An external hard disk sold as “INTENSO USB 3.0 4TB M/CNTR DSKTP HDD PK1” with the model number given by hdparm -I as ST4000DM000-1F2168 (so it's a Seagate Technology drive in the casing) just flat out ignores my power saving options set by hdparm.

root@igloo: hdparm -S 244 /dev/sdb        

 setting standby to 244 (2 hours)

=> it still keeps spinning down after just 10 minutes. I absolutely verified that /dev/sdb is the right disk.

A clean solution to make the disk follow the power saving option is much preferred. If this is not possible what would be the best workaround?

  • @JeffSchaller: before I set anything with hdparm, it also spins down after ten minutes
    – viuser
    Feb 9, 2017 at 23:14
  • @JeffSchaller: Is it some hard-coded spin-down time?
    – viuser
    Feb 9, 2017 at 23:15
  • Oh! Sorry, I misread your intention.
    – Jeff Schaller
    Feb 9, 2017 at 23:19
  • 1
    check out this answer to use hdparm -B 254 first.
    – meuh
    Feb 10, 2017 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


There is the option hdparm -Z to "disable the automatic power-saving function of certain Seagate drives (ST3xxx models?), to prevent them from idling/spinning-down at inconvenient times."

Although yours is a Seagate ST4xxx model it may work for you too.

There's also hdparm -B 254 that will "Get/set Advanced Power Management feature, if the drive supports it." (Taken from What could be causing my hard drive to spin down, which suggests that this setting will then allow the hdparm -S feature to work as expected.)

  • Thank you. Sadly, the -Z gives me an error message.
    – viuser
    Feb 9, 2017 at 23:32
  • ok, hdparm -B 254 seems to work. Does it have to be set again at every system boot?
    – viuser
    Feb 10, 2017 at 16:53
  • @wolf-revo-cats I would imagine so. On my Debian (wheezy) box there are a couple of places to put these configuration statements, though: /etc/default/hdparm and /etc/hdparm.conf. If you're on a different distro I assume there'll be something similar. Feb 10, 2017 at 18:34

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