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How can I check if HDD(not system of course, but mounted) is spinning or not under Ubuntu 10 Desktop? In some way that not to wake it up.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Try with hdparm.

-C     Check  the current IDE power mode status, which will always be one of unknown 
       (drive does not support this command), active/idle (normal operation), standby
       (low  power  mode,  drive  has spun  down), or sleeping (lowest power mode, 
       drive is completely shut down).  The -S, -y, -Y, and -Z options can be used to
       manipulate the IDE power modes.

Something like

sudo hdparm -C /dev/sdb
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