Save Your HDD From Ubuntu

october 31, 2007

I spotted this interesting nugget this morning. Figured I'd document it for myself and share. Looks like Ubuntu (even with 7.10) is changing the APM settings for harddrives to be uber-aggressive -- I mean the most aggressive it can be. The setting is found in /etc/acpi/power.sh:

When switching to battery power, /etc/acpi/power.sh issues the command hdparm -B 1 to all block devices. This leads to extremely frequent load cycles. For example, my new thinkpad has already done well over 7000 load cycles -- in only 100 hours. That's at least one unloading per minute...most laptop drives handle up to 600,000 such cycles.
A quick fix:
#!/bin/sh hdparm -B 255 /dev/sda
/etc/acpi/suspend.d/ /etc/acpi/resume.d/ /etc/acpi/start.d/
I used a setting of -B 200 so that I could still get some power savings. A setting of -B 255 disables all power-saving completely.