[Bug 952556] Re: [Precise] [Hardware-killer] HD restarts every few seconds

jasmineaura 952556 at bugs.launchpad.net
Wed Sep 19 17:41:26 UTC 2012

hdparm is contradicting itself in /usr/lib/pm-utils/power.d/95hdparm-apm
(Using LMDE+UP5, kernel 3.2+45, hdparm 9.39-1+b1)

$ head /usr/lib/pm-utils/power.d/95hdparm-apm

#! /bin/sh
# This script adjusts hard drive APM settings using hdparm. The hardware
# defaults (usually hdparm -B 127) cause excessive head load/unload cycles
# on many modern hard drives. We therefore set hdparm -B 254 while on AC
# power. On battery we set hdparm -B 127, because the head parking is
# very useful for shock protection.
# Refactored from acpi-support's 90-hdparm.sh for pm-utils

It is obviously confusing -B 127 (which permits spin-down) with APM (-B
128) permitting PM (including head-parking) but not spin-down.

For instance, on my WD Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT, which had idle3 in its
firmware modified from default 8sec to 180sec (3min) using `idle3ctl`
(or wdidle3 in DOS!), I'm parking at an acceptable rate with the default
PM level of 128, when on battery, without spin-downs, just as I wanted.

# hdparm -I /dev/sda | grep Advanced
	Advanced power management level: 128
	   *	Advanced Power Management feature set

# hdparm -I /dev/sda | grep -i standby
	Standby timer values: spec'd by Standard, with device specific minimum

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  [Precise] [Hardware-killer] HD restarts every few seconds

Status in “hdparm” package in Ubuntu:
  Fix Released
Status in “hdparm” source package in Precise:
  Fix Released
Status in “hdparm” source package in Quantal:
  Fix Released

Bug description:
  This issue has the potential to cause additional mechanical wear and tear on rotational hard drives by causing them to spin up and down more frequently than in previous Ubuntu releases.  While the intent of a development change in the precise cycle was to allow drives to spin down sooner and stay spun down, in practice users report their drives spin back up quickly.  Until this is resolved, an aggressive spin-down policy is dangerous for hardware and inappropriate.

  [Test Case]
  1. On a laptop with a rotational hard drive, unplug main power and run on battery.
  2. Run sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda|grep Load_Cycle_Count repeatedly, to observe that the count increases once every few seconds.
  3. Install hdparm from precise-proposed.
  4. Plug the laptop back into main power, then unplug it again.
  5. Run the command from step 2 again.  Observe that the count is no longer increasing or is increasing much more slowly.  (Note that the precise behavior will vary from hard drive to hard drive, and on some systems there will be no difference visible at all.)

  [Regression Potential]
  For some users the current setting does not meaningfully increase wear and tear on their drives, but changing it will increase power consumption.  This seems to be a necessary evil since there's no single power saving setting that works well for all drives.


  After update from Oneiric to Precise Beta 1, kernel 3.2.0-18-generic,
  I notice that, when on battery, my Dell XPS  M1330 laptop has its HD
  spin down, then restart, very, very, very often, which means several
  times per minute.

  At this pace the HD won't live long, and this reminds to me a problem
  we had few years ago with "disk killers" linuxes that were
  unloading/reloading the HD heads much too often, killing disks in a
  couple of months.

  So I prefer to ring the alarm bell early...

  Upgrading from Oneiric to Precise I didn't change any power management
  parameter, but it definitely didn't do this before (and still doesn't
  do this on other distros I have on multiboot, so that's no hardware
  issue, only Precise does that on my machine...)

  ProblemType: Bug
  DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.04
  Package: linux-image-3.2.0-18-generic 3.2.0-18.28
  ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.2.0-18.28-generic 3.2.9
  Uname: Linux 3.2.0-18-generic i686
  AlsaVersion: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.24.
  ApportVersion: 1.94.1-0ubuntu2
  Architecture: i386
   /dev/snd/controlC0:  michel     3044 F.... pulseaudio
   country FR:
    (2402 - 2482 @ 40), (N/A, 20)
    (5170 - 5250 @ 40), (N/A, 20)
    (5250 - 5330 @ 40), (N/A, 20), DFS
    (5490 - 5710 @ 40), (N/A, 27), DFS
   Card hw:0 'Intel'/'HDA Intel at 0xf6dfc000 irq 46'
     Mixer name	: 'Silicon Image SiI1392 HDMI'
     Components	: 'HDA:83847616,1028020a,00100201 HDA:10951392,1028020a,00100000'
     Controls      : 33
     Simple ctrls  : 19
  CheckboxSubmission: 1ea6109db29b53f721a523a77b7f3abf
  CheckboxSystem: d00f84de8a555815fa1c4660280da308
  Date: Sun Mar 11 22:25:00 2012
  EcryptfsInUse: Yes
  HibernationDevice: RESUME=UUID=0e7ded16-c4fc-4f81-8562-3cb1196809d3
  InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" - Release i386 (20100429)
  MachineType: Dell Inc. XPS M1330
   PATH=(custom, user)
  ProcFB: 0 inteldrmfb
  ProcKernelCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-3.2.0-18-generic root=/dev/mapper/VG1-UBUNTU ro clocksource=hpet quiet splash vt.handoff=7
   linux-restricted-modules-3.2.0-18-generic N/A
   linux-backports-modules-3.2.0-18-generic  N/A
   linux-firmware                            1.71
  SourcePackage: linux
  UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to precise on 2012-03-10 (1 days ago)
  dmi.bios.date: 12/26/2008
  dmi.bios.vendor: Dell Inc.
  dmi.bios.version: A15
  dmi.board.name: 0N6705
  dmi.board.vendor: Dell Inc.
  dmi.chassis.type: 8
  dmi.chassis.vendor: Dell Inc.
  dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnDellInc.:bvrA15:bd12/26/2008:svnDellInc.:pnXPSM1330:pvr:rvnDellInc.:rn0N6705:rvr:cvnDellInc.:ct8:cvr:
  dmi.product.name: XPS M1330
  dmi.sys.vendor: Dell Inc.

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