[xubuntu-users] Hard drives and backup - Was: Am I the only one who still uses floppies?

Petter Adsen petter at synth.no
Thu Jul 30 06:44:16 UTC 2015

On Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:27:34 -0500
Eric Christopherson <echristopherson at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 29, 2015, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> > On Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:39:09 +0200, Petter Adsen wrote:
> > >Is it the actual software that makes the drive spin down, or do the
> > >drives do it themselves?
> > 
> > My Western Digital spins down and falls asleep if it wasn't touched for
> > 30 minutes. It stays asleep if nothing touches it, unfortunately a lot
> > of software without reason does activate the drive. For SpaceFM this
> > can be disabled, while it's still possible to mount the drive by
> > mouse click. GVFS (GNOME, optional for Thunar) is a PITA and after
> > running a few KDE apps something does also cause this issue.
> > 
> > I already posted it, one developer fixed this issue! Most other
> > developers are not interested to fix it.
> > 
> > http://sourceforge.net/p/lxde/bugs/751/
> > https://github.com/lxde/libfm/commit/994a1e25ba0c3da80575fc002af17ab02ed5998b
> > 
> > Apps that have a hard dependency to GVFS still work without issues, if
> > the gvfs package is replaced by an empty dummy package.
> Is this sort of cycling a danger to internal drives too (ones that don't
> get actively used by the OS, I mean)? I wonder if my internal backup
> drive might be at risk.

I checked the rotating drives in my file server. Two quite old ones
report that they don't have this functionality, on one it is set to 254
(so it won't spin down) and on the last one it is present but disabled.
So it seems it varies. If you have any "green" drives, they might be set
to spin down after a timeout by default. You can use the command I
posted in my previous message to check your drives and set the value
you want for any drive that supports it. Read the smartctl man page for
details, in particular the documentation for the '-g apm' parameter.

But it isn't healthy for any rotating drive to be constantly spinning
up and down, it doesn't make a difference whether they are internal or
external. If you have any software with the problem that Ralf mentions,
the best thing to do (other than fix the software :) is probably to
disable power management on the drive or set it to a very high value so
it will never spin down.


"I'm ionized"
"Are you sure?"
"I'm positive."
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