Linux: Switch a idle hard disk into standby mode


I have running a debian based multimedia server. The operating systems is installed on a compact flash card (/dev/sda), the data resides on a external USB SATA harddisk (/dev/sdb).
The (Server 🙂 ) Hardware is a Fujitsu Futro A240 ThinClient, with a power consumption of only 7W. I’m using the server for about 2 hours each day, therefore I looked for a method to save power and switch the USB disk to standby mode when its idle for while.

Check first if your hard disk supports the standby mode.  Ensure that the disk is idle, otherwise the disk is immediately active again.

Switch to Standby mode

root@debdev:~# hdparm -y /dev/sdb
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