Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Unpleasant Clicks

If you happened to run Ubuntu on a laptop, you've probably noticed the annoying hard drive clicks every few seconds. I've only recently got a laptop so I didn't know this problem existed so long without any out of the box solution. However, it didn't take me long to find a reasonable workaround for it.

The whole issue is around the fact that hard drives with aggressive power saving feature park heads after just several seconds in idle but a frequent disk access in Ubuntu causes it to unpark the heads shortly after. This leads to an annoying click noise and shorten drives' life. In Gutsy, enabling laptop-mode with noatime and hard disk power management option and disabling Tracker daemon fixed the problem for me. I actually changed the power management on battery mode from 1 to 128 because I didn't want it to spin down the disk too often. I'll post the configurations in more details soon.

I just want to add that the issue is still not solved in Hardy as of this writing. In order to get rid of the clicking noise in Hardy I had to change disk power management up to 192 but keep in mind that Hardy is still in beta and the issue might be solved by the time it's released. Fingers crossed!

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