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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

Questions on Server Fault are expected to relate to server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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

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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