SOLVED: Hard drive stopping and starting every few seconds

  • I installed pfsense yesterday and was getting everything working when I noticed that the hard drive was stopping then almost straight away spinning up.  This must be hard on the drive.

    I've tried playing with the power settings but setting the hard drive to never stop doesn't work and the power management settings have no effect.

    I also tried changing the logging to see if that was causing the start ups.

    Nothing I've tried works.  What have I done wrong?


    SOLUTION: the drive I was using didn't support APM so was ignoring all attempts to set its power management.  I upgraded the firmware and it still doesn't support APM.  So I went out and bought a 120Gb SSD - NZD$80.

  • Banned

    I think you've just purchased a wrong drive. Just avoid any "green" ones would be a good start.

  • The drive in question is nothing that special - Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1Tb.

    The drive's documentation list some power saving modes so there is some control available.  Nothing in BIOS to change drive sleep etc. So I'm looking for the software to manage it.

    Is there some documentation on how PFSense controls hard drives to see if the systems are incompatible?  Or would this be FreeBSD documentation?


  • Banned

    Yeah, those desktop PC Seagate drives are very special – junk. That "green" feature is by design, they'll spin down in seconds. Google "Seagate LCC" e.g.

  • Solved it!

    I think pfsense have fixed this issue with:


    but the Seagate 7200.12 firmware didn't support apm!  So I upgraded the firmware and the drive is working nicely.


  • Banned

    Now Seagate will hate you… they wanted to save the planet!!!  ;D ::)