[conspire] question - Seagate Free Agent Go 1T

Tony Godshall tony at of.net
Sat Mar 6 16:46:40 PST 2010

I have worked with several Seagate Freeagent drives in capacities
ranging from 160GB to 2TB and they work fine in Linux except for this:

Some of the drives power themselves off without notifying the OS if
they are left running for long periods of time with no activity.

This is not an issue if you are using the drive to transport files
(plug in, mount, copy files, unmount, go) but if you are using the
drive as a semi-permanent part of your setup it can be an issue.

When I put a 2TB drive on backuppc duty it worked great until all the
PCs were backed up and had some idle time and then it failed.
Unplugging, plugging back in, and remounting it solved that instance.
And I solved it in a more permanent way with a cron job that wrote
something random to the partition every minute.

Later I found the readily available sdparm was able to turn off the
drive-inititated spin-down feature entirely.  sdparm is like hdparm
but with a few  features specifically for SCSI drives (which USB
drives emulate).  Turning off the feature doesnt hurt anything- the OS
can still initiate spin-down, which is the right way to do it, because
when the OS initiated it the drives generally spin back up when

The exact details escape me, if you ixquick or google "sdparm Linux"
you'll find lots of discussion.

Best Regards.

On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 19:04, Ehud Kaldor <ehud.kaldor at gmail.com> wrote:
> Darlene,
> i have an older version of the FreeAgent (160GB) and my Ubuntu sees it as a
> drive and rsync works perfect with it (which reminds me it's time again).
> if you are asking about the software they are shipping with it, i am not
> sure as i never tried.
> Ehud
> On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 6:51 PM, Darlene Wallach
> <freepalestin at dslextreme.com> wrote:
>> Neither the packaging on the Seagate Free Agent Go 1T or the Costco
>> website or the seagate.com website mentions Linux.
>> http://www.costco.com/Browse/ProductSet.aspx?Prodid=11523156&whse=BC&Ne=5000001+4000000&eCat=BC|84|31022|4298&N=4017767%204294912063&Mo=4&pos=4&No=0&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC10626-Cat31022&topnav=
>> http://www.costco.com/images/content/misc/PDF/11523156.pdf
>> Am I correct in assuming I will have no trouble using the Seagate Free
>> Agent Go 1T as an external drive for my Linux Certified laptop, on
>> which I have Fedora 10 installed?
>> Thank you.
>> equal justice under law,
>> Darlene Wallach
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