[clug] Sleepy USB drive

Andrew Loughhead andrew.loughhead at gmail.com
Mon Aug 24 05:20:34 MDT 2009

Dan of www.dansdata.com has written (http://www.dansdata.com/gz060.htm) 
that no spin down, or excessively interesting spin down behaviour, is 
common to USB and cheap NAS enclosures.  That article mentions a few 
which do have spin down, and a few which can be fixed with firmware 

David Schoen wrote:
> Hi All,
> I recently noticed (mainly because I'm temporarily living out of a
> suitcase and have a PC setup in the same room I sleep in) that the
> backup drive plugged in to my machine doesn't actually stop spinning
> when the machine itself is put in to standby. Which of course results
> in me physically turning it off, not turning it back on often enough
> and thus not backing up.
> What I've managed to figure out so far is that if I either let the
> drive spin down after it's standard time out, or lower the spin down
> time with "hdparm -S 1 /dev/goes/here" and put the machine in standby
> the drive stays spun down... the first time. After restoring the
> machine I can't make the drive spin down any more. Neither eject or
> umount seem to help with sleeping.
> It doesn't matter what sequence of nonsense I need to do to make it
> work, as long as it doesn't involve physically turning the drive off,
> because as soon as I do that I forget to turn it back on for days at a
> time.
> Does anyone have any ideas what else I might be able to try?
> I'm currently running Ubuntu 9.04.
> Also before someone asks I have tried both -Y and -y options of hdparm
> and although they make the drive spin down, it just goes ahead and
> spins itself back up after a seemingly random amount of time or when
> the machine is put in to standby.
> In an ideal world I would just stick the UUID of my backup drive(s) in
> a file somewhere and have the backup script locate whichever one is
> connected, spin it up, mount it, backup to it, umount and forcefully
> spin it down... but I just haven't managed to get the spin up/down
> stuff working sanely :(
> Cheers,
> Dave

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