Auto spin down an external USB hard disk on a NAS server?

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

I want to have an external USB hard disk automatically spin down after
a period of inactivity. I know that you can set this using Windows,
linux etc., but this USB disk is attached to a black box NAS server eg
Netgear WGT634U or Linksys NSLU2. I believe that some (older?) hard
disks have a jumper strap to auto spin down without instructions from
the operating system. But what about modern high capacity 200+ Gbyte
IDE disks. Do any have such a spin-down on inactive jumper strap ?
Alan Hewat.
2 answers Last reply
More about auto spin external hard disk server
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    I, too, am interested in the answer. I don't want my seldom-accessed
    disks spinning all the time.

    In addition, I spoke with the technical support folks at Buffalo
    regarding their Buffalo Linkstation Network Storage Center. They have a
    bug in their firmware such that the Linkstation sleep mode does not
    work. No ETA on a fix. In addition, their built-in internal drive has
    only a 2 MB buffer. The Seagate externals are 8 MB and I just saw a new
    Maxtor with 16 MB.

    Linksys NSLU2 can put itself to sleep, but the disks are still
    spinning. Someone suggested putting the disks on an external timer,
    like the kind you use for the lights in your house when you are away.

    These all use a Linux file system. Should I be concerned about that ?

    I'm looking for a unit that has disk mirroring, as well as spinning
    down the disks when not in use. Anything out there like that ?
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously Tired Techie <email383@aol.com> wrote:
    > I, too, am interested in the answer. I don't want my seldom-accessed
    > disks spinning all the time.

    > In addition, I spoke with the technical support folks at Buffalo
    > regarding their Buffalo Linkstation Network Storage Center. They have a
    > bug in their firmware such that the Linkstation sleep mode does not
    > work. No ETA on a fix. In addition, their built-in internal drive has
    > only a 2 MB buffer. The Seagate externals are 8 MB and I just saw a new
    > Maxtor with 16 MB.

    > Linksys NSLU2 can put itself to sleep, but the disks are still
    > spinning. Someone suggested putting the disks on an external timer,
    > like the kind you use for the lights in your house when you are away.

    > These all use a Linux file system. Should I be concerned about that ?

    It is a very bad idea to just "unplug" the disks. ext2 as well
    as the journalling alternatives are pretty reliable, so even a hard
    power down will mostl only damage unwritten data. But given that
    the flush-timeout on the kernel buffers is something like 5 minutes
    you could loose quite a lot of data.

    Still if you do this in a hardware/software combination and
    unmunt or at least sync the drive before you do a hard timeout,
    it should be o.k.. The set-up would be something like this:
    Have a cron-job unmoun the disk and then have the external
    time switch it off. Beware that external timers are often
    not precison instruments. So you sould maybe add 30 minutes or
    so of tolerance and check the external timer regularly. You
    shuld also use ntp on the computer to ensure that its internal
    timer is o.k.. And additionally you should use a journalling
    filesystem (if you have ext2 yiou can convert to ext3 with
    tune2fs -j <device>), in case you switch off accidentally
    while the device is mounted. This will save you long disk-checks
    on the next mount.

    I had something similar on my old laptp: ext3 for the disk and
    when traveling I run it until the accu gave out, since the
    power reading gave me fantasy numbers (like 45 minutes
    power left, when it read 3%). Never had serious problems
    with that set-up.

    > I'm looking for a unit that has disk mirroring, as well as spinning
    > down the disks when not in use. Anything out there like that ?

    A old PC or a small PC with e.g. a mini-itx-board and linux for
    the functionality you want? Attached vie network? Probably cheapest.
    I don't think you can really do with less, but if you buy it
    pre-packaget, it is just going to cost more.

    Arno
    --
    For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
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    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
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