Hard drive – Excessive load cycling?

While using Ubuntu I have heard an occasional clicking / ticking sound from the hard drive which does not sound normal. You don’t get the same sound when running XP, for example. I’m aware that the Acer Aspire One suffers from what is known as the “death click”. I’m not sure if the NC10 suffers from the same thing. I have installed smartmontools and it suggests that the drive is fine, but the instructions on http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=805570 are very difficult to follow – there seems to be lots of confounded issues. Does anybody know more about this?

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5 Responses to “Hard drive – Excessive load cycling?”

  1. Am I just being paranoid about this? We will all know in 6 months time when our hard drives fail I guess!

  2. My load_cycle count was growing pretty fast, around 110/hr.

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerManagement

    For ubuntu 8.10 I only had to do the following to prevent the load_cycles increasing while on ac:

    set “ENABLE_LAPTOP_MODE=true” in /etc/default/acpi-support

    This sets HD spindown for 1 min on battery power and 2 hrs on ac power.
    These settings are configured in /etc/laptop-mode/laptop-mode.conf

    After this change I still need to test the load_cycle increase rate while on battery power

  3. Just to elaborate, the Fix ‘ils’ mentions works on Intrepid/Ubuntu 8.10, through changing:

    ENABLE_LAPTOP_MODE=false (default) to
    ENABLE_LAPTOP_MODE=true

    to /etc/default/acpi-support.

    The ugly workarounds are for previous versions. Might be worth downloading updates on previous versions, rebooting and trying the above rebooting again then run

    smartctl -a /dev/sda | grep Load_Cycle_Count ; sleep 3600 ; smartctl -a /dev/sda | grep Load_Cycle_Count

    to check current Load Cycle Count then again exactly an hr later. Run in multiples of 3600 (seconds in an hr) then take an average for greater accuracy if desired.

  4. I have a black NC10 with a Hitachi Drive. For me only

    hdparm -B254 /dev/sda

    did the trick. Of course I changed this setting inside the laptop-mode configfile, but the default configuration of Laptop-Mode made my Load Cycles still go up. But now the Powermanagement seems to be disabled completely. Has somebody found a better solution?

  5. found on ubuntu-fr documentation a solution that seems to work nicely to this problem:
    cmd=’hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda’;sudo $cmd && echo -e ‘#!/bin/sh\n'”$cmd” > /tmp/hdfix && sudo install /tmp/hdfix /etc/pm/power.d/00-hdparm.sh && sudo install /tmp/hdfix /etc/pm/sleep.d/00-hdparm.sh

    for me wasn’t working with sudo so made a sudo su then run the command again without any sudo in it and does the trick.
    Hope this will help

    regards,
    nathan

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