Retrieving and setting hard drive parameters with hdparm

Disk Inspector

Article from Issue 145/2012
Author(s):

Hdparm is the tool to use when it comes to tuning your hard disk or DVD drive, but it can also measure read speed, deliver valuable information about the device, change important drive settings, and even erase SSDs securely.

In 2005, Canadian Mark Lord developed the small hdparm utility to test Linux drivers for IDE hard drives. Since then, the program has developed into a valuable tool for diagnosis and tuning of hard drives. For example, it tests the speed of hard drives and solid state disks, puts devices to sleep, and turns the energy-saving mode on or off. With modern devices, it can activate the acoustic mode and clean up SSDs. Before your first experiments with hdparm, you should read about safety concerns in the “Warning!” box.

Need for Communication

All reasonably new distributions already include hdparm in the basic installation. You only need to open a terminal and call up

hdparm ‑I /dev/sda | more

as administrator.

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