I know that there are many question about this topic. However, I did not find a solution for my situation.

What I want to achieve: My HDD (Hitachi Travelstar 5k1000) in my notebook should go into standby after ~5min and the load cycle value should only increase moderately.

My setup: Ubuntu 14.04 is installed on an SSD and the HDD is only used for data. I checked the APM values for the HDD via sudo hdparm -B /dev/sda and got

APM_level = 254

for AC and for battery

APM_level = 128

Right now the HDD never goes into standby mode. However, if my notebook runs on battery, the Load_Cycle_Count increases tremendously (2-3 per minute).

As I understand it, an APM level <=127 allows the HDD to go into standy (=spin down?), so APM=128 prevents standby but still increases LCC heavily. What are my options to achieve my goal?

Maybe related: Up to now I do not use any laptop-mode-tools or TLP etc. If it is useful/helpful I would also appreciate solutions which make use of TLP (for example).

  • To get it to standby after 5min, you need to add -S 60 option, as in hdparm -S 60. There are several ways to automate it. askubuntu.com/questions/711019/… – mikewhatever Jan 2 '16 at 13:10
  • But I need APM <=127 for this to work, right? If I set APM to 127 and usee hdparm -S 60 the disk goes into standby immediately and does not wait 5min. AHCI is enabled in BIOS. – Merlin1896 Jan 2 '16 at 13:25
  • Try it both ways, if unsure. – mikewhatever Jan 2 '16 at 13:36

This is quite simple with TLP.

LCC: as a first guess i suggest to configure


and monitor LCC afterwards.

Spindown: configure


(assuming HDD is sda)

It's all in the TLP FAQ btw.

ps. some more explanation: there is no conflict using APM >= 128 (hdparm -B) and spindown (-S) at the same time (i use it myself). It's however important to always set spindown after (or together with) APM because hdparm -B clears the -S setting. TLP considers this automatically.


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