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Spin-up maxtor onetouch

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  • David Shepherd
    I m using Unslung 6.10 and after following instructions on how to move /var and /dev to a ramdisk + added noatime to the disk mounts I managed to get my Maxtor
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 25, 2008
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      I'm using Unslung 6.10 and after following instructions on how to move
      /var and /dev to a ramdisk + added noatime to the disk mounts I
      managed to get my Maxtor Onetouch III to spin down (no 5 sec flicker
      on disk light + after 10-15 mins disk definitely span down)! However,
      when I looked at the slug a couple of days later found it no longer
      thought it had a USB disk attached + attempts to login into it or
      access it via web interface failed.

      Looking at nslu2-linux.org saw comments abut IO requests timing out
      when Seagate freeagents had spun down along with a "fix" involving
      creating an auto_restatr file in a dir under /sys/ ... however, this
      seems to be for Debian and I'm on Unslung ... any ideas whether
      there's an equivalent fix I can use.

      If not ... while it seems "tidy" to be able to get the Onetouch to
      spindown (its mainly aimed at being a backup server which will
      eventually run rsnapshot once or twice a day to snapshot my main
      active NAS drive slo its not really in use much at the moment) is it
      really necessary to get the drive to spin down .... will it affect
      reliability much etc?
    • Mike Westerhof
      On Tue 26/02/08 12:02 AM , David Shepherd david@shepherd-family.net sent: [snip] ... Now that is *exactly* the correct question, IMO. Far too many people
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 25, 2008
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        On Tue 26/02/08 12:02 AM , "David Shepherd" david@... sent:
        [snip]
        > If not ... while it seems "tidy" to be able to get the Onetouch to
        > spindown (its mainly aimed at being a backup server which will
        > eventually run rsnapshot once or twice a day to snapshot my main
        > active NAS drive slo its not really in use much at the moment) is it
        > really necessary to get the drive to spin down .... will it affect
        > reliability much etc?

        Now that is *exactly* the correct question, IMO. Far too many people have wasted
        far too much time, it seems to me, to try to get disks to spin down for no useful
        reason.

        The bottom line is that a modern disk drive is designed to spin. There's no
        appreciable wear caused by keeping it running. Modern drives are much better
        about it, but in fact older hard drives were rather limited in terms of the
        number of load/unload cycles they could tolerate.

        The killer of disk drives is heat. (Well, shock as well, but that goes without
        saying, right?) As long as you feed the drive clean power, and keep it cool, it
        will probably last far longer than the warranty period happily spinning away 24
        hours per day.

        So unless you take it as a challenge to make it spin up/down reliably on Unslung,
        I'd say that your time is better invested in plugging the drive into a good surge
        suppressor, and making sure it's in a nice cool place.

        (I have an NSLU2 running Unslung 6.8-beta, with dual 250GB drives (Western
        Digital drives) that haven't spun down in a very long time:
        $ uptime
        01:24:03 up 492 days, 23:11, 1 user, load average: 1.00, 1.00, 1.00
        $
        The NSLU2 and the disk drives are mounted in the basement ceiling (protected and
        cool), right where all the networking gear is terminated in the house, and it's
        plugged into a small UPS. The restart of the NSLU2 493 days ago was not because
        of a problem with the NSLU2, it was to replace a failed UPS that it was plugged
        into. This device is the family file server, for backups, and serves out the
        music library.)


        Mike (mwester)
      • David Shepherd
        ... people have wasted ... for no useful ... There s no ... much better ... of the ... Thanks ... I think I ll forget about spin down and get on with doing
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 27, 2008
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          --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, Mike Westerhof <mwester@...> wrote:
          >
          > On Tue 26/02/08 12:02 AM , "David Shepherd" david@... sent:
          > [snip]
          > > If not ... while it seems "tidy" to be able to get the Onetouch to
          > > spindown (its mainly aimed at being a backup server which will
          > > eventually run rsnapshot once or twice a day to snapshot my main
          > > active NAS drive slo its not really in use much at the moment) is it
          > > really necessary to get the drive to spin down .... will it affect
          > > reliability much etc?
          >
          > Now that is *exactly* the correct question, IMO. Far too many
          people have wasted
          > far too much time, it seems to me, to try to get disks to spin down
          for no useful
          > reason.
          >
          > The bottom line is that a modern disk drive is designed to spin.
          There's no
          > appreciable wear caused by keeping it running. Modern drives are
          much better
          > about it, but in fact older hard drives were rather limited in terms
          of the
          > number of load/unload cycles they could tolerate.

          Thanks ... I think I'll forget about spin down and get on with doing
          more usefull things with the slug. It just seemed a bit "strange" that
          this HDD which is primarily intended to do rsnapshot backups of the
          main NAS device (a WD Netcenter) will be running 24/7 while the
          netcenter spins down after around 5 mins idle!
        • bloedmann999
          ... Dave, I have a Maxtor One-Touch and a WD drive that both have built in spin-down. One is running on an Unslung and the other on a Debian slug. Both drives
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 28, 2008
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            --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, "David Shepherd" <david@...> wrote:
            >
            > --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, Mike Westerhof <mwester@> wrote:
            > >
            > > On Tue 26/02/08 12:02 AM , "David Shepherd" david@ sent:
            > > [snip]
            > > > If not ... while it seems "tidy" to be able to get the Onetouch to
            > > > spindown (its mainly aimed at being a backup server which will
            > > > eventually run rsnapshot once or twice a day to snapshot my main
            > > > active NAS drive slo its not really in use much at the moment) is it
            > > > really necessary to get the drive to spin down .... will it affect
            > > > reliability much etc?
            > >
            > > Now that is *exactly* the correct question, IMO. Far too many
            > people have wasted
            > > far too much time, it seems to me, to try to get disks to spin down
            > for no useful
            > > reason.
            > >
            > > The bottom line is that a modern disk drive is designed to spin.
            > There's no
            > > appreciable wear caused by keeping it running. Modern drives are
            > much better
            > > about it, but in fact older hard drives were rather limited in terms
            > of the
            > > number of load/unload cycles they could tolerate.
            >
            > Thanks ... I think I'll forget about spin down and get on with doing
            > more usefull things with the slug. It just seemed a bit "strange" that
            > this HDD which is primarily intended to do rsnapshot backups of the
            > main NAS device (a WD Netcenter) will be running 24/7 while the
            > netcenter spins down after around 5 mins idle!
            >
            Dave,
            I have a Maxtor One-Touch and a WD drive that both have built in
            spin-down. One is running on an Unslung and the other on a Debian
            slug. Both drives spin down OK. But, I must admit, it did take some
            detective work to get the debian one to spin down, that was due to the
            samba version used.
            In my case, the Debian is a test slug, and is usually powered off. The
            unslung one is on 24/7, it serves music and does automatic backups of
            all active machines in my network each evening around 20:00. That
            means if no one listens to any music, the disk needs to run for about
            5 minutes a day. In my case I opted for the spin-down path, as opposed
            to leaving it running all the time. I have no idea how much
            electricity it really saves spinning down the drive
            Depending upon the usage of the slug I think everyone needs to make
            their own decision.

            Cheers Brian
          • bullfrog528
            ... Onetouch to ... main ... is it ... affect ... down ... terms ... doing ... that ... There is possibly another argument for keeping the drives spinning. I
            Message 5 of 9 , Feb 29, 2008
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              --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, "David Shepherd" <david@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, Mike Westerhof <mwester@>
              wrote:
              > >
              > > On Tue 26/02/08 12:02 AM , "David Shepherd" david@ sent:
              > > [snip]
              > > > If not ... while it seems "tidy" to be able to get the
              Onetouch to
              > > > spindown (its mainly aimed at being a backup server which will
              > > > eventually run rsnapshot once or twice a day to snapshot my
              main
              > > > active NAS drive slo its not really in use much at the moment)
              is it
              > > > really necessary to get the drive to spin down .... will it
              affect
              > > > reliability much etc?
              > >
              > > Now that is *exactly* the correct question, IMO. Far too many
              > people have wasted
              > > far too much time, it seems to me, to try to get disks to spin
              down
              > for no useful
              > > reason.
              > >
              > > The bottom line is that a modern disk drive is designed to spin.
              > There's no
              > > appreciable wear caused by keeping it running. Modern drives are
              > much better
              > > about it, but in fact older hard drives were rather limited in
              terms
              > of the
              > > number of load/unload cycles they could tolerate.
              >
              > Thanks ... I think I'll forget about spin down and get on with
              doing
              > more usefull things with the slug. It just seemed a bit "strange"
              that
              > this HDD which is primarily intended to do rsnapshot backups of the
              > main NAS device (a WD Netcenter) will be running 24/7 while the
              > netcenter spins down after around 5 mins idle!
              >

              There is possibly another argument for keeping the drives spinning.
              I seem to remember around the late seventies early eighties it was
              determined that computers that stayed on all the time were more
              reliable than ones which were turned on and off. This was eventually
              attibuted to the temperture cycles and the gold wires in IC's
              connecting the silicon die to the pins for the outside world. The
              temperture cycles made the wires expand and contract, they would
              eventually break due to metal fatigue. I would like to think that
              there have been improvements in this regard since then, but you
              never know. So I suppose we should ask, do the majority of drives
              fail because of mechanical motor/actuator wear or logic board
              failure?

              Anyway I tend to power down drives if not going to be used for
              several days (i.e. holding backups), otherwise they tend to remain
              on and spinning.

              Anyway everyone is different, so as stated earlier you have to make
              up your own mind what is best.

              Jeremy (Bullfrog)
            • bloedmann999
              ... Hi, I just read an interesting article on this in the German computer magazine c t. Quote (and translated by me): For desktop 3.5 drives, SATA and IDE,
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 5, 2008
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                --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, "bullfrog528" <yahoo@...> wrote:
                >
                > --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, "David Shepherd" <david@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, Mike Westerhof <mwester@>
                > wrote:
                > > >
                > > > On Tue 26/02/08 12:02 AM , "David Shepherd" david@ sent:
                > > > [snip]
                > > > > If not ... while it seems "tidy" to be able to get the
                > Onetouch to
                > > > > spindown (its mainly aimed at being a backup server which will
                > > > > eventually run rsnapshot once or twice a day to snapshot my
                > main
                > > > > active NAS drive slo its not really in use much at the moment)
                > is it
                > > > > really necessary to get the drive to spin down .... will it
                > affect
                > > > > reliability much etc?
                > > >
                > > > Now that is *exactly* the correct question, IMO. Far too many
                > > people have wasted
                > > > far too much time, it seems to me, to try to get disks to spin
                > down
                > > for no useful
                > > > reason.
                > > >
                > > > The bottom line is that a modern disk drive is designed to spin.
                > > There's no
                > > > appreciable wear caused by keeping it running. Modern drives are
                > > much better
                > > > about it, but in fact older hard drives were rather limited in
                > terms
                > > of the
                > > > number of load/unload cycles they could tolerate.
                > >
                > > Thanks ... I think I'll forget about spin down and get on with
                > doing
                > > more usefull things with the slug. It just seemed a bit "strange"
                > that
                > > this HDD which is primarily intended to do rsnapshot backups of the
                > > main NAS device (a WD Netcenter) will be running 24/7 while the
                > > netcenter spins down after around 5 mins idle!
                > >
                >
                > There is possibly another argument for keeping the drives spinning.
                > I seem to remember around the late seventies early eighties it was
                > determined that computers that stayed on all the time were more
                > reliable than ones which were turned on and off. This was eventually
                > attibuted to the temperture cycles and the gold wires in IC's
                > connecting the silicon die to the pins for the outside world. The
                > temperture cycles made the wires expand and contract, they would
                > eventually break due to metal fatigue. I would like to think that
                > there have been improvements in this regard since then, but you
                > never know. So I suppose we should ask, do the majority of drives
                > fail because of mechanical motor/actuator wear or logic board
                > failure?
                >
                > Anyway I tend to power down drives if not going to be used for
                > several days (i.e. holding backups), otherwise they tend to remain
                > on and spinning.
                >
                > Anyway everyone is different, so as stated earlier you have to make
                > up your own mind what is best.
                >
                > Jeremy (Bullfrog)
                >
                Hi, I just read an interesting article on this in the German computer
                magazine c't. Quote (and translated by me):
                "For desktop 3.5" drives, SATA and IDE, the manufacturers generally
                view 50,000 start-stop cycles as OK (within spec maybe?).
                If you use the drive on 230 days a year, and have 20 on-off cycles a
                day, then over 5 years that is 23,000 cycles."

                Which as such doesn't really say anything. Some people will have
                drives that fail after far less cycles, and others will have drives
                that keep running far longer.

                Just FYI.

                Cheers Brian
              • David Shepherd
                ... Update on how I got on. After getting the disk to spin down and the finding it wouldn t spin up I restarted everything and didin t do the copy /var to ram
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 28, 2008
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                  --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, "David Shepherd" <david@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I'm using Unslung 6.10 and after following instructions on how to move
                  > /var and /dev to a ramdisk + added noatime to the disk mounts I
                  > managed to get my Maxtor Onetouch III to spin down (no 5 sec flicker
                  > on disk light + after 10-15 mins disk definitely span down)! However,
                  > when I looked at the slug a couple of days later found it no longer
                  > thought it had a USB disk attached + attempts to login into it or
                  > access it via web interface failed.
                  >
                  > Looking at nslu2-linux.org saw comments abut IO requests timing out
                  > when Seagate freeagents had spun down along with a "fix" involving
                  > creating an auto_restatr file in a dir under /sys/ ... however, this
                  > seems to be for Debian and I'm on Unslung ... any ideas whether
                  > there's an equivalent fix I can use.
                  >
                  > If not ... while it seems "tidy" to be able to get the Onetouch to
                  > spindown (its mainly aimed at being a backup server which will
                  > eventually run rsnapshot once or twice a day to snapshot my main
                  > active NAS drive slo its not really in use much at the moment) is it
                  > really necessary to get the drive to spin down .... will it affect
                  > reliability much etc?

                  Update on how I got on.

                  After getting the disk to spin down and the finding it wouldn't spin
                  up I restarted everything and didin't do the copy /var to ram disk
                  trick again ... however I found that after a day or so the NSLU2 was
                  crashed with a spun down disk. I tried reformatting disk and
                  re-unslinging etc but same thing happens,

                  Eventually I took the "last resort" and used the LinkSys Eraseall tool
                  to revert to (as close as possible to) its initial state. This worked
                  fine.

                  N.b. as is the habit of things on internet the whole EraseAll
                  situation has become totally exagerated and when googling to find out
                  how to use it I found endless websites which solemnly declare that if
                  you use eraseall then your NSLU2 will be permanently bricked! Given
                  that its a tool produced by Linksys this would seem unlikely but
                  common sense is not a major asset in parts of the web! Clearly
                  eraseall is more dangerous than other toosl to reflash the NSLU2 since
                  it apparent rewrites all the redboot code so if something does go
                  wrong you may have bricked the NSLU2 so for standard unslinging etc
                  its safer to use something less drastic ... however, in my situation
                  (to quote a UK TV advert) "it did what it says on the can".

                  With the NSLU2 back to standard Linksys stae I was able to unsling and
                  so far after a week or so its all working ok. Maxtor disk is not
                  spinning down but I'm not seeing that as a problem ... in fact if
                  anything when lookinhg for info on any issues from 24/7 running on the
                  Seagate/Maxtor web site the info given there was definitely that disk
                  are designed to be able to run constantly and if there is an issue its
                  with constant spin down/spin up cycles!

                  Again I think I'd fallen for "web folklore" as I recall some of the
                  original IBM deskstars had reliabiliyt problems which IBM at the time
                  tried to explain by saying "well, they're desktop drives which aren't
                  meant to be used more than 8 hours a day".
                • Rod Whitby
                  ... It is a fact that the *only* reported cases of end-user brickage of NSLU2 units have occurred when the EraseAll tool has been used. There have been no
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 28, 2008
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                    David Shepherd wrote:
                    > N.b. as is the habit of things on internet the whole EraseAll
                    > situation has become totally exagerated and when googling to find out
                    > how to use it I found endless websites which solemnly declare that if
                    > you use eraseall then your NSLU2 will be permanently bricked! Given
                    > that its a tool produced by Linksys this would seem unlikely but
                    > common sense is not a major asset in parts of the web!

                    It is a fact that the *only* reported cases of end-user brickage of
                    NSLU2 units have occurred when the EraseAll tool has been used. There
                    have been no confirmed reported cases of permanent (i.e. requiring
                    hardware JTAG to fix) brickage when people use UpSlug2 or the SerComm
                    updater to reflash as recommended by the nslu2-linux project.

                    There are at least two cases where EraseAll is guaranteed to brick your
                    device:

                    1) You get a power failure during flashing. Note that power failure
                    includes the cat knocking the power adapter out of the wall.

                    2) You try and flash a Debian image (which for DFSG-compliance reasons
                    does not contain a replacement copy of RedBoot).

                    > Clearly eraseall is more dangerous than other toosl to reflash the NSLU2 since
                    > it apparent rewrites all the redboot code so if something does go
                    > wrong you may have bricked the NSLU2 so for standard unslinging etc
                    > its safer to use something less drastic ... however, in my situation
                    > (to quote a UK TV advert) "it did what it says on the can".

                    A goal of the nslu2-linux project is to not increase the warranty/RMA
                    return rate of NSLU2 devices to Linksys. At the moment, the only cases
                    we know where using nslu2-linux firmware has caused a return is when
                    someone has used the EraseAll tool and encountered one of the two known
                    failure modes.

                    For this reason, we strongly advise, at every opportunity possible, that
                    people do *not* use EraseAll.

                    Now, anyone is free to disregard that advice if they know what they are
                    doing. At that point, any failure becomes the sole resposibility of the
                    person making that choice - the project has done all it can to prevent
                    problems. We don't prevent people using EraseAll, and if it does the
                    job for someone who fully understands the risks, then that's great.

                    -- Rod Whitby
                    -- NSLU2-Linux Project Lead
                  • David Shepherd
                    ... Further update .... despite my initial optimism that after complete reinstall of original linksys firmware and unsling process that system was ok I found
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 3, 2008
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                      --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, "David Shepherd" <david@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I'm using Unslung 6.10 and after following instructions on how to move
                      > /var and /dev to a ramdisk + added noatime to the disk mounts I
                      > managed to get my Maxtor Onetouch III to spin down (no 5 sec flicker
                      > on disk light + after 10-15 mins disk definitely span down)! However,
                      > when I looked at the slug a couple of days later found it no longer
                      > thought it had a USB disk attached + attempts to login into it or
                      > access it via web interface failed.
                      >
                      > Looking at nslu2-linux.org saw comments abut IO requests timing out
                      > when Seagate freeagents had spun down along with a "fix" involving
                      > creating an auto_restatr file in a dir under /sys/ ... however, this
                      > seems to be for Debian and I'm on Unslung ... any ideas whether
                      > there's an equivalent fix I can use.
                      >
                      > If not ... while it seems "tidy" to be able to get the Onetouch to
                      > spindown (its mainly aimed at being a backup server which will
                      > eventually run rsnapshot once or twice a day to snapshot my main
                      > active NAS drive slo its not really in use much at the moment) is it
                      > really necessary to get the drive to spin down .... will it affect
                      > reliability much etc?
                      >

                      Further update .... despite my initial optimism that after complete
                      reinstall of original linksys firmware and unsling process that system
                      was ok I found that the NSLU2 locked up again after a few more days.

                      Solution this time was to attach the OneTouch to a windows PC, run the
                      Maxtor setup program and set the spin-down on the OneTouch to "never".
                      Since then (just over 2 weeks) its been working fine so I'm now hoping
                      its "sorted".
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