Head parking on my laptop's hard drive

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops,uk.comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hello,

Does anyone know about a way how to prevent my laptop's harddisk from
parking its head during operation? I've purchased a new Seagate drive
(ST94811A) and it parks its heads after a few seconds of inactivity.
Everytime windows need data from disk, the head must be retracted to its
operational position and this causes long system laggs and mouse cursor
stammerings.
I've searched the net but didn't find a solution. The manual says there is
some ATA command which could possibly disable the inactivity timeout, but
there is no utility program for sending this ATA command (neither on
seagate.com nor anywhere on internet).

Thanks for any advice

--
Jan Lenoch, ICQ: 52398446
8 answers Last reply
More about head parking laptop hard drive
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops,uk.comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    In article <2lihg0Fd0t46U1@uni-berlin.de>,
    Jan Lenoch <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote:
    >Hello,
    >
    >Does anyone know about a way how to prevent my laptop's harddisk from
    >parking its head during operation? I've purchased a new Seagate drive
    >(ST94811A) and it parks its heads after a few seconds of inactivity.
    >Everytime windows need data from disk, the head must be retracted to its
    >operational position and this causes long system laggs and mouse cursor
    >stammerings.
    >I've searched the net but didn't find a solution. The manual says there is
    >some ATA command which could possibly disable the inactivity timeout, but
    >there is no utility program for sending this ATA command (neither on
    >seagate.com nor anywhere on internet).
    >
    >Thanks for any advice
    >
    >--
    >Jan Lenoch, ICQ: 52398446
    >
    >


    Are youi confusing head parking with drive spin-down ? Look
    in ControlPanel/Power Management and see what the settings are.

    --
    Al Dykes
    -----------
    adykes at p a n i x . c o m
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops,uk.comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Al Dykes" <adykes@panix.com> writes:
    news:cd15vf$2hc$1@panix3.panix.com...
    > In article <2lihg0Fd0t46U1@uni-berlin.de>,
    > Jan Lenoch <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote:
    > >Hello,
    > >
    > >Does anyone know about a way how to prevent my laptop's harddisk from
    > >parking its head during operation? I've purchased a new Seagate drive
    > >(ST94811A) and it parks its heads after a few seconds of inactivity.
    > >Everytime windows need data from disk, the head must be retracted to its
    > >operational position and this causes long system laggs and mouse cursor
    > >stammerings.
    > >I've searched the net but didn't find a solution. The manual says there
    is
    > >some ATA command which could possibly disable the inactivity timeout, but
    > >there is no utility program for sending this ATA command (neither on
    > >seagate.com nor anywhere on internet).
    > >
    > >Thanks for any advice
    > >
    > >--
    > >Jan Lenoch, ICQ: 52398446
    > >
    > >
    >
    >
    > Are youi confusing head parking with drive spin-down ? Look
    > in ControlPanel/Power Management and see what the settings are.
    >

    No, I'm talking about head parking. Spin-down is a different thing, I know
    :-).

    > --
    > Al Dykes
    > -----------
    > adykes at p a n i x . c o m
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops,uk.comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    i remember 'head parking' from old scsi days (on ataris!!) i didn't realise
    it was an issue for non-scsi drives

    are you sure it's parking the head? could it be another issue?

    jim

    "Jan Lenoch" <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote in message
    news:2lk5hjFdnp11U1@uni-berlin.de...
    > "Al Dykes" <adykes@panix.com> writes:
    > news:cd15vf$2hc$1@panix3.panix.com...
    > > In article <2lihg0Fd0t46U1@uni-berlin.de>,
    > > Jan Lenoch <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote:
    > > >Hello,
    > > >
    > > >Does anyone know about a way how to prevent my laptop's harddisk from
    > > >parking its head during operation? I've purchased a new Seagate drive
    > > >(ST94811A) and it parks its heads after a few seconds of inactivity.
    > > >Everytime windows need data from disk, the head must be retracted to
    its
    > > >operational position and this causes long system laggs and mouse cursor
    > > >stammerings.
    > > >I've searched the net but didn't find a solution. The manual says there
    > is
    > > >some ATA command which could possibly disable the inactivity timeout,
    but
    > > >there is no utility program for sending this ATA command (neither on
    > > >seagate.com nor anywhere on internet).
    > > >
    > > >Thanks for any advice
    > > >
    > > >--
    > > >Jan Lenoch, ICQ: 52398446
    > > >
    > > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Are youi confusing head parking with drive spin-down ? Look
    > > in ControlPanel/Power Management and see what the settings are.
    > >
    >
    > No, I'm talking about head parking. Spin-down is a different thing, I know
    > :-).
    >
    > > --
    > > Al Dykes
    > > -----------
    > > adykes at p a n i x . c o m
    >
    >
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops,uk.comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    In article <cd34at$rel$1$8300dec7@news.demon.co.uk>,
    jim harris <licks_at_rock_dot_com> wrote:
    >i remember 'head parking' from old scsi days (on ataris!!) i didn't realise
    >it was an issue for non-scsi drives
    >
    >are you sure it's parking the head? could it be another issue?
    >
    >jim
    >
    >"Jan Lenoch" <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote in message
    >news:2lk5hjFdnp11U1@uni-berlin.de...
    >> "Al Dykes" <adykes@panix.com> writes:
    >> news:cd15vf$2hc$1@panix3.panix.com...
    >> > In article <2lihg0Fd0t46U1@uni-berlin.de>,
    >> > Jan Lenoch <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote:
    >> > >Hello,
    >> > >
    >> > >Does anyone know about a way how to prevent my laptop's harddisk from
    >> > >parking its head during operation? I've purchased a new Seagate drive
    >> > >(ST94811A) and it parks its heads after a few seconds of inactivity.
    >> > >Everytime windows need data from disk, the head must be retracted to
    >its
    >> > >operational position and this causes long system laggs and mouse cursor
    >> > >stammerings.
    >> > >I've searched the net but didn't find a solution. The manual says there
    >> is
    >> > >some ATA command which could possibly disable the inactivity timeout,
    >but
    >> > >there is no utility program for sending this ATA command (neither on
    >> > >seagate.com nor anywhere on internet).
    >> > >
    >> > >Thanks for any advice
    >> > >
    >> > >--
    >> > >Jan Lenoch, ICQ: 52398446
    >> > >
    >> > >
    >> >
    >> >
    >> > Are youi confusing head parking with drive spin-down ? Look
    >> > in ControlPanel/Power Management and see what the settings are.
    >> >
    >>
    >> No, I'm talking about head parking. Spin-down is a different thing, I know
    >> :-).

    How do you know the heads are being parked, and how long does it take
    to reload the heads ? I can't imagine it takes as much as a second,
    but I never saw a spec for it.


    I think I've read that 2.5 inch disks may do this as a way to make
    head crashes less likely in a laptop.
    --
    Al Dykes
    -----------
    adykes at p a n i x . c o m
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops,uk.comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "jim harris" <licks@rock.com> wrote in message news:cd34at$rel$1$8300dec7@news.demon.co.uk...
    > i remember 'head parking' from old scsi days (on ataris!!) i didn't realise
    > it was an issue for non-scsi drives

    Of course it was.
    SCSI is an interface standard and has nothing to do with the mechanics.
    Parking the heads was necessary on drives that didn't autopark.
    Don't confuse head parking with SCSI drive spindown (stop unit) which
    of course also parks the heads before spindown.
    All it did was bring the heads over (seek to) the parking zone before one
    shuts the power off.

    Nowadays some drives park the heads as part of an idle mode that fits
    between idle and standby mode and drop the spinrate to conserve energy
    but in so doing can quickly react to a wake-up. Actually, the heads are
    parked on a ramp *because* of the reduced spinrate.

    >
    > are you sure it's parking the head? could it be another issue?

    It still would be a similar issue.

    >
    > jim
    >
    > "Jan Lenoch" <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote in message news:2lk5hjFdnp11U1@uni-berlin.de...
    > > "Al Dykes" <adykes@panix.com> writes: news:cd15vf$2hc$1@panix3.panix.com...
    > > > In article <2lihg0Fd0t46U1@uni-berlin.de>,
    > > > Jan Lenoch <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote:
    > > > > Hello,
    > > > >
    > > > > Does anyone know about a way how to prevent my laptop's harddisk from
    > > > > parking its head during operation? I've purchased a new Seagate drive
    > > > > (ST94811A) and it parks its heads after a few seconds of inactivity.
    > > > > Everytime windows need data from disk, the head must be retracted to its
    > > > > operational position and this causes long system laggs and mouse cursor
    > > > > stammerings.
    > > > > I've searched the net but didn't find a solution. The manual says there is
    > > > > some ATA command which could possibly disable the inactivity timeout, but
    > > > > there is no utility program for sending this ATA command (neither on
    > > > > seagate.com nor anywhere on internet).
    > > > >
    > > > > Thanks for any advice
    > > > >
    > > > >--
    > > > >Jan Lenoch, ICQ: 52398446
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > Are youi confusing head parking with drive spin-down ? Look
    > > > in ControlPanel/Power Management and see what the settings are.
    > > >
    > >
    > > No, I'm talking about head parking. Spin-down is a different thing, I know :-).
    > >
    > > > --
    > > > Al Dykes
    > > > -----------
    > > > adykes at p a n i x . c o m
    > >
    > >
    >
    >
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops,uk.comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Jan Lenoch" <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote in message
    news:2lihg0Fd0t46U1@uni-berlin.de...
    > Hello,
    >
    > Does anyone know about a way how to prevent my laptop's harddisk from
    > parking its head during operation? I've purchased a new Seagate drive
    > (ST94811A) and it parks its heads after a few seconds of inactivity.
    > Everytime windows need data from disk, the head must be retracted to its
    > operational position and this causes long system laggs and mouse cursor
    > stammerings.

    Jan,

    Are you referring to an almost constant drive movement/click sound that
    occurs when the drive is sitting idle? And sometimes occurs again, and
    again, and again, and etc....

    Regards,
    Dave
    --
    (remove spamblock or reply to group)


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.715 / Virus Database: 471 - Release Date: 05/07/2004
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops,uk.comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Folkert Rienstra" <see_reply-to@myweb.nl> píše v diskusním príspevku
    news:2llbqhFdovo7U2@uni-berlin.de...
    > "jim harris" <licks@rock.com> wrote in message
    news:cd34at$rel$1$8300dec7@news.demon.co.uk...
    > > i remember 'head parking' from old scsi days (on ataris!!) i didn't
    realise
    > > it was an issue for non-scsi drives
    >
    > Of course it was.
    > SCSI is an interface standard and has nothing to do with the mechanics.
    > Parking the heads was necessary on drives that didn't autopark.
    > Don't confuse head parking with SCSI drive spindown (stop unit) which
    > of course also parks the heads before spindown.
    > All it did was bring the heads over (seek to) the parking zone before one
    > shuts the power off.
    >
    > Nowadays some drives park the heads as part of an idle mode that fits
    > between idle and standby mode and drop the spinrate to conserve energy
    > but in so doing can quickly react to a wake-up. Actually, the heads are
    > parked on a ramp *because* of the reduced spinrate.
    >

    Yeah, that's it. Except that my disk does not reduce the spinrate. It only
    parks the disk (only as a shock protection).

    > >
    > > are you sure it's parking the head? could it be another issue?
    >
    > It still would be a similar issue.
    >
    > >
    > > jim
    > >
    > > "Jan Lenoch" <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote in message
    news:2lk5hjFdnp11U1@uni-berlin.de...
    > > > "Al Dykes" <adykes@panix.com> writes:
    news:cd15vf$2hc$1@panix3.panix.com...
    > > > > In article <2lihg0Fd0t46U1@uni-berlin.de>,
    > > > > Jan Lenoch <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote:
    > > > > > Hello,
    > > > > >
    > > > > > Does anyone know about a way how to prevent my laptop's harddisk
    from
    > > > > > parking its head during operation? I've purchased a new Seagate
    drive
    > > > > > (ST94811A) and it parks its heads after a few seconds of
    inactivity.
    > > > > > Everytime windows need data from disk, the head must be retracted
    to its
    > > > > > operational position and this causes long system laggs and mouse
    cursor
    > > > > > stammerings.
    > > > > > I've searched the net but didn't find a solution. The manual says
    there is
    > > > > > some ATA command which could possibly disable the inactivity
    timeout, but
    > > > > > there is no utility program for sending this ATA command (neither
    on
    > > > > > seagate.com nor anywhere on internet).
    > > > > >
    > > > > > Thanks for any advice
    > > > > >
    > > > > >--
    > > > > >Jan Lenoch, ICQ: 52398446
    > > > > >
    > > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > > Are youi confusing head parking with drive spin-down ? Look
    > > > > in ControlPanel/Power Management and see what the settings are.
    > > > >
    > > >
    > > > No, I'm talking about head parking. Spin-down is a different thing, I
    know :-).
    > > >
    > > > > --
    > > > > Al Dykes
    > > > > -----------
    > > > > adykes at p a n i x . c o m
    > > >
    > > >
    > >
    > >
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,comp.sys.laptops,uk.comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "David Baxter" <dave@spamblock.atlanticrealm.com> pí¹e v diskusním pøíspìvku
    news:40f5d451$0$92645$ed2619ec@ptn-nntp-reader02.plus.net...
    >
    > "Jan Lenoch" <jan.lenoch@seznam.cz> wrote in message
    > news:2lihg0Fd0t46U1@uni-berlin.de...
    > > Hello,
    > >
    > > Does anyone know about a way how to prevent my laptop's harddisk from
    > > parking its head during operation? I've purchased a new Seagate drive
    > > (ST94811A) and it parks its heads after a few seconds of inactivity.
    > > Everytime windows need data from disk, the head must be retracted to its
    > > operational position and this causes long system laggs and mouse cursor
    > > stammerings.
    >
    > Jan,
    >
    > Are you referring to an almost constant drive movement/click sound that
    > occurs when the drive is sitting idle? And sometimes occurs again, and
    > again, and again, and etc....

    Hi David,

    What you've described looks alike. As I found out in the manual, the drive
    has several modes:
    [1] Active mode (heads are tracking, spindle rotating, buffer enabled),
    [2] Idle, performance mode (heads are somewhere on disc, spindle rotating,
    buffer enabled),
    [3] Idle, active (heads floating on the rim of the disc, spindle rotating,
    buffer disabled),
    [4] Idle, low power (heads parked on ramp, spindle rotating, buffer
    disabled),
    [5] Standby (heads parked on ramp, spindle stopped, buffer disabled)

    It's interesting that there are two different timeouts: the first one is for
    the "Idle, active" mode (maybe 0,1 sec. and it sounds like normal short disk
    tick) and the second one is for the "Idle, low power" mode (approx 2 seconds
    and this sounds very loud and it for a much longer time).

    What you have described, can also be a S.M.A.R.T. drive activity (it
    sometimes occurs because the drive monitors itself constantly). That's why
    sometimes the drive produces some clicking even though the LED diode doesn't
    blink.

    Sorry for my english :)
    Regards,
    Jan

    >
    > Regards,
    > Dave
    > --
    > (remove spamblock or reply to group)
    >
    >
    > ---
    > Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    > Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    > Version: 6.0.715 / Virus Database: 471 - Release Date: 05/07/2004
    >
    >
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