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I have a home-fileserver with 6 desktop harddisks in a md-raid.

The server isn't accessed a lot, so I think it would be good for the harddrives to go in standby-mode after some idle time (e.g. with the hdparm -S or hd-idle command).

Is this safe when using mdadm or could this cause errors/degraded harddisks?

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As a quick answer, I believe that if something is supposed to write/read the drive, it will come out of standby. –  soandos Aug 26 '11 at 21:35
    
I take it you're not using a desktop environment on this computer? It'd be really safe if gnome or kde did it for you. –  digitxp Aug 26 '11 at 21:36
    
@soandos: Yes that's the behaviour I would expect too. –  Dani31 Aug 26 '11 at 21:43
    
@digitxp: You're right, but why do you think it would be really safe with a desktop environment? –  Dani31 Aug 26 '11 at 21:44
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@Dani31 You know the Gnome guys, they'll make something absolutely idiotproof or if they can't they'll pretend such a feature never existed. –  digitxp Aug 26 '11 at 21:47
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I should think so. I have been using it my backup machine with RAID-1 for about a year. Got the tips from this page. It is also mentioned on the Gentoo wiki and [H]ardforum threads.

Also, the man page for hdparm marks the similar power off mode (-s ) as VERY DANGEROUS but makes no mention about risks in the hd-idle section.

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