Subject: Re: Western Digital 250G hard drive
To: Ian McIntosh <>
From: Brian Chase <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 12/04/2003 10:12:35
On Thu, 4 Dec 2003, Ian McIntosh wrote:

> As an extra thought, I was wondering if the windows system puts the
> drive into a sleep mode when not in use whereas the BSD system
> doesn't? That would explain the difference and also make sense as the
> drive is left as a slave and nothing written to it.
> Is this a possibility?

It seems like a possibility to me.  I got my drive installed in a
NetBSD/i386 1.6.1 system last night.  The man page for atactl mentions
being able to put drives in "idle", "standby", and "sleep" modes.
There's also the "active" mode when the drive is operating.  For some
reason I can't put my drive in idle mode, but standby and sleep work.

There are commands for atactl, "setidle" and "setstandby", used for
setting idle and standy mode timers, but the manpage isn't clear as to
what the timers do.  (And they don't seem to put my drive in the
corresponding mode after the specified number of seconds of inactivity
as I'd hoped.)

Simple physics would dictate that having the drive in active mode all of
the time will cause it to generate more heat than if it were idling or
in standby mode.  Assuming that other OSes make use of lower power
modes, the drive won't generate as much heat when it's under their