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I have 8 drives in my server connected via PATA. The drives are set for no-spin via jumpers on the drive. hdparm -I says

powers-up in standby; SET FEATURES subcmd spins-up

What command do I use to spin the drives up?

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migrated from serverfault.com Apr 8 '11 at 21:11

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Drives supporting the "Power-up in Standby" feature are supposed to spin up as soon as they get a command that requires reading the disk. So if your drive isn't spinning up when you do something like dd if=/dev/hdX of=/dev/null count=512, then I'd suspect that your disk controller or drive (or possibly BIOS, or Linux kernel version) doesn't fully support this feature. To rule out the kernel, the hdparm man page recommends Linux 2.6.22 or later.


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you're right, i upgraded the kernel and now i can spin up the drive by just trying to access it. – longneck Nov 11 '11 at 22:18

Do you need to spin them up manually? Normally, that happens automatically when the kernel needs to read or write to the drive. hdparm has options to force a drive to spin down (-y and -Y), but not to spin up. I suppose you could use hdparm -z to force a re-read of the partition table, but that seems like overkill.

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yes, i need to spin them up manually. hdparm -z does not spin them up. – longneck Apr 8 '11 at 21:25

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