This is something that's been bothering me, and I would like to know if it's an issue that's known. OK, I have monitored the HDD temperature, for a couple of days, when running in Ubuntu and Windows 7. I have both OS installed on the same laptop, and I'm using Speedfan to monitor the hdd temp in Windows 7, and hddtemp to monitor on Ubuntu.

When running on Windows 7 the HDD usually stay around 37-39. This is on the load of when just web browsing, watch movies, and programming. And when I do the same thing on Ubuntu the HDD will go to 40-42. Most of the time however it stay 41-42 degree. Btw, even when just idling in Ubuntu the HDD will go over 40 degrees.

This isn't a really big issue maybe since I read that HDD can handle temperature to at least 60 degree. However since the HDD is located just where I put my right palm, so it is quite disturbing at some times.

Is this temperature the same for you guys which are running Ubuntu 10.10 on a laptop?


The hard disk temperature depends on the ambient temperature, so it is not easily comparable.

There are other discussions on askubuntu.com that talk about powertop which is a tool to control the fine issues of power tuning. Have a look at it (search) to see if you can perform some optimisations for your laptop.

The reason why Ubuntu might be a little warmer for the hard disk is due to how often it needs to access the disk. There is a system option called laptop_mode, which you can set and see what temperature the disk reaches when idle. To do so,

# Read the current value for laptop_mode
cat /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode
# Set the laptop_mode to five, which reduces the accesses to the disk, letting it sleep more.
sudo echo 5 > /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode

When the system lets the hard disk to sleep for a little when idle, the hard disk goes in a lower power mode, and becomes cooler. However, this change of power mode has a small effect on the lifetime of the disk. You can use Disk Utility in the Administrative tools to find out how often the disk goes into and comes back from the low power state.

Read more at Tips to extend battery life for laptops and notebooks

  • this is quite informative thanks. I'll have a look into that
    – starcorn
    Jan 29 '11 at 11:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.