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Revision as of 19:52, 6 March 2013 by Fxkr (Talk | contribs) (Parking your hard drive: udev rule example)

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hdparm is a performance and benchmarking tool for your hard disk (SATA/IDE).

Warning: Be careful, it is easy to destroy your hard drive with hdparm!


hdparm can be installed from the official repositories. For use with SCSI devices, install sdparm.


Disk info

To get information about your hard disk, run the following:

# hdparm -I /dev/sda

Reading speed MB/s

To measure how many MB/s your hard disk (SATA/IDE) can read, run the following:

# hdparm -t --direct /dev/sda

Writing speed MB/s

To measure how many MB/s your hard disk (SATA/IDE) can write, run the following:

$ sync;time bash -c "(dd if=/dev/zero of=bf bs=8k count=500000; sync)"

Do not forget to Template:Keypress and rm bf after that.

Note: bf is just the name of the output file that dd writes to.

Parking your hard drive

If your hard drive is clicking many times, the kernel is parking the hard drive's actuator arm (what moves the read/write head). This happens often on laptops (2.5" IDE hard drives). If it happens too often, it could damage your hard drive.

This will just park the reading head when you shut down the computer:

# hdparm -B254 /dev/sd

Default value is -B128. An average value could be -B199 if it is parking too often.

To make this persistent, add a udev rule by creating e.g. /etc/udev/rules.d/11-sda-apm-fix.rules:

ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="block", KERNEL=="sda", RUN+="/sbin/hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda"

Tips and tricks

KDE => 4.4.4 and hdparm

To stop KDE version 4.4.4 or greater from messing around with your (manually) configured hdparm values, enter the following and you should be done:

# touch /etc/pm/power.d/harddrive