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SubjectLaptop's HDD

Maybe some of you have been hearing lately about a problem with laptop's hard
disk drives being killed by *insert Linux distro here* [1]

The problem comes from a very high rate of load/unload cycles of the heads
that reaches the 300.000-600.000 limit in 2-3 years (with smartmontools it
can checked it with "smartctl -A /dev/sda") . There are reports of HDD dying
even earlier for this problem [2]

For what I've read, it's not that Linux is doing anything special to your hard
disk, it's the BIOS settings that take care of killing your disk sooner than
later. However, I'm asking on this list because the problem seems to have
started with kernel 2.6.10 [3].

Windows seems to override the BIOS settings, so hardware vendors have never
cared about this problem.

So my question is: Is this something the (Linux) kernel should care about or
should distributions care about it with userspace tools?

By the way, this settings seem to be there in order to save power. However,
loading/unloading the heads ~3 times per minute doesn't seem like a very good
powersaving policy. Couldn't this be one of the reasons why Linux is using
generally more power than Windows?


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