[mythtv-users] USB Hard Drive Lifespans and power usage question

Steve Peters - Priority Electronics steve at priorityelectronics.com
Mon Aug 4 19:54:00 UTC 2008

>Howdy Steve,
>A comment on the last point: do you have temperature numbers for the
>drives in the mythbox vs. temps of the USB enclosure (I assume you can
>get temp's across USB)?  Getting rid of heat in situations like this
>is about air-movement, and the drives in the USB enclosure likely have
>none.  I'm wondering how their temperature compares to the ones in the
>mythbox with the extra heat from the other devices.
>   Marc

The 3 internal drives have less airflow because the mythbox is in an
enclosed cabinet, with a 12" by 12" cutout in the back to let the computer
vents let air out. Also, I had to unplug the case fan because it made the
pvr-500 have static on recordings, even though I use a cable box with
s-video plugs. Go figure. As a result, the cabinet is warmer than the drives
which are outside the cabinet. I keep a thermometer in the cabinet and it
never get's above 90 degrees in there. Usually, it's around 85 degrees. So
even though the usb drives don't have much airflow, they are in a cooler
environment, usually about 5 to 10 degrees cooler outside the cabinet.

Also, I am aware I can use hdparm, but does that mean that unless I manually
spin down the drives with hdparm, they will remain spinning at top speed?
Seems to me that Windows knows how to do this automatically; I figured linux
did as well. There must be a way.

Lastly, only one of my drives get's the temp reading from hdparm. For some
reason, my seagates will not tell me the temperature. I have 3 x 500GB and 2
x 750GB seagate drives. My hitachi 123gb drive is the only one that tells me
the temp. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. But I can tell you, even when the
computer is idle and the cabinet door open, those drives get pretty hot to
the touch.


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