If you have a Maxtor OneTouch and want to set the spin-down on idle timeout, you can use a tool provided by Maxtor on the CD that comes with the drive. This tool runs only on Windows so ideally do this before connecting it for the first time to your NSLU2. But, if you formated your drive with the NSLU2, you can't chose your drive with that tool.
The Maxtor utility v220.127.116.11 discovers my already formated OneTouch III without any problem. Setting the spindown time via energy options works as expected.
The Maxtor utility v18.104.22.168 will also change spindown time on my ext3fs OneTouch III. However, in testing I tried to wait for it to spin down with the drive plugged into the SLUG (running Debian Etch from a keychain disk) while the SLUG was powered off. This just didn't work. Solution: Boot up the slug, once booted, wait for the established spindown time - the drive spins down fine with the SLUG booted.
Even after you set the master discs spin-down the drive will not spin down because of regular accesses to /dev and /var. Instructions below describe how you can place /dev and /var on a ramdisc.
Attach your disk to a Linux box and use
I suggest doing this before storing your only copy of your Britney CDs because something could go wrong; Windows may decide to write disk signatures and other useful information all over your most vital data. Although this has been tested and is reasonably safe, there are no guarantees. Backup your important data.
If (like me) you don't run Linux at home then download Knoppix, a LiveCD distribution. Burn a CD with it on, then boot from the CD and you'll have access to Linux for the period of time you need. Remove the CD, and you reboot back to Windows.
Attach your disk to a XP box and run PartitionMagic. Create a small (I did 15MB) NTFS partition. Now XP will recognize the disk and you can change the spindown time.
One Modification to "The Solution"
Instead of changing the conf (sda1) or data (sda2) partitions, change the swap partition (sda3). This way if Windows messes it up, you haven't lost any data. Just make a note of the partition type before you make the change and set it back when you are done.
Still another solution
Attach the (ext3 formatted) disk to your Windows PC, install Ext2fsd, and use the included MOUNT.EXE to mount the drive. It will then have a drive letter, and you'll be able to read its contents. Then run the Maxtor OneTouch II utility and set the spin down time as you wish. Then put the drive back on the NSLU2. Having Ext2fsd installed will allow you to read the disk directly on your PC whenever necessary!
JamesCC October 2005 - This seemed the safest option, however I had considerable hassles with this, but got there in the end! Here are some suggestions...
A solution when using unslung firmware 4.x or 5.x
With unslung firmwares 4.x or 5.x, the complete root filing system is located on a disk partition. The One Touch drive will never spin down because linux will regularly access log files located in
Instructions to create and move
Using a unix style text editor, copy the following script section into a new file called
Re-boot your slug
RobHam June 2005
Additional Note on the above:
The above worked for me, with 5.5 Beta, but only when I had repeated the ramfs process for the /dev dir. Repeat the main section of script and replace var with dev. I reduced the maxsize down to 128 for the /dev ram disk. After inactivity the disk spun down in time with the setting entered using the Maxtor utility.
Nigel Gerdes Aug 2005
Another Additional Note on the above:
Unslung 5.5. I also needed the ramfs process for the /dev dir. It is also worth pointing out that you need to mount the HDD /dev/sda1 with noatime. This prevents writes (modification to access time) during reads (common issue is when a crontab is being read by crond - every hour if using the linksys fix for the clock). The reads can be cached (and so the disk is not read), but the writes (for the access time) get done immediately taking the drive out of standby.
Note that the hourly linksys fix for the clock is easily changed to update only once per day at midnight by changing the relevant line in the /etc/crontab file to :-
Then re-boot your slug.
Script to re-mount your discs with noatime. Using a unix style text editor, copy the following script section into a new file called
This is very similar to what happens in /etc/rc.d/rc.1 when /.ext3flash exists. The main difference being that the swap is left as is. Re-boot your slug for the script to run. Then check that /dev/sda1 has the option noatime set, by typing
JamesCC October 2005 - (modified for rc.local unslung diversion script)
Better /unslung/rc.bootbin with /dev and /var ramdisk and working syslog
(Andreas, Jan 2006)
Do not forget you will also have to set 'noatime' for /dev/sda1, a script above describes how.
Note by Anguel Stankov: The rc.bootbin and rc.local scripts given above seem to make my WD MyBook 500GB spin down with Unslung 5.5 only. I cannot make spindown work with Unslung 6.8 or original Linksys firmware v23RA5. This spin-down problem is also reported in the "nslu2-general" newsgroup.
Note by Oli Wright: I too had this problem with a WD MyBook and Unlsung 6.8. It seems to be a process called 'onetouch_detect' that causes the problem. Killing it has made my WD MyBook spin down properly after 10 minutes. If you add the following to the middle of the /unslung/rc.local script then the offending process will be killed on startup.
Note by Alexander Lorz: The combination of the additional rc.local, rc.bootbin and a modified crontab worked fine for letting my MyBook 250 GB spin down on Unslung 6.8. The Downside of this solution is that I cannot power of the slug anymore by pressing the power switch. Reboot from the console works. If I remove or rename the new rc.local powering of the slug works fine again. Addendum: FIXED - just look at the old /etc/rc.d/rc.local and add the startup commands for the processes checking for reset and power-off and all the other stuff after the re-mount of the drives in your new /unslung/rc.local
Note by Mathis: Uncommenting the return 1 line in /unslung/rc.local also fixes the issues with halting. Not returning 1 from any /unslung/rc.* script causes the calling /etc/rc.d/rc.* script to abort.
Note by Markus: I'm using Unslung 6.8 and a WD Mybook 320 gb Essential Edition without a flash-stick and it will spin down after about 10 minutes of inactivity IF the two scripts rc.local and rc.bootbin are used as described above together with edits of the crontab. I figured out that my disk was not called sda1 but sdb1, a hint to new users when editing rc.local. In the crontab I removed the line about checking disk space and changed the watchdog and time set function to run once a week.
Note by Andreas Lundblad: I'm using Debian and a WD Mybook 320 gb Essential without a flash-stick. It will spin down after 10 minutes UNMOUNTED (out of the box). However after a clean Debian installation the system accessed the disk. (Logs said kjournald, sysklogd and pdflush). I resolved this by editing /etc/fstab and adding noatime on the sda lines and killing sysklogd and cron with rc-update -f remove sysklogd (and then for cron).
Note by Jean-Bernard: Hello with all! I have myself a disc "My book essential edition 2 - 500GB" connected on my NSLU2 (firmware unslung 6.10 beta mounted on /dev/sdb1) and I applied all the various modifications suggested well above, but the disc never spin-down! However I checked well, the folders /dev and /var are well mounted in ramdisk and the disc indicates to me well that it there not access during more than 10 '!!! But nothing made there, he don't want to spin-down…. The only means of putting it in spin-down is to stop the NSLU2. Would you have a hint to give me? Somebody has the same problem?
[Solved] After checking, the hard drive spindown well, the indicator remains lit but the disc is well stopped after 10 '. I applied all the modifications suggested by Markus. Thank you with you all! Thank you for help !!
I had no problem setting the spindown time with sdparm, see http://www.joachim-breitner.de/blog/archives/130-Silencing-my-Slug.html
Default Spindown 1 hour Just checked my new One-Touch III - factory default appears to be 1hr to spindown. So it's highly likely that there is no need to mess with the Maxtor at all, all that is needed is to eliminate dynamic access to the disk as shown in scripts above.
Solution for kernel 2.4 and upwards
Add to /etc/fstab the line
tmpfs /var/run tmpfs defaults,size=512k 0 0
and modify all lines which mount a partition on your MaxtorOneTouch to contain the noatime parameter like the following line:
/dev/sda1 / ext3 defaults,noatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
Beside that you have to change the exim4 settings in /etc/default/exim4. Either you must set a higher value for QUEUEINTERVAL (default = 30 minutes) to prevent exim from starting the disk every half hour, or you simply can stop the exim4 server if you don't need it.
Additionally you can shorten the time after which the drive spins down using sdparm in the following way:
sdparm --set=SCT=3600 /dev/sda
This will set the time till spin down (SCT = Standby ConditionTimer) to 6 minutes (= 3600 tenth of a second).
view · edit · print · history · Last edited by Andreas Lundblad.
Based on work by Jean-Bernard, David Cain, fcarolo, itsmi, anonymous, mwester, mekondelta, Mathis, Markus, Oli Wright, Alexander Lorz, Anguel Stankov, Peter November 2006, matthias, Frank Heepmann, RobHam, emm_is, nomeata, Andreas, JamesCC, Nigel Gerdes, Maurice, tman, Gert Van Heghe, ChezDude2010, teobald, and uSURPER.
Originally by smartin.
Page last modified on November 04, 2008, at 10:55 AM