drive firmware.

Kind regards,
Andrei
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