Hard drive spindown

Danny Kukawka danny.kukawka at web.de
Tue Oct 11 05:23:05 PDT 2005

On Monday 10 October 2005 21:54, Richard Hughes wrote:
> One of the more frequent requests I'm being sent (as the maintainer for
> gnome-power-manager) is the option to spindown the hard-drive after
> about an hour or so of inactivity.
> Now more power stuff have been accepted into HAL, and the script stuff
> has settled down, what about the patch I proposed:
> http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/hal/2005-August/003107.html
> Worth reading is Danny's email:
> ( http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/hal/2005-August/003116.html )
> about the spindown and spin-up real-world power savings of a typical
> drive.
> My laptop drives (nor my external USB2 drives) do not do their own PM,
> and hence suck power when idle.

What kind of internal hardisk is in your laptop? IMO, you can't set 
powermanagement for exteral USB harddisk, because you can't send the needed 
commands over USB to the disk.

> Windows XP automatically spins them down after about an hour and a half
> (by default).

IMO this does also not really work under windows. This option is activated on 
my workstation and if I do nothing (no running programmes, only logged in, no 
keyboard or mouse interaction) the harddisk is never spin down (only 
sometimes in some mystic cases, but never when it should).

Anyway: If you use a journaling file system under linux you also need to 
change the settings of the filesystem (commit interval, noatime ... see 
laptop mode) and you should stop all reading/wrinting system daemons. Without 
this changes this make no sense and the harddisk is spin-up again after some 
minutes or seconds.

As I sad in the othere mailthread, IMO this make no sense to touch the 
harddisk settings. Did you ever tested this for you machine? How much battery 
lifetime did you win? 

> I'm not wanting to spin them down after 5 minutes, just a checkbox for
> "[x] Spin down hard disk drives after one hour of inactivity"
> Or, does this functionality belong in the SetLowPowerMode script. Or,
> should I leave this completely alone?

What mean SetLowPowerMode script? Why did you not call the laptop mode script 
if you want to change the settings?



More information about the hal mailing list