Do you spin down your disks?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by steve161, Oct 9, 2010.

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  1. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    Ubuntu 10.04 here. Had the option checked when on battery power but it actually seems to be draining my battery quicker. Then there is the opinion that it is not good for hard disks. Also, do you notice a performance hit when spinning down. Opinions? Observations?
     
  2. katio

    katio Guest

    Yes frequent spinning down shortens the lifespan of hard disks.
    There is a performance hit in the form of a short delay if the OS needs a file not resident in RAM, takes up to a few seconds. As for your battery life, not sure, could it be something else not directly related? Only if the HDD has to spin up every other minute that would drain it quicker than spinning constantly.
     
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  3. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Laptop HDDs are designed to spindown a huge amount (http://samwel.tk/laptop_mode/faq), whereas desktop drives are a lot, something like 300,000 vs 60,000 . If you spin up a desktop hdd every 10 minutes continously it would potentially die in a years time, whereas a laptop drive would last 5 years no problem.
    Typical use, as most people do not use laptops 24/7 AND HDD does not need to spinup every 10 minutes will see that life easily reach 10 years.

    If you move to ubuntu 10.10 you should find power management far better handled, drives will spin up less due to longer commit intervals on battery and sata, sound, wifi power saving modes implemented, that have been missing or broken from previous releases.

    Cheers, Nick
     
  4. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    Nick, I'm trying to uphold my oath to stick with the LTS, and you are not helping. The improved power management is something that interests me, since I have read some articles/blogs that claim that spinning down disks will drain the battery on certain laptops. It seems to be happening to my system, but it is too early to be certain.
     
  5. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Do you have links to any of the articles/blogs.

    It could be possible if your HDD spends a lot of time spinning up that power is drained (having a very low spin down timeout and usage patterns).

    Cheers Nick.
     
  6. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    No I don't. I was just googling the issue and found others mentioning the issue, and your point about the disk frequently spinning up was mentioned as the main culprit. I'll take a look to see if I can find them again. Once again, however, I am not sure it is an issue with me. I now have the option unchecked on battery power and am tracking the battery drain.
     
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