Hard disk life cycle issues of Laptops running Linux

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j_h

Banned
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Hitboxx

Juke Box Hero
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

It is a firmware bug of the manufacturers who assign aggressive load cycles on the laptops and affects only certain laptops, non-existent on desktops.

Solution:
sudo hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda
If not 254, 255 should work.

*use at your own risk OR contact the manufacturer for a firmware update.
 
OP
J

j_h

Banned
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

With that code, the head will never park. It works but not a very good solution but its the best available.
 

Hitboxx

Juke Box Hero
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

A note:
Fedora people here need not worry, it doesn't address the cycles as others Linuses do ;)

Personally I don't think it is as grave as it is made to look, a hard disk will generally pull through its 3/4 year life cycle. It is the same as regular shutdowns of computers will reduce the life of them in some ways.
 
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

i have heard that linux produces bad sector on hard drive.... is it true....?
 

abhinandh

Proud to be Linux
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

i have heard that linux produces bad sector on hard drive.... is it true....?

FALSE. Desktop drives are not affected at all (only some laptop drives are) and my hard disk is running linux for the past 5 years :D
 

Ron

||uLtiMaTE WinNER||
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

wht? guys ur scarin me.....I thought linux is trust worthy.........
bt now it seems...........
 
OP
J

j_h

Banned
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

wht? guys ur scarin me.....I thought linux is trust worthy.........
bt now it seems...........
Basically its not the fault of linux. Its due to the crazy hard drive manufacturers that design hard drives to suit the need of windows.
Here is the explanation of what is happening.
Harddisk's head loads and unloads a number of times. If the hard disk is idle, then it parks. What happens in windows is that the idle time is very less. So, the harddisk manufacturers set the harddisk according to the disk access pattern of windows. What happens in Linux and also in Mac is that the disk access pattern is different. The disk is accessed much less often. So, The hard drive head Loads/unloads much more than it does in windows. Tipically a hard disk has a load/unload cycle life expectancy of around 60000(not sure if its 60K or 600K). This gives the life at around 4years of 12hr use daily.
Now since, in linux (and also mac) the load/unload cycle is very high, the life expectancy reduces to around 8 months. (read it in a real life case cenario in a blog. The guy had to replace 3 hard drives).

Whose Fault is it?
It is not linux's fault. Less disk access is better. The manufacturers are the ones that need to be blamed here. They are the ones who set the default setting to suit windows.

Whats the fix ?
As posted by hitboxx, the code does not let the head park and is up all the time. This works but you will have to look at the temperature of your hard drives more closely. The thread in the ubuntu forums has detailed info on the fix (see my first post).

Why am I angry ?
I have been using linux since redhat9. I found out about this bug YESTERDAY!!!. I think things like this should be more publicised. It should be made a sticky everywhere in the linux forums. I f***ed up my thinkpad's hard drive a year ago. KDE started showing some s.m.a.r.t failure errors. I quickly removed kde, installed windows and sold the laptop to a less tech savy guy.
Now, i had been using ubuntu8.04 on my new hp for the past 4 months and yeasterday while randomly checking bugs in launchpad, i found it. This laptop has already got a load cycle of 18K and its been just around 4-5 months i have bought.

So, I just wanted you guys to know that there is a problem that exists and people are losing hard drives . Now, i have linux only in my desktop. Until some list of blacklisted drives and the drives that have no problem are compiled, i have no choice but to stay away from linux in my lappy. I could use the 255/254 fix but its a dirty one and its USE AT YOUR OWN RISK kind of fix.

So, if any guys here runnig linux on laptops please check my first post of this thread, goto the ubuntu forums link i provided and find out if your harddrive suffers. Ignorance is not Bliss. :D

i have heard that linux produces bad sector on hard drive.... is it true....?
No, it does not produce bad sectors or kills all drives. check if yours is infected.
I have Arch linux installed on my desktop and its doing very well. No worries. Its just that I advise you to check if you are the unlucky one with the faulty hard drive.
 
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unni

In the zone
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

Man, you raised my blood pressure. Can't wait to reach room and check it out. Me too have an HP lappy.
 

Faun

Wahahaha~!
Staff member
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

lol...here it is reverse. Almost all HDDs on which I install XP, gets bad sooner or later. But ones with Linux are working fine. Sometimes I think there is problem with my mobo, but who knows ?

Few days back Dead Space was working fine but now it stutters :/
 

Ross

Daydream Believer
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

Does this bug affects desktop hard disks too???
I am using Ubuntu on Seagate 320 G HDD(ST3320620A), do i really need to worry???? :confused:
 
OP
J

j_h

Banned
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

Does this bug affects desktop hard disks too???
I am using Ubuntu on Seagate 320 G HDD(ST3320620A), do i really need to worry???? :confused:
I dont think so. Its seen on laptop harddisks.
 

esumitkumar

Call me Sumit
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

Basically its not the fault of linux. Its due to the crazy hard drive manufacturers that design hard drives to suit the need of windows.
Here is the explanation of what is happening.
Harddisk's head loads and unloads a number of times. If the hard disk is idle, then it parks. What happens in windows is that the idle time is very less. So, the harddisk manufacturers set the harddisk according to the disk access pattern of windows. What happens in Linux and also in Mac is that the disk access pattern is different. The disk is accessed much less often. So, The hard drive head Loads/unloads much more than it does in windows. Tipically a hard disk has a load/unload cycle life expectancy of around 60000(not sure if its 60K or 600K). This gives the life at around 4years of 12hr use daily.
Now since, in linux (and also mac) the load/unload cycle is very high, the life expectancy reduces to around 8 months. (read it in a real life case cenario in a blog. The guy had to replace 3 hard drives).

Whose Fault is it?
It is not linux's fault. Less disk access is better. The manufacturers are the ones that need to be blamed here. They are the ones who set the default setting to suit windows.

Whats the fix ?
As posted by hitboxx, the code does not let the head park and is up all the time. This works but you will have to look at the temperature of your hard drives more closely. The thread in the ubuntu forums has detailed info on the fix (see my first post).

Why am I angry ?
I have been using linux since redhat9. I found out about this bug YESTERDAY!!!. I think things like this should be more publicised. It should be made a sticky everywhere in the linux forums. I f***ed up my thinkpad's hard drive a year ago. KDE started showing some s.m.a.r.t failure errors. I quickly removed kde, installed windows and sold the laptop to a less tech savy guy.
Now, i had been using ubuntu8.04 on my new hp for the past 4 months and yeasterday while randomly checking bugs in launchpad, i found it. This laptop has already got a load cycle of 18K and its been just around 4-5 months i have bought.

So, I just wanted you guys to know that there is a problem that exists and people are losing hard drives . Now, i have linux only in my desktop. Until some list of blacklisted drives and the drives that have no problem are compiled, i have no choice but to stay away from linux in my lappy. I could use the 255/254 fix but its a dirty one and its USE AT YOUR OWN RISK kind of fix.

So, if any guys here runnig linux on laptops please check my first post of this thread, goto the ubuntu forums link i provided and find out if your harddrive suffers. Ignorance is not Bliss. :D


No, it does not produce bad sectors or kills all drives. check if yours is infected.
I have Arch linux installed on my desktop and its doing very well. No worries. Its just that I advise you to check if you are the unlucky one with the faulty hard drive.

OMG :eek::eek::eek: ..man u gave me heart attack if its true ?

My 2 yr old Acer laptop's HDD died just cuz i was playing formatting and installing various versions of linux every week ????

Also now I have installed a new HDD 80 GB ,
installed Ubuntu 8.10 fully on it :(
Should I run ,remove linux and install XP ???
 

red_devil

Back!
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

^^ how about trying the solution Hitboxx suggested ??

{ but do read THIS PAGE thoroughly before attempting any such thing}
 

NucleusKore

TheSaint
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

I have been using linux since redhat9. I found out about this bug YESTERDAY!!!.

Been using since RH 7.0 and came to know of this only today :(

Thanks for sharing. I have to be very careful when recommending linux for laptops, maybe first boot with a openSUSE liveCD and probe the hardware

I do hope eeepc does not have problems, just got one today :p
 
Last edited:
OP
J

j_h

Banned
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

OMG :eek::eek::eek: ..man u gave me heart attack if its true ?

My 2 yr old Acer laptop's HDD died just cuz i was playing formatting and installing various versions of linux every week ????

Also now I have installed a new HDD 80 GB ,
installed Ubuntu 8.10 fully on it :(
Should I run ,remove linux and install XP ???

You should find out whether your hard drive is under risk.
Here is how you do it.
http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=5031046&postcount=2
Best of luck
 

Ross

Daydream Believer
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

I dont think so. Its seen on laptop harddisks.
Ok,
but the link you mentioned in first post doesnt says anything like that it affects Laptop HDDs only. :shock:

( :cry: Anyways i better remove Linux until there is any fix.)
 
OP
J

j_h

Banned
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

Ok,
but the link you mentioned in first post doesnt says anything like that it affects Laptop HDDs only. :shock:

( :cry: Anyways i better remove Linux until there is any fix.)
This load/unload is done by laptops to save power. It should not be a problem in desktops. If you want to clear your mind , check this post to find out if yours is infected. http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=5031046&postcount=2. I also have linux on desktop. Dont worry. Its laptop specific problem.
 

Ross

Daydream Believer
Re: VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Hard Disks being Killed in Linux

This load/unload is done by laptops to save power. It should not be a problem in desktops. If you want to clear your mind , check this post to find out if yours is infected. http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=5031046&postcount=2. I also have linux on desktop. Dont worry. Its laptop specific problem.

check out this link https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/acpi-support/+bug/59695/comments/97 , it says it does affects Desktop HDDs too :cry: .
 
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