I have a dual-boot system with Ubuntu 16.04 + KDE installed on a Samsung SSD and Windows 7 installed on a WD SATA HDD.

When I run Windows the PC is quiet but when I run Ubuntu the WD SATA HDD is constantly spinning. The most active I/O process is jbd2/sdb1-8.

How to make Ubuntu to spin down the Windows HDD?

$ less /proc/mounts # not all of the output
/dev/sdb1 / ext4 rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro,data=ordered 0 0
/dev/sda3 /media/opencv/F8089FC5089F80F4 fuseblk rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime,user_id=0,group_id=0,default_permissions,allow_other,blksize=4096 0 0
/dev/sda2 /media/opencv/5A7A21E27A21BB9F fuseblk rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime,user_id=0,group_id=0,default_permissions,allow_other,blksize=4096 0 0
/dev/sda4 /media/opencv/CE9AAEC79AAEAC01 fuseblk rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime,user_id=0,group_id=0,default_permissions,allow_other,blksize=4096 0 0

$ fdisk -l /dev/sdb
/dev/sdb1       2048 466687999 466685952 222,5G 83 Linux
/dev/sdb2       466690046 500117503  33427458    16G  5 Extended
/dev/sdb5       466690048 500117503  33427456    16G 82 Linux swap / Solaris
  • 2
    Is the Windows partition mounted on the Ubuntu system? – Raman Sailopal Sep 27 '17 at 10:42
  • Ubuntu sees the disk and the partitions in it. But I think it is not auto-mounted. – Nikola Obreshkov Sep 27 '17 at 10:45
  • If the disk is definitely not mounted Linux won't reference it and so I can't see it being a Linux issue. You could try running Linux off a recovery media and see if the problem is the same. – Raman Sailopal Sep 27 '17 at 11:05
  • Tyvm :-) You can also accept the answer, by clicking the pipe icon to the left side. Ask the nvidia problem in a different question (here it is no problem if you make many questions, it is even liked, until they are voted up. Yours is now voted up). – peterh Sep 27 '17 at 12:36
  • sudo hdparm -y /dev/sda (sda as an example) – neverMind9 Apr 22 '18 at 5:11

Final result: After a remote debug session in the chat, including the poweroff of his spinning hdd, was made clear that not his hdd is spinning, but the ventillator of his nvidia card.

Problem was solved after installing the nVidia driver.

Extension: jbd2 means a kernel-based background task doing side-work on one of your linux filesystems, it surely doesn't do anything to your win partitions. More you can read about it here.

This is obviously extraordinary case - if you don't use your ubuntu, it shouldn't spin your disk. There is some background process, which may not be needed (or it is, but then is it a good question, what it does).

However, fortunately there is an easy and also a more complex way to hunt this problem down.

  1. Processes doing IO-intensive things are typically on the top. So, type: top, and check what is on the top. Look for processes having the R (=running) state in the in the S(tate) column. Also you can use the ps uxa|grep R as a purely command-line solution for the same task. Although the top orders the processes by their cpu usage, and not by their I/O, in most cases also the I/O intensive processes are going into the top in the top, as a side-effect.
  2. There is a tool named blkiomon. Its parametrization is highly un-trivial, but you can get a much more direct info with it, who is spinning your disks and why.

The most probable causes of your problem are these:

  1. Some website is doing some nasty in a rarely visited chrome tab.
  2. You have not too many RAM and use some app using a lot. In this case, the cause of the spinning is the swap.
    • If it is your Chrome (what may be also because (1) ), then you may consider switching to firefox with turned off electrolysis. It is the fastest possible way to have an useful browser with few RAM. The typical RAM-need of an e10s-free 32-bit firefox is lesser than 1G.

To the comments:

Which partitions are mounted and where, that you can check with the mount command. Unfortunately, it is filled with crap since some years, but to the end, you can see the list. Search for the lines like this:

/dev/sda7 on /media/archive type ext4 (rw,relatime,nobarrier,errors=remount-ro,commit=6935,data=ordered)

This means, that your /dev/sda7 is mounted into the directory /media/archive. Sda7 is the 7th partition of your first hard disk.

Extension: As your fdisk output shows, your SSD is your /dev/sdb1.

  • As I said Ubuntu is installed on a SSD but the spinning noise comes from the SATA HDD where Winodws is. I have 16 GB RAM but even if I had less the swap, any logs or temp files have to be located on the SSD. – Nikola Obreshkov Sep 27 '17 at 11:15
  • @NikolaObreshkov jbd2/sdb1-8 means very clearly that your /dev/sdb1 is spinned. I can't say from here, if it is your SSD or your HDD, but you can say it based on the mount table. What is mounted there, what says a grep sdb1 /proc/mounts? – peterh Sep 27 '17 at 11:20
  • @NikolaObreshkov It is quite extraordinary, if you can hear that your hdd is spinning, it means that the /dev/sdb is your HDD! Are you sure that really only a Windows is on your HDD? What says an fdisk -l /dev/sdb? – peterh Sep 27 '17 at 11:22
  • The PC have two discs: SSD - Ubuntu, SATA - Windows. The SATA have 3 partitions. In Windows they are C, D, E and C is where Windows is. – Nikola Obreshkov Sep 27 '17 at 11:27
  • @NikolaObreshkov Ok. What says fdisk -l /dev/sdb? – peterh Sep 27 '17 at 11:37

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