Disk Utils

Information on Hard Drive

# smartctl --all /dev/sda

# hdparm -I /dev/sda

# fdisk -l

# parted -l

Spindown Mechanical Hard Drive

If Eject USB hard drive does not spin HDD down, hdparm or sdparm can help to put drive in standby mode:

# hdparm -y /dev/sdb
# sdparm --readonly --command=stop /dev/disk/by-id/usb-WDC_WD40_01FAEX-00MJRA0_00000000485D-0\:0

Note: to find id of the disk

# udisksctl info -b /dev/sdb

To shut drive down completely (sleep mode):

# hdparm -Y /dev/sdb

Note: after entering the sleep mode, a hard or soft reset is required before the drive can be accessed again.

To start the disk:

# sdparm --command=start /dev/disk/by-id/usb-WDC_WD40_01FAEX-00MJRA0_00000000485D-0:0

Controlling power settings for external USB disk drives using sdparm - Debian User Mailing List

To power off the drive:

# udisksctl power-off -b /dev/sdb

Power Management

# hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda
set to the lowest APM mode. "-B 255" set the APM mode off. For some drives, even the lowest APM mode unloads the heads very aggressively, causing the clicking sounds. Another problem is that the drive is rated only for 600,000 unload/load cycles, which means that the drive will break in at most a couple of years.

Acoustic Management

# hdparm -M 254 /dev/sda
set to the lowest degree of power management.

Display a Progress Bar during File System Check

To display a progress bar while e2fsck is doing the file system check:

# e2fsck -C 0 /dev/sdb1

Check Filesystem on Next Reboot

# touch /forcefsck
create a file called "forcefsck" and reboot system.

Temperature of Hard Drive

$ sudo hddtemp /dev/sda

psensor is a GTK+ application for monitoring hardware sensors (including temperatures of hard drives) and fan speeds.