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I have a 2TB Western Digital MyBook Live. It works quite well and provides a web-based administration interface. There is an option to either enable or disable power saving mode, which spins down the drive when not in use. However, there is no option to control the amount of time that must elapse before the disk spins down.

This drive runs an embedded build of the Linux kernel and I was able to gain root access (via SSH) to the device. There is probably an easy way to adjust the spin down time but I haven't been able to figure out what it is.

Where would I begin looking to find such an option? (Configuration files, /proc, etc.)

I have absolutely no idea if this helps, but /dev/md1 is mounted on /. I'm guessing that /dev/md (which does exist) is the physical disk itself?

  • /dev/md1 is a software RAID volume on top of hardware disks. You can identify those hardware disks with cat /proc/mdstat – xhienne Aug 23 '17 at 9:01
  • It appears to be only a single physical disk (/dev/sda). – Nathan Osman Aug 23 '17 at 16:38
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man hdparm:

-B
Get/set Advanced Power Management feature, if the drive supports it. A low value means aggressive power management and a high value means better performance. Possible settings range from values 1 through 127 (which permit spin-down), and values 128 through 254 (which do not permit spin-down). The highest degree of power management is attained with a setting of 1, and the highest I/O performance with a setting of 254. A value of 255 tells hdparm to disable Advanced Power Management altogether on the drive (not all drives support disabling it, but most do).

I guess there is no fixed relation between these values and the timeout. This probably depends on the manufacturer, maybe even on the drive type. You probably have to make some tests. Or this information is publicly available for your drive.

And, of course, this has to be set after each reset / power-up.

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