View Full Version : Ubuntu Head Smacking

24-06-2008, 03:01 AM
Just had this sent to me by a friend..source unknown..but is there a chance that there's a grain of truth to it?

<I'll also post this on the non-tech side of F1, but there are many people who only read this side.>

It is confirmed that some systems are seeing an unusually high number of load/unload cycles on their hard disks, as evidenced by smartctl. It was originally surmised that this was related to laptop-mode being enabled, but this affects systems *regardless* of whether or not laptop-mode has been enabled. In fact, aggressive APM is not a bad idea while a system is not on AC, as that system is much more likely to encounter a physical impact. But unfortunately, the heads are only parked for a very short period of time, making impact protection much less effective (and wearing out the drive as well).

This problem has been confirmed in Ubuntu as well as in other distributions.

Symptoms of this bug are:
* Frequent HD clicks -- more than one per 3 minutes while idle, louder than the typical access sounds. Often more than twice per minute. On some disks, the click is very quiet
* Rapidly Increasing Load_Cycle_Count as displayed in the final number in "sudo smartctl -a /dev/hda | grep Load_Cycle_Count" (where /dev/hda is replaced with your own hard disk device)
* Early hard disk failure never stay parked, due to very frequent disk activity. Thus this cycle occurs often, thus wearing out the drive, and any comparative benefit is negligible (whereas, if the-- some disks are cut down to less than a year of actual uptime

24-06-2008, 12:42 PM
This was due to a bad default setting on a particular model of (if I remember correctly) Fujitsu 2.5" HDD. The Linux kernel has long since been patched to override the default on this particular model to prevent excessive wear, and it is therefore no longer a problem.

24-06-2008, 01:27 PM