This question already has an answer here:

I am able to spindown my SATA HDDs by using

sudo hdparm -y /dev/sdc

The state shown by

sudo hdparm -C /dev/sdc

changes from active/idle to standby (and I can hear the HDD spin down).

However, using

sudo hdparm -S5 /dev/sdc

doesn't spin down the drive after 5*5 = 25secs.

Some additional information:

  • AHCI is enabled.
  • I am using Western Digital Green drives.
  • APM_level = not supported
  • Filesystem is ext4

Edit: This question is not a duplicate to How can I control HDD spin down time? because it addresses Western Digital Green drives, which will not work with hdparm.

marked as duplicate by Eric Carvalho, Jorge Castro, user68186, Richard, Avinash Raj Apr 2 '14 at 6:44

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    You may need to set Advanced Power Management to something lower then 128 first, as high values (128-254) do not allow spin-down. Try sudo hdparm -B 127 /dev/sdc. – mikewhatever Oct 4 '12 at 18:55
  • hdparm -B doesn't work, because APM_level = not supported on the HDDs. – squarebracket Oct 5 '12 at 2:40

After more research, it seems that the -B and -S options of hdparm just doesn't work with certain Western Digital (and maybe other) drives.

This includes my WD10EADS, WD10EACS and WD20EARX.

I found a solution: hd-idle

To install hd-idle on Ubuntu:

wget https://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/hd-idle/hd-idle-1.04.tgz
tar xvfz hd-idle*.tgz
cd hd-idle
sudo apt-get install debhelper
sudo dpkg-buildpackage -uc -us -rfakeroot
cd ..
sudo dpkg -i hd-idle_*.deb
# To run at startup:
sudo update-rc.d hd-idle defaults
nano /etc/default/hd-idle

/etc/default/hd-idle content:

# Optional, to limit to a specific drives:
# (leading '-i 0' to disable hd-idle on other disks)
HD_IDLE_OPTS="-i 0 -a /dev/disk/by-uuid/DRIVE1UID -i 600 -a /dev/disk/by-uuid/DRIVE2UID -i 600"

Disable system-managed disk power management settings in Storage > Physical Disks > Disk properties (redundant).

sudo service hd-idle start


sudo hdparm -C /dev/sd[a-z]
  • WD30EZRS and WD30EZRX are also affected. – Martin von Wittich Sep 16 '13 at 20:50
  • Thanks: this might explain why I can only stop my daft WD from constantly going on/off standby - and thus accruing load cycles dangerously quickly towards the mfg threshold of 300000 - by disabling both APM and WDidle. Neither is effective alone. I disabled -Standby for good measure, though I'm not sure it matters once the others are off. The HD claims to support APM, but settings > 128 don't disable standby as claimed, so it exhibits the cycling problem. This is a "Blue" model as follows: "Model Family: Western Digital Scorpio Blue Serial ATA (AF) Device Model: WDC WD3200BPVT-22JJ5T0" – underscore_d Sep 2 '15 at 21:33

The ubuntu way seems to be the laptop mode*

How to:

apt-get install laptop-mode-tools

Afterwards you are able to configure individual power/standby settings through

vim /etc/hdparm.conf

And check your current laptop mode state with:

cat /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode

If you want to know more:

  • 1
    This won't work for Western Digital Green drives. – squarebracket Apr 16 '14 at 9:11

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