acpi-support, laptop-mode-tools, and hdparm: when will the madness end?

Forest Bond forest at
Sat Jun 28 19:22:56 UTC 2008

Hi Sebastian,

On Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 09:00:05PM +0200, Sebastian Breier wrote:
> Am Samstag, den 28.06.2008, 14:21 -0400 schrieb Forest Bond:
> > Not only does it clobber them, though, it overrides on-battery HDD APM settings
> > (hdparm -B, hdparm -S) with some pretty aggressive settings that can, in fact,
> > lead to people's hard drives dying early.  Users that think they are setting
> > their HDD APM settings on the safe side (in /etc/laptop-mode/laptop-mode.conf)
> > have no idea that their drives are being worked pretty hard.  See #37187.
> I don't want to dismiss your arguments, I have the problem (in quite a
> nonhazardous way though, my drive will only die in 3 years) myself.
> I just want to mention two things that are most probably true:
> 1) Power saving is known to destroy hardware, not even hard drives;
> That's known to technically inclined people.
> Monitors, power supplies, fans, anything can break earlier if power
> management interferes with it constantly, *especially* mechanical
> hardware like hard drives.
> 2) Users who tweak their configs should know what they are doing.
> => Users who tweak power management settings should be aware they might
> make things worse.
> I'm not saying to leave this bug alone.
> I'm only saying I'm much more worried about casual users who have the
> problem since install, and don't know anything... and suddenly their
> drive is trashed.
> I myself was completely unaware of the bug some months ago, but I was
> aware of my disk constantly clicking.
> After some time, I did some research, and then the issue also crept up
> on IT news sites.
> To conclude: If people change a config setting "to be on the safe side",
> they better check if their (load_cycle_count / power_on) ratio
> decreases.
> You can't change configs and assume all is right without checking. ;-)

I agree that it's reasonable to assume that users who go messing with /etc/*
should be expected to know what they're doing.  However, just because advanced
users can debug these kinds of problems doesn't mean that they should have to.
It is a time consuming process, and users should be able to assume that the
default configs are at least coherent and behave as advertised in comments, etc.

Forest Bond
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