Hard disk life cycle issues of Laptops running Linux

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Hitboxx

Juke Box Hero
I just had a lengthy discussion about this in the Fedora channel on IRC and everybody is considering it either fixed or a non-issue, which I assume is also true for other distros too. And also it being a two year old issue (going by the date of the first occurrence on launchpad), it is safe to assume it is not a grave one as it is made out to be.

And as has been proven by the above post, it is not only limited to Linux.

I just recommend all owners of laptops with Linux on it to test it once just to get it out of the system.

No need for a sticky, unstickied.

Also, Ubuntu users should go and ask about it in the Ubuntu channel on IRC and then do a write up here of the resulting discussion. It would benefit us all.
 
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unni

In the zone
I installed smarttools in Win XP ..Its showing
Airflow Temp = Past 50
Power On Hours = 344
Load_Cycle Count = 18129

So it comes to 18129/344 = 52.7 ????

So less diff than Ubuntu ?? :confused:
When you earlier posted, the values were:
Power_On_Hours = 331
Load_Cycle_Count = 17780
Cycles / hr = 53.71

Now, both power on hours and load cycle count are changed. If you check in Ubuntu again, you should get 52.7.

If you could take these 2 values before and after running the laptop in Windows for 1-2 hours (as j_h said), we should be able to know if it is a Linux only problem or not.

I will also check in Windows to see if there is any difference.

@Hitboxx
Did the Fedora IRC guys confirm whether yours is an issue or not?
 
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Hitboxx

Juke Box Hero
Yes, I'm absolutely convinced it is not a problem on Fedora. I'm going to replace Arch with Fedora on my laptop later today, not just as a proof but I wanted to do that for sometime now, got the chance today.
 
OP
J

j_h

Banned
I installed smarttools in Win XP ..Its showing
Airflow Temp = Past 50
Power On Hours = 344
Load_Cycle Count = 18129

So it comes to 18129/344 = 52.7 ????

So less diff than Ubuntu ?? :confused:

What does it mean ? Suppose I run my lappu for 12 hours a day

so 52.7 *12 = 632.4

and a HDD survives 600,000 so 600,000/632.4 = 948.76 days ?

that means roughly 2.6 years ?? Is this calculation correct ??

No No No, You are wrong.

This is how to calculate:

Hours used with XP = 344-331=13
Load cycle using XP = 18129 - 17780 = 349

So you are getting 26.84 Cycles / HOUR
That is
FARRRRR Less than 54


So your laptop should last (600000-18129)/26.84 = 21679 hrs = 1806 days = 4.9 yrs at 12 hr /day use. (If you just take load cycle lifetime into consideration).

I hope This is helpful.


Yes, I'm absolutely convinced it is not a problem on Fedora. I'm going to replace Arch with Fedora on my laptop later today, not just as a proof but I wanted to do that for sometime now, got the chance today.

I would suggest esumitkumar install fedora and post the result. That way we all can have one Linux Distro that we can use with peace of mind.

And also it being a two year old issue (going by the date of the first occurrence on launchpad), it is safe to assume it is not a grave one as it is made out to be.
This was there in suse 11.0 beta also. So its not exactly 2 yrs old. https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=386555. Can anyone with experience in reading bug reports tell me what was the fix that novel used to say that this issue is resolved. I think they simply redirected to this page and said it is fixed. They Did write a script however that applies hdparm fix at boottime but no one is talking about the temperature issues you will have after using this fix. I mean your head will not load for the entire 12hrs. Period. So, is that really healthy? My take is that either you will have your hard disk broken in 1yr form the loadcycle bug or if you apply the hdparm fix, you will break it with the rising temperature. What do yo have to say guys ? Please dont mistake me as someone who is advocating to not use linux but I just want everyone to know about this.

Also, this page http://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.ph...ich_perform_frequent_head_unloads_under_Linux
does not suggest anywhere that this is a UBUNTU bug. It says that its a kernel issue.

Also, since esumitkumar is having a load cycle of 53 with Ubuntu and 26 with XP, i think it is still an issue. People who buy digit will install ubuntu provided in the Digit DVD and 8 months later will find out that their hard drive is gone.

@esumitkumar: Your high temperature may be due to blocking of your vents in the laptop ( I dont know if they are called vents or whatever). Use your laptop in flat surface where the air that has to flow out is not obstructed. A nice shiny table would be nice . :) Never use laptops on top of blankets :) " Kambal Ke Upar".
 
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Hitboxx

Juke Box Hero
I ran it from the Fedora Live CD 32bit.
=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Model Family: Toshiba 2.5" HDD series (30-60 GB)
Device Model: TOSHIBA MK6034GSX
Serial Number: Y679T22VT
Firmware Version: AH102E
User Capacity: 60,011,642,880 bytes
Device is: In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is: 7
ATA Standard is: Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
Local Time is: Tue Dec 9 11:30:37 2008 EST
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME FLAG VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE UPDATED WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate 0x000b 100 100 050 Pre-fail Always - 0
2 Throughput_Performance 0x0005 100 100 050 Pre-fail Offline - 0
3 Spin_Up_Time 0x0027 100 100 001 Pre-fail Always - 1137
4 Start_Stop_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 1009
5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct 0x0033 100 100 050 Pre-fail Always - 0
7 Seek_Error_Rate 0x000b 100 100 050 Pre-fail Always - 0
8 Seek_Time_Performance 0x0005 100 100 050 Pre-fail Offline - 0
9 Power_On_Hours 0x0032 097 097 000 Old_age Always - 1460
10 Spin_Retry_Count 0x0033 120 100 030 Pre-fail Always - 0
12 Power_Cycle_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 939
191 G-Sense_Error_Rate 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 5699
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 298
193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 095 095 000 Old_age Always - 59269
194 Temperature_Celsius 0x0022 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 29 (Lifetime Min/Max 21/51)
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
197 Current_Pending_Sector 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable 0x0030 100 100 000 Old_age Offline - 0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0
220 Disk_Shift 0x0002 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 82
222 Loaded_Hours 0x0032 098 098 000 Old_age Always - 1031
223 Load_Retry_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
224 Load_Friction 0x0022 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
226 Load-in_Time 0x0026 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 405
240 Head_Flying_Hours 0x0001 100 100 001 Pre-fail Offline - 0
Similar values like before.

Personally, I still say it is not a grave issue, if you're still paranoid, you can stop using Linux currently and wait for a fix (if its in kernel like you say). No problem in dropping Linux, use Windows if it is how you feel, and same goes for others.
 

esumitkumar

Call me Sumit
No No No, You are wrong.

This is how to calculate:

Hours used with XP = 344-331=13

I am very very confused !! Does hrs used wid XP means I have run XP for 13 hours ? Means one day u run XP for 2 hrs , shut the laptop, next day 10 hrs ..does this count will show 12 hrs ??

How is it storing the value though we have switched off laptop :confused: :confused: :confused:

and ya I m dloading Fedora ..will install and post the result soon ....

[Office workload has increased dramatically daily 10 am - 10 pm including 2 hrs commute time :( ]

PS: abt HDD temp yaar kambal pe nahin rakha ....its on a table ..kya karu..i love desktops more than laptops ..but Banjara life hai IT walo ki so..kabhi Dilli kabhi Pune kabhi US aur kabhi UK..kahan kahan tak desktop leke ghumoge ;)
 
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OP
J

j_h

Banned
I am very very confused !! Does hrs used wid XP means I have run XP for 13 hours ? Means one day u run XP for 2 hrs , shut the laptop, next day 10 hrs ..does this count will show 12 hrs ??

How is it storing the value though we have switched off laptop :confused: :confused: :confused:

and ya I m dloading Fedora ..will install and post the result soon ....

[Office workload has increased dramatically daily 10 am - 10 pm including 2 hrs commute time :( ]

It works like this.

Power On hours is the amount of time the hard disk is on. This does NOT apply to the time it is switched off. This calculation is done by SMART and stored in the HARD Disk itself. I am assuming that the smart data you posted before was obtained when you used Ubuntu . i am assuming that you bought the laptop then installed linux and used it. So, the first 331 power on hours and 17K load cycle was obtained when using ubuntu.

Now since you switched to xp , you posted a differnt set of values.
There the increment in power on hours was 13 hrs and load cycle was increased by some value. So, you used your laptop for 13 hrs with XP. I hope you understand what i am trying to say.

And yes, If you use for 2 hrs one day, then 10 hrs the next day, your power on hours will be 12. This calculation and storing is done by SMART and the value is stored in the hard disk chip itself.

I ran it from the Fedora Live CD 32bit.
Similar values like before.
Yes, 37 cycles in one hour with fedora. (59269 - 59232) / (1460-1459)
http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/tj/storage-fixup.git;a=blob;f=storage-fixup.conf. This does not list your HD model. congratulations. Have you tried XP to check how many you get in an hour ?
 
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esumitkumar

Call me Sumit
^^Thanks..It clearly means from the day I installed this new HDD ..it has been ran for 344 hours ..hmmm ..will have to read more ..
 

vamsi360

Always confused
ubuntu Intrepid Ibex after such a propogation that it saves battery and reported test seems to still have the problem.

Man,I have 4 linux Distros on my new Inspiron 1525 and I am really scared, If mine is affected I think it should be affected in a worst way as I use Linux for 80% in my usage.

Anyway thanks, You have made me realize the importance of the Genuine Vista Home Premium OEM bundled with it.
 

esumitkumar

Call me Sumit
I dloaded and burnt Fedora 10 CD but while booting from it ...it displays some error
error on sda0 or somewhat :x ........Can I Install from its iso without burning CD from Win XP ?? Like Virtual CD emulator ? Help needed
 

unni

In the zone
I checked the load cycle count in Ubuntu 8.10 32 bit and Windows Vista 32 bit for a period of 5 minutes. I booted each of the OS and waited for the hard disk activity light to turn off (so that the booting process becomes complete). Then I launched terminal/command prompt, entered the "smartctl -a" command, and noted down the current load cycle count value. Then, I left the OS idle for exactly 5 minutes. The only input I gave during this 5 minutes was moving the mouse just a bit 3 times so that display won't go blank. Laptop was on mains throughout these 5 minutes.

In Ubuntu, the load cycle count increased by 8 (from 6375 to 6383), during a 5 minute idle period.
In Vista, the load cycle count increased by 5 (from 6394 to 6399), during a 5 minute idle period.


The difference of 3 between Ubuntu & Vista is most probably because of AVG and Comodo Firewall, along with some other running processes. I had my internet connected when I tested in Vista, but no internet when I tested in Ubuntu. I will check this again after killing AVG & Comodo, and with no internet.

In my hard disk, the spin down occurs after 14-16 seconds of inactivity, irrespective of the OS. I need to confirm this again. I will post more by today evening or tomorrow morning, when running on battery as well.

From my experience, either this is nothing we should worry about or this is something we should be concerned about regardless of the OS.

@esumitkumar
The reduction in the load cycle counts during the 13 hours you ran on XP could be because of
a. Installation of XP and drivers (assuming you didn't have XP earlier) or service pack 2.
b. You were downloading something (like Fedora) during these 13 hours.
c. I don't want to say. ;-)
Could you tell us what you were doing during these 13 hours with XP, and whether you have indexing, automatic antivirus scan etc. enabled?
 
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esumitkumar

Call me Sumit
he he he very funny unni..i wasnt watching po*n or something ;)
during those 13 hrs XP was installed and as usual I was playing songs on my lappi :D

should i download Sabayon 3.5 now ? Can anybody confirm this bug is in Sabayon or not ???

Also NOBODY answered how can i install FEDORA10 thru HDD ? I have got only 696 MB of Fedora 10 ISO :-
 

esumitkumar

Call me Sumit
^^ I read that documentation but cant understand how to proceed. I have Win XP only now . I have created a new unallocated partition of 13 GB for linux out of 74 GB hard disk..I have another 250 GB external hard disk for backup

In my C: drive I have Fedora10i686.iso ..Can anybody tell me now step by step how to proceed ?
 
OP
J

j_h

Banned
In Ubuntu, the load cycle count increased by 8 (from 6375 to 6383), during a 5 minute idle period.
In Vista, the load cycle count increased by 5 (from 6394 to 6399), during a 5 minute idle period.


Dear unni,

Thank you for your effort. In my humble opinion, 5 min is a far less time to get to any solid conclusion. I would try it for one hour during normal operating condition. For instance, if you use your laptop to surf the internet, listen to music then why not do that and observe the reading.

This test is to find out if you have the problem. Since you will be working with your laptop than leaving it idle other times, why not take the test while doing the things you normally do. BTW, when i tried it some days back (before posting this thread) one hour with normal use , I got a load cycle of less than 20 on my hp laptop with XP and I was getting 65 with ubuntu with the 'tick' sounds now and then.

By the way, have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T. to see what the parameters actually mean.

Regards,
J_h

(IS this too formal ? :D)
 

Plasma_Snake

Indidiot
How'd I know if my HDD is in danger or not? I tried the hdparm command and got this as output
Code:
/dev/sda:
 setting Advanced Power Management level to 0xfe (254)
 HDIO_DRIVE_CMD failed: Input/output error
rudra@rudra-testubuntu:~$ sudo hdparm -B 255 /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 setting Advanced Power Management level to disabled
 HDIO_DRIVE_CMD failed: Input/output error
What is this? What to do?
 
OP
J

j_h

Banned
How'd I know if my HDD is in danger or not? I tried the hdparm command and got this as output
Code:
/dev/sda:
 setting Advanced Power Management level to 0xfe (254)
 HDIO_DRIVE_CMD failed: Input/output error
rudra@rudra-testubuntu:~$ sudo hdparm -B 255 /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 setting Advanced Power Management level to disabled
 HDIO_DRIVE_CMD failed: Input/output error
What is this? What to do?

First find out if your hard drive is at risk. Then only apply the hdparm fix. But read a lot about that fix before applying it.

To find out if you have the problem , download smartmontools and then run smartctl command.

here is the detailed guide. http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=5031046&postcount=2
 

vamsi360

Always confused
@Hitboxx
can I know if using fedora 10 on my laptop( Inspiron 1525) is a risk?
As you said harddrives die after 2/3 years, i agree with it and I know even Dell ships Ubuntu with my laptop in some countries and what happens to them if they are affected with this issue?
I regularly format my linux partitions and change the distro with a newone given in Digit.I have 3 distros on my laptop and I donot change only fedora.Will this procedure will let my harddisk down fastly?Whats your solution in detail.....please
 

Hitboxx

Juke Box Hero
@vamsi360, at the rate at which people are paranoid here, I have no solution, honestly. I don't want to say anything more, it is all up to you. If I were an Ubuntu lover and say my laptop would be listed there, I would have still used it whatever the cause, because I would be sure eventually it will be alright, it is a bug and in the FOSS world, nothing stays a bug, atleast for not too long, but again that is me.

Though I will condemn the habit of distro hopping, find one that you like and stick with it, come hell or high water.
 
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