load cycle - Hardware

This is a discussion on load cycle - Hardware ; I've been following the current controversy about whether Ubuntu kills laptop drives: https://launchpad.net/bug59695.html I don't use Ubuntu but I did smartctl -d ata -a /dev/sda | grep 193 and got a count of over 1 million. The product manual for ...

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Thread: load cycle

  1. load cycle

    I've been following the current controversy about whether Ubuntu kills
    laptop drives:

    https://launchpad.net/bug59695.html

    I don't use Ubuntu but I did

    smartctl -d ata -a /dev/sda | grep 193

    and got a count of over 1 million. The product manual for my drive
    (Seagate) says 300K on/off cycles at 25 degrees, 50% humidity and only
    100K in less favorable conditions. Can I believe the output of smartctl?
    I've now done all the things needed to turn off agressive power-saving
    but I'm wondering whether I should get a new drive ASAP. Is there some
    way to tell whether the drive is damaged?

    Bob T.

  2. Re: load cycle

    Bob Tennent writes:
    >I've been following the current controversy about whether Ubuntu kills
    >laptop drives:
    >
    >https://launchpad.net/bug59695.html
    >
    >I don't use Ubuntu but I did
    >
    > smartctl -d ata -a /dev/sda | grep 193
    >
    >and got a count of over 1 million. The product manual for my drive
    >(Seagate) says 300K on/off cycles at 25 degrees, 50% humidity and only
    >100K in less favorable conditions. Can I believe the output of smartctl?


    Yes. I have heard the load cycles on my laptop (see
    <2005Dec24.121658@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at> ff.) on an earlier disk.

    >I've now done all the things needed to turn off agressive power-saving
    >but I'm wondering whether I should get a new drive ASAP. Is there some
    >way to tell whether the drive is damaged?


    The first thing is to look at the smartctl output. E.g., on my
    current drive it says:

    ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME FLAG VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE UPDATED WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
    193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 089 089 000 Old_age Always - 237320

    As you can see, in my case the VALUE has not reached the THRESHOLD yet
    (VALUE typically starts at 100 or 200 and gets smaller over time). If
    it has not reached THRESHOLD yet on your drive, your drive is fine in
    theory. Even if it has reached the THRESHOLD, I would not expect it
    to fail soon. So, just wait, and if it fails, put in a new hard disk
    and put your backup on it (you do have a backup, right?).

    On the earlier disk, I turned off the frequent load cycles with

    hdparm -B254 /dev/hda

    I have read some warnings about using that, so use at your own risk.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  3. Re: load cycle

    On Wed, 31 Oct 2007 22:50:58 GMT, Anton Ertl wrote:
    > Bob Tennent writes:
    >>
    >>I did
    >>
    >> smartctl -d ata -a /dev/sda | grep 193
    >>
    >>and got a count of over 1 million.

    >
    > The first thing is to look at the smartctl output. E.g., on my
    > current drive it says:
    >
    > ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME FLAG VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE UPDATED WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
    > 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 089 089 000 Old_age Always - 237320
    >
    > As you can see, in my case the VALUE has not reached the THRESHOLD yet
    > (VALUE typically starts at 100 or 200 and gets smaller over time). If
    > it has not reached THRESHOLD yet on your drive, your drive is fine in
    > theory. Even if it has reached the THRESHOLD, I would not expect it
    > to fail soon.


    My smartctl output is

    193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 001 001 000 Old_age Always - 1032808

    and I thought the value at the right was the Load_Cycle_Count. What
    is a "RAW_VALUE". So my VALUE is just above the threshold of 000; not
    encouraging. Yes, I have a backup. How can VALUES/RAW_VALUES be related
    to the maximum load/unload cycles of the product manual?

    Bob T.

  4. Re: load cycle

    Hello,

    Bob Tennent a écrit :
    >
    > smartctl -d ata -a /dev/sda | grep 193
    >
    > and got a count of over 1 million. The product manual for my drive
    > (Seagate) says 300K on/off cycles


    Load cycles are not on/off cycles.

  5. Re: load cycle

    On Thu, 01 Nov 2007 11:58:34 +0100, Pascal Hambourg wrote:

    > Bob Tennent a écrit :
    >>
    >> smartctl -d ata -a /dev/sda | grep 193
    >>
    >> and got a count of over 1 million. The product manual for my drive
    >> (Seagate) says 300K on/off cycles

    >
    > Load cycles are not on/off cycles.


    Here's the entry:

    Load/Unload (U/UL) cycles

    25°C, 50% relative humidity 300,000 software-controlled power on/off cycles
    20,000 hard power on/off cycles

    This is from

    http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/...omentus_pm.pdf

    If that's not the relevant spec, what is?

    Bob T.

  6. Re: load cycle

    Bob Tennent writes:
    >On Wed, 31 Oct 2007 22:50:58 GMT, Anton Ertl wrote:
    > > The first thing is to look at the smartctl output. E.g., on my
    > > current drive it says:
    > >
    > > ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME FLAG VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE UPDATED WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
    > > 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 089 089 000 Old_age Always - 237320
    > >
    > > As you can see, in my case the VALUE has not reached the THRESHOLD yet
    > > (VALUE typically starts at 100 or 200 and gets smaller over time). If
    > > it has not reached THRESHOLD yet on your drive, your drive is fine in
    > > theory. Even if it has reached the THRESHOLD, I would not expect it
    > > to fail soon.

    >
    >My smartctl output is
    >
    >193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 001 001 000 Old_age Always - 1032808
    >
    >and I thought the value at the right was the Load_Cycle_Count. What
    >is a "RAW_VALUE".


    In this case, it is probably the number of load/unload cycles.

    > So my VALUE is just above the threshold of 000; not
    >encouraging.


    I would not worry about it too much. If the drive can stand one
    million load cycles, it probably won't break when you do another
    million.

    > Yes, I have a backup. How can VALUES/RAW_VALUES be related
    >to the maximum load/unload cycles of the product manual?


    If RAW_VALUES gives the number of cycles, then VALUE should reach
    THRESH when RAW_VALUES reaches the maximum number given in the product
    manual.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  7. Re: load cycle

    Bob Tennent writes:
    >On Thu, 01 Nov 2007 11:58:34 +0100, Pascal Hambourg wrote:
    >Here's the entry:
    >
    > Load/Unload (U/UL) cycles
    >
    > 25°C, 50% relative humidity 300,000 software-controlled power on/off cycles
    > 20,000 hard power on/off cycles
    >
    >This is from
    >
    >http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/...omentus_pm.pdf
    >
    >If that's not the relevant spec, what is?


    That manual does not say AFAICS. The SMART attributes having to do
    with power are

    12 Power_Cycle_Count

    and possibly

    4 Start_Stop_Count

    The latter may or may not be what is meant with "software-controlled
    power on/off cycles"

    A load cycle is when the drive moves the head arms into the parking
    position and back into the reading position. Laptop drives often move
    the heads to the parking position, because then they are better
    protected against shock. Under Linux moving the heads to the parking
    position is pretty pointless, because a few seconds later Linux
    unparks the heads (probably to write atimes or something). Laptop
    mode should cure this, but I have not gotten around to using it on
    mine.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  8. Re: load cycle

    On Thu, 01 Nov 2007 13:09:38 GMT, Anton Ertl wrote:

    > A load cycle is when the drive moves the head arms into the parking
    > position and back into the reading position. Laptop drives often move
    > the heads to the parking position, because then they are better
    > protected against shock. Under Linux moving the heads to the parking
    > position is pretty pointless, because a few seconds later Linux
    > unparks the heads (probably to write atimes or something). Laptop
    > mode should cure this, but I have not gotten around to using it on
    > mine.


    So moving to the parking position when the drive is not in use is good,
    provided that the partitions are mounted with noatime? Why has the
    discussion at the Ubuntu site focussed on hdparm -B settings?

    Bob T.

  9. Re: load cycle

    Bob Tennent writes:
    >On Thu, 01 Nov 2007 13:09:38 GMT, Anton Ertl wrote:
    >
    > > A load cycle is when the drive moves the head arms into the parking
    > > position and back into the reading position. Laptop drives often move
    > > the heads to the parking position, because then they are better
    > > protected against shock. Under Linux moving the heads to the parking
    > > position is pretty pointless, because a few seconds later Linux
    > > unparks the heads (probably to write atimes or something). Laptop
    > > mode should cure this, but I have not gotten around to using it on
    > > mine.

    >
    >So moving to the parking position when the drive is not in use is good,
    >provided that the partitions are mounted with noatime?


    Maybe, I have not tried it. Wasn't there some work on lazy atime
    writing? And in any case, with laptop mode you would not just park
    the heads, but also spin down the drive for some time, which would be
    even better than just parking (less power).

    > Why has the
    >discussion at the Ubuntu site focussed on hdparm -B settings?


    I have not read that, so I cannot say.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

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