Adventures In Computing

October 29, 2007

Parking Is Dangerous For Your Hard Drive

Filed under: Dell, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Gutsy Gibbon, Ubuntu, Vostro 1500, Windows, Windows XP, XP — Normand Bissonnette @ 9:45 pm

Three days ago on October 26th, I read about a bug with Ubuntu that would kill my hard drive within a year if left unchecked. I read someplace where someone says that it is the fault of the BIOS vendor and another place it is the fault of the hard drive vendor, yet another place says that it is Ubuntu’s fault. I don’t care who’s fault it is, we have to fix it and fix it ASAP.

The bug is that in laptops the HDD parks itself once a minute and according to most of the articles I read a HDD can do this 600000 which means that a hard disc drive will last a little less than 167 hours. In my case it is not as bad as that but my hard drive will only last 1 year if it continues at this rate.

When I first read this article I did not think that I was affected and that it was just a freaky thing happening to a few laptops. Yesterday I read more and started wondering if my computer was affected with this bug. I checked it and my computer was cycling once every two minutes or so, as I said not as bad as once a second but worrisome. I read of a few fixes but I didn’t really have the time to try them so I waited until this evening to give it a go.

Let me tell you that I was really worried this afternoon, not because that my hard disc drive might fail within a year but because I might have to remove Ubuntu and install XP on my laptop. I have tried the fixes and thank God they are working on my desktop. I am very happy right now, so happy that I want to jump around and yell “hee hah”, but I won’t.

Almost all the information I got to fix my problem I got it from here, thank you Roald Hopman (AKA Ubuntu Demon) if it wasn’t for you I would never have known what happenned to my HDD in a years time.


  1. Its not that complicated as it sounds. Little knowledge can be dangerous.

    Comment by Kx — October 29, 2007 @ 10:49 pm

  2. You are welcome 🙂

    Ubuntu is not causing aggressive power management settings. The following things might instead cause aggressive power management settings :
    * your (laptop) harddrive firmware might have aggressive power management defaults (operating system independent)
    * your (laptop) BIOS might set your harddrive to use aggressive power management (operating system independent)
    * you might have enabled laptop-mode in /etc/default/acpi-support (disabled by default) which will set your harddrive to use aggressive power management

    My latest blog post about the problem :

    My earlier blog posts about the problem :


    Comment by ubuntudemon — October 30, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

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