Ubuntu's excessive head parking destroying my hard-drive...

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paulb100

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I just installed Ubuntu 64-bit alongside my windows 7 and I have noticed sounds, clicking, coming from hard-drive..after some research i think its related to the HDD power management and is a known issue with Linux/Ubuntu that doesnt seem to be fixed.. from what ive read its the hard-drive going into power saving modes that arent compatible with Linux OS - this causes the heads to excessively 'park' (whatever that is) - it however damages your hard drive over short period of time... im shocked that linux/ubuntu programmers have not dealt with this issue as it seems to affect many people...those with laptops notice it more due to the hard-drive being only inches away and can hear it..

can anyone help a NOOB fix this? - the fixes ive seen i dont know ho to apply as im a complete noob

i previously changed the pwr mngmt settings to stop the "spin down disks when possible" option on battery (even though im on mains) which seemed to work last night, but today ive come back on and its doing it again, ive set the "spin down disks when possible" back to ON then OFF but it still doing it

PLEASE HELLLPP - Linux is destroying my hard-drive...

thanks
 

1002richards

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I've been dual-booting Windows & Ubuntu on a laptop for many months now & I've never experienced anything like this. I visit Ubuntu Forum daily and I've never seen this issue raised.

I hope you get it resolved.

Richard
 

paulb100

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I've been dual-booting Windows & Ubuntu on a laptop for many months now & I've never experienced anything like this. I visit Ubuntu Forum daily and I've never seen this issue raised.

I hope you get it resolved.

Richard
if you search it has been mentioned on a few linux forums... it may only be certain hard-drives...mines a seagate 120Gb
theres a long standing running debate about it on linux forums for over 2 years about whether or not it damages your hard-drive, but it does

here is a PDF on the subject: http://daniel.gnoutcheff.name/hd-park/report.pdf0ez7095A

just search for "linux hard drive noises" or "head parking noises linux" and other varying queries and after some research you will see its a problem thats been around for long time - you may not be able to hear it on yours or its just not doing it on yours
 

TerryNet

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I know nothing about this, but I would check in the BIOS (or Setup) to see if there are any power management options that would change what the hard drive does. There probably aren't any, but it's worth a look.
 

1002richards

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Hi paulb100,
I don't use power saving modes so that's probably why it's news to me. Tried the link & got "The requested URL /hd-park/report.pdf0ez7095A was not found on this server."

Is it Ubuntu only, or its derivatives such as Mint and SuperOS ?

Richard
 
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Hi paulb100,

When you start to hear noises coming from your hard drive - it may be time to ghost your current drives over to new hard drives - i.e. have them copied sector by sector to get an exact copy of them onto the new drive.

However, to be more thorough, you should first use the S.M.A.R.T. on your current hard drives to properly get an indication that the hard drive reliability is on its way down. The package, smartmontools, is the one you need to install, or a freely available took known as speedfan (for Windows only) has the capability to probe and report the S.M.A.R.T. data. If you receive confirmation that your hard drive is degrading, then it is time to ghost the hard drive.

-- Tom
 
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I suppose few people know that a hard disk is just a consumable item like a car tyre. The manufacturer only guarantees a fixed number of spinning cycles and must die with time. Thus the failure can happen to every pc operating system. The initial clicking noise is "the" indication it is on its way out.
 

paulb100

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I suppose few people know that a hard disk is just a consumable item like a car tyre. The manufacturer only guarantees a fixed number of spinning cycles and must die with time. Thus the failure can happen to every pc operating system. The initial clicking noise is "the" indication it is on its way out.
erm... its just fine in windows... only in LINUX and if you look on the web (a good look) you will find its a common issue with laptop hard-drives and LINUX - i put it down to bad coding on linux - and my drive is fine...see below

there is TONS of stuff aobut it on google - just search variations of "hard drive click linux ubuntu" and "head parking ubuntu" and you will see, it affects most laptop hard drives in linux - linux put it down to HDD manufacturers using aggressive power management but would a HDD manufacturer really create HDD that destroy themselves quickly with noisey APM modes which are on by default (and windows disables or sets it own) - im not having it... disabling it does nothing in Linux but windows is fine... so it HAS to be linux coding

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=805570

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_with_hard_drive_clicking

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/ubuntu-63/hdparm-apm-hard-drive-clicking-sound-588770/

the PDF file about it -> http://daniel.gnoutcheff.name/hd-park/report.pdf

theres tons more

anyway:

setting it hdparm to 255 (OFF) or 254 (least amount of power management) does not work

when OFF it still does this...

i read one person saying 128 worked for him so trying that stopped the clicking but you could still hear the arm doing something then an almost silent whirr/clicking then the arm moving again and that noise stopping - this is extremely quite... quieter than the clicking when APM is on/off and even THAT is quieter than standard clicking when files are being accessed - the point is every 6 seconds or so when idle the drive is doing something no matter what i set it at - it does not do this in windows XP, Vista or 7

its a seagate momentus 120Gb 7200rpm i bought about 2-3 years ago

this is FINE in windows so is NOT the hard-drive failing, its common problem

S.M.A.R.T says drive is fine

The overall fitness for this drive is 98%.
The overall performance for this drive is 98%.

only things warned about was its been ON for longer than average joe and power cycled (turned on) more often than average joe... everything ele is great

Raw Read Error Rate 100 0 Very good
Spin Up Time 99 0 Very good
Start/Stop Count 96 4139 Normal
Reallocated Sector Count 100 0 Very good
Seek Error Rate 87 1 8190 -13273 Very good
Power On Hours Count 91 8416 Watch
Warning: Power On Hours Count is below the average limits (92-100).
Spin Retry Count 100 0 Very good
Power Cycle Count 96 4145 Watch
Warning: Power Cycle Count is below the average limits (98-100).
Reported Uncorrectable Errors 100 0 Very good
High Fly Writes 98 2 Very good
Airflow Temperature 54 774570030 Good
GSense Error Rate 100 1 Very good
Power Off Retract Count 99 2777 Watch
Warning: Power Off Retract Count is below the average limits (100-100).
Load Cycle Count 1 217348 Normal
Hardware ECC Recovered 79 242832874 Very good
Current Pending Sector 100 0 Very good
Offline Uncorrectable Sector Count 100 0 Very good
Ultra DMA CRC Error Rate 200 0 Very good
Write Error Rate 100 0 Very good
TA Increase Count 100 0 Very good
Free fall protection 100 0 Very good


@saikee - just assuming someones hard-drive clicking means its dead or on its way out is poor observance by you, it could be a few things - i suppose on other not immediatley obvious problems your solution is re-install OS or buy new computer... tut tut!
 
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I accept that there could be a technical issue with the hard disks in the laptop running only Linux OS.

The root cause seems to be related to the power management used by Linux on the 2.5" hard disks designed to stop spinning and park the head at the first sign of system idling, especially the so called "green" hard disks designed to save power aggressively.

Most of the machines I run Linux are desktop and they are unaffected apparently.

I do run Linux on laptops but seldom have a chance of leaving them idle. When hooking 2.5" disks I normally transfer the files and unmount the disk on completion. Thus the way I use in Linux in a laptop makes me unsuitable to comment on this subject.

I do still have over 60 and 13 desktop and laptop hard disks in working order in the house, thus my experience that every hard disk will fail some time. These hard disks include the computers by the members of the family and covers the desktop capacity between 2 to 2000 Gb. All the 2.5" hard disk failures I have encountered, in saving others work, were run on MS Windows. On my desktop hard disks I had between 3 to 4 units failed over a period when the standard capacity was 20Mb and before I used Linux. Laptop hard disks do fail quicker than desktop hard disks because as precision equipment, they can be easily damaged by shocks and vibrations when being moved around. It is noteworthy that in reports associated with hard disk damage in Linux were primarily on laptops.
 
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Hi paulb100,

When you start to hear noises coming from your hard drive - it may be time to ghost your current drives over to new hard drives - i.e. have them copied sector by sector to get an exact copy of them onto the new drive.

However, to be more thorough, you should first use the S.M.A.R.T. on your current hard drives to properly get an indication that the hard drive reliability is on its way down. The package, smartmontools, is the one you need to install, or a freely available took known as speedfan (for Windows only) has the capability to probe and report the S.M.A.R.T. data. If you receive confirmation that your hard drive is degrading, then it is time to ghost the hard drive.

-- Tom
Hi paulb100,

The following article has links to the sounds of hard disks failing: Dread clicks and whirs: the sounds of hard drives failing.

Listen to the link Hard drive sounds and if you hear the sounds your hard drive(s) is/are making - and you can access your files, it is time to ghost your old hard drive(s) to new hard drives(s),

This happened to me during DMI event looping upon bootup.

-- Tom
 

paulb100

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thanks tom, like i say it aint dying, i know what a dying hard-drive or damaged hard-drive sounds like...and, it ONLY happens in LINUX, it does not happen at all in Windows 7, Vista or XP - ive used a SMART checker which says the hard-drive is in perfect working order

edit: ive listen to those and it aint any of those sounds or as loud - they are blatent faulty drives you can tell a mile off

my problem is covered a lot online if you search, problem linux fanboys say is the hard-drive manufacturer setting too aggressive power saving settings, but i dont believe this because it does not happen in windows and i refuse to believe that seagate set their laptop drives in a self destruct mode, they would have lots of peed of customers on their hands and at risk of having licenses revoked...

i think its a problem in linux kernel and programmers cant work out how to fix it
 
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only things warned about was its been ON for longer than average joe and power cycled (turned on) more often than average joe... everything ele is great
it may only be certain hard-drives...mines a seagate 120Gb
Hey paulb100
I understand what you`re saying about it not doing it in windows, only in Ubuntu. Have you tried other Linux OS`s like Mepis or Mint as mentioned above? If so, does it do it with these?

I know this doesn`t solve the problem, but do you have another drive that you can clone the installation to and try it, or just install Ubuntu on and try it standalone?
 

paulb100

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hi itsjustme,

I havent tried any other distros because other people with the exact same problem have reported that it happens in all distros, so I aint bothered, i will probably try MINT at some stage
 
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thanks tom, like i say it aint dying, i know what a dying hard-drive or damaged hard-drive sounds like...and, it ONLY happens in LINUX, it does not happen at all in Windows 7, Vista or XP - ive used a SMART checker which says the hard-drive is in perfect working order

edit: ive listen to those and it aint any of those sounds or as loud - they are blatent faulty drives you can tell a mile off

my problem is covered a lot online if you search, problem linux fanboys say is the hard-drive manufacturer setting too aggressive power saving settings, but i dont believe this because it does not happen in windows and i refuse to believe that seagate set their laptop drives in a self destruct mode, they would have lots of peed of customers on their hands and at risk of having licenses revoked...

i think its a problem in linux kernel and programmers cant work out how to fix it
Hi paulb100,

What Linux fanboys have to say about agressive power saving settings is contextually about Linux - and has nothing to do with Windows, whereas what happens in Windows has nothing to do with Linux kernel or the Linux distribution you are using, and, of course, Seagate does not set laptop drives into a self-destruct mode, however, it is easy to believe that a user ignorant of power drive settings would inadvertently adopt a setting without knowing its affects.

Do let us know when you try Mint Linux if you experience the same problems and what happens with the vanilla installation, and then with power setting adjustments.

-- Tom
 
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