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Thread: Recompile new version of hdparm for the -M switch

  1. #1
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    Noisy 200GB Seagate Drive

    I recently put a Seagate 200 gig disk in my Tivo and noticed it's louder than the original disk. I contacted Seagate tech support, they said to look for tools to turn on Automatic Acoustic Management. It looks like newer versions of hdparm can do it. Unfortunately, the version on the Tivo doesn't have the -M option. Anybody have opinions on the feasibility of compiling the latest version of hdparm for the Tivo? By the way, busybox's hdparm doesn't support the -M version either. The packaged version on the Tivo is 3.6. -M was added in 4.7. The latest version of hdparm is 5.8.
    Last edited by jg123; 11-08-2004 at 11:09 PM.

  2. #2
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    Happened to have the source tarball sitting on my server, was only a four letter command away to do this. Haven't tested it though (my seagate 160g is already very quiet,) careful.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by AlphaWolf; 11-05-2004 at 11:24 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Nice. Thanks! It ran on my Tivo, but the -M option isn't there. I think it's an experimental option (it's marked as such on my Debian box). I don't know if you have to set some flag to get experimental options to show up.
    Actually, I found some info on it from the README.acoustic in the hdparm source tarball on freshmeat:
    BIG BIG WARNING: THIS FEATURE IS EXPERIMENTAL AND NOT WELL TESTED. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!
    I HAVE ONLY TESTED IT WITH MY OWN HARDDRIVES AND HAD NO PROBLEMS USING IT. BUT AS I AM
    NO IDE EXPERT AND THIS IS ONLY BASED ON WHAT I HAVE READ IN THE KERNEL SOURCES I GIVE
    NO GUARANTEE FOR ANYTHING!!

    Most modern harddisk drives have the ability to speed down the head movements
    to reduce their noise output. The possible values are between 0 and 254. 128
    is the most quiet (and therefore slowest) setting and 254 the fastest (and loudest).
    Some drives have only two levels (quiet / fast), while others may have different
    levels realized between 128 and 254.

    To be able to use this with hdparm, you will need a current kernel with the -ac patches
    applied. Maybe the kernel of your favorite distribution will already include this (SuSE
    has it in their current kernel, for example).
    Just try to compile hdparm, type "hdparm" and have a look for "-M" in the output. If it
    doesn't appear, your kernel most likely doesn't support it.

    You can get the acoustic setting by typing

    hdparm -M /dev/hda

    To set the most quiet mode use

    hdparm -M 128 /dev/hda

    For the fastest setting use

    hdparm -M 254 /dev/hda

    Now test different values and try to hear the difference. :-)
    Apparently the kernel I'm using (the one compiled by Christurbo) doesn't have the -ac patches applied? Christurbo, if you're listening, does the -ac patch mean anything to you?

  4. #4
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    Seems there to me. Are you sure you are running the copy that you transfered to your tivo? (specify an absolute path to the file rather than just typing the name to make sure)

    Code:
    bash-2.02# ./hdparm -M /dev/hda
    
    /dev/hda:
     acoustic     =  0 (128=quiet ... 254=fast)
    Before PMing me: Iím not your personal tech support. If you have a question, ask in public so I don't have to repeat if somebody else asks. If you want images or slices, use emule. I will ignore all support PMs.

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  5. #5
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    It looks like the support for the hdparm -M option is in some kernels and available as a patch to kernels that don't support it. I found the patch here if anyone is interested:
    http://lwn.net/Articles/28541/
    It may have been incorporated into the kernel after 2.4.21, and the kernel I'm running is 2.4.18 for the S2 4.0 software.
    Edit here's another link:
    http://lwn.net/Articles/32038/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jg123
    Apparently the kernel I'm using (the one compiled by Christurbo) doesn't have the -ac patches applied? Christurbo, if you're listening, does the -ac patch mean anything to you?
    "-ac" denotes Alan Cox's experimental kernel patches. You are highly unlikely to see an -ac kernel widely deployed.

  7. #7
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    Just use the hitachi feature tool to set the Acoustic management. It works with most drives, I used it on my WD drive.

  8. #8
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    Appears that the new Seagates don't support aam according to the support guy at Seagate and all the utilities I've tried. Oh well. I guess it's going back...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jg123
    Appears that the new Seagates don't support aam according to the support guy at Seagate and all the utilities I've tried. Oh well. I guess it's going back...

    hmmm... And everyone thought I was nuts when I recently pointed out that the Barracuda 7 160 gig drive is outrageously noisy..
    http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/sh...34&postcount=3

    I'd suggest picking up a WD drive. I'm using the WD160 (160 gig), they're quieter and cooler than seagate and maxtor.

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