Tune your hard disk for high performance Using hdparm

This is small utility for Get/set hard disk parameters for Linux IDE drives. Primary use is for enabling irq-unmasking and IDE multiplemode.

Installing hdparm in Debian

#apt-get install hdparm

Reading Package Lists… Done
Building Dependency Tree… Done
Suggested packages:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 11 not upgraded.
Need to get 51.7kB of archives.
After unpacking 197kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 http://mirror.ox.ac.uk stable/main hdparm 6.1-2 [51.7kB]
Fetched 51.7kB in 0s (454kB/s)
Selecting previously deselected package hdparm.
(Reading database … 13645 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking hdparm (from …/archives/hdparm_6.1-2_i386.deb) …
Setting up hdparm (6.1-2) …

Available options for hdparm

#hdparm –help

hdparm – get/set hard disk parameters – version v6.1

Usage: hdparm [options] [device] ..

-a get/set fs readahead
-A set drive read-lookahead flag (0/1)
-b get/set bus state (0 == off, 1 == on, 2 == tristate)
-B set Advanced Power Management setting (1-255)
-c get/set IDE 32-bit IO setting
-C check IDE power mode status
-d get/set using_dma flag
–direct use O_DIRECT to bypass page cache for timings
-D enable/disable drive defect management
-E set cd-rom drive speed
-f flush buffer cache for device on exit
-g display drive geometry
-h display terse usage information
-i display drive identification
-I detailed/current information directly from drive
–Istdin reads identify data from stdin as ASCII hex
–Istdout writes identify data to stdout as ASCII hex
-k get/set keep_settings_over_reset flag (0/1)
-K set drive keep_features_over_reset flag (0/1)
-L set drive doorlock (0/1) (removable harddisks only)
-M get/set acoustic management (0-254, 128: quiet, 254: fast) (EXPERIMENTAL)
-m get/set multiple sector count
-n get/set ignore-write-errors flag (0/1)
-p set PIO mode on IDE interface chipset (0,1,2,3,4,…)
-P set drive prefetch count
-q change next setting quietly
-Q get/set DMA tagged-queuing depth (if supported)
-r get/set device readonly flag (DANGEROUS to set)
-R register an IDE interface (DANGEROUS)
-S set standby (spindown) timeout
-t perform device read timings
-T perform cache read timings
-u get/set unmaskirq flag (0/1)
-U un-register an IDE interface (DANGEROUS)
-v defaults; same as -mcudkrag for IDE drives
-V display program version and exit immediately
-w perform device reset (DANGEROUS)
-W set drive write-caching flag (0/1) (DANGEROUS)
-x tristate device for hotswap (0/1) (DANGEROUS)
-X set IDE xfer mode (DANGEROUS)
-y put IDE drive in standby mode
-Y put IDE drive to sleep
-Z disable Seagate auto-powersaving mode
-z re-read partition table

ATA Security Options:
–security-freeze Freeze security settings (until next reset)
–security-unlock PWD Unlock drive, using password PWD (DANGEROUS)
–security-set-pass PWD Lock drive, using password PWD (DANGEROUS)
–security-disable PWD Disable drive locking, using password PWD (DANGEROUS)
–security-mode MODE Specify user/master password and high/maximum security
u user password, high security
U user password, maximum security
m master password, high security
M master password, maximum security

Hdparm Examples:-

#hdparm /dev/hda

readonly = 0 (off)
readahead = 120 (on)
geometry = 8850/255/63, sectors = 142182912, start = 0

Hard disk Performance Information

# hdparm -tT /dev/hda

Timing cached reads: 496 MB in 2.00 seconds = 247.42 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 60 MB in 3.03 seconds = 19.81 MB/sec

Hard drive set to low, slow settings:

# hdparm -cuda /dev/hda

IO_support = 0 (default 16-bit)
unmaskirq = 0 (off)
using_dma = 0 (off)
readahead = 256 (on)

If you want to know more options and how to use check hdparm man page

You can use this for ubuntu users also.

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