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I run a home server with Linux (ubuntu). Data (not the os, not swap, not /home) is stored on a large software RAID5 array.

The server is on 24/7, but to reduce noise I would like the raid drives to spin down automatically after about 10 minutes when they are not accessed.

I've set this with "hdparm -S" for the drives in question, but it will only work if I also set the power management via "hdparm -B" to a value below 128 (default is 254).

Since documentation is pretty slim on the topic: what value would you recommend for a reasonable compromise to achieve a quiet environment, but not increase the strain on the drives extraordinarily?

I can hear the spindle motor, but I don't think it will get any quieter if the heads are parked after each access...

The machine uses 3 WD20NPVT drives (Western Digital 2.5"). I know these are not designed for always-on servers. I can live with that.

I do not really care about power consumption. Performance is also not an issue, this machine streams mp3 files to a maximum of 2 clients for a few hours a day. If it takes 90 seconds for the drives to spin up before the music starts that's fine...

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closed as off topic by Michael Hampton, Zoredache, Sven, HopelessN00b, Magellan Nov 27 '12 at 5:21

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Welcome to Server Fault. Unfortunately, home servers are one thing that we really don't do here. You may wish to visit our sister sites Super User and Unix & Linux and read their respective FAQ entries to determine if your question would be on topic at one or both of those sites. –  Michael Hampton Nov 26 '12 at 17:46
    
Why aren't the drives already spinning down? Are you certain there are no reads/writes happening on that filesystem keeping the drives awake? Why not just pick a value and try it for a while. –  Zoredache Nov 26 '12 at 17:50

1 Answer 1

I recommand you set the value to 254 if donnt want to hear that sound. I think the hard driver is one of the "C1 issue" WD/HT Drivers. Also i have the same issue hdd of Hitachi. You can google "WD C1 issue" for more information about your HDD!

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