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I'm interested in manually adjusting my hard drives' spin-down times with hdparm -S to make them quieter at night. The first thing I need to know is what their current spin-down times are, to use as a reference point and so I know what kind of changes I can expect.

Where can I look up this information?

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  • I am not asking how to look up the current Advanced Power Management state (hdparm -B).
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I had an answer to this, but it is not applicable and therefore I deleted it. I can undelete it if your disks actually do not spin down at all currently. (find out via sudo hdparm -C /dev/sdyourdevice, it is spinned down if it says drive state is: standby) –  Zsub Mar 5 '13 at 21:37
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3 Answers

According to this answer in ServerFault, there is no way to know the current spin down times using hdparam. marc-andre possible was almost there. With udisk --ata-smart-refresh you can get udisks --show-info /dev/sda to return the current spinup time:

udisks --show-info /dev/sdb | grep spin
    can spindown:              1
===============================================================================
 Attribute       Current|Worst|Threshold  Status   Value       Type     Updates
===============================================================================
 spin-up-time                205|203| 63   good    17.3 secs   Pre-fail Online 
 spin-retry-count            253|252|157   good    0           Pre-fail Online 
 spin-high-current           253|252|  0    n/a    0           Old-age  Online 
 spin-buzz                   253|252|  0    n/a    0           Old-age  Online 

But these are the "average" spin ups time (not the currently set) values for SMART.

Apparently you can only know if a driver is active or not using hdparm -C

sudo hdparm -C /dev/sda
/dev/sda:
 drive state is:  active/idle
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you can use "disk utility" and after selecting your drive on the left pane, click the "view smart data" button on the right.

one of the attributes in the list that appears should be the drive spindown time. (using SSD drives at the moment,so the info is not available for me)

also you can get the info from commandline using "udisks" using "--ata-smart-refresh " . you can get more infos on how to set your spindown times at this manpage for "udisks" http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/precise/man1/udisks.1.html

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I don't see what you're referring to in the SMART data for my drives or in Wikipedia's list of known SMART attributes. –  ændrük May 1 '13 at 18:51
    
hum.. odd.. i used to see them on my old maxtor/seagate drives.. hum maybe it was with the seagate software ..hum.. or maybe i've mistakenly thought of spin up times instead.. –  marc-andre benoit May 8 '13 at 0:42
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Disk Utility -> select HDD drive -> click on the "More actions..." icon on the top right corner -> Drive settings...

Mine is looks like this: screenshot

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