[solved] Green hard disk drives

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Mon Aug 24 17:11:08 UTC 2015

On Mon, 24 Aug 2015 08:59:37 -0700, Michael Loftis wrote:
>On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 6:30 AM, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
>> To be continued...
>Smartd documents -n by itself as no-fork (normal for systemd/upstarted
>stuff) but you also need to configure nocheck which....confusingly is
>documented as -n <POWERMODE> -- man smartd for more on possible
><POWERMODE> values.....I do not know if the manual is inaccurate as I
>have NOT checked, just RTFMed.  There's also a configuration option
>for how many checks it can miss before waking a drive.
>I'm not sure that the default should be to add powermode stuff.  You
>might be able to add it even with a dpkg-reconfigure, I've literally
>done no further investigation as to the option, setting it etc.

"Ralf Mardorf (ralf-mardorf-j) wrote 7 minutes ago: 	#7

It's questionable if it should be considered a bug or not. The culprit
is smartd. Ironically I used the package smartmontools 6.3+svn4002-2 to
get smartctl, for testing if something wakes up a green drive. Despite
the policy to autostart everything by default, that can be autostarted
for better or worse, it's to consider if the default configuration, to
poll every 30 minutes, is a wise decision. By an EU Regulation all
external hard disk drives are forced to spin down and go to sleep after
a while. I disabled smartd.service, any unneeded service is unwanted on
my machine.

After disabling it, nothing does wake up a green drive anymore.

[root at moonstudio weremouse]# echo;date;t=10800;y=$(smartctl
-A /dev/sdc|grep Lo|awk '{print $NF}');sleep $t;x=$(smartctl
-A /dev/sdc|grep Lo|awk '{print $NF}');printf "\n$(uname
-rm)$(lsb_release -d|cut -f2 -d:|cut -f1 -d"(")\n$x-$y=$((x-y)) spins
in $(($t/60/60)) hours\n\n";date

Mon Aug 24 15:00:50 CEST 2015

3.10.61-rt65-1-moonstudio x86_64 Ubuntu Wily Werewolf
15377-15376=1 spins in 3 hours

Mon Aug 24 18:00:56 CEST 2015

The only spin is caused by smartctl, when it was executed on demand, to
finish the test.

How I noticed that smartd is the culprit:

A note regarding smartd:

affects: 	linux (Ubuntu) → smartmontools (Ubuntu)" -

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