I am having an issue with my external hard drive and it is quite annoying.

So, I purchased the Samsung M3, for the sole purpose of acting as a mass storage device for my Raspberry Pi. Lovely.

I originally had it mounted with ntfs-3g, that was REALLY slow and performance was awful. I reformatted the drive with an ext4 filesystem, mounted it with noatime. Cool, everything is working.

Except, the drive does not spin down. It is constantly spinning, 24/7. This did not happen when it was mounted with ntfs-3g, but ever since switching to ext4 it has just not stopped spinning.

I have attempted the following to fix it:

sudo hdparm -y /dev/sda - any hdparm command returns

/dev/sda: issuing standby command SG_IO: bad/missing sense data, sb[]: 70 00 01 00 00 00 00 0a 00 00 00 00 00 1d 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

I then decided to try sudo udisks --set-spindown /dev/sda --spindown-timeout 20, which returned Setting spindown failed: Cannot spindown device.

I just can't seem to get it working, even though it was perfectly fine with ntfs-3g.

Any help would be very much appreciated.


1 Answer 1


I should have posted this months ago, this is how I resolved it.

  • Created a folder, applied the appropriate permissions
  • Edited /etc/fstab
  • Added the following:

    /dev/sda1   /media/usbhdd   ext4   defaults,noatime   0 0
  • Save, reboot

And everything was working perfectly. Hope it helps people

*Where /media/usbhdd is the folder you added

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