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Re: Laptop: Hard drive wakes up every 5-10 seconds

Kevin Kofler wrote:
Michael Cronenworth wrote:
Why would Linux be waking up every 5 to 10 seconds to write to the disk
when I am sitting at my desktop or sitting at the login screen? (i.e. No
programs running. Only 40 total wakeups seen in powertop)

- Seagate 320gig SATA
- XFS filesystem, relatime mount option enabled
- link_power_management_policy set to min_power
- vm.dirty_writeback_centisecs is set to 1500

I even unmounted /boot (default ext3) but that did not change anything.
Every 5 to 10 seconds I see the HDD light flash and sometimes I hear a
very faint "beeping" like the drive is waking up or powering off,
whichever it is doing.

Try tweaking your hdparm settings.

Adding this to your rc.local might help:
/sbin/hdparm -S 255 /dev/sda
/sbin/hdparm -B 255 /dev/sda

I think the O.P. was trying not to spin up the drive so often, not keep it running to pull the battery down... setting the filesystem flush and /proc/sys/vm/dirty* values to be reluctant to write will halp here, and allow powersave (-B) with a low value is more likely to be what is wanted.

NOTE: setting the flush time to a high value leaves data in memory and not on the drive, use of a manual "sync" command is desirable if you modify critical data!

Bill Davidsen <davidsen tmr com>
  "We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked."  - from Slashdot

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